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Belgrave Square / Grosvenor Crescent (SW1)

Robert Grosvenor

Robert Grosvenor, 1st Marquess of Westminster
London 1767 - Eaton Hall, Cheshire, 1845
English Member of Parliament; developed his London estate, creating the areas now known as Belgravia and Pimlico
Jonathan Wylder

London /  Robert Grosvenor   London /  Robert Grosvenor


Bronze statue of Robert Grosvenor, the developer of Belgravia, shown studying plans of the area, his foot resting on a milestone inscribed CHESTER | 197 | MILES, a reference to his estate at Eaton Hall in Cheshire. On either side sit two talbots, the supporters from his coat of arms, which is shown on the front of the plinth.

London - Robert Grosvenor London - Robert Grosvenor


1767 - 1845

[Coat of arms]

"when we build, let us think we build for ever"

john ruskin

On the back of the plinth are bronze reliefs with the 1821 plan of Belgravia iand the 1998 situation, with the text:

under the direction of sir robert grosvenor, thomas gundy, the
grosvenor estate surveyor, presented the above layout to the
grosvenor board in 1825. from sir robert's vision arose the elegant
buildings, grand squares and colourful gardens that are now belgravia.

the classical terraces of belgrave square were designed by george
basevi, architect to the haldimand syndicate, most of the buildings
were erected under the control of the great victorian developer
thomas cubitt.

On the sides of the plinth are two text panels, both with in the center a relief of a wheatsheaf.

the grosvenor family
came to england with
william teh conqueror
and have held land in
cheshire since that time

in the seventeenth century,
sir thomas grosvenor,
third baronet, married
mary davies, a london
heiress. her dowry was
part of the manor of
ebury. the land developed
by their successors as
mayfair in the eighteenth
century, followed by
belgravia and pimlico in
the nineteenth century







in 1979, gerald cavendish
grosvenor became the
sixth duke of westminster.
he commissioned this
statue in 1997.

the hounds on the
monument are talbot
dogs, introduced to this
country by the normans
as hunting dogs. now
extinct, they were the
ancestral stock of the
modern bloodhound.

talbot dogs were added
to the grosvenor coat of
arms in the seventeenth
century. the gold
wheatsheaf, known in
heraldry as a 'garf',
appeared on the coat of
arms for the first time
in 1398.




sir robert grosvenor
succeeded his father as
earl grosvenor in 1802.
educated at harrow and
cambridge, he became a
member of parliament,
lord lieutenant of the
county of flint and was a
renowned and enthusiastic
art collector.

in 1831 he was created marquess of
westminster and was a sword carrier
at the coronation of queen victoria
in 1837. he was made a knight of the
garter in 1842.

sir robert grosvenor
had a vision for a grand
development of belgravia
and pimlico and directed
its progress in 1845. the name
'belgravia' comes from a
grosvenor title of
viscount belgrave, which
is taken from a village
of that name on the
family estate in cheshire. the
plinth on which this statue stands
is made of limestone, quarried at
halkyn in the county of flint, on
land belonging to the family.


sculpture by jonathan wylder 1998


The last line is a slight misquotation from John Ruskin's Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849), which reads:
Therefore, when we build, let us think that we build for ever. Let it not be for present delight, nor for present use alone; let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say as they look upon the labour and wrought substance of them, 'See! this our fathers did for us.'

London - Robert Grosvenor


Sources & Information


Location (N 51°30'1" - W 0°9'13")

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Item Code: gblo063; Photograph: 4 August 2014
Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
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© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt

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