Heritage / History
We are monitoring Grade 2 listed
Forbes House as it is refurbished and
restored over the coming months. This
is a historic building that is a part of
Notable Belgravia Houses
Commencing with ......
At our recent [most entertaining] evening with Julian [Lord] Fellowes, he enquired as to the origins of Forbes House which is situated opposite the Halkin Hotel
Forbes House was built in the early to mid-19th century and was originally called Mortimer House after Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford and Mortimer.
It was then named Forbes House after Bernard Forbes, 8th Earl of Granard. He was appointed Lord in waiting to Edward V11, Government Whip in the House of Lords, Assistant Postmaster General and Master of the Horse. He was also involved in Irish politics and a member of the Senate of the Irish Free State and had a distinguished military career.
In 1909 Bernard Forbes married Beatrice Mills, daughter of Ogden Mills, a wealthy American businessman. Beatrice Mills was also known as a successful racehorse owner. Although Forbes House was his main residence, his family seat was Castleforbes, Co. Longford Ireland. And also had a residence at 73 Rue de Varenne, Paris.
Another prominent resident was Edward Douglas Pennant, 1st Lord Penrhyn, who bought the house in 1860, whose fortune came from slate quarries in Wales. The house was once used to depict an eastern European embassy in the Alfred Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much, starring Doris Day.