Courthouse Hotel

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Courthouse Hotel
Courthouse Hotel London.jpg
General information
Location 19-21 Great Marlborough Street, Soho, London, England, United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°30′51.62″N 0°8′22.13″W / 51.5143389°N 0.1394806°W / 51.5143389; -0.1394806
Design and construction
Architect J. D. Butler, the police architect; Messrs
Other information
Number of rooms 112 rooms and suites
Number of restaurants 2

Courthouse Hotel, formerly the Courthouse Kempinski, and prior to the hotel, Marlborough Street Magistrates Court is a 5-star hotel in London, England at 19-21 Great Marlborough Street, in Soho.


The Courthouse Hotel is located in the old Grade II listed Marlborough Street Magistrates Court[1] building, which was the second-oldest magistrates court in the UK, dating back to the 1800s.[2] The building has a turbulent history from its time as the Marlborough Street Magistrates Court, which set the scene for many famous cases over the years, involving figures such as John Lennon, Oscar Wilde, Johnny Rotten, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.[2]

In 1835 Charles Dickens worked as a reporter in the building for the Morning Chronicle, and Louis Napoleon appeared in court as witness in a fraud case between attempts to establish a second empire in France in 1847.[2][3] In 1895 Oscar Wilde took the Marquess of Queensbury to court on a criminal libel charge.[3]

The courthouse featured in many tabloid newspaper stories throughout the 1960s and 1970s in particular. In 1963 Christine Keeler was taken to court over sex allegations which led to the Profumo scandal becoming public.[3] In 1966 Bob Monkhouse faced a charge of conspiracy to defraud film distribution companies, and in 1967 former television presenter Katie Boyle gave evidence against a man facing careless driving charges after an accident.[3] The building was centre to Mick Jagger's 1969 court case in which he was fined £200 for drugs charges.[3] In 1973 fellow Rolling Stones member Keith Richards was fined £205 for possession of marijuana, heroin, mandrax, a revolver and an antique shotgun.[3]

In 1970 John Lennon was taken to court for exhibiting pictures deemed too sexually explicit in the London Art Gallery, and artist Francis Bacon was accused of possessing cannabis.[3] In 1971 songwriter Lionel Bart was taken to the courthouse charged with drug possession and in 1977 Sex Pistols singer Johnny Rotten was fined £40 for possessing amphetamine sulphate.[3] The last notable case before it became a hotel was in 1981 when John Miller, who masterminded the kidnapping of Ronnie Biggs, appeared in court after being arrested on arrival back from Barbados.[3]

Many remnants of this time have been incorporated into the building’s current scheme. Original Robert Adams fireplaces adorn some of the suites, and The Bar’s private tables are actually inside three of the original prison cells. Silk, the hotel’s destination restaurant, is the old Number One court where the Judges bench, witness stand and dock take centre stage. Elsewhere in the hotel, glimpses of former use can be seen – such as the iron bars that separate the lobby lounge from the Bar.


The rooms are furnished in contemporary style with King, Queen or twin beds and range from 25 to 40 square metres. The bathrooms have marble interiors, shipped from Italy.[2] The Magistrates Suites are located in the high-ceiling Judges quarters on the first, second and third floor of the original building, and contain the original Robert Adams fireplaces and oak flooring.[2]

Restaurants and bars[edit]

The Carnaby brasserie-style restaurant offers Mediterranean cuisine. [2] The Silk restaurant, named after the Silk Road, serves Indian, Thai and Chinese food [2] in what was court 1.[2]

The hotel also has a private cinema, conference rooms, spa with swimming pool and the Soho Sky Terrace.[2]


  1. ^ "London Metropolitan Archives: Records of Marlborough Street Magistrates Court, 1896-1991". Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "The Courthouse Doubletree by Hilton Regent Street". Miles Faster. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "The Courthouse Hotel history". The Courthouse Hote London. Retrieved February 26, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′52″N 0°08′22″W / 51.51434°N 0.13948°W / 51.51434; -0.13948