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68 Vincent Square
Development designed by renowned neo-classicist architect, John Simpson
68 Vincent Square, Westminster, London SW1P
City Of Westminster
On street parking is readily available around Vincent Square
The transport services including rail and tube links of Victoria, St James’s Park and Westminster are all within walking distance
|24 Hour Concierge|
68 Vincent Square, an Overview
Sitting prominently on the North, North-West side of Vincent Square, Number 68 Vincent Square is a superb amalgamation and redevelopment of two, Grade II listed buildings in the heart of Westminster by the exceptionally well-respected, John Simpson Architects.
Vincent Square was named after William Vincent, Dean of Westminster School from 1803-1815. Vincent commandeered what was a desolate area of marshland known as ‘Tothill Fields’ for the boys of Westminster School to play sports on which they do to this very day. The thwack of leather on wood can still be heard throughout the summer.
As a consequence, this large yet restful square appeals to those seeking a piece of traditional English life with the added bonus of being in the very centre of London, making 68 Vincent Square a highly desirable address.
A History of 68 Vincent Square
Once known as ‘Tot-hill fields’ or ‘Tuttle fields’, Vincent Square and its surrounding area would have once been considered on the fringes of London! A non-descript, industrial area situated between the City of London and the countryside.
It is generally agreed that Tothill is derived from ‘toot hill’, which describes a patch of high ground in the area that would have been used as a look out post or messenger point. Today, while tourists flock to Westminster Abbey to seek out the view from the tower, knowledgeable Londoners head for the impressively colourful Westminster Cathedral. With its 64 metre tower, Westminster Cathedral just north of Vincent Square, boasts a similarly magnificent view but without the crowds and inevitable queues of Westminster Abbey.
Those keen on the monumental may also find Alexander Stoddart’s sculpture of Priapus, erected just outside 68 Vincent Square, equally fascinating, though ultimately possibly disappointing as the sculpture features no appendage as such.
Dean William Vincent was well-respected, if not somewhat strict headmaster. He was an advocate of corporal punishment even going so far as to expel the then pupil Robert Southey for writing an anti-flogging treatise in the periodical ‘The Flagellant’. However his belief in the boys he taught was perhaps reflected in his catchphrase: ‘Eloquere, puer eloquere’ Speak out Boy!
Recognising the potential use of the marshlands owned by Westminster School he converted a 10 acre plot of land into playing fields and this area became known as Vincent Square, though to this day, pupils and staff at Westminster School refer to them as ‘The Fields’.
Living & Investing In 68 Vincent Square
Within the division bell of the Houses of Parliament, Vincent Square has long attracted political figures that have chosen the square for their London homes including Lloyd George and Harold Wilson. Certainly 68 Vincent Square would still attract political luminaries or perhaps ‘smart young men about town,’ as writer, journalist and Vincent Square resident Ben Nicholls described himself. Those seeking a pied a terre or sound property investment may also be charmed by the squares enduring appeal and central location.
Comprising of just 48 exclusive, spacious apartments 68 Vincent Square was developed in 2002 by John Simpson Architects. The development is a sensitive and sophisticated reconfiguration of two; Grade II listed buildings overseen by John Simpson’s associate director, Joanna Wachowiak. Wachowiak has also overseen projects for the Royal Family including the Royal Galleries at Buckingham Palace.
The ultra modern interiors of 68 Vincent Square combined with 24hr concierge and allocated parking offer a contemporary, practical home within an historical Central London site.
68 Vincent Square & Beyond
Immortalised in W. Somerset Maugham’s novel Cakes and Ale, Vincent Square has long been recognised as a desirable address in Westminster. Maugham in this fictional novel borrows extensively from his own experiences of lodging in Vincent Square in the late 1800’s. He talks fondly of his landlady and his lodgings capturing his landlady’s cockney accent with precision. Admittedly, today one is more likely to hear the clipped accents of the Queen’s English or indeed many other languages as the area commands a significantly more affluent resident.
While Maugham’s novel has nothing to do with Cakes or Ale residents looking for either in the area will not be disappointed. The Royal Oak on Regency Street is a pleasant typical London pub harking back to the early 1800’s. These days a respectable clientele made up of media pundits, senior civil servants and well-heeled residents frequent the pub.
Toni’s cafe, just off Vincent Square on Chapter Street is this writer’s own personal favourite London Cafe and is featured in the book ‘Eggs, Bacon, Chips & Beans’ by Russell Davies. Luis and Sue owners of the cafe will be the first to admit that they may never win a Michelin star but the warm greeting and classic English fry-up is what every true Londoner hankers for, the morning after the night before.
For residents of Vincent Square those ‘nights before’ may often be spent in the popular jazz bar, The Boisdale in nearby Elizabeth Street. With live jazz and a fantastic selection of Whisky and one of the few places in London with a private roof terrace where one can smoke, The Boisdale has remained at the top of the go to places for Londoners in the know.
Those seeking the ‘Cake’ rather than the ’Ale’ will enjoy perusing the deli’s on and around Warwick Way, as well as the selection of restaurants, cafes and boutiques.
Just a short walk away, the ‘Victoria’ area of London is also undergoing massive redevelopment with designer stores and well-established names opening up in the area. Knightsbridge, Bond Street and Sloane Square are also only a few minutes taxi ride away.
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