IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
3rd April 1985 Vic Elliot pocketed 15,780 pool balls in 24 hours in London
3rd April 1981 Race riots in London's Brixton area
3rd April 1976 The Sex Pistols open for Joe Strummer's 101's at the Nashville Rooms.
3rd April 1957 Samuel Beckett's Endgame, premieres in London
3rd April 1934 Born today: Jane Goodall, London England, ethologist (studied African chimps)
3rd April 1932 Born today: Janet Bately, Prof of English Language (King's College London)
3rd April 1893 Born today: Leslie Howard, [Stainer], London, actor (Gone With the Wind)
3rd April 1888 Key Whitechapel prostitute murder prior to Jack the Ripper.
3rd April 1764 Born today: John Abernethy, London, surgeon
The 2nd largest private home in London after Buckingham Palace.
Location: Highgate West Hill, Highgate
Description: Witanhurst House is an extraordinary Georgian-style mansion located on a 5 acre estate in the village of Highgate. It is London's 2nd largest private residence after Buckingham Palace.
Designed by architect George Hubbard for soap magnate Sir Arthur Crosfield on a site dating from 1774 which included a house called Parkfield built in the 19th century, the mansion is currently Grade-II* listed. The current mansion was built between 1913 and 1920.
Sir Arthur is reported to have spent 1 million on building his dream home, a mammoth amount for the 1920 - equivalent to more than 20 million today.
It currently has 65 rooms spread across three floors, including 25 bedrooms, Dining Room, Chinese Room, and Billiard Room. One of the largest is the Grand Ballroom, measuring 70 feet long with a height of 20 feet.
On 16 July 2008 it was reported that Yelena Baturina, wife of Yury Luzhkov, the former Mayor of Moscow (Russia), and a billionaire in her own right, purchased the property for an estimated 50m. Plans for an incredible renovation are now under way with an estimated cost of 40 million.
Queen Elizabeth II has danced in the ornate ballroom, Yehudi Menuhin has played when he was a house guest.
It is the former home of the pre-Wimbledon tennis tournaments and more recently the setting for TV series The Lost Prince, Tipping the Velvet, and the Fame Academy series.