- "The Berkeley London". Berkeley. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
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Wilton Crescent is an early 19th century-built street of Grade II listed buildings and describes its central private communal garden. It is in Belgravia, London and is taken to fall into the category of London's garden squares; the street is notable for its affluent and politically important list of residents and historic, it today includes the High Commission of Singapore and equivalent Embassy of Luxembourg. Wilton Crescent was created by Thomas Cundy II, the Grosvenor family estate surveyor, was drawn up with the original 1821 Wyatt plan for Belgravia, it was named at the time of Thomas Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton, second son of Robert Grosvenor, 1st Marquess of Westminster on whose estate the road was built in 1825 through Seth Smith In the 19th and 20th centuries, it was home to many prominent British politicians and civil servants. Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma lived at 2 Wilton Crescent for many years, marked today by an attributive blue plaque. Akin to nearby developments, Wilton Crescent is characterised by grand terraces with lavish white houses which are built in a crescent shape, many of them with stuccoed balconies on the southern part of the crescent.
The Portland stone-clad, five-storey houses toward the north are high and were refaced between 1908 and 1912 via architects Balfour and Turner. Most of the houses had been built in the stucco style, but such houses became stone-clad during this renovation period. Other houses today have black iron balconies. Wilton Crescent lies east to the northwest of Belgrave Square, it is accessed via Wilton Place. Grosvenor Crescent is to the east. Further to the east is the back of London Victoria station. In 2007, Wilton Garden in the middle of the crescent won a bronze medal from the London Gardens Society. There are two diplomatic buildings in Wilton Crescent: the High Commission of Singapore at No. 9, the Embassy of Luxembourg at No. 27. Layout and numberingThe 50 buildings, some subdivided, forming the headline Wilton Crescent addresses are listed at Grade II; the crescent is split into three terraces of lengthy proportion buildings, plus 31 which forms a terrace with 1-15 Grosvenor Crescent, plus 32 and 33 which face the opposing side of a brief continuation of the eastern broad link into Belgrave Square which form a terrace with 1-11 Belgrave Square.
The western broad link into Belgrave Square is however termed Wilton Terrace, split into 1-3 Wilton Terrace and is of identical date and proportions. References in the artsThe play 1905-penned play Major Barbara is set at Lady Britomart's house in Wilton Crescent. Of the main two quadrants and main facing return of the crescent, forming 47 of the 50 buildings, the first floor has stucco-applied doric order pilasters between the windows and a subsidiary cornice above; the second and third floors are united by paired ionic order pilasters set between houses. These are surmounted by a heavy modillion cornice. Most have a balustrade finished with urns to the final unit, they have dipped parapet walls with ball finials. Edward Pleydell-Bouverie. Demetri Marchessini List of eponymous roads in London List of garden squares in London References Notes Singapore High Commission website Luxembourg Embassy website
Knightsbridge is a residential and retail district in West London, south of Hyde Park. It is identified in the London Plan as one of two international retail centres in London, alongside the West End. Knightsbridge was known in Saxon and Old English as: Cnihtebricge c.1050 Knichtebrig 1235 Cnichtebrugge 13th century Knyghtesbrugg 1364, ‘bridge of the young men or retainers,’ from Old English cniht and brycg. The original bridge was; the allusion may be to a place where cnihtas congregated: bridges and wells seem always to have been favourite gathering places of young people. However there is a more specific reference to the important cnihtengild in 11th century London and to the limits of its jurisdiction. Cniht in the pre Norman days did not have the status meaning of a minor noble, but described a horseman. There are however other claims of the name's origins:1. A duel between knights 2. According to a topographer named Norden, the bridge was locally known as ‘Stonebridge’ until a knight called Sir Knyvett was attacked while walking across the bridge late at night.
