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2, Grosvenor Place Houses, Belgravia, London, England

The development of Belgravia in London by the Grosvenors, the Dukes of Westminster had begun in the early 1800s. The proximity of a royal residence ensured that the land would soon be occupied, and by 1817 a row of nobleman's mansions had been erected, together with more modest properties taken by country gentlemen and civil servants.

The first leases of the mews properties pertaining to 2 and 3 Grosvenor Place were granted to John Dennistoun in June 1845. Dennistoun granted a lease to land at the rear of 2 and 3 Grosvenor Place to Sir Anthony Nathan de Rothschild (1810-1876), who built a London town house (No.2 Grosvenor Place Houses) for himself and his wife Louise (née Montefiore) (1821-1910), and their daughters, Constance (1843-1931), who after her marriage to Cyril Flower in 1877 was known as Lady Battersea, and Annie (1844-1926), later the Hon. Mrs Eliot Yorke. In her memoirs Reminiscences, Constance later recalled that her father "took a long lease of the then unbuilt house, and as soon as it was completed proceed to have it carefully decorated by the most capable French artists. It was also exquisitely furnished according to my father's good taste well known to all members of his family. Amongst other works of art, it contained one glorious picture by Van Dyck, a gift from my maternal grandmother." Stylised representations of the Rothschild coat of arms can still be found in the property; two hounds flanking a shield featuring a bundle of arrows tied with ribbon is located atop the tall marble mantlepiece in the entrance hall, and a coat of arms featuring two winged horses with female figures carved in wood forms part of the ornate framework of a door. Constance also remembered that "a curious and arresting figure, and one that loomed large in our young lives, was that of Benjamin Disraeli. I cannot recall when he first appeared on my horizon, for he seemed always to have been a friend of my parents, and with his most original wife was one of our constant visitors at Grosvenor Place".

The 1851 census refers to the buildings as 2 and 3 Grosvenor Place Houses; this situation remained unchanged until the numbers 19 and 20 were assigned on 8 October 1875. This change was noted for the first time in the street directories of 1877.

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