Students explore £25million Georgian mansion on London’s luxurious ‘Billionaires Row’
Student ‘urban explorers’ snuck into a dilapidated Georgian mansion on north London’s Billionaire’s Row – where homes have a combined worth of around £511million.
Bishops Avenue, located between the north side of Hampstead Heath and East Finchley, consists of 66 mansions whose former inhabitants have included the super-rich Sultan of Brunei and the Canadian pop superstar Justin Bieber.
UCL student Gabriella Burt, 20, decided to explore one such mansion with friends, and posted videos to TikTok documenting her expedition.
The site of the property, which is known by locals as ‘The Towers’ and is thought to have been abandoned for decades, was first owned by British actress and music hall legend Gracie Fields before it was knocked down in the 1970s.
The current mansion then took its place, and was reportedly snatched up by the Saudi royal family during the Gulf War for an estimated £25million.
Miss Burt said: ‘We’ve actually been to this location twice, the first time was very nerve wracking as whilst we were inside the building we started to hear voices and the sounds of breaking glass, the voices sounded slurred and angry, we managed to get away before they could see us.’
A group of students snuck into an abandoned mansion on Bishops Avenue, also known as Billionaire’s Row in London – one of the wealthiest streets in the world
The Georgian mansion, known as ‘The Towers’ was built in the 1970’s and has reportedly been abandoned for over a decade
Billionaires Row consists of 66 mansions which have a combined worth of roughly £511 million
The Towers is the largest mansion on the road, and is now rotten, overgrown, and falling apart, according to Insider who also identified the value of the road.
The 66-house street has been home to some of the world’s most wealthy, including Saudi royals, Heather Mills and Sir Billy Butlin – founder of the holiday camps.
Billionaire Richard Desmond, former owner of Express Newspapers and founder of Northern & Shell which publishes Ok! magazine, also owned a mansion on the street.
However, many of the luxury homes on the street have been uninhabited since they were purchased in the 1980s.
The street is located between the north side of Hampstead Heath and East Finchley, in North London
Former inhabitants and owners of homes in the area include the super-rich Sultan of Brunei and Justin Bieber
Derelict: The Towers is the largest mansion on the road, and is now rotten, overgrown, and falling apart
A row of 10 houses, worth £73million, has stood empty ever since they were reportedly bought by the Saudi royal family.
In 2016 Justin Bieber was reported to be renting a 15-bedroom mansion on the street for £108,000 a month.
Ms Burt added: ‘This abandoned mansion has some amazing architecture and also some great features inside that we were able to explore, the basement has a pool area and a bar, there was also a balcony.
‘We’ve actually been to this location twice, the first time was very nerve wracking as whilst we were inside the building we started to hear voices and the sounds of breaking glass, the voices sounded slurred and angry, we managed to get away before they could see us.
‘We assumed that homeless people may have been using the abandoned mansion as shelter.
‘The reaction online was crazy, I really didn’t expect it to blow up like it did.’
Ms Burt’s TikTok has now racked up over 306,000 views.
Many of the luxury homes on the street have been uninhabited since they were purchased in the 1980s
In 2016 Justin Bieber was reported to be renting a 15-bedroom mansion on the street for £108,000 a month
According to Burt, the inspiration behind her adventure came from an online forum called ’28 days later’, an urban exploring website.
After the video went viral, she said she has now been contacted by the urban exploring community, to offer tips and places to go explore.
The 20-year-old continued: ‘When the weather gets a bit cooler we’ve got a few ideas.
‘There’s an abandoned hospital in Peckham that I have been told about, I’ve not looked into it as of yet but that could be the next destination.
‘It’s been really nice to hear from the community.
‘The series of me dragging my friends to different activities is just something I’ve always done, instead of going clubbing and drinking in bars we’ve started going to night markets which only open in the early hours of the morning which not many people know about.’
London’s ultra-exclusive ‘Billionaire’s Row’: How 66-house street near Hampstead Heath has been home to the world’s super-rich… while other mansions have stood derelict for years
The 66-house street Bishops Avenue has been home to some of the world’s most wealthy, including Heather Mills and Sir Billy Butlin – founder of the holiday camps.
