Chancery Court Hotel, London is situated in one of the capital city’s most historic locations and it has an equally fascinating past. High Holborn was originally a Roman road and following the Middle Ages, the area became established as a centre for the legal profession and the city’s most influential and powerful people. This is where, for example, the writer Charles Dickens wrote “Oliver Twist” and “Great Expectations” and many scenes in his novels were set in this historic part of London.
The first phase of the building’s Edwardian Belle Époque design was completed in 1914 by H. Percy Monckton. Construction of 252 High Holborn took place in four stages spanning nearly 50 years. The magnificent street frontage, which today is the entrance of this 5-star heritage hotel, features the central carriageway entrance and dome. The lavish interiors were fitted out with Cuban mahogany and seven types of marble, including extremely rare types such as Swedish Green and Statuary. Transformation of this historic building from the Pearl Assurance headquarters into a London luxury hotel was carried out under the guidance of English Heritage.
“Listed” with English Heritage are the principal façades, as well as the interiors of the former East and West Banking Halls (now Pearl Restaurant & Bar) and the Grand Staircase. From the beginning of the lengthy restoration, the strategy was to follow the original designs wherever possible. Missing details, which make the property unique among London heritage hotels, have been carefully replicated and replaced.
One of the most dramatic features of this London 5-star Heritage hotel is the Renaissance-style Grand Staircase, an architectural tour de force in marble. It ascends from either side of the entrance arch on High Holborn, forming a bridge on the first floor and rising through all the floors under an elliptical dome. Looking upwards, the arcades of Pavonazzo marble frame a view of the cupola that rises to 50.6 metres (166 feet), the maximum permitted height at the time of construction.