James Gunter (25 July 1731 – 19 September 1819)was an English confectioner, market gardener and property developer who laid the foundations for what became one of the great residential estates in West London, developed by his descendants, the "Redcliffe Estate" and The Boltons in Little Chelsea and West Brompton.
Gunter was taken into partnership in 1777 by Domenico Negri who had opened a confectioner's shop in Berkeley Square, Mayfair, in 1757 under the sign of the Pot and Pine Apple.In 1797 Gunter was living in New Bond Street, Mayfair, when an incident occurred which showed his nature. A servant of his had stolen and pawned a silver ladle and other goods and was found guilty at the Old Bailey. Her defence was "Mr. Gunter has been a worthy master to me, I hope he will be favourable; he always behaved well to me" resulted in her receiving a fine of one shilling and six months in the House of Correction, while others convicted of similar crimes were sentenced to seven years transportation.
Gunter decided to develop his own farms and market gardens to grow fruit and first became involved in the Earl's Court area - then a prime market garden area in the parish of St Mary Abbots, Kensington - when he took a sub-lease of part of Home Field and Great Court Field from a local farmer in 1797. He bought the freehold of these properties in 1799. He also bought Earls Court Lodge which became the Gunters’ family home for 60 years.By 1799 he had also become sole proprietor of Gunter's Tea Shop which became one of the most fashionable Mayfair meeting places. Earls Court Lodge became nicknamed "Currant-Jelly Hall".
In 1805 Gunter purchased some land where Coleherne Road and Redcliffe Square are now situated. By 1807 Gunter had also bought from speculative builder Thomas Smith some land in Great Court Field and the Home Field land. He also bought a large plot from William Boulton where in 1850 his son Robert I Gunter commenced the building of The Boltons, an exclusive residential area still in existence. He was unsuccessful in his bid to buy some land that would have connected his other plots to The Boltons area but carried on acquiring land on a piecemeal basis with more land at Redcliffe Square and the Boltons and in 1812 bought land between the Boltons and Fulham Road. He started building villas on his property between 1808 and 1810 around Earls Court Road and Old Brompton Road, although these were subsequently demolished in later developments.
Gunter had a son:
Gunter died at Worthing, Sussex in 1819, following a fit of apoplexy, and was buried in the churchyard of St Mary Abbots, Kensington.
Knightsbridge is a residential and retail district in central London, south of Hyde Park. It is identified in the London Plan as one of two international retail centres in London, alongside the West End.
Mayfair is an affluent area in the West End of London towards the eastern edge of Hyde Park, in the City of Westminster, between Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly and Park Lane. It is one of the most expensive districts in London and the world.
Chelsea is an affluent area of South West London, bounded to the south by the River Thames. Its river frontage runs from Chelsea Bridge along the Chelsea Embankment, Cheyne Walk, Lots Road and Chelsea Harbour. Its eastern boundary was once defined by the River Westbourne, which is now in a pipe above Sloane Square Underground station. The modern eastern boundary is Chelsea Bridge Road and the lower half of Sloane Street, including Sloane Square. To the north and northwest, the area fades into Knightsbridge and Brompton, but it is considered that the area north of King's Road as far northwest as Fulham Road is part of Chelsea.
Earl's Court is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in West London, bordering the rail tracks of the West London line and District line that separate it from the ancient borough of Fulham to the west, the sub-districts of South Kensington to the east, Chelsea to the south and Kensington to the north. It lent its name to the now defunct eponymous pleasure grounds opened in 1887 followed by the pre-World War II Earls Court Exhibition Centre, as one of the country's largest indoor arenas and a popular concert venue, until its controversial closure in 2014. The area has long been known as "Bedsitter Land" with many of its stuccoed terraces converted into hotels and hostels.
South Kensington is a district of West London in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. With some of its easterly areas shared with the City of Westminster, the district is known as a popular tourist destination due to its density of museums and cultural landmarks.
Grosvenor Group Limited is an internationally diversified property group, which traces its origins to 1677 and has its headquarters in London, England. It has a global reach, now in 62 international cities, with offices in 14 of them, operated on behalf of its owners, the Duke of Westminster and his family. It has four regional development and investment businesses and a portfolio of indirect investments. Its sectors include residential, office, retail, industrial, and hotels.
West Kensington is an area of Kensington in West London, England, 3.4 miles (5.5 km) west of Charing Cross, the London postal area of W14 is roughly defined as the area between Brook Green and Hammersmith Road to the west, Fulham to the south, Shepherd's Bush to the north and Kensington to the east.
Brompton and Old Brompton were continguous, populous hamlets in Kensington, Middlesex; it saw its first church in 1829. Such terms are widely forlorn as eclipsed by London Underground's use of only Knightsbridge and South Kensington as the names of stops, and lacking any significant dominant distinctions in architecture with those neighbours.
West Brompton is an area of south-west London, that straddles the boundary between the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The centuries-old boundary was traced by Counter's Creek, now lost beneath the West London Line railway.
Kensington South was a parliamentary constituency centred on the Kensington district of west London. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Sir Robert Gunter, 1st Baronet was a British army officer, property developer and Conservative Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1885 to 1905.
Cadogan Group Limited and its subsidiaries, including Cadogan Estates Limited, are British property investment and management companies that are owned by the Cadogan family, one of the richest families in the United Kingdom, which also holds the titles of Earl Cadogan and Viscount Chelsea, the latter used as a courtesy title by the earl's eldest son. The Cadogan Group is the main landlord in the west London districts of Chelsea and Knightsbridge, and it is now the second largest of the surviving aristocratic freehold estates in central London, after the Duke of Westminster's Grosvenor Estate, to which it is adjacent, covering Mayfair and Belgravia.
The Boltons is a street and "Garden Square" of lens shape in the Brompton district of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England. The opposing sides of the street face the communal gardens with large expansive houses and gardens, in what is considered the third-most expensive street in the country. The elliptical central gardens of the Boltons are Grade II listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
Redcliffe Square is a town square located in the Kensington area of southwest central London, England. Redcliffe Square Gardens are located in the square.
Redcliffe Gardens is a major street located in the Chelsea area of southwest central London, England.
St Mary The Boltons is an Anglican church in The Boltons, Brompton, London. It is a Grade II listed building.
The Bedford Estate is an estate in central London that is owned by the Russell family, which holds the peerage title of Duke of Bedford. The estate was originally based in Covent Garden, then stretched to include Bloomsbury in 1669. The Covent Garden property was sold for £2 million in 1913 by Herbrand Russell, 11th Duke of Bedford, to the MP and land speculator Harry Mallaby-Deeley, who sold his option to the Beecham family for £250,000; the sale was finalised in 1918.
The Pettiward Estate is a privately owned set of reversions in the far edge of two inner boroughs of south-west London, England, now owned by a family trust of the family, who were from 1794 until 1935 of Finborough Hall, Suffolk. The family oversaw and took a direct involvement in much of the speculative development of these areas: parts of West Brompton and small parts of Putney.
Lillie Bridge is a road bridge that links Old Brompton Road in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea with Lillie Road in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. It crosses two railways: the West London Line on the London Overground and the Wimbledon branch of the London Underground at West Brompton station.
Drayton Gardens is a residential street in South Kensington/Chelsea, London SW10. It runs roughly north to south from Old Brompton Road to Fulham Road.