Hatton Garden is a street and area noted as London’s jewellery quarter and centre of the UK diamond trade.
The name ’Hatton Garden’ is derived from the garden of Ely Place
, the London residence of the Bishop of Ely, which was given to Sir Christopher Hatton by Elizabeth I in 1581, during a vacancy of the see.
The area surrounding Hatton Garden has been the centre of London’s jewellery trade since medieval times. The old City of London had streets, or quarters, dedicated to types of business, and the area around Hatton Garden became a centre for jewellers and jewellery. Nearly 300 businesses in Hatton Garden are in the jewellery industry and over 55 shops represent the largest cluster of jewellery retailers in the UK. The largest of these companies is De Beers, the international family of companies that dominate the international diamond trade. De Beers has its headquarters in a complex of offices and warehouses just behind the main Hatton Garden shopping street. The area also plays host to a large number of media, publishing and creative businesses, including Blinkbox and Grey Advertising.
Hatton Garden has an extensive underground infrastructure of vaults, tunnels, offices and workshops.
Hatton Garden was also the home to the invention of the machine gun. Sir Hiram Maxim had a small factory at 57 Hatton Garden and in 1881 invented and started to produce the Maxim Gun, capable of firing 666 rounds a minute.
The nearby streets including Hatton Place
and Saffron Hill
have become more residential in recent years with the building of several blocks of ’luxury’ apartments, including Da Vinci House situated in the former "Punch magazine" printworks and the architecturally distinctive Ziggurat Building.
, off Hatton Garden, is home to St Etheldreda’s Church – one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in England and one of only two remaining buildings in London dating from the reign of Edward I. A building with statues of charity school children is a former chapel and parish school, now known as Wren House.
In 1962, Lawrence Graff of Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond fame, opened the first retail jewellery store here.