The knight managed to better his attackers and ‘slew the master thief with his own hand’. This tale of Sir Knyvett’s valour gave a new name to the bridge. 3. A claim that the bridge may have been used by wealthy residents, the ‘knights and ladies’ rather than the common folk. 4. A claim that the area was used as a meeting place for local youths – where ‘knight’ was a slang term for ‘lad’; the original name of the area has come under scrutiny with some claiming it was called ‘Knightsbrigg’ while others believe it was ‘Kynesbrigg’. Knightsbridge was a hamlet located in the parish of St Margaret and in St Martin in the Fields, it extended into the parishes of Kensington and Chelsea. It was therefore divided between local authorities from a early time. In the time of Edward I, the manor of Knightsbridge appertained to the abbey of Westminster, it was named after a crossing of the River Westbourne, now an underground river. It is recorded that the citizens of London met Matilda of England at the Knight's Bridge in 1141.
From 1885 to 1887, as a result of the opening of trade between Britain and the Far East, Humphreys' Hall in Knightsbridge hosted an exhibition of Japanese culture in a setting built to resemble a traditional Japanese village. The exhibition was popular, with over 250,000 visitors during its early months. Japanese artisans illustrated "the manners and art-industries of their country, attired in their national and picturesque costumes. Magnificently decorated and illuminated Buddhist temple. Five o’clock tea in the Japanese tea-house. Japanese Musical and other Entertainments. Every-day Life as in Japan". W. S. Gilbert and his wife attended the exhibition, said to have inspired him to write The Mikado; when the Mikado requests of Ko-Ko the address of his son after Ko-Ko tells the Mikado that Nanki-Poo has "gone abroad," Ko-Ko replies that Nanki-Poo has gone to Knightsbridge. Knightsbridge is east of west of Sloane Street. Brompton Road, Beauchamp Place and the western section of Pont Street serve as its southern border together with their adjacent gardens and squares such as Ovington Square, Lennox Gardens and Cadogan Square.
South of this area, the district fades into Chelsea while Belgravia lies to the east and South Kensington to the west. Knightsbridge is home to many expensive shops, including the department stores Harrods and Harvey Nichols, flagship stores of many British and international fashion houses, including those of London-based shoe designers Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik, two Prada stores; the district has banks that cater to wealthy individuals. Some of London's most renowned restaurants are here, as well as many exclusive hair and beauty salons and antiquities dealers, chic bars and clubs. Bonhams auction house is located in Knightsbridge; the district and the road itself, the only definitive place within it, is small, which assists its cachet: more than half of the zone closest to its tube station is Knightsbridge Underground station. Knightsbridge had in its park side and west gold-coloured blocks of exceptional wealth in philanthropist Charles Booth's late Victorian Poverty Map excluding Brompton Road to the west but extending well into Piccadilly, St James's to the east.
Knightsbridge is home to many of the world's richest people and has some of the highest property prices in the world. In 2014 a terrace of 427m ² sold for a home in Montpelier Square; the average asking price for all the properties in wider SW7 was £4,348,911. On-street parking spaces have sold for as much as £300,000 for a 94-year lease. Fourteen of Britain's two hundred most expensive streets are in the neighbourhood, as defined by The Times. In February 2007, the world's most expensive apartment at One Hyde Park, sold off plan for £100 million, bought by a Qatari prince, another apartment at the same place in February 2009, at the same price, was bought by a Qatari prince. Apartments of this secure, optimum specification, address equate to in excess of £4,000 per square foot. In 2014, a 16,000 ft² two-storey penthouse in One Hyde Park sold for £140 million. Land in Knightsbridge is for the most part identified by City of Westminster as strengthened planning law-gover
Ronald "Ronnie" Kray and Reginald "Reggie" Kray, twin brothers, were English criminals, the foremost perpetrators of organised crime in the East End of London during the 1950s and 1960s. With their gang, known as "The Firm", the Krays were involved in murder, armed robbery, protection rackets and assaults; as West End nightclub owners, the Krays mixed with politicians and prominent entertainers such as Diana Dors, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland. In the 1960s, they became celebrities, being photographed by David Bailey and interviewed on television; the Krays were arrested on 8 May 1968 and convicted in 1969, as a result of the efforts of detectives led by Detective Superintendent Leonard "Nipper" Read. Each was sentenced to life imprisonment. Ronnie remained in Broadmoor Hospital until his death on 17 March 1995 from a heart attack. Ronald "Ronnie" and Reginald "Reg" Kray were born on 24 October 1933 in Hoxton, East London, to Charles David Kray, a wardrobe dealer, Violet Annie Lee; the brothers were twins, with Reggie born ten minutes before Ronnie.
