The Bishops Avenue
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Houses on The Bishops Avenue
|Namesake||Arthur Winnington-Ingram, Bishop of London from 1901 to 1939|
|Location||London, United Kingdom|
|Nearest tube station|
The Bishops Avenue, London N2, connects the north side of Hampstead Heath at Kenwood (Hampstead Lane), Hampstead to East Finchley and is on the boundary between the London Boroughs of Barnet and Haringey. It is considered to be one of the wealthiest streets in the world. The road is often referred to by its nickname of "Billionaires' Row".
The 66-house street runs downhill north–south and with the parallel Winnington Road displays a variety of architectural styles. Average property prices on the avenue surpassed £1 million in the late 1980s and each property occupies a 2-3 acre plot. In 2006, the smallest houses in the street were selling for £5 million while a larger house, Turkish tycoon Halis Toprak's 30,000 sq ft (2,800 m2) Toprak Mansion, sold amidst great secrecy to the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, for £50 million in January 2008, making it one of the most expensive houses in the world, as listed by Forbes magazine. Homes on the street are on the market for up to £65 million.
Together with Winnington Road and Ingram Avenue, it is named after Arthur Winnington-Ingram, who as Bishop of London owned much of the surrounding area following a land grant in 1904. Most of the land was sold privately in the early 20th century, and today only one house on the road is owned by the Church (46, The Bishops Avenue) and a nearby residential home.
The Bishops Avenue is home to monarchs, business magnates, and celebrities. An estate agent for the area, Trevor Abrahmsohn, said in 2006: "Among the wealthiest circles in the world, The Bishops Avenue is better known than Buckingham Palace. It's a significant demonstration of status. If you live there, you don't need to explain to people that you're rich."
The Guardian revealed in 2014 that in total 16 of the properties (an estimated worth of £350 million) are derelict and have not been lived in for several decades. According to one resident, perhaps only three of the houses are occupied on a full-time basis. Most of the properties in the most expensive part of the avenue are registered to companies in tax havens including the British Virgin Islands, Curaçao, the Bahamas, Panama, and the Channel Islands, allowing international owners to avoid paying stamp duty on the purchase and to remain anonymous.
Owners of houses on the street include the Sultan of Brunei and members of the House of Bolkiah, publisher and newspaper magnate Richard Desmond, art collector and philanthropist Poju Zabludowicz, industrialist Lakshmi Mittal, and property tycoon Andreas Panayiotou.
Former residents of the street have included Sir Billy Butlin, Dame Gracie Fields, Katie Boyle, Sir Peter Saunders (producer of the play The Mousetrap), the businessmen Asil Nadir and Emil Savundra and Heather Mills (the former wife of Paul McCartney), who owned an apartment there. Ten of the houses on the street owned by the House of Saud were sold for £73 million.
- "Nigeria Millionaires Row – The Bishops Avenue Hampstead London!". Mercy HomesUK. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- "Andy Panayiotou owns most expensive house in UK". Parikiaki.com. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- "Down on Billionaires Row..." London: The Observer. 30 April 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2009.
- "Character Appraisal: The Bishop's Avenue" (PDF). London Borough of Barnet. 1 February 1999. Retrieved 16 May 2007.
- New London Property Guide
- "Britain's blingest road". The Times. London. 22 May 2005. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- Foggo, Daniel (9 November 2008). "Kazakh leader 'secretly owns' £50m home". The Times. London. Retrieved 9 January 2009.
- Booth, Robert (31 January 2014). "Inside 'Billionaires Row': London's rotting, derelict mansions worth £350m". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- "Finchley Manors". A History of the County of Middlesex. British History Online. 6: 55–59. 1980. Retrieved 16 May 2007.
- Abrahmsohn, Trevor. "Estate Agent". Retrieved 19 February 2014.
- Kamal, Ahmed; Barnett, Anthony; Morgan, Oliver & Connolly, Kate (17 February 2002). "Labour's steel king backs US, not UK". The Observer. London.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- "Heather Mills' £2.5m bargain pad". The People. 28 December 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2009.
- The relative plot size between The Bishops Avenue and Winnington Road, the parallel road to the west is striking.
- Barnet Council Planning applications. Full documentation, usually including detailed plans, is available for decisions since 2006. (Public userid/password: barnet/barnet).
- Alison Beard, Billionaire's Boulevard, Financial Times, 22 June 2007.