KNIGHTSBRIDGE is a residential and retail district in West
south of Hyde Park . It is identified in the
London Plan as one of two
international retail centres in London, alongside the West End .
* 1 History
* 2 Origins of name
* 3 Geography
* 4 Economy
* 4.1 Property
One Hyde Park
* 4.1.2 History of property construction
* 5 Crime and terrorism
* 6 Buildings
* 7 Transport
* 8 See also
* 9 References
* 10 Further reading
* 11 External links
_ Map showing the
Knightsbridge wards of
Borough as they appeared in 1916.
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Knightsbridge was a hamlet located primarily in the parish of St
Margaret (detached) and partly in St Martin in the Fields (the part
that later became
St George Hanover Square ). It also extended into
the parishes of
Kensington and Chelsea . It was therefore divided
between local authorities from a very 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 , which is now an underground river . It is recorded that
the citizens of
London met Matilda of
England at the Knight's Bridge
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 very popular, with
over 250,000 visitors during its early months. Japanese artisans
illustrated "the manners, customs 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, which is said to have inspired him to write _
The Mikado _.
When the Mikado requests of Ko-Ko the address of his son (Nanki-Poo)
after Ko-Ko tells the Mikado that Nanki-Poo has "gone abroad," Ko-Ko
replies that Nanki-Poo has gone to Knightsbridge.
ORIGINS OF NAME
Knightsbridge was historically known in Saxon and Old English as:
_Cnichtebrugge_ 13th century
_Knyghtesbrugg_ 1364, that is ‘bridge of the young men or
retainers,’ from Old English _cniht_ (genitive case plural –a) and
_brycg_. The original bridge was where one of the old roads to the
west that crossed the
River Westbourne . The allusion may simply be to
a place where _cnihtas_ congregated: bridges and wells seem always to
have been favourite gathering places of young people. However there is
possibly a more specific reference to the important _cnihtengild_
(‘guild of _cnihtas_‘) in 11th century
London and to the limits of
its jurisdiction (certainly
Knightsbridge was one of the limits of the
commercial jurisdiction of the City in the 12th century). CNIHT in the
pre Norman days did not have the status meaning of a minor noble, but
simply 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 supposedly 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’. Even the
original name of the area has come under scrutiny with some claiming
it was called ‘Knightsbrigg’ while others believe it was
Knightsbridge is east of
Exhibition Road and west of
Sloane Street .
Brompton Road ,
Beauchamp Place and the western section of Pont Street
serve roughly 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
Belgravia lies to the east and
South Kensington to the west.
Knightsbridge is home to many expensive shops, including the
Harvey Nichols , and flagship stores of
many British and international fashion houses, including those of
London-based shoe designers
Jimmy Choo and
Manolo Blahnik , and two
Prada stores. The district also 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, antiques and
antiquities dealers, and chic bars and clubs.
Bonhams auction house is
located in Knightsbridge.
The district and the road itself, which is the only definitive place
within it, is small, which assists its cachet: more than half of the
zone closest to its tube station (and nearer to no others) is
Knightsbridge tube station .
Knightsbridge had in its park side, east
and west gold-coloured blocks of exceptional wealth in philanthropist
Charles Booth 's late Victorian Poverty Map , formerly 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 427m² sold for £15,950,000, a home in
Montpelier Square. The average asking price for all the properties in
slightly wider SW7 was £4,348,911 (as at Autumn 2014). 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_.
One Hyde Park
In February 2007, the world's most expensive apartment at One Hyde
Park , sold off plan for £100 million, bought by a Qatari prince, and
another apartment at the same place in February 2009, at almost the
same the price, was bought by a Qatari prince. Apartments of this
secure, optimum specification, address equate to in excess of £4,000
per square foot (£43,000 per square metre).
In 2014, a 16,000 ft² two-storey penthouse in
One Hyde Park sold for
History Of Property Construction
Knightsbridge is for the most part identified by City of
Westminster (and by the RBKC , where former Brompton parts are
included) as strengthened planning law -governed
Conservation Areas :
'Albert Gate', 'Belgravia', 'Knightsbridge' and '
Properties must be offered here by developers as refurbished flats or
houses meeting the enhanced architectural demands in the local
Conservation Areas policy of the Local Plan. Within each many
buildings are covered by the similar but separate requirements of
being listed . Growing demand has since 2000 persuaded the authority
to revise its planning policies to permit roof terraces and basement
extensions, for residential facilities from leisure suites to private
nightclubs, a degree of economic liberalisation documented by a
non-tabloid paper in 2008.
The underlying landowners of the few streets making up, without any
Knightsbridge are the
Duke of Westminster , Lord Cadogan and
Wellcome Trust with a minority of the freeholds to houses in each
street sold to others . Red-brick Queen Anne Revival buildings form
most of the
Cadogan Estates , whereas white stucco-fronted houses are
mostly found on the
Grosvenor Estate , designed by architect Thomas
Brompton Oratory , a place of Catholic worship, marks one of the
Kensington , but
Belgravia and Brompton have
competing mapped neighbourhood status in the east and south of the
neighbourhood, and as they have no eponymously named tube stations or
historic parish boundaries, their limits are completely arbitrary and
the triangular salient of Brompton, administratively in Kensington, as
South Kensington , once coloured mid-wealth by Charles Booth,
is now definitely blurred with 'Knightsbridge', into which it long
Brompton is only used when the postcode and/or Royal Borough of
Kensington and Chelsea is being emphasised, rather than the modern
Central London 'district' definitions, which suggest
South Kensington, either tube station , being at most 350 m away and
thus can be easily found on all maps.
