Spotlight on Holborn
This historic legal quarter is a fabulous central location being reborn for families with new homes, schools and culture, says
WIGS and gowns are a common sight in the streets of Holborn, London’s legal quarter. Radiating out from the ancient Royal Courts of Justice in Strand, Holborn is home to two of the capital’s four Inns of Court — Lincoln’s Inn and Gray’s Inn — where some of the country’s top legal brains practice in quaint suites of rooms known as chambers.
These peaceful green oases contrast with the brash new offices that have transformed the triangle north of Fleet Street between Chancery Lane and Fetter Lane over the last 10 years. The area is now home to modern offices for top legal firms and the headquarters of supermarket giant Sainsbury’s, and there are new shops, cafés and restaurants where once there were none.
Holborn used to be able to add insurance to its list of major employers but since Pearl and Prudential moved out, their two famous landmark buildings in High Holborn have found new uses. There is a Rosewood five-star hotel in the Pearl building, while English Heritage moved to the High Victorian Gothic Prudential building, designed by Alfred Waterhouse.
The centre of the country’s diamond trade, Holborn’s Hatton Garden hit the headlines in dramatic fashion at Easter two years ago when a gang of mainly elderly thieves drilled through 20 inches of concrete and stole an estimated £25 million from the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company. Most of the gang are now behind bars although much of their haul is still unrecovered and one gang member, nicknamed Basil, remains at large.
Estate agent Guy Passey, from the local branch of CBRE Residential, says that Holborn is now seen as an extension to the prime central London property market.
“It is well placed halfway between the City and the West End but remains about 20 per cent cheaper than nearby Covent Garden and Fitzrovia.
“It is popular with barristers and solicitors and the area is becoming more residential. And whereas it used to be dead at weekends, now more shops, cafés and restaurants remain open.”
Holborn is in travel Zone 1 with St Pancras and King’s Cross to the north; Clerkenwell to the east; Fleet Street to the south and Covent Garden and Bloomsbury to the west.
Holborn, a great central location, is becoming more residential