The new “for sale” sign that is outside of a six-story townhouse in London’s posh Mayfair is only the second most interesting sign attached to the building. It joins a far more noteworthy blue plaque that denotes that the property was once home to Lord Ashfield, the founder of the London Underground. Ashfield moved into the South Street mansion more than 100 years ago, and called it home from 1918 until 1940.
Now ready for a new owner, the house came on the market with Wetherell at the end of October for £16.5 million (US$21.7 million). Property records don’t detail how much the current owner, who could not be reached for comment, paid for the home, or how long they’ve owned it Built in the late 1800s, the Grade-II listed townhouse is still full of original features, and there are high ceilings, ornate stone fireplaces, bay windows and an elegant cantilevered staircase. Spanning close to 6,500 square feet, the six-bedroom home is fitted with a formal dining room, a study, a drawing room, a reception room and a full-floor primary bedroom suite complete with a vast dressing room, according to the listing.
There is also staff accommodation and a roof terrace with views over Mayfair. Born in Britain, Ashfield—then Albert Stanley—emigrated to Detroit with his family and eventually oversaw the entire street railway system of the U.S. city. Upon his return to the U.K,. he was appointed as managing director of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London. He standardized all of London transport under one organization, and his Mayfair home became an extension of London Underground’s head office.
It was there that in 1939 and 1940, he worked on top-secret plans to turn Mayfair’s now defunct Down Street Tube Station into a bunker for the prime minister and cabinet and [to] build secret passages under the city connecting royal and government buildings to the underground network. The blue plaque program, exclusive to London—though other U.K. cities have their own, unaffiliated, schemes—has been running since 1866.
Article source: Mansion Global