38 Hill Street
The Naval Club building at 38 Hill Street in Mayfair, London W1.
In spring 2021, the building was for sale as a development opportunity. Depending on the level of refurbishment, at £4,500 per sq ft, the mansion could be worth £75 million (US $103 million), at £5,000 per sqft, the property could be worth £85 million (US $117 million)
If refurbished into a private home it would be one of the largest mansions in London providing 16 bedrooms, two floors of reception rooms, a grand staircase, a private cinema and a health spa and swimming pool complex on the basement floor.
As a 5-star boutique hotel, the building could provide up to 30 rooms, including bedrooms and suites, alongside concierge reception, lounges, cocktail bar, fine dining and entertaining rooms on the ground and first floors with a gymnasium and back-of-house facilities on the basement level.
Other alternative future uses of 38 Hill Street could include a multi-unit residential development, an Embassy or Ambassador’s residence, a private member’s club or headquarters for a corporation or a Private Family office.
The Georgian building at 38 Hill Street was originally built in 1748-49 to the designs by architect Benjamin Timbrell, under the auspices of local landowner Lord Berkeley.
One of the early occupants was John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham (1756-1835), the First Lord of the Admiralty and brother of William Pitt the Younger, who served as Prime Minister between 1793-1801 and 1804-1806. As the London home of the Pitt family, 38 Hill Street hosted political figures, Royalty and senior Naval staff and in the 1800s the building was enlarged at the rear to allow for grand entertaining.
In the late 1890s, the property was purchased by E.G. “Isaac” Raphael, the head of an affluent family who had made a fortune from finance, publishing and property, including the building of Raphael Street in Knightsbridge. In 1905 Raphael commissioned William Flockhart, architect to the Edwardian super-rich, to refurbish 38 Hill Street, including a dark stock brick exterior with canted bay, Portland stone entrance porch, elegant entrance hall with circular staircase and a vast first floor Louis XVI style drawing room.
The mansion remained in private ownership until World War II when it was requisitioned for use as a London headquarters by the Auxiliary Territorial Service, as the women’s arm of the British Army was then known.
As early as 1943, the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) Officers serving in nearby Whitehall had an aspiration to keep in touch when the war was over and have a private member’s club where active and reserve Naval officers could socialise.
In 1946, with the help of the Astor family, the freehold of 38 Hill Street was purchased from the Raphael family, and it has been the home of the RNVR and The Naval Club ever since. Notable members of The Naval Club have included Viscount Astor, Lord Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and Harold Watkinson, 1st Viscount Watkinson with guests including HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales. During the 1950s, members of ‘The Thursday Club’, portrayed in The Crown Netflix TV series as Prince Philip’s weekly escape from Royal life, socialised at The Naval Club.
The Club purchased the freehold in 1946 and has occupied it ever since. In 1987, the house was listed as a Grade II building with particular reference to the grand staircase, with its ornate balustrade decor and wrought ironwork, and the first floor Louis XVI style dining room.
38 Hill Street was first listed as Grade II in January 1987. Historic England List Entry Number: 1278289.
The Garden House to the west
39 Hill Street south across Hill Street.
1. Naval Club navalclub.co.uk 2011
Site & Location
Information on this page is for guidance only and remains subject to change. Buildington does not sell or let this property. For more information about this property please register your interest on the original website or get in touch with the Connected Companies.