There is little doubt that Knightsbridge is one of the most exclusive and most sought after areas in London. For tourists and Londoners alike, the primary draws are the world renowned Harrods Department Store and Harvey Nichols. When one thinks of London today, it is hard to imagine it without Knightsbridge Road and the various hotels in Knightsbridge that line it.
Although it is now among one of the most luxurious areas in central London, it was not always like it is today. This part of the city stretches back many hundreds of years, many of which were quite unsavoury. Prior to the 19th century it was not necessarily a place to be found.
Although Metropolitan London today spreads over many square miles, it, at one time was not much more than disjointed villages, that over time became absorbed into the sprawling city. Chelsea and Kensington are good examples of boroughs that were absorbed into the city, Knightsbridge however, was neither a village nor a parish, it was rather a no-man’s land tucked among Kensington, Chelsea and Charing Cross.
How did the name Knightsbridge come to be?
Many of Britain’s towns have stories behind their names, Knightsbridge is no different, as a matter of fact, there are two conflicting stories, neither of which had anything to do with hotels in Knightsbridge. The first story, which seems to be believable, is that the bridge over the river that led to greater London was crossed by knights that were on their way to fight in the holy wars in Jerusalem and other parts. Prior to leaving for the battlefront, the knights would first be blessed by the Bishop of London. Although the tale could stop there, apparently there is more to it.
Legend has it that two knights were using the bridge at the same time and a quarrel ensued. Unable to settle it peacefully, the knights began to fight on the bridge, neither prevailed; both fell into the river and perished. The area simply became known as Knightsbridge in memory of these unknown souls.
Another of the stories that attempt to put the name to the place is the suggestion that the bridge was only to be used by wealthy residents of the area, namely the dames and knights. Even another tale is that the young men of the area, called knights, slang for lad, hung out and met in the evening.
Regardless of how it got the name Knightsbridge, the late 1800s and early 1900s brought a rash of development which began to turn what was an unsavoury area into what is known today as the home of the rich. Today, with its wonderful views of the river, its many hotels in Knightsbridge and the homes and stores of the rich, it is a favoured destination for tourist and local alike.
Of all the many bed and breakfast hotels in Knightsbridge, the Eden Plaza Kensington is the hotel of choice for those who know the area well. Within walking distance of some of London’s most famous sites, it provides all the comfort one expects of a B&B in London.