Their parents had a six-year-old son, Charles James. A sister, died in infancy; when the twins were three years old, they contracted diphtheria. The twins first attended Wood Close School in Brick Lane, Daniel Street School. In 1938, the Kray family moved from Stean Street in Hoxton to 178 Vallance Road in Bethnal Green; the influence of their maternal grandfather, Jimmy "Cannonball" Lee, caused the brothers to take up amateur boxing a popular pastime for working class boys in the East End. Sibling rivalry spurred them on, both achieved some success, they are said to have never lost a match before turning professional at age 19. The Kray twins were notorious for their gang and its violence, narrowly avoided being sent to prison many times. Young men were conscripted for national service at this time, the twins were called up to serve with the Royal Fusiliers in 1952, they attempted to leave after only a few minutes. The corporal in charge tried to stop them, but Ronnie punched him on the chin, leaving him injured.
They were turned over to the army. While absent without leave, they assaulted a police constable, they were among the last prisoners held at the Tower of London before being transferred to Shepton Mallet military prison in Somerset for a month to await court-martial. They were sent to the Buffs' Home Counties Brigade Depot jail in Canterbury, Kent, their behaviour in prison was so bad. They tried to dominate the exercise area outside their one-man cells during their few weeks in prison, when their conviction was certain, they threw tantrums, emptied their latrine bucket over a sergeant, dumped a dixie full of hot tea on another guard, handcuffed a guard to their prison bars with a pair of stolen cuffs and set their bedding on fire. They were moved to a communal cell where they escaped, they were recaptured and awaited transfer to civilian authority for crimes committed while at large. Their criminal records and dishonourable discharges ended their boxing careers, the brothers turned to crime full-time.
They bought a run-down snooker club in Mile End. By the end of the 1950s, the Krays were working for Jay Murray from Liverpool and were involved in hijacking, armed robbery and arson, through which they acquired other clubs and properties. In 1960, Ronnie Kray was imprisoned for 18 months for running a protection racket and related threats. While Ronnie was in prison, Peter Rachman, head of a landlord operation, gave Reggie a nightclub called Esmeralda's Barn on the Knightsbridge end of Wilton Place next to a bistro called Joan's Kitchen; the location is. This increased the Krays' influence in the West End by making them celebrities as well as criminals; the Kray twins accepted a norm according to which anyone who failed to show due respect would be punished. They were assisted by a banker named Alan Cooper who wanted protection against the Krays' rivals, the Richardsons, based in South London. In the 1960s, the Kray brothers were seen as prosperous and charming celebrity nightclub owners and were part of the Swinging London scene.
A large part of their fame was due to their non-criminal activities as popular figures on the celebrity circuit, being photographed by David Bailey on more than one occasion and socialising with lords, MPs, socialites and show business characters, including actors George Raft, Judy Garland, Diana Dors and Barbara Windsor. They were the best years of our lives, they called them the swinging sixties. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were rulers of pop music, Carnaby Street ruled the fashion world... and me and my brother ruled London. We were fucking untouchable... – Ronnie Kray, in his autobiography My Story The Krays came to public attention in July 1964 when an exposé in the tabloid newspaper Sunday Mirror insinuated that Ronnie had conceived a sexual relationship with Robert, Lord Boothby, a Conservative politician, at a time when being gay was still a criminal offence in the U. K. Although no names were printed in
Perec "Peter" Rachman was a Polish-born landlord who operated in Notting Hill, England in the 1950s and early 1960s. He became notorious for his exploitation of his tenants, with the word "Rachmanism" entering the Oxford English Dictionary as a synonym for the exploitation and intimidation of tenants. Rachman was born in Poland, in 1919, the son of a Jewish dentist. After the German invasion of Poland in 1939, Rachman may have joined the Polish resistance, he was first interned by the Germans and, after escaping across the Soviet border, was reinterned in a Soviet labour camp in Siberia and cruelly treated. After the Germans declared war on the Soviet Union in 1941, Rachman and other Polish prisoners joined the 2nd Polish Corps and fought on behalf of the Allies in the Middle East and Italy. After the war he stayed with his unit, which remained as an occupying force in Italy until 1946 when they transferred to Britain. Rachman was demobilised in 1948 and became a British resident. Rachman began his career by working for an estate agent in Shepherd's Bush.