Connecting the north-side of Hampstead Heath to East Finchley, the street lies on the boundary of the London boroughs Barnet and Haringey.
Bishops Avenue is considered one of the wealthiest streets in the world with each property occupying a two to three acre plot.
In 2008 Turkish tycoon Halls Toprak’s 30,000 sq ft mansion sold for £50million to the president of Kazakhstan and homes on the ultra-exclusive street sell for up to £65million.
Connecting the north-side of Hampstead Heath to East Finchley, the street lies on the boundary of the London boroughs Barnet and Haringey
Famus faces who have lived on the street include Justin Bieber, who reportedly rented this 15-bedroom, £15million mansion for £108,000 a month in 2016
It was named after the Bishop of London Arthur Winnington-Ingram, who owned much of the surrounding area as a result of land grant in 1904, but most of the land was sold in the early 20th century and just one house and a residential home is now owned by the Church.
The largest mansion on the road, The Towers, was once owned by music hall actress Gracie Fields.
However after being bought by the Saudi royal family in 1989, demolished, and rebuilt as an L-shaped red-brick, the royals never came and the house is now rotten, overgrown and falling apart.
It was sold to Birch Ventures Limited in 2013, a shell company based on the tax haven of the Isle of Man, and has since become a target for squatters.
Some famous faces that have lived on Bishops Avenue include Richard Desmond, owner of Express Newspapers and Channel 5, Poju Zabludowicz, a billionaire art collector and philanthropist, and Justin Bieber, who reportedly rented a £15million mansion for £108,000 a month.
Bishops Avenue, also known as London’s Billionaires’ Row, is considered one of the wealthiest streets in the world
The 66-house street has been home to some of the world’s most wealthy, including Heather Mills and Sir Billy Butlin – founder of the holiday camps
The forgotten palaces: Eerie video gives glimpse of the luxury lifestyles once enjoyed in north London’s billionaires’ row… before mansions were left to ruin
Footage from 2019 shows the crumbling £350 million mansions left abandoned in north London’s billionaires’ row.
Bishops Avenue in Hampstead is one of the most exclusive roads in the country, but many of its 66 mansions lie vacant.
Eerie video captured by documentary makers Beyond The Point shows murky swimming pools and creepy abandoned gardens filled with pricey sculptures.
Further unseen footage show a perfectly kept living room left to ruin in one of these multi-million pound mega mansions.
Beautiful antiques furnish the house and magazines lay on the floor as if the house’s millionaire owners would return at any moment.
Other clips reveal graffiti strewn windows which looked into a ballroom with a majestic grand gold staircase which has been overtaken by ferns and the ceiling collapsed.
An investigation by the Guardian in 2014 found that the row of mansions are collectively worth around £350million.
Eerie images captured by documentary makers Beyond The Point earlier this month show creepy abandoned gardens filled with pricey sculptures
Many were bought for around £1m in the late 80s but some were never lived in and allowed to rot while others were barely used.
Currently many of the sites on the street have been converted in plush apartments and offices but a number of these crumbling mansions are boarded up and derelict.
The Guardian found that 16 of the mansions on the road have been abandoned while others are used for short periods.
Many of the houses were bought for around £1m in the late 80s but some were never lived in and allowed to rot while others were barely used
A sculpture in the back garden of one of the properties, which would have once been home to a wealthy family
It discovered a third of these once majestic mansions were empty with more than 120 bedrooms in the vacant houses.
Anvil Varma, a leading property developer, described it as ‘one of the most expensive wastelands in the world’.
One row of ten mansions worth at least £73m were never used after being reportedly purchased on behalf of the Saudi royal family between 1989 and 1993.
Further unseen footage show a previously perfectly kept living room left to ruin in one of these multi-million pound mega mansions
In 2016, it was reported that Justin Bieber was renting a historic 15-bedroom mansion on The Bishops Avenue for £108,000 a month.
And in 2008, the former President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev bought a home on the exclusive street for £50million, making it one of the most expensive houses in the UK.
The average house price in the UK is £230,776 which is 65 times less than the average £15million mansion on Bishop’s Avenue.
Many owners are thought to live abroad, while some residents of the non-abandoned houses only visit for short periods.