Plaques & Palladiums

Estate agent fails to mention the “historical significance” of an Eaton Square property that was home to a paeodphile for 40 years


Those in the property business like to wax lyrical about the merits of particular locations but none in their right mind would willingly mention, for example, that 79 Gloucester Road in London’s South Kensington was the scene where ‘Acid Bath Murderer’ John Haigh (1909 – 1949) disposed of a number of his six to nine victims after turning them to sludge with the help of sulphuric acid. Though No. 79 is now marked as No. 77 – no doubt as part of an attempt to distract ghouls – and the building next door has become No. 77a, anyone with the slightest comprehension of numbers could easily work out the truth of what went on in what is now a restaurant and the Frances King School of English.


The basement of 79 Gloucester Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 4PG was where Acid Bath Murderer John Haigh disposed of several of his victims
Lord Boothby lived at 1 Eaton Square, Belgravia, London, SW1W 9DB between 1946 and 1986
Lord Boothby with his lovers gangster Ronnie Kray and cat burglar Leslie Holt in his drawing room at 1 Eaton Square (Holt mysteriously subsequently died whilst having an operation for a foot injury); other friends and associates of Boothby included Tom Driberg and Sir Cliff Richard


In May 2016, we featured a story about how No. 1 Eaton Square – a building situated perhaps at the wrong end of the street of what an auction house earlier described as “one of London’s most desirable addresses” in 2010 – still bares a commemorative blue plaque to another equally undesirable individual, the late paedophile politician Lord Boothby (1900 – 1986).


Why on earth residents of this building have not demanded this monument to a monster known for loving “masochistic sex with rent boys” be torn down is beyond anyone, but now Savills are offering a third floor flat in the building with a guide price of £3.7 million ($4.6 million, €4.3 million or درهم 16.7 million). They unsurprisingly fail to mention the property’s infamous resident of 40 years from 1946 to 1986 and the parties he gave there with such people as the East End gangster Ronnie Kray.


Situated on the third floor of the building and including 2 bedroom suites, the 1,682 square foot portered apartment has a reception room overlooking the Eaton Square Gardens and is described as having “the benefit of the use of a key holding service”. It’s just a shame that the larger-than-life Boothby – whose nickname was ‘The Palladium’ because of his “twice nightly” sexual activities – wasn’t also subject to a bit of lock-and-key during his lifetime.


View Comments

  • Lord Boothby died without being convicted of anything!!!!!!!!!!!! You should remember that!!!!!!!!!

  • I would happily take up residence there. Mr Boothby was certainly a nasty man but he is long dead and should be forgotten.

    • Ethel,
      You are so on the ball. I wonder how happy you would feel in Eaton Sq amongst all the international arms dealing jet set?
      It's not Haslemere, dear
      I think your idea of forgetting bad men interesting. Let's start with Joe, Adolf and Mao

  • The building is situated on the corner of a busy main road. I would not live there if you paid me! The pollution and dust there is terrible.

    • Only the parvenu like Eaton Sq: those so lacking in self confidence that they need an 'address'.

  • As a recent visitor to STEEPLE TIMES I am struck by your apparent obsession with paedophilia. Even, as in this case, introducing it into a property article. May I know why? It does seem unhealthy.

    • We do not cover the matter of historic abuse enough. If I had the resources, I would publish a lot more on the subject. You plainly wish to see what went on swept under the carpet. One could ask: "Why?"

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