By 1957 he had built up a property empire in west London consisting of more than one hundred mansion blocks and several nightclubs. His office was at 91–93 Westbourne Grove, in Bayswater, the first house he purchased and used for multi-occupation was nearby in now-fashionable St. Stephen's Gardens, W2. In adjacent areas in Notting Hill, including Powis Square, Powis Gardens, Powis Terrace, Colville Road and Colville Terrace, he subdivided large properties into flats and let rooms often for prostitution. Much of this area, south of Westbourne Park Road, having become derelict, was compulsorily purchased by Westminster City Council in the late 1960s and was demolished in 1973–74 to make way for the Wessex Gardens estate. According to his biographer, Shirley Green, Rachman moved the protected tenants into a smaller concentration of properties or bought them out to minimise the number of tenancies with statutory rent controls. Houses were subdivided into a number of flats to increase the number of tenancies without rent controls.
He filled the properties with recent immigrants from the West Indies. Rachman's initial reputation, which he promoted in the media, was as someone who could help to find and provide accommodation for immigrants. However, some suggested he was overcharging these West Indian tenants, as they did not have the same protection under the law as had the previous tenants. By 1958 he had moved out of slum-landlording into property development, but his former henchmen, including the equally-notorious Michael de Freitas, who created a reputation as a black-power leader, Johnny Edgecombe, who became a promoter of jazz and blues, helped to keep him in the limelight. A special police unit was set up to investigate Rachman in 1959, uncovered a network of 33 companies controlling his property empire, they discovered Rachman was involved in prostitution and he was prosecuted twice for brothel-keeping. Rachman did not achieve general notoriety until after his death, when the Profumo affair of 1963 hit the headlines and it emerged that both Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies had been his mistresses, that he had owned the mews house in Marylebone where Rice-Davies and Keeler had stayed.
As full details of his activities were revealed, there was a call for new legislation to prevent such practices, led by Ben Parkin, MP for Paddington North, who coined the term "Rachmanism". The subsequent Rent Act 1965 gave security to tenants. Rachman married his long-standing girlfriend Audrey O'Donnell in 1960 but remained a compulsive womaniser, maintaining Mandy Rice-Davies as his mistress at 1 Bryanston Mews West, W1, where he had briefly installed Christine Keeler. After suffering two heart attacks, Peter Rachman died in Edgware General Hospital on 29 November 1962, at the age of 43, he is buried in the Jewish cemetery at Hertfordshire. Rachman was denied British citizenship; as his hometown was transferred from Poland to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, he became stateless. Citations Bibliography Green, Shirley. Rachman. London: Michael Joseph. ISBN 0718117395. Williams, John. Michael X: A Life in Black and White. London: Century. ISBN 1846050952
The Berkeley is a five-star deluxe hotel, located in Wilton Place, London. The hotel is owned and managed by Maybourne Hotel Group, which owns Claridge's and The Connaught in Mayfair, London. Located on the corner of Piccadilly and Berkeley Street, it was the base for drivers of mail coaches travelling to the West Country and hence named the Gloucester coffee house; as a result, it started to expand and became a hotel for travellers both to and from London who were travelling on the mail coach services. With the coming of the railways, in 1897 the building was formally renamed The Berkeley Hotel, a location trusted by the parents of debutantes to keep an eye on the reputation of their daughters. In 1900, Richard D'Oyly Carte bought the hotel, his family remained in control for the next century. In the 1920s The Berkeley became one of the first London hotels with air conditioning, in the 1930s double glazing. Ferraro, the maitre d'hotel of the Berkeley, was a fixture of London nightlife in the 1920’s and 1930’s and appears in several novels of the period, such as Dennis Wheatley's Three Inquisitive People, written 1932 but not published till 1940.
