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Belgravia is a district of central Londonmarker in the City of Westminstermarker, situated to the south-west of Buckingham Palacemarker. Belgravia is approximately bounded by Knightsbridgemarker to the north (the street of that name, not the district), Grosvenor Placemarker and Buckingham Palace Road to the east, Pimlicomarker Road to the south, and Sloane Streetmarker to the west. The westernmost streets within this area are in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelseamarker, and can alternatively be considered to be in Knightsbridgemarker and Chelseamarker.

History

Most of the area was owned by Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster, who had it developed from the 1820s. Thomas Cubitt was the main contractor. Belgravia is characterised by grand terraces of white stucco houses, and is focused on the Belgrave Squaremarker and Eaton Squaremarker. It was one of London's most fashionable residential districts from the beginning, and remains so to this day. It is a relatively quiet district in the heart of London, contrasting with neighbouring districts which have far more busy shops, large modern office buildings, hotels, and entertainment venues. Many embassies are located in the area, especially in Belgrave Square.

The area takes its name from one of the Duke of Westminster's subsidiary titles, Viscount Belgrave. The village of Belgrave, Cheshiremarker is two miles (3 km) from the Grosvenor family's main country seat of Eaton Hallmarker.

Notable residents

Notable residents have included Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin (1867-1947), Prime Minister Arthur Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940), American philanthropist George Peabody (1795-1869), Polish composer Frederic Chopin (1810-1849), Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), actress Dame Edith Evans (1888-1976), actress Vivien Leigh (1913-1967), Beatles' manager Brian Epstein (1934-1967), novelist Ian Lancaster Fleming (1908-1964), actor Sir Sean Connery, actor Sir Roger Moore, Frankenstein author Mary Shelley (1797-1851), Lieutenant Colonel Philip Edward Hardwick (1875-1919) who was the son of the architect Philip Charles Hardwick, and the poet Lord Tennyson (1809-1892).

Currently, the area's most famous residents include UKmarker's second richest man Roman Abramovich in Lowndes Squaremarker; Britain's longest recent Prime Minister The Rt Hon. Lady Thatcher who lives in Chester Squaremarker; the actress and writer Joan Collins, singer-songwriter and actress Sarah Brightman, celebrity cook Nigella Lawson, fashion mogul Elle Macpherson, Chief Financial Officer of Arcelor Mittal Aditya Mittal, Lawrence of pop groups Felt and Denim, and Lady Helen Taylor, the daughter of the HRH The Duke of Kent, celebrity & Royal Solicitor, Fiona Shackleton. It is also the birth place of Lord Randolph Churchill (father of Sir Winston Churchill) and actor Sir Christopher Lee.

After World War II some of the largest houses ceased to be used as residences, but the new uses were restricted to certain categories, including embassies, charity headquarters and professional institutions. In the early 21st century some of these houses are being reconverted to residential use, as offices in old houses are no longer as desirable as they were in the post-war decades, while the number of super-rich in London is at a level not seen since at least 1939. Large houses in Belgravia are among the most expensive anywhere in the world, often costing more than £15 million (about US$32 million in 2006) and up to £65 million.

Education

Transport and locale

Nearby areas

Nearest stations

The nearest London Underground stations are Hyde Park Cornermarker, Knightsbridgemarker and Sloane Squaremarker. London Victoria stationmarker, a major National Rail, tube and coach interchange, is to the east of the district.

References



External links




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