Sir Robert Grosvenor
First Marquess of Westminster
1767 - 1845
"When we build, let us think we build forever" John Ruskin
( side plaque )
The Grosvenor Family came to England with William the Conqueror and have held land in Cheshire since that time.
In the seventeenth century, Sir Thomas Grosvenor, Third Baronet, married Mary Davies, a London heiress. Her dowry was part of the Manor of Ebury -the land developed by their successors as Mayfair in the eighteenth century, followed by Belgravia and Pimlico in the nineteenth century.
In 1979, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor became the Sixth Duke of Westminster. He commissioned this statue in 1997.
The hounds on the monument are Talbot dogs, introduced to this country by the Normans as hunting dogs. Now extinct, they were the ancestral stock of the modern bloodhound.
Talbot dogs were added to the Grosvenor coat of arms in the seventeenth century. The gold wheatsheaf, known in heraldry as a 'garb', appeared on the coat of arms for the first time in 1398.
( back plaque )
Under the direction of Sir Robert Grosvenor, Thomas Cundy, the Grosvenor estate surveyor, presented the above layout to the Grosvenor board in 1825. From Sir Robert's vision arose the elegant buildings,
grand squares and colourful gardens that are now Belgravia. The classical terraces of Belgrave Square were designed by George Basevi, architect to the Haldimand Syndicate. Most of the buildings were erected under the control of the great Victorian developer, Thomas Cubitt.