He is mentioned in P. G. Wodehouse’s 1931 novel, ‘Big Money’, some of which takes place at the Berkeley. In 1972, the hotel moved to a new building designed by British architect Brian O'Rorke on Wilton Place, Knightsbridge. Incorporating restored features from the original building, it is unique in that it boasts London's only rooftop swimming pool. Although the Savoy Hotel in the Strand has pool open to the sky, that pool is located in an atrium on the third floor. In the winter months Health Club & Spa transforms its roof-top terrace into a pine-filled forest cinema. Hotel guests and visitors alike are treated to winter classics on the big screen while nestling between warm down-feather Moncler blankets and hot water bottles. In 2005, The Savoy Group, including The Berkeley, was sold to Quinlan Private; the sale of The Savoy Group, led to the Savoy Hotel and Savoy Theatre being sold off and renamed as the Maybourne Hotel Group. Released plans for developments at The Berkeley show that the swimming pool on the roof will be closed and a new spa will be opened Bamford Hay Barn Spa, additional rooms will be added to the roof area.
In 1998, Pierre Koffmann moved his Michelin starred "La Tante Claire" from the area of Chelsea to the hotel, serving his signature dish of pig’s trotter stuffed with morel mushrooms. The original Chelsea site was taken over by Gordon Ramsay, who opened the signature Restaurant Gordon Ramsay there. Replaced at the hotel in 2003 by the Gordon Ramsay-run "Boxwood Café", after its closure Koffmann returned in April 2010 to open the signature "Koffmann's" restaurant at the hotel. Koffmann's at The Berkeley closed on 31 December 2016. Marcus Wareing heads the Michelin 1 star-rated "Marcus", which in 2010 replaced Gordon Ramsay's Michelin-starred Pétrus restaurant; the Collins Room is home to the Pret a Portea, serves afternoon tea. The Blue Bar was designed by Dublin architect David Collins, is decorated in Lutyens Blue, a colour he created in honour of Edwin Lutyens. In 2004, an album entitled The Blue Bar was released through Warner Dance, featuring a mix of ambient techno and electronica played in the bar.
Hotels in London The Berkeley website
Esmeralda's Barn was a nightclub in Wilton Place, London, owned by the Kray twins from 1960 until its closure in 1963. The Krays used the club as a way of expanding their criminal activities into London's West End. In the 1950s, Esmeralda's Barn was a conventional nightclub run by Stefan de Faye. After the Betting and Gaming Act 1960 legalised gambling in the United Kingdom from 1961, de Faye turned Esmeralda's Barn into a gambling club. According to John Pearson, the Act, intended to drive criminals out of gambling, instead proved a boon to them as it enabled them to expand their empires legally; the Kray twins were Reggie Kray. They acquired Esmeralda's Barn as a result of their attempt to extort landlord Peter Rachman although the exact nature of Rachman's interest in the club, if any, is unclear. Ronnie Kray had become aware of the wealth that Rachman was accumulating through his property empire and wanted a share of it. With his associates he succeeded in extracting a cheque from Rachman.