CRIME AND TERRORISM
For centuries, the area was renowned as the haunt of highwaymen,
robbers and cutthroats targeting travellers on the western route out
of London, but its fortunes were transformed in the 19th century.
However, the area has often been a target for high-profile crime.
In 1975, the Walton\'s Restaurant bombing occurred, in which two
civilians were killed by a
Provisional IRA bomb. In 1980, the Iranian
Embassy siege took place in Knightsbridge, lasting several days. It
ended when the
Special Air Service
Special Air Service stormed the building, which was on
live television. In 1983, three Christmas shoppers and three
Metropolitan Police officers were killed by an IRA car-bomb placed
Harrods . In 1987, the
Knightsbridge Security Deposit centre
was the target of a robbery , and the thieves left with a hoard worth
In 2005, 22-year-old beautician Clare Bernal was gunned down by her
stalker and ex-boyfriend Michal Pech on the shopfloor of Harvey
Nichols in front of colleagues and shoppers before Pech fatally turned
the gun on himself. The case attracted extensive coverage in the
media, and Clare's mother Patricia has since led a campaign to address
flaws in the system, which allowed her daughter's murder to happen.
Many residential buildings are heavily covered by
CCTV and are
staffed by security guards, and railings or bars on lower floor
windows are commonplace.
To the north of the area, is the Hyde Park Barracks of the Household
Cavalry , with a distinctive 33 storey tower by Sir
Basil Spence . The
Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department
Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department is based in Walton
Street. The Embassy of Libya is located at 15 Knightsbridge, the
Embassy of France at no 58 and the Embassy of Kuwait at 2 Albert Gate,
just off Knightsbridge.
It contains the
Victoria and Albert Museum . On the religious side it
contains the impressive
Brompton Oratory (Catholic church, Brompton
Road) and the CoE Holy Trinity Church behind it, a Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints in Exhibition Road, the Russian Orthodox
Church in Ennismore Gardens, St Columba\'s Church of Scotland, Pont
Street , and
Deutsche Evangelische Christuskirche .
Knightsbridge takes its name from the road that runs along the south
side of Hyde Park , west from
Hyde Park Corner
Hyde Park Corner , spanning the City of
Westminster and the
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea . Up to
Brompton Road , it is a part of the A4 arterial road , while the
remainder is part of the
A315 road . West of Rutland Gardens, the road
Kensington Road .
It is served by
Knightsbridge tube station on the
Piccadilly line ,
Sloane Square tube station on the District and Circle lines .
Brompton Road tube station closed in 1934.
Royal Thames Yacht Club
Royal Thames Yacht Club , 60 Knightsbridge
* St Columba\'s Church of Scotland , Pont Street
* ^ "
City of Westminster ward population 2011". _Neighbourhood
Statistics_. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 15 October
* ^ "London\'s Places" (PDF). _The
London Plan _. Greater London
Authority . 2011. p. 46. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6
September 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
Mayor of London (2008). "Central activities zone policies".
London Plan _.
Greater London Authority . Retrieved 27 May 2014.
* ^ http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45894
* ^ _London_, David Hughson, 1809
* ^ British history online, '
Knightsbridge Green Area: Scotch
Corner and the High Road', Survey of London: volume 45: Knightsbridge
(2000), pp. 79–88
* ^ An advertisement from the _Illustrated
London News_, 3 January
1885, quoted in McLaughlin, para 10.
* ^ Arthur Sullivan with English text by W.S. Gilbert. "The Mikado:
libretto of the Japanese comic opera in two acts". Retrieved
* ^ A Dictionary of
London Place-Names - A. D. Mills ISBN
* ^ "Lot 116 - Bruno Zach \'The Riding Crop\' an Impressive Green
and Gilt Patinated Bronze". _Bonhams.com_. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
* ^ Booth\'s Poverty Map of London:
Belgravia and Knightsbridge
* ^ Sold prices in SW7. 3 Montpelier Square Mouseprice.com
* ^ The Times, 2007
* ^ "Sheikh shells out £100m for London\'s most expensive flat"
The Times _ 28 March 2007. Retrieved 11 June 2007
* ^ "
London penthouse sells for £140m". _Financial Times_. May 2,
Conservation Areas Map. Numbers 22, 23, 36 and 37 City of
Westminster. Retrieved 2014-11-26
* ^ Property with Swimming Pools: The Deep End Sonia Purnell,
Sunday Telegraph _, 29 June 2008.
* ^ _Settlement and building: From 1865 to 1900_, A History of the
County of Middlesex: Volume 12: Chelsea (2004), pp. 66–78. Retrieved
11 June 2007
* ^ "Bomb unauthorised says IRA" _
The Guardian _, 19 December 1983
* ^ Honigsbaum, Mark (27 February 2006). "\'He was allowed to plan
my daughter\'s murder\'". _The Guardian_.
* ^ "The
London Diplomatic List" (PDF). 8 December 2013. Archived
from the original (PDF) on 11 December 2013.
John Timbs (1867), "Knightsbridge", _Curiosities of London_ (2nd
ed.), London: J.C. Hotten,