Harry Hyams

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Harry John Hyams[1] (born 2 January 1928 in Hendon, Middlesex[2]) is an English millionaire who made his fortune as a speculative property (real estate) developer. He is best known as the developer of the Centre Point office building in London. He is considered to be reclusive, and is the long-term owner and resident of Ramsbury Manor, near Marlborough, Wiltshire.

Ramsbury Manor, Ramsbury.

Hyams’ approach to property development[edit]

Hyams made much of his fortune developing office space in London at a time in the 1960s and 1970s when rents there were rising significantly. He preferred to find single, blue-chip tenants for his properties, having them fully repair and insure the buildings they occupied, as is common with commercial property in the UK.[3] This approach enabled Hyams to manage a valuable and sizable property business with a staff of just six. It was also used by Hyams as justification for keeping his Centre Point development empty for years after completion – he claimed he could find no tenant willing to lease all 202,000 sq ft (18,800 m2) of space.[4]

Praise and controversy[edit]

Hyams has met with both praise and controversy for his approach. Property developer Sir Stuart Lipton has called him “the first man to recognise the importance of skilled planning and development”. But Hyams and his building Centre Point became a focus for protest against what some saw as the greed of profit-driven developers.

Private life[edit]

In 1954 Hyams married Kathleen Therese in Chelsea, London.[5][6] She died 1 February 2011 at the age of 91.[7]

In 2008 a raid at Ramsbury Manor by the Johnson Gang was described as the biggest ever private burglary in England.[8]


  1. ^ http://companycheck.co.uk/director/905076103
  2. ^ http://search.findmypast.co.uk/results/united-kingdom-records-in-birth-marriage-death-and-parish-records?firstname=harry%20j&lastname=hyams&yearofbirth=1928&yearofbirth_offset=0
  3. ^ "Is there (economic) life beyond the end of a lease? - RICS". Retrieved 6 August 2008. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Harry's Sore Point - Time". 24 July 1972. Retrieved 6 August 2008. 
  5. ^ http://search.findmypast.co.uk/results/united-kingdom-records-in-birth-marriage-death-and-parish-records?firstname=harry%20j&lastname=hyams&yearofbirth=1928&yearofbirth_offset=10
  6. ^ http://www.nwnannouncements.co.uk/23626334-memorial-hyams-kathleen-therese-kay
  7. ^ http://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/announcements/deaths/in_memoriam/10196373.Kathleen_Hyams/
  8. ^ "Five jailed for biggest burglary - BBC News". 6 August 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2008. 

External links[edit]

News reports about Ramsbury Manor thefts: [1] [2] [3]