A Bastard of a Basement

A Bastard of a Basement – 31 Brompton Square, Knightsbridge, London, SW3 2AE, United Kingdom – For sale through Savills for £25 million ($33.9 million, €28.4 million or درهم125 million) – Formerly owned by now jailed fraudster Achilleas Kallakis and also by Jonathan Hart, Lord Tanlow, the Hon. Michael Astor, Dora and Mary de Beer and Henry Luttrell.

Knightsbridge townhouse for sale for sum 11% lower than it sold for in 2011; it comes with a rather large hole in the garden that has been described as “almost as deep as the Führerbunker”


To the poet and wit Henry Luttrell (1765 – 1861) “eating pâté de foie gras to the sound of trumpets” was his idea of heaven. Now, a very wealthy buyer has the opportunity to acquire what some might consider the very opposite of such with the sale of his former home – complete with a 4-storey hole in its garden – in Knightsbridge.


Empty for many years and the subject of numerous critical articles about its dereliction in such titles as the Mirror and Daily Mail, Grade II listed 31 Brompton Square is on the market for £3 million less than it sold for in 2011. It was previously reportedly owned by the industrialist Lord Tanlaw and was also in the possession of the High Commission of Malaysia at some point.


Fraudster Achilleas Kallakis was undoubtedly the most controversial owner of the building
Philanthropists Dora and Mary de Beer (pictured with Esmond de Beer) were certainly more civilised residents
Baron Tanlaw of Tanlawhill reportedly owned the house for a period also


Aside from being home to the philanthropist sisters Dora and Mary de Beer (owners of the house between 1934 and 1981) and the Conservative Party politician the Hon. Michael Astor in addition, most controversially the property was bought by the now jailed businessman Achilleas Kallakis in the mid 2000s.


Kallakis – who in spite of demanding he be called ‘His Excellency’ and ‘The Don’ was actually simply “Britain’s biggest mortgage fraudster” – began work on a scheme to create what he termed a “pleasure palace” at 31 Brompton Square in 2005. He employed contractors to dig four levels down beneath what had been a pretty garden and commenced both authorised and unauthorised works to create what could still ultimately become a 22,000 square foot, 8-floor “trophy home.”


Construction stopped in 2008 after Kallakis’ arrest and in 2011, 31 Brompton Square was sold for £8 million more than sought to a Virgin Islands based company by receivers acting for Barclays Wealth. Said by locals to actually be owned at that time by a Dubai based businessman named Jonathan Hart, further planning schemes were submitted in October 2016 and now agents Savills seek £25 million for the unfinished building.


Of the sale, one near neighbour told The Steeple Times:


“This bastard of a basement has blighted this area of Knightsbridge for far too long.”


“We have feared subsidence might cause the hole to cave in since 2005 and now hope a new owner will rectify the mess left by the conman Kallakis. We simply want to be able to live out our years in peace and would like a nice, quiet family rather than a brash billionaire be the purchasers.”


31 Brompton Square – The Numbers


September 2017 – For sale for £25 million ($33.9 million, €28.4 million or درهم125 million).


June 2016 – Predicted to be worth £50 million ($67.8 million, €56.9 million or درهم249 million) if iceberg extension were to be completed.


March 2011 – Sold for £28 million ($38 million, €31.9 million or درهم139.5 million) after a bidding war on an asking price of £20 million ($27.1 million, €22.7 million or درهم99.6 million).


An aerial view of the giant hole behind 31 Brompton Square
A closer view of the dormant site
The front elevation of 31 Brompton Square
A proposed floor plan for the building
A CGI image of a proposed design for a reception room within the existing building
A CGI image of a proposed design for a reception space in the proposed extension of the house
A CGI image of a proposed design for a reception space backing onto the garden
A CGI image of a proposed design for a swimming pool within the extension
A CGI image of the proposed garden
Another view of the space
A drawing of the proposed redevelopment


  1. I walk past this house (well its garden) every time I go to Holy Trinity Brompton and I wondered what the story was. Wow! What a place it could end up being.

  2. I wonder if Maddy McCann fell down this hole???????????????? Maybe you Britheads could push Jezza Corbynn into the hole too??????????????!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah!!!!!!!!! I like the style of digging a hole and just leaving it!!!!!!!!!! Surprising the dump house at the front didn’t fall down!!!!!!!!! Now that would have been fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • The remark about a little girl, presumed dead, is just crude and witless.
      Fortunately, your image is no longer available to see: that’s fortunate because, even for an Australian male, you closely resemble an ape….and that is a depiction cruel to apes

      • Hello – I assume you are making this remark about me. I like to contribute here and I must say my take on this property is that it is going to struggle. From what I know of the situation I would suggest what has been done thus far will likely have to be redone given the time lag and damage from exposure to the elements. It could end up costing a lot more to finish than a buyer would expect and in this market it is going to struggle to find a buyer anyway. I would walk away from this one.


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