With 888 English Heritage blue plaques in London alone, you don’t have to travel far to find a Central London property with some provenance.
If you’re buying, selling, letting or renting a property through Kay & Co, there’s a high chance that the property in question – or at least the neighbourhood – has a celebrity connection.
While a blue plaque isn’t proven to generate an additional worth to property, it certainly attracts interest. Martin Bikhit, the Managing Director at Kay & Co, comments: “A blue plaque adds a certain weight of history to a property, especially for foreign buyers who have an interest in British history. At Kay & Co we have found that American buyers in particular have had their interest in a property piqued by a blue plaque and a link to British history. And there was a Middle Eastern property investor who snapped up the Apple Apartments on Baker Street - he mentioned during his initial viewing that he was a Beatles Fan. Now we are marketing the properties for let and we often have initial enquiries mentioning the Fab Four.”
Here’s Kay & Co’s guide to blue plaques and famous residents – past and present - who have links to our areas:-
If you’re in Bayswater ….
Viewing houses for sale in Bayswater? Look out for the plaque at 38 Queensborough Terrace in honour of composer and former resident Sir William Bennett. Other famous Bayswater residents include director Ken Russell, who produced a film called ‘A House in Bayswater’ and the pop star Sting, who met his wife Trudie Styler while they were neighbours in the area.
If you’re in Hyde Park….
Hyde Park has some pretty lofty ex-residents. In 1807, Prince William Frederick (the Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, and Earl of Connaught), built 1 Connaught Place for his brother-in-law, the Duke of Sussex. In 2004, Tony Blair, then Prime Minister, reportedly paid £3.6 million for his home at 29 Connaught Square.
If you’re in Marylebone….
Marylebone is decorated with a plethora of blue plaques commemorating, among others, John Lennon, (34 Montagu Square), actor and comedian Kenneth Williams (Flat 62, Farley Court, Allsop Place) and architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (13 Mansfield Street). Why not take a street tour and see how many you can find?
If you’re in Paddington….
Got a spare half hour between Paddington property visits? Swing past the blue plaques for engineer Robert Stephenson, who lived and died at 35 Gloucester Square, and actress Helena Bonham Carter’s paternal grandmother, Lady Violet Bonham Carter, a politician and writer who lived at 43 Gloucester Square.
If you’re in Regent’s Park ….
Take a stroll and view the blue plaque commemorating prolific writer HG Wells, particularly famous for The War of the Worlds, who lived and died at 13 Hanover Terrace.
If you’re in Fitzrovia….
Seek out the blue plaque at 29 Fitzroy Square, which shows that two notable people once lived there - Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw and a few years later, English writer and one of the foremost modernists of the 20th century, Virginia Woolf.
At Kay & Co, we have extensive local knowledge about the area and properties in Marylebone, Hyde Park, Fitzrovia, Regent’s Park, Bayswater or Paddington. If you would like to know which area is right for you, please visit one of our Kay & Co offices.