An ultra-exclusive street running from the northern tip of Hampstead Heath to East Finchley. Neighbouring Winnington Road
is almost as well-heeled. Highgate golf course lies to the east and Hampstead Garden Suburb to the west. The name derives
from the bishops of London, who owned a large hunting park in the area in the late Middle Ages. This is probably the most
‘desirable’ address outside central London, if you like ostentatious displays of wealth. One house, the Towers,
sold for around £10 million in 1992 – a phenomenal price at that time. Its features include an island with palm trees
in the middle of its indoor swimming pool. Another, the twelve-bedroom, eleven-bathroom Summer Palace, was built in 1991.
It has a brass and crystal glass lift, a comprehensive leisure complex and a central atrium. It is presently owned by the
steel baron Lakshmi Mittal but is not his main place of residence in London. Prices on the avenue have continued to spiral
and Toprak Mansion was sold in January 2008 to the Kazakhstani billionairess Horelma Peramam for £50 million. The house had
been nicknamed Top Whack Mansion but, according to the Times, it will now be known as Royal Mansion. The council has taken
exception to some of the most vulgar monstrosities that have been put up here in the last decade or two, but realistically
the avenue is beyond redemption and should be allowed to continue as an object of amazement and amusement. However, London’s
billionaires mostly prefer to live in Kensington or Belgravia, so some properties have lain empty in recent years and the
latest trend is for their replacement by high-price, low-rise apartment blocks. The modest new house shown below is a recent
exception to the trend.