Grafton Way, WC1E

place name

Built on land belonging to the dukes of Grafton, owners of the manor of Tottenham which they inherited from Isabella Bennet, daughter and heiress of the Earl of Arlington, when at the age of five, in 1672, she married the nine-year-old Henry Fitzroy. Fitzroy (1663–1690) was the natural son of Charles II and his mistress Barbara Villiers and three years after the marriage was created the Duke of Grafton, a title dating back to 1542 and referring to the Honour of Grafton, a collection of manors in the south east of Northamptonshire, England, the titular village now being called Grafton Regis. Originally gifted to Catherine of Braganza, the queen of Charles II, it had been intended that the Honour would pass to the Earl of Arlington, but by the time the queen died, so had the earl, and so it passed to his grandson and heir, Charles Fitzroy, 2nd Duke of Grafton. The dukes held onto their Northamptonshire estates until 1921. This area formed the southern edge of their London estate, and according to the UCL Bloomsbury Project, was developed later than the part west of Tottenham Court Road, which was the original Grafton Street, hence it’s original name of Grafton Street. It appears on Cruchley’s map of 1827 and Weller’s map of 1868 as Grafton Street East. By the mid-20thCentury it had become Grafton Way.




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