BELGRAVIA HISTORY

The Five Fields

In the 17th century Belgravia was part of an area of open land known as
the Five Fields, a desolate place of swamp and windswept pasture,
the haunt of thieves and miscreants.
Blue Plaque
The Grosvenor family vowed to put the Five Fields to new use, and the following centuries saw it flourish into one of London’s most desirable addresses.
When Sir Thomas Grosvenor married the eligible Mary Davies, who was heiress to this land, in 1677, so began a period of extraordinary transformation. The enterprising Grosvenor family vowed to put the Five Fields to new use, and the following centuries saw it flourish into one of London’s most desirable addresses.

It was in the early 19th century, however, that the real catalyst for change began. London was experiencing a housing boom, and nearby Buckingham House, at the order of King George IV, was remodelled into regal Buckingham Palace. Riding high on the success of his family’s Mayfair redevelopment about a century earlier, Robert Grosvenor, the 1st Marquess of Westminster, struck while the iron was hot. He enlisted the help of surveyor Thomas Cundy and master builder Thomas Cubitt, and an ambitious building project began.

Grosvenor’s vision for the land included classic Regency-style streets, squares and crescents, all aligned to overlook leafy private gardens. These are the true architectural hallmarks of Belgravia, admired today more than ever.