Providing 8,435 sq.ft. of palatial living space, an exceptional five bedroom mansion on Park Street, with four reception rooms, reception hall and direct access to communal gardens, originally the Mayfair home of Royal mistress Maria Fitzherbert, with the current Edwardian residence built in 1913 serving as the home of tobacco tycoon Sir Louis Bernhard Baron and more recently an Embassy for the Cyprus High Commission: for sale via Wetherell.
The original Georgian property on the site was built in 1778 by John Crunden, part of a sizeable mansion which had a large first floor reception room and a second floor glazed conservatory which served as the palatial Mayfair home of Maria Fitzherbert (1758-1837), the Catholic mistress of HRH The Prince Regent, later King George IV.
In 1778 Maria had married wealthy Staffordshire landowner Thomas Fitzherbert and when he died in 1781 he left her a large annuity and the grand mansion on Park Street which had served as their recently built marital London home.
In 1784 Maria was introduced to George, Prince of Wales (later King George IV) and secretly on 15th December 1785 they married (illegally without his father King George III’s required Royal consent) in the first floor reception room of her mansion on Park Street. So, for just one day in its rich history Mayfair took on the mantle of Westminster Abbey, the normal venue for important Royal marriages.
Although George was forced by the Royal family to officially marry his cousin Caroline of Brunswick in 1795 it was Maria Fitzherbert who remained his “wife of my heart and soul” and by 1798 he had returned to Maria and abandoned Caroline for good.
Following the death of King George IV in 1830 Maria told George IV’s brother, King William IV, about their secret marriage and showed him the Park Street marriage certificate in her possession. To bury the potential scandal King William IV offered her the title of Duchess but she refused, asking only permission to dress the footmen and servants in her Park Street mansion in Royal livery, which the King granted.
Following Maria’s death in 1837 her mansion on Park Street was eventually demolished, an act which one assumes must have provided much relief to the Royal family, ensuring no architectural shrine survived to the late King’s secret marriage.
In 1913 a new six floor Edwardian mansion was built on part of the Park Street site, designed by Wimperis and Simpson. Due to the intervention of World War I (1914-1918) the fitting out of the mansion was delayed so it was not ready for occupation until 1925, initially letting to an aristocratic tenant.
In 1931 the mansion was purchased by Sir Louis Bernhard Baron (1876-1934), a wealthy British tobacco tycoon who was managing director of the Carreras Tobacco Company. The Carreras Tobacco Company was founded in 1788 and in 1903 Louis’ businessman father Bernhard Baron (1850-1929) joined the board of the company becoming its managing director in 1904, a role he continued until his death. Louis succeeded his father as managing director in 1929 and was knighted in 1930.
In 1931 Sir Louis purchased the Park Street mansion where he lived with his wife Elsie, Lady Baron (1887-1983), and their daughter Myrtle Baron. Upon the death of Sir Louis Lady Baron remarried art dealer Robert Tritton, the owner of the Godmersham Park estate in Kent, the couple using the Park Street mansion as their London townhouse.
In 1957 Robert Tritton died which led Elsie Tritton in 1958 to sell the Baron family shares in the Carreras Tobacco Company which enabled the company to merge with Rothmans of Pall Mall (later Rothmans International and now part of British American Tobacco). In 1959 Elsie sold her Park Street mansion to the newly formed Government of Cyprus.
Following the founding of the Republic of Cyprus in 1959 the mansion served for many decades as a grand Embassy for the Cyprus High Commission. When the Cyprus High Commission relocated to 13 St James’s Square the mansion reverted to being a private residence. Now, following a recent lavish refurbishment, the mansion is being exclusively offered for sale on a rare-for-Mayfair freehold basis via Wetherell.
With features including large rooms, high ceilings, ornate ceiling work, parquet flooring and stone fireplaces the raised ground floor of the mansion has a dining/breakfast room with a kitchen and two further reception rooms, one taking the form of a reception hall, with a coffered ceiling, passenger lift and sweeping main staircase leading to the upper floors. The second reception room, to the rear of the mansion, has an ornate ceiling, Regency fireplace and French doors giving direct access to the Green Street communal gardens.
On the first floor is the principal reception room, on the site where Maria Fitzherbert secretly married King George IV and the Ambassador of Cyprus used to entertain Royalty and diplomats. The grand salon has a feature stone fireplace and bay window with French doors opening onto a balcony. To the Park Street elevation of the first floor is a second reception room with three sash windows.
The palatial master bedroom suite occupies the entire second floor of the mansion with a main bedroom, with three sets of French windows opening onto ornamental and step-out balconies. There is also a large dressing room and opulent main bathroom.
The principal guest suite, with dressing room and ensuite bathroom and a further bedroom with balcony are on the top floor of the house.
On the lower ground floor is a professional chef’s kitchen – ideal for large scale entertaining – with a separate utility room and storage vaults. There is also a wine store and a staff flat, with natural light provided by a lightwell, the staff quarters providing a kitchen/living dining room, bedroom and bathroom.
Peter Wetherell, Founder & Chairman of Wetherell said, “This magnificent mansion on Park Street has an illustrious history, first as the site of the home Royal mistress Maria Fitzherbert, then as the home of tobacco tycoon Sir Louis Bernhard Baron and family and in more recent years as an Embassy for the Cyprus High Commission.
“With its grand and beautiful reception rooms, access to the Green Street gardens and spacious bedroom suites this mansion is perfect for an affluent discerning family wanting a London base or a successful tycoon seeking a trophy home in Mayfair to show the global business community he has arrived in London.”
In order to create the stunning marketing visuals for the Park Street mansion Wetherell commissioned multi-award-winning design house Casa E Progetti to dress and style the house. Casa E Progetti have created a classic contemporary style, using artwork and accessories from the 1930s Art Deco period, creating lavish interiors which reflect the history of the house.
Casa E Progetti have used used furniture pieces sourced from Baker, Bellotti Ezio, Ralph Lauren and Lalique, alongside references to the Art Deco period including Art Deco style bronze greyhounds standing guard in the hallway and Egyptian obelisk and an Art Deco dark bronze panther in the ground floor reception room. The carefully curated artwork includes limited edition reproductions of works by Spanish artist Amadeo Roca Gisbert, Georges Braque, the renowned Cubist artist, and Tamara de Lempicka, arguably the most famous Art Deco artist from the era.
The Park Street mansion is for sale for £25,000,000 (freehold). For further information contact Wetherell on Tel: +44 (0)20 7529 5566 or visit www.wetherell.co.uk