The History Of Berkeley Square
A tale of romance ensures when a nightingale sings for true lovers of Berkeley Square in the moonlight of London town. Berkeley Square is a legend of romantic connotations with its long history as an aristocratic London town square. Located in the City of Westminster, W1 in infamous region of London’s West End, Berkeley Square has been a home to some of the country’s most influential people. The Square despite its romantic tales is said to be plagued with hauntings which originate from 50 Berkeley Street, W1J 5BA now home to the Maggs Bros Booksellers.
Originally named after Lord John Berkeley, the first Lord of Stratton born of the Berkeley name; Berkeley Square has seen a lot of residential and business development. In 1675 the Berkeley land was acquired by Lord Berkeley as an addition to his estate in Piccadilly. It wasn’t then, until possession of the land was inherited by the fourth Lord Berkeley, that it saw a significant development, some of which can still be seen today.
Edward Cook and Francis Hilliard oversaw the development of the land, finishing many of the west side houses by 1745 after development started on the residences in 1738 in the East. The central plot, known today as Berkeley Square is overlooked by many of the famous homes and itself is home to a selection of London’s oldest and most beautiful trees. Here you will also be able to see the infamous ‘Nymph Statue’ commissioned by the 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne and created by Alexander Munro in 1858.
Since its construction the residences around Berkeley Square have been noted for their desirability and possession of one of these homes was considered to be a highly fashionable purchase. Berkeley Square has seen a considerable aristocratic influence and has been home to not only the Lord Berkeley but also the Earl of Bute, whose residence was built and designed by Robert Adam. Upon completion in around 1762, Lansdowne House became the town home for the third Earl until it added to the political importance of the square by becoming the host of cabinet meetings. Now the building is known as Lansdowne Club after seeing many notable people pass through its doors including London’s ‘Selfridges’ founder.
Berkeley Square has always been a location for a selection of infamous business’s and shops, mixed between the luxury homes; most notable is the Hemley’s coffee house, later becoming Gywnn’s tavern around the time when construction was finished on the west side. One of the most luxury car stores in London ‘Jack Barclay’, built in 1927, can be found in 18 Berkeley Square, W1J 6AE today and is known as the first and biggest Bentley dealership. A short walk past the famous Berkeley pump house and along Berkeley Street will reveal the ever popular and luxury Mayfair hotel, on Stratton street, W1J 8LT known worldwide for its elegant accommodation and decoration.