Three of the largest and most important Grade II listed Georgian townhouses in Marylebone are now in the process of being sympathetically restored to their former glory as substantial single townhouses. Historically home to the nobility, Fitzhardinge Street elegantly links Manchester and Portman Squares and has long enticed high-profile inhabitants – such as Sir Winston Churchill.
The Fitzhardinge Street properties owe their existence to the 18th century development of the Portman Estate covering a vast expanse of London extending north of Oxford Street to The Regent’s Canal and eastwards from the Edgware Road to today’s Regents Park boundary. Development began around Portman Square in 1764 with neighbouring Manchester Square following shortly after in 1770, setting a classical tone for the entire Estate which remains to this very day. This swiftly encouraged the development of adjacent streets, such as Fitzhardinge Street, in the exquisite Georgian style that is so characteristic of Marylebone.
A number of critical factors governed the overall development of the Estate to produce the cohesive and elegant streetscape one sees today. The Building Act of 1774, under which the Fitzhardinge Street houses were originally built, specified the thickness of facades as well as dividing houses into types or ‘Rates’, with the Fitzhardinge Street properties classified as ‘Second Rate’ due to their value of up to £850 and standing initially three storeys high.
For most of its existence, Fitzhardinge Street was known as Upper and Lower Bekeley Street, with numbers 14-16 located in what was Lower Bekeley Street. It was not until 1935 that it was changed to Fitzhardinge Street, a name associated with the Portman family as with all of the street and Square names on the Estate.
These three jewels in Marylebone’s residential crown are on a scale which is rare in central London. Each property has stunning original features and perfect Georgian proportions, combining 18th century beauty and classic architecture with all the essentials for luxurious 21st century living.