Rutland Gate

Page 143

Survey of London: Volume 45, Knightsbridge. Originally published by London County Council, London, 2000.

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Chapter VIII

Rutland Gate

Rutland Gate was developed over a period of more than twenty years following the demolition in 1836 of Rutland House, an aristocratic mansion which had stood here since the middle of the eighteenth century. The original houses are largely the work of two builders: John Tombs, who built up the northern half of the street in the late 1830s and '40s, and John Elger, who completed Rutland Gate after a hiatus in its development during the early 1850s. Tombs was a relatively minor figure in the building world, with limited speculative involvement. Elger, by contrast, was an established property baron, combining in himself the roles of freeholder, developer and builder. His work in Rutland Gate followed on from his development on the Kingston House estate to the west, and, barring a few later houses in Rutland Gardens, it marks the eastern extent of a large area of Knightsbridge built up speculatively with very highclass houses during the mid- to late nineteenth century.

Many of the original houses, or at least their façades, have survived, and their broadly Italianate style remains the predominating architectural flavour of the street (Plates 73, 74, 75).

The numbering is divided between an odd and an even sequence in the upper or northern part of Rutland Gate and a consecutive sequence in the lower. The consecutive numbers begin with No. 27. There is no No. 21.