Discover the rich history of The Milestone Hotel, extending back to 1689 and once home to Ambassadors and Barons.
The original dwelling built on this site was Kensington House, first occupied by Foot Onslow, a Commissioner of Excise under William III.
His son Arthur Onslow (1691-1768) was a speaker of the House of Commons for thirty years; he sublet the property to George Davenport, an officer in the Royal Bodyguard and the man who claimed Shakespeare as his grandsire.
From 1830 Kensington House was occupied as a private asylum before being replaced by a second mansion called Kensington House, constructed by the notorious company promoter, "Baron" Albert Grant, the founder of Leicester Square.
In the 1880's Grant's ‘white elephant’ was replaced by the two houses we see today.
Built between 1883 and 1884 Chenesiton House, No. 1 Kensington Court by Mrs Anne Marie Lucena, who has a remarkable 'rags to riches' story with a tragic ending. Among other interesting occupants was the first Baron Redesdale (1837-1916), the diplomat, author, and grandfather of the famous Mitford sisters.
In the mid 19th century it was occupied by Count Peter Grigorevich Chernyshev, the Russian Ambassador to London, whose daughter Natalia lived to the age of ninety-six and achieved immortality as the inspiration for the Countess in Pushkin's short story ‘Queen of Spades’.
In 1922 the former home passed into hotel use, to be joined in 1925 by No.2 Kensington Court.
In August 1986 The Milestone (which takes its name from the old cast iron milestone that stands in its original position beside the hotel) was badly damaged in a fire, for reasons that remain unknown. The hotel was sold to another hotel group.
In October 1998, The Milestone Hotel became part of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection
By September 1999, The Milestone Hotel had been fully restored to its original architectural splendour, and today ranks as one of the best hotels in the world.