A thousand acres of London's super-prime real estate is owned by 5 aristocratic families, the Crown & the Church

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A thousand acres of London's super-prime real estate is owned by 5 aristocratic families, the Crown & the Church

Who owns central London? – Who owns England? https://whoownsengland.org/2017/10/28/who-owns-central-london/

In 1925, the radical journalist W.B. Northrup published a postcard
depicting a giant octopus, labelled ‘landlordism’, spreading its
tentacles across London. Each tentacle curled around the boundaries of
one of the Great Estates in possession of central London, listing their
acreage and yearly rents. (You can see it pictured above.)

Northrup’s postcard, besides being a striking piece of graphic
propaganda, is a valuable insight into London’s landowners a century
ago. The Victorians excluded London from their 1873 ‘Second Domesday’,
the Return of Owners of Land,
so we don’t have a solid source from the late 19th century. But,
spooling forward a bit, we have a more recent guide in the form of a
1986 book, Who Owns London?, by journalist Shirley Green. Together with Kevin Cahill’s indispensable Who Owns Britain
(2001) and a range of newspaper reports, I’ve been able to piece
together the table below of some of the biggest estates in central
London and their changing fortunes over the past century.

Owner 1925 1986 2017
Cadogan Estate (Earl Cadogan) 200 acres c.90 acres 93 acres (source)
Grosvenor Estate (Duke of Westminster) 400 acres 300 acres 300 acres (source)
Portman Estate (Viscount Portman) 270 acres 110 acres 110 acres (source)
(Baroness) Howard de Walden Estate 292 acres 110 acres 92 acres (source)
Church Commissioners (Paddington/ Hyde Park Estate) ? (“£500k annual ground rents”). Green 1986 states that comprised 500 acres up to 1950s 90 acres 90 acres (redrawn this map & measured area)
The Crown Estate 300 acres (Cahill 2001)
Duke of Bedford (Russell family) 250 acres 20 acres 20 acres (Cahill 2001)
Marquess of Northampton 260 acres 20 acres (Cahill 2001)
Wellcome Trust South Kensington Estate 58 acres (source from 2003, may be smaller now)
Richard Sutton Estates 21.3 acres (Cahill 2001)
Marquess of Salisbury 20 acres (Cahill 2001)
Ilchester (Holland) Estate – Hon Mrs Townshend 40 acres (Cahill 2001). Other recent sources put her London acreage at 20 acres.
Gunter Estate 100 acres (Cahill 2001) in Chelsea.
Eyre Estate 90 acres (Cahill 2001)
Mount Eden Land Ltd (based in Jersey) – Samuel Tak Lee 29 acres (website states 1.3m sq ft)
Raymond Estate (Paul Raymond, Soho) N/A 70 acres (Cahill 2001)

Together, these 16 estates own around 1,453 acres of central London.
All very well, you say, but in London location is everything: where do they own? Reader, let me draw you a map:

 where do they own? Reader, let me draw you a map

A thousand acres of London's super-prime real estate is owned by 5 aristocratic families, the Crown & the Church