A converted church in Knightsbridge yards from Harrods is on the market for £50 million after being transformed into one of central London’s most opulent homes, making it an ideal oligarch’s city pad
The completion of the “God to Mammon” journey comes 15 years after the Diocese of London sold most of St Saviours for about £1 million because of dwindling congregations and spiralling repair bills.
Only a rump of about a quarter of the Grade II listed Victorian building was retained for worship and community activities.
The rest was bought by developers who turned the derelict church into a four storey home with basement swimming pool that was owned for six years by Les Misérables and Miss Saigon writer Alain Boublil.
He sold it for £13.5 million in 2009 to a Thai businessman who commissioned a second makeover costing an estimated £10 million and lasting almost three years. The work has dramatically upgraded St Saviours again into what the latest set of developers Rigby & Rigby describe as
undeniably one of the finest private homes in Knightsbridge.
Local agents said the 11,500 sq ft house — not formally for sale but being discreetly “placed” with an elite handful of super-rich foreign buyers — could fetch £50 million.
A brochure reveals the extraordinary level of luxury at what is now known as St Saviours House, originally designed by Belgrave Square architect George Basevi in 1838.
The basement has been hugely extended and now includes a 30ft pool and hot tub room with gold leaf ceiling; a glass encased mini-spa with sauna and steam room; treatment room, juice bar, gym and cinema room with a 120-inch TV screen capable of showing eight programmes simultaneously and ceiling finished with platinum leaf.
A bronze and glass lift-shaft surrounded by a spectacular stone spiral staircase has been constructed through the middle of the home. It links all floors in the once sparsely furnished Anglican church.
What was once the nave has become a vast drawing room with a 42 ft vaulted ceiling. The sitting room has hi-tech “electromagnetic” privacy glass that can be changed from clear to opaque at the touch of a button. In total there are four main bedrooms and three guest bedroom suites.
Despite the millions lavished on the conversion, many of the original features such as mullioned windows, exposed oak beams and nave columns, have been preserved.
Churchgoers at St Saviours said the vast conversion had caused “endless aggravation.” One said: ”I just pray the next person doesn’t want to gut it again, it all seems madness to us.”
As well as providing space for religious services the remaining church also has a community theatre workshop.
Agents said one problem for St Saviour’s House could be its status as a former Christian place of worship that could limit its appeal to Jewish and Muslim buyers.
But if it does fetch £50 million it will have increased in value 167,000 fold since the plot was sold to the Metropolitan Church Fund in 1837 for £300.