Hatton Garden

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A scene in Hatton Garden
A ring shop in Hatton Garden
Painted road sign

Hatton Garden is a street and area in the district of Holborn in the London Borough of Camden. It is most famous for being London's jewellery quarter and centre of the UK diamond trade, but the area is also now home to a diverse range of media and creative businesses.

The name 'Hatton Garden' is derived from the garden of the London residence of the Bishop of Ely called Ely Place, which was given to Sir Christopher Hatton by Elizabeth I in 1581, during a vacancy of the see.

The area surrounding Hatton Garden has been the centre of London's jewellery trade since medieval times. The old City of London had certain streets, or quarters, dedicated to types of business, and the area around Hatton Garden became a centre for jewellers and jewellery.

Nearly 300 of the businesses in Hatton Garden are in the jewellery industry and over 55 shops represent the largest cluster of jewellery retailers in the UK.[citation needed] The largest of these companies is De Beers, the international family of companies that dominate the international diamond trade. De Beers has its headquarters in a complex of offices and warehouses just behind the main Hatton Garden shopping street. The area also plays host to a large number of media, publishing and creative businesses, including Blinkbox, Cyber-Duck and Grey Advertising.

Hatton Garden has an extensive underground infrastructure of vaults, tunnels, offices and workshops.[1]

Hatton Garden was also the home to the invention of the machine gun.[2] Sir Hiram Maxim had a small factory at 57 Hatton Garden and in 1881 invented and started to produce the Maxim Gun, capable of firing 666 rounds a minute.

The nearby streets including Hatton Place and Saffron Hill have become more residential in recent years with the building of several blocks of 'luxury' apartments, including the architecturally distinctive Ziggurat Building.

Ely Place, off Hatton Garden, is home to St Etheldreda's Church – one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in England and one of only two remaining buildings in London dating from the reign of Edward I. A building with statues of charity school children is a former chapel and parish school, now known as Wren House.

In 1962, Lawrence Graff of Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond fame, opened the first retail jewellery store here.[3]

In April 2015, an underground safe deposit facility in Hatton Garden area was burgled in the Hatton Garden safe deposit burglary.[4] The total stolen may have had a value of up to £200m.[5][6] The theft is being investigated by the Flying Squad,[5] a branch of the Specialist, Organised & Economic Crime Command within London's Metropolitan Police Service.

Hatton Garden in fiction[edit]

Michael Flanders and Donald Swann (humorists of the 1960s and 1970s) celebrated Hatton Garden's connection with the jewellery trade in their song of a sewage worker, "Down Below":

Hatton Garden is the spot, down below
Where we likes to go a lot, down below,
Since a bloke from Leather Lane,
Dropped a diamond down the drain,
We'll be going there again, down below.

Hatton Garden features in the 1967 children's novel Smith by Leon Garfield, where the main character tries to elude two pursuers through the crumbling streets of 18th century Holborn.

See also[edit]


Coordinates: 51°31′12.42″N 0°06′30.27″W / 51.5201167°N 0.1084083°W / 51.5201167; -0.1084083