Treasured History


Providing 7,483 square feet of living space, a fully restored Grade II listed five bedroom Kensington townhouse in Cranley Gardens, originally the grand London home of Lord de Tabley (1811-1887), treasurer to HM Queen Victoria, which has hosted a Prime Minister and aristocrats, is for sale via sole agent Beauchamp Estates.

The late Victorian townhouse in Cranley Gardens was originally built in 1873-1875 with an elegant brick and stucco quoins façade with Doric portico and first floor balcony, designed in Neo-classical Italiante style by architect Charles Henry Thomas and constructed by renowned Kensington developer Sir Charles James Freake (1814-1884). Part of the Onslow Square masterplan development, Cranley Gardens is named after Viscount Cranley, one of the titles held by the Earl of Onslow, the historic landowner.

Offering substantial accommodation over sub-basement, basement, lower ground, raised ground and four upper floors the townhouse is immaculately presented and has been fully restored to its original grandeur, with high quality finishes and modern lifestyle amenities.

Complete with a passenger lift and access to five private terraces, two balconies and a patio garden the accommodation includes an entrance hall, two reception rooms and home office on the ground floor; a grand double reception room on the first floor; family kitchen and dining room, family room and gymnasium on the lower ground floor; and a swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna on the basement floors.

The principal bedroom suite, with two walk-in dressing rooms and main bathroom, occupies its own private floor on the second floor of house. There are four further bedrooms, all with ensuite bathrooms, on the uppermost floors.

The Cranley Gardens townhouse was originally built for George Warren, the 2nd Baron de Tabley (1811-1887), the noted Liberal politician who served as a Government Whip and from 1868 was appointed as Treasurer to the Royal Household, responsible for monitoring the finances of the Royal Household on behalf of Parliament, liaising with Queen Victoria and Prime Minister William Gladstone. De Tabley was well known in Royal circles as he was a godson of King George IV.

During the late Victorian era the post of Treasurer to the Royal Household was a politically sensitive role requiring great diplomatic skills. Queen Victoria guarded her Royal perogatives and privileges jealously, and the Royal family lived a highly privileged and costly lifestyle with estates on the Isle of Wight and Balmoral, official residences in London, Windsor and Edinburgh, and a range of expensive perks including a Royal train and Royal yacht.

PM William Gladstone wanted the Royal household to spend less whilst Queen Victoria wanted to enjoy a life of extreme luxury, it was Lord de Tabley who had to maintain the fine balancing act of trying to keep both patrons happy.

In March 1872 after a heated exchange with Queen Victoria over the Royal finances Lord de Tabley left his post as Royal Treasurer and was forced to seek a new home as he was given notice to leave his Grace-and-Favour residence at Kensington Palace. One of Lord de Tabley’s contacts through Court circles was the aristocratic Kensington developer Sir Charles James Freake (1814-1884), who was a patron of the music and the arts and builder of the National Training School for Music.

Sir Charles mentioned to Lord de Tabley that he was building a new collection of luxurious townhouses at Cranley Gardens and Lord de Tabley and his wife Elizabeth were one of the first owners to move into Cranley Gardens in early 1875.

Lord and Lady de Tabley entertained politicians and members of high society at their new Cranley Gardens home with guests including PM William Gladstone, Poet Laureate Lord Alfred Tennyson, a close friend of the family, and Lord Poltimore who was de Tabley’s successor as Royal Treasurer, from whom the Royal family acquired the famous Poltimore tiara which Princess Margaret wore at her wedding.

Now the Cranley Gardens townhouse has been restored to its original splendour, complete with a state-of-the-art specification which includes air conditioning, Creston Home Automation and advanced security system.

The ground and first floor reception rooms benefit from generous ceiling heights, full height windows, period details such as elegant ceiling coving, and timber flooring. The lower ground floor family room and kitchen open onto a timber decked patio garden with the kitchen complete with central island, dining area and Gaggenau and Miele appliances.

The principal bedroom suite is bright and spacious, with three windows overlooking Cranley Gardens. The suite has separate His and Hers walk-in wardrobes lined with bespoke joinery/shelving and a main bathroom with freestanding bathtub and walk-in shower.

The spectacular double-height swimming pool complex has a mosaic lined 9.8-metre-long swimming pool bordered by a stone feature wall and a stone floor leisure deck for loungers and entertaining/relaxation.

The townhouse has access to the residents-only communal gardens of Cranley Gardens which provide a large central large lawn, mature trees and hedges, a private green oasis in the heart of Kensington.

Cranley Gardens provides easy access to the local shops, cafes and restaurants of the Fulham Road, and the shops and cafes of the Old Brompton Road is also a short stroll away.

Gary Hersham, Founding Director of Beauchamp Estates says: “This magnificent, fully refurbished and modernised, five bedroom family house in Cranley Gardens has the benefit of four reception rooms, a leisure complex with gymnasium, swimming pool, Jacuzzi and sauna, and access to an abudance of outside entertaining areas and residents-only communal gardens. Originally the grand London home of Lord de Tabley, treasurer to HM Queen Victoria, the house has hosted Prime Minister William Gladstone and Poet Laureate Lord Alfred Tennyson.”

Cranley Gardens is for sale for £19,000,000.


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