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Belgravia

An East London suburb

Keith Tankard
Knowledge4Africa.com
Updated: 14 October 2009
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The East London suburb of Belgravia is of fairly recent origin, being marked out as a residential area in about 1902, during the final months of the South African War (Anglo-Boer War).

It is one of the smaller suburbs, with Oxford Street forming the eastern boundary, while the railway line originally formed a crescent to the west.

During East London's earlier years, the area around Park Avenue was the town's elite residential neighbourhood. With the rapid subdivision of North End, however, property prices began to tumble, a circumstance that would naturally impact on the Park Avenue community.

The South African War, on the other hand, although leading to great hardship with the arrival of thousands of destitute Uitlander refugees, also brought immense wealth to many merchants at the port.

They were able to invest this wealth in luxury houses in the new suburb of Belgravia that began to grow rapidly immediately after the Boer War. The house which is today the Ann Bryant Art Gallery is a good example of this post-war opulence.

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