£23M EATON SQUARE BELGRAVIA RESIDENCE OF PM STANLEY BALDWIN FOR SALE
The Grade II* listed Blue Plaque Belgravia home of Mrs Henry Ford II, used by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and originally the home of Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin consists of a four bedroom main residence at 93 Eaton Square, and an interconnecting two bedroom mews house at 35 Eaton Mews North, providing 7,489 sqft (695.8 sqm) of living space including grand reception rooms, elegant bedroom suites, a spacious patio garden and garage. For sale via sole selling agent Beauchamp Estates.
Located in the best central position on the favoured northern side of Eaton Square, the main residence and mews together provide a spacious entrance hall, three reception rooms, six/seven bedrooms, main family kitchen, mews kitchen and eight bathrooms/WCs, complete with an outstanding history that includes the 1936 Royal Abdication Crisis, two Prime Ministers, Royalty, captains of Industry and celebrities.
Eaton Square is London’s largest and most renowned garden square with 93 Eaton Square part of a palatial white-stucco terrace of grand residences designed in classical style with projecting Doric colonnade and porches, originally built in 1827-28 by Thomas Cubitt under the auspices of the Marquess (later Duke) of Westminster.
In 1913 93 Eaton Square became the London home of conservative politician Stanley Baldwin (1867-1947) and his wife Lucy (m 1892, 1869-1945), the couple moving upon Baldwin’s retirement in 1937 to 69 Eaton Square where Baldwin lived between 1937 to 1947, but it is 93 Eaton Square which has the prestidge of Baldwin’s official Blue Plaque.
In 1908 Baldwin, the son of a wealthy steel industrialist, was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Bewdley, with Baldwin buying 93 Eaton Square in order to have a London home close to Westminster. Baldwin became Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1922 and Prime Minister in 1923, a post he would hold three times (1923-34, 1924-1929 and 1935-1937).
It is in the grand main reception room of 93 Eaton Square and the adjoining dining room that Stanley Baldwin entertained his cousin and close friend, author Rudyard Kipling, and politicians including Winston Churchill, Neville Chamberlain (who lived at 37 Eaton Square) and Lord Halifax (who lived at 86 Eaton Square).
93 Eaton Square is also where Stanley Baldwin entertained the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII, the two said to take an instant mutual dislike of each other. Another resident of Eaton Square was Joachim von Ribbentrop, the German Nazi Ambassador to London, who was allegedly having an affair with Wallis Simpson the lover of Edward VIII. Closely watched by M15 Wallis Simpson’s visits to Ribbentrop in Eaton Square outraged Baldwin and the other conservative grandees, a scandal right under their noses, and so in Eaton Square the seeds of the famous 1936 Royal Abdication Crisis were sown.
Fast forward to the 1980s and the next famous residents of 93 Eaton Square, from one of America’s most celebrated dynasties, take centre stage. Portrayed by Tracy Letts in the 2019 Hollywood movie Ford v Ferrari, Henry Ford II (1917-1987) was the eldest grandson of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford and between 1945-1979 was the CEO of the world renowned firm and remained the ultimate authority at Ford until his death in 1987.
In the early 1980s Henry II purchased with his wife Kathleen DuRoss Ford (m1980, 1940-2020) 93 Eaton Square so that they could have a London residence to compliment their UK country house, Turville Grange, an 18th century manor house near Henley-on-Thames that Henry II had owned since the 1970s. The couple also had a home at Palm Beach in Florida.
Kathleen DuRoss Ford, a former model, accomplished photographer and keen aesthete, transformed 93 Eaton Square into one of the most elegant and gracious homes in Belgravia, commissioning architect Jeffrey Smith and renowned design house Colefax & Fowler to refurbish and decorate the interiors in English country-house style.
Henry II passed away in 1987 whilst the refurbishment of the Eaton Square residence was taking place. After 1987 each year Kathleen would spend six months during the summer at Eaton Square and Turville Grange and the winter in Palm Beach, with Eaton Square staffed by a housekeeper, chef and driver. Kathleen loved music, fashion, films and backgammon and alongside family members guests at 93 Eaton Square included Lee Radziwill, sister of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, actress Lily Tomlin and fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.
When Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher left office in 1990 Kathleen generously lent her 93 Eaton Square which Thatcher and her husband Denis then used as their Belgravia home until they purchased a house in 1991 in nearby Chester Square. Kathleen and Margaret remained in touch and on occasion Kathleen would entertain Thatcher to lunch in the dining room of 93 Eaton Square.
Now 93 Eaton Square is for sale and offers a glimpse into the elegant and refined private world of one of America’s most celebrated families. The main residence has an entrance hall which gives access to the grand reception room which has a 14 ft high ceiling, original ceiling coving, three full height sash windows overlooking the garden square and a Regency feature fireplace. From this salon double doors lead into the formal dining room. There is also a large family kitchen with a central island, complete with a separate utility room.
The principal bedroom suite, used by Kathleen comprises the main bedroom, a day room/study, bathroom and walk-in wardrobe/dressing room. French doors from both the bedroom and day room/study open onto a spacious patio garden. The principal guest bedroom with ensuite bathroom also opens onto the patio. There are two further bedrooms suites, each with ensuites, and two guest power rooms in the main residence.
The interconnecting mews house at 35 Eaton Mews North has a lower ground floor wine cellar, with accommodation over ground and two upper floors. Features include an integral garage, kitchen, ground and first floor reception rooms (that could be used as a bedroom, study or gymnasium) and two bedrooms, both with ensuites.
Sales agent Beauchamp Estates highlight that other houses in Eaton Mews North have a full lower ground floor, so planning could be sought to extend the mews house by circa 600 square foot and expand the existing cellar to create a lower ground floor linking to the lower floor in the main residence. If remodelled, a new super prime residence could be created with VIP bedroom suites in the mews and two floors of reception rooms in the main residence, designed around the grand salon and patio garden. This extended and refurbished property could be worth up to £30,000,000.
Gary Hersham, Founding Director of Beauchamp Estates says: “This Blue Plaque residence at 93 Eaton Square has been the Belgravia home of two legendary Prime Ministers, played a role in the 1936 Abdication Crisis, and been the London home of one of America’s most celebrated dynasties. If extended and remodelled, a new super prime residence could be created that could significantly uplift the current value of the property.”