Guide to Berkeley Square in London
Berkeley Square is a town square in the West End of London in the City of Westminster, originally laid out in the mid 18th century by architect William Kent. The square features a statue by Alexander Munro, a Pre-Raphaelite sculptor, made in 1858. The surrounding London Plane trees are among the oldest in central London, planted in 1789. 50 Berkeley Square is the most infamous haunted house in London. The house is currently occupied by Maggs Brothers Antiquarian Booksellers.
Several years after the Restoration of the British monarchy in 1660, the English Royalist soldier John Berkeley of Stratton purchased a stretch of land north of Piccadilly in the up and coming Mayfair district, and promptly erected the magnificent Berkeley House. The residence was later sold to the Duke of Devonshire in 1696 under the condition that Berkeley would refrain from building on the surrounding gardens, hence preserving the Duke’s view and protecting the space that would later become the prestigious square known and treasured to this day.
Berkeley House was demolished through a fire in 1733, after which a series of grandiose residents were constructed by carpenters Edward Cock and Francis Hillyard along the square’s western flank. The south side belonged to the gardens of Lansdowne House, designed by Robert Adam and finished in the late 18th century, whilst the north underwent further development in the early 1900s. The enclosed space was rescued from its somewhat dishevelled appearance in 1767, through a group elected to create and maintain an appealing public locale. A scattering of plane trees planted in 1789 still remain, regarded as some of the oldest specimens in central London.
Berkeley Square witnessed additional renovation during the 1900s, particularly during the 30s, as properties on the eastern border were rebuilt and utilised as offices, and a portion of Lansdowne House was demolished to make way for a new road. Since then, affluent businesses and private clubs have all but taken over the square, with only one residential building left standing. Even though homeowners nowadays are rare, plenty of famous figures have enjoyed the pleasures of life overlooking Berkeley Square over the centuries. Art historian and writer Horace Walpole lived at number 11 until his death in 1797, Winston Churchill spent his childhood at number 48 and the British Prime Minister George Canning resided at number 50, which has been long regarded as the most haunted house in the capital.
With its rich history, aristocratic air and deluxe dwellings, this elegant setting has revelled in its fair share of fame, encapsulated both on screen and in song. Vera Lynn’s wartime classic ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’ has been reproduced by a number of artists, including Glenn Miller and Frank Sinatra. A 1933 eponymous film and a 1998 BBC mini-series brought the square to an even wider audience, reflecting its impact on modern society. Currently hosting a series of fashionable offices, upmarket car dealers and a collection of elite boutiques and eateries, Berkeley Square has preserved its status as one of London’s most exclusive addresses.
Useful Berkeley Square Links
- Berkeley Square & Its Neighbourhood (from Old and New London: Volume 4) - Berkeley Square and its neighbourhood from Old and New London: Volume 4. Originally published by Cassell, Petter & Galpin, London, 1878.
- Berkeley Square, North Side (from Survey of London: Volume 40, the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair) - Berkeley Square, North Side from Survey of London: Volume 40, the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, Part 2 (The Buildings). Originally published by London County Council, London, 1980.
Berkeley Square on our Blog
Click here for more articles
about living a great life in London from our London blog
Map of Berkeley Square in London
Areas & Streets Near Berkeley Square
Popular Nearby Streets & Areas: Mayfair (0.17km) Albemarle Street (0.17km) Arlington Street (0.17km) Audley Street (0.17km) Avery Row (0.17km) Balderton Street (0.17km) Berkeley Square (0.17km) Berkeley Street (0.17km) Blenheim Street (0.17km) Brook Street (0.17km) Brook's Mews (0.17km) Albemarle Street (0.2km) Berkeley Street (0.15km) Dover Street (0.19km) Hill Street (0.12km) Farm Street (0.09km) Bruton Street (0.11km) Bruton Place (0.13km) Mount Street (0.2km) Clarges Street (0.15km)
Berkeley Square Photos
We have not yet added any photos to this gallery yet. We will be adding some soon
Berkeley Square Videos
FAQs about Berkeley Square in London
The song was published in 1940, when it was first performed by Judy Campbell. In the same year it was also performed by both Ray Noble and then by Vera Lynn, whose version is the most well known.
Berkeley Square Shopping, Nightlife, Accommodation, and Tourist Attractions...
Explore Berkeley Square by browsing these categoriesEating Nightlife Shopping Sightseeing Accommodation Living Life Working Travel & Transport Studying Health & Wellness
Sexy Fish is an Asian restaurant and bar located on the corner of Berkeley Square, Mayfair serving Japanese-inspired...Read more
Food Hygiene Ratings for Sexy Fish
A comfortable base in the heart of London’s theatre and shopping districts, within walking distance of many major...Read more
Food Hygiene Ratings for Holiday Inn (Mayfair)
Novikov Restaurant & Bar combines cool and contemporary interiors with a superlative culinary offering. Located in...Read more
Food Hygiene Ratings for Novikov Restaurant & Bar
Bocconcino is a Mayfair destination restaurant serving both classic and modern Italian cuisine and cocktails in a...Read more
Food Hygiene Ratings for Bocconcino Restaurant
Located at 15 Berkeley Street in the heart of Mayfair, Nobu Berkeley ST is the legendary institution's most...Read more
Food Hygiene Ratings for Nobu (Berkeley Street)
May Fair KitchenTop Pick
Our refreshed interiors and new menu evoke an ambience to recreate the culinary delights of the Mediterranean,...Read more
Food Hygiene Ratings for May Fair Kitchen
Part of The May Fair Hotel
Listings Near Berkeley Square
Hakkasan’s fine-dining Cantonese cuisine has placed the group at the forefront of modern Chinese restaurants It...Read more
The reputation for food at The Square has been gained through delivery of pleasure through harmonious and classical...Read more