Hatton Garden is one of the most interesting places to visit in London. The city has an incredible history, but there is no history more unique than Hatton Garden. Nowadays it is known as the prestigious jewellery quarter of London, however a lot has happened for it to reach this point. Before you come to visit this incredible place, here are 10 things you didn’t know about London Hatton Garden.
1. Hatton Garden was named after Sir Christopher Hatton
A favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Christopher Hatton built a mansion there and gained possession of the garden and orchard of the nearby Ely Place. Hatton was a London politician who represented Higham Ferrers in 1571 and then his native Northamptonshire from 1572. He died in 1591 and the Queen arranged a state funeral for him.
2. Hatton Family built houses there in 1660
In 1660, the Hatton Family were short of funds and needed to invest in something to make money. London was going through a population boom and housing was needed. The Hatton’s built property on their Ely Estate creating what would become known as Hatton Garden.
3. Businesses took over Hatton Garden in 1860
When new roads were built around the area, Hatton Garden was transformed into a commercial area. The houses that were built by the Hatton’s were now home to many new businesses and this movement would continue to the present day.
4. Became London’s jewellery capital in 1885
During 1885, the diamond business peaked in London. 67 precious stone merchants were recorded. Quickly, Hatton Garden established itself internationally as the most reputable jewellery quarter in London.
5. The Maxim Gun was invented there
The machine gun was invented in Hatton Garden. Sir Hiram Maxim established a small factory there in 1881. It was from this factory that the first machine gun was conceived and designed. This gun fired 666 bullets a minute.
6. Charles Dickens lived in Hatton Garden
Charles Dickens lived in the area and knew it well which is why many of the Hatton Garden locations are in his iconic novels. Gray’s Inn featured in David Copperfield, Bleeding Heart Yard in Little Dorrit while the Court and Saffron Hill featured in Oliver Twist. Ten minutes away on Doughty Street is a museum that is dedicated to the life of Dickens.
7. There are blue plaques dedicated to various people
National Heritage place blue plaques across the UK to signify the home of a person who had a huge impact on British culture. Hatton Garden has a few scattered around the area. You will find the likes of Sir Hiram Maxim and cinema pioneer Robert Paul immortalised in this way.
8. Hatton Garden area is part of National Heritage
Due to the historical significance of the area, Hatton Garden is a part of UK national heritage. The land was originally owned by the Bishop of Ely whose influence in the church meant he was given a palace, chapel and grounds.
9. The Hatton Garden Heist totalled £14m
In April 2015 during the Easter bank holiday, a group of burglars got into the safety deposit boxes stored in Hatton Garden. There were reports that the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Heist had seen the group take goods of over £200m. In fact, members of the gang stole items valued at £14m which still represented the “largest burglary in English legal history”.
10. There are over 300 local businesses in Hatton Garden
Over 300 businesses are based within Hatton Garden and over 55 shops which represents the largest cluster of diamond trade in the country. Several creative industries have based themselves here including the world famous Grey Global Group.
Shining Diamonds is one of the 300 businesses based in Hatton Garden, right in the heart of the diamond jewellery cluster. We have a range of the finest engagement rings, diamond rings and wedding rings that money can buy. Treat your special someone to an impeccable piece of jewellery that they will never forget. Contact us today for more information.