Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for KNIGHTSBRIDGE

KNIGHTSBRIDGE, a quondam hamlet, now a metropolitan suburb, and three chapelries, in the parishes of St. George-Hanover-square, St. Margaret-Westminster, Kensington, and Chelsea, Middlesex. The suburb lies along the S side of Hyde Park, 3 miles WSW of St. Paul's; extends from Hyde Park Corner to KensingtonGore; includes one main street on the line of the Great Western road, with streets, squares, and places to the S; and has post offices under London SW. It was known as Knyghtbrigg or Knightbrigg, as early as the time of Edward III.; is thought to have got that name from the manor of Neyte or Neate, and from a bridge variously called Kinges-bridge and Stone bridge; figured, in the time of Edward III., as a " town at the W limit of the bounds within which oxen, hogs, and other animals were to be slaughtered for the uses of the city; '' and was noted, toward the close of the 16th century, and down to a comparatively recent period, as dangerous for travellers. A valiant knight is recorded to have slain a robber who assaulted him at its bridge before the end of the 16th century; and two men were executed at Tyburn, in 1774, for " robbing the Knightsbridge stage coach. '' The town seems long to have been little else than one street, of humble character, along the Great Western road; but now it is one of the most fashionable portions of the west end of the metropolis; it contains Lowndes-square, Trevor-square, Wilton-crescent, with a number of fine streets, and joins into Belgravia; and it recently was much improved by the removal of a large portion of wall which formerly separated it from Hyde Park, by the substitution of this with iron palisades, and by the erection of Rutland-gate, on the site of Rutland House-Extensive cavalry barracks are on its N side, contiguous to Hyde Park; and, at the census of 1861, had 461 inmatesA lazar-house or hospital, belonging to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, stood on a spot eastward of Albert gate, as early as 1595. A chapel, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, stood connected with the hospital: was rebuilt in 1699, and repaired in 1789; and has been displaced by Holy Trinity church, an edifice in the early decorated English style, erected in 1861. The first stage of this edifice is pierced with the chief entrance, consisting of a very boldly moulded archway, with traceried and carved head; the second stage has an arcading of twelve pointed arches, with enriched capitals on their supporting shafts; the third stage has a large four light window, with circular tracery in its head; and the terminal stage is an irregular gable, flanked on the right by an octagonal turret with a spirelet. St. Paul's church stands in Wilton place; was erected in 1840, at a cost of about £15, 000; and has a rich, open, embattled parapet, with crocketted pinnacles, and a lofty tower. All Saints church was built in 1849. St. George's hospital stands at the top of Grosvenor place; was built on the site of Lanesborough House, the seat of Lord Lanesborough; is an infirmary for sick and lame persons, containing twenty-seven wards, with accommodation for 330 patients, and supported by voluntary contributions; gives medical treatment to about 14, 000 persons in the year; and was the death place, in 1793, of the physician John Hunter. There are a Baptist chapel, national and charity schools, the archæological association, and an extensive brewery. The manor belongs to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster. Bishop Seth Ward and W. Penn were residents.-The three chapelries are Holy Trinity, St. Paul, and All Saints. The first was constituted in 1865; the second was constituted in 1845, and had a pop. of 14, 501 in 1861; the third was constituted in 1849, and had a pop. of 7, 041 in 1861. The livings are p. curacies in the diocese of London; and that of St. Paul was united with the chapelry of St. BarnabasPimlico; but the latter was made a separate charge in 1866. Value of H. T., not reported; of St. Paul-withST. B., £1, 000;* of A. S., not reported. Patrons, of the first, the Dean and Chapter of Westminster; of the second, the Bishop of London; of the third, the Rector of St. Margaret Westminster.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a quondam hamlet, now a metropolitan suburb, and three chapelries"   (ADL Feature Type: "populated places")
Administrative units: Middlesex AncC
Place: Knightsbridge

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