Whatever happened to Hatton Garden?
This year marks the thirteenth anniversary of our move to Berkhamsted from Hatton Garden.
For many people the name ‘Hatton Garden’ immediately creates an image of diamonds, jewellery, precious metals and gem stones. For over a hundred and fifty years valuableitems have been traded by its many dealers and merchants.
The JAK cartoon from the London Evening Standard captured something of the atmosphere of its time.
Historically, many areas of London came to represent the trades and professions that made their homes there. Names like Billingsgate, Covent Garden, and Smithfield instantly convey more than a geographical location. However, most of these places have now moved on and the future of Hatton Garden is also at a crossroads.
Originally built in the garden of Ely Palace while occupied by Sir Christopher Hatton, the street was designed as residential accommodation for the gentry. However, as the years passed the residents moved on and the area became somewhat run down. At one time, the affordable accommodation was ideal for small workshops but with the increasing re-gentrification of the area with its new Crossrail hub, property is reverting to its original residential status.
The ‘Garden’ as it is affectionately known to people in the trade has evolved and adapted itself to suit the needs of those it serves and those who work there. It will now have to consider what might happen next. Established businesses like The Diamond Trust no longer need to be there. Vivian Watson says “We now work in a global market place with suppliers from around the world. Furthermore, many of our clients prefer a visit to the stress-free location of Berkhamsted with its free parking and civilised hospitality.”