The cheque bounced and when Ronnie tried to collect the money Rachman was not to be found. Rachman knew that if he started to pay the Krays for protection they would continue to milk him indefinitely, so he needed to buy them off permanently, he therefore arranged for the Krays, through one of their front men Leslie Payne, to buy Esmeralda's Barn from Stefan de Faye for the sum of £1,000. Charlie Kray, the older brother of the twins told a different version of events in which he played a key role in negotiating the purchase from the owners for the sum of £2,000 and the sale was introduced by a Commander Diamond without any involvement by Rachman; the club became a lucrative venture for the twins and enabled Reggie to play the part of the celebrity gangster, as he had always aspired to like his filmstar hero George Raft. Regular visitors included the artists Lucien Freud; the club became a useful front for the Krays' criminal activities, including the prostitution of young boys whom they used to entrap blackmail targets.
If customers sometimes got carried away and accumulated large debts, not a bad thing as it put them in the power of the Krays. One of their associates, David Litvinoff, accumulated debts of £3,000, which Ronnie Kray agreed to waive in return for what was left of the lease on Litvinoff's flat at Ashburn Gardens and taking over Litvnoff's lover Bobby Buckley, who became a croupier at the club. Litvonoff continued to live in the property as part of the deal. Ronnie was able to choose the waiters and croupiers to suit his own preferences for attractive young men, according to John Pearson, the Barn became the centre of Ronnie's own "private vice ring", which included private sex shows at Ashburn Gardens. Although the Krays made a lot of money from the club they could never resist extending credit to their criminal friends, who ran up large debts, cancelling other debts on a whim and dipping into the club's money whenever they wanted cash; the manager, Laurie O'Leary, offered the twins £1,000 per week to stay away from the club.
They refused. Leslie Payne came up with the idea of adding the dissolute Lord Effingham to the new board of directors in return for a stipend of £10 per week. Effingham was of distinguished lineage, being descended from Howard of Effingham who helped to defeat the Spanish Armada in 1588, but always short of cash; the Krays wanted the social status. They either did not know or more did not care about his poor reputation and past criminal convictions, bounced cheques, assaults, a dropped charge of manslaughter and the imprisonment of an ex-wife in Holloway as a threat to the British state. Effingham attended a couple of times each week and mixed with guests at the Krays' Kentucky Club; the Krays referred to him as "Effing Effingham". Under the gambling club was the Cellar Club, run by Ginette, a lesbian club open to people of all sexual orientations; the resident singer was Cy Grant. Other musicians who played there included Noel Harrison and Lance Percival. William Ives, a former boxer and, before his death in 2017, one of the richest men in Britain, worked as a doorman at the club during the Kray era.
By 1963, the Krays' business interests in the West End had grown and were becoming difficult to control. Esmeralda's Barn was closed at the end of that year; the site is now home to The Berkeley, a five-star hotel
St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge is a Grade II* listed Anglican church of the Anglo-Catholic tradition located at 32a Wilton Place, London. The church was founded in 1843, the first in London to champion the ideals of the Oxford Movement, during the incumbency of the Reverend W. J. E. Bennett; the architect was Thomas Cundy the younger. A memorial in St Paul's Church commemorates 52 members of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry who died on active service in World War II, carrying out secret intelligence work for the Special Operations Executive in occupied countries as well as providing transport drivers for the ATS, it includes three holders of the George Cross. American heiress. St Paul's sister-parish is the Church of St. Paul's, K street, in Washington, DC in the United States. After the building's consecration in 1843 the chancel with its rood screen and striking reredos was added in 1892 by the noted church architect George Frederick Bodley who decorated St Luke's Chapel, which stands in the place of a Lady Chapel to the south of the sanctuary.
The tiled panels around the walls of the nave, created in the 1870s by Daniel Bell, depict scenes from the life of Jesus Christ. The Stations of the Cross that intersperse the tiled panels, painted in the early 1920s by Gerald Moira, show scenes from the Crucifixion story; the font is carved with biblical scenes from both the Old and New Testaments. There are statues of the Virgin and Child above the entrance to the Chapel, of St Paul above the lectern. St Paul's Church Knightsbridge Diocese of London A Church Near You Media related to St Paul's Knightsbridge at Wikimedia Commons