Eaton Square was designed by Thomas Cubitt in the Palazzo style. Born in Norfolk in 1788, he was a ship’s carpenter before setting up as a speculative builder in 1811.
Construction of the Square began in 1826 but wasn’t completed until 1855. During the layout of Belgravia, Cubitt lived nearby at 3 Lyall Street. The long construction period is reflected in the variety of architecture in the square.
The grand façades with Corinthian-style column capitals overlook private gardens, part of the 16 acres of gardens within Grosvenor’s Belgravia and Mayfair Estates. Eaton Square was originally the beginning of the royal route (the King’s Road) from St James’s Palace to Hampton Court. One of three garden squares built by the Grosvenor family, it is named after Eaton Hall, Cheshire, the family’s principal seat.
Past residents of the Square include Stanley Baldwin, Lord Boothby, Neville Chamberlain, Vivien Leigh and Lord John Russell.
At the east end of the square is St Peter’s Church, designed by Henry Hakewill and built between 1824 and 1827. The first church was destroyed by fire in 1836 and rebuilt by Hakewill.
Eaton Place is an extension to the square, developed by Cubitt between 1826 and 1845. The scientist William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin lived here, as did the Irish Unionist Edward Carson. Sir Henry Wilson, 1st Baronet was assassinated by Irish Republicans in 1922 as he was leaving No. 36.