This street of Georgian houses was laid out along with Sion Row in the early 1720s. The land was acquired in 1718 by John Gray, believed to have made a fortune in prize money as a navy captain during the War of the Spanish Succession. The original plans consisted of 17 properties, a chapel, and then a further five houses ending with South End House. However, they were built not for the maids of honour of Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk, who lived at Marble Hill, as is occasionally claimed. Donald Simpson in Twickenham Past writes: “Why the Row was called Montpelier is not known, although it resembled the famous health resort in France, Montpellier, where the great Earl of Clarendon spent some of his last years in exile.” Clarendon had been a former senior minister to but had been forced out of office after a series of major disasters and falling out with Charles II, who he vocally disapproved of having a mistress. He fled to France after being accused of holding prisoners without trial. The resort became highly fashionable and a popular name with developers.
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