Development of Berkeley House Estate

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Although Evelyn saddened at the thought of the extension of London, it was nevertheless he who was consulted by Lady Berkeley in the development of a portion of her estate - and in his Diary on 12th June 1684, he wrote:

"I went to advise and give directions about building two streets in Berkeley Gardens, reserving the house and as much of the garden as the breadth of the house. In the meantime I could not but deplore that sweet place (by far the most noble gardens, courts and accommodations, stately porticos, etc., anywhere about town) should be so much straitened and turned into tenements."

The Diarist, however, finds some excuse for Lady Berkeley's action in the fact that Lord Clarendon's house close by had met the same fate, and also in consequence of "so excessive a price as was offered, advancing near 1,000 per annum in mere ground rents." Could Evelyn have anticipated what would be the value of these mere ground rents two centuries later, he might have regarded the change still more philosophically!

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