Naval Club where Prince Philip's Thursday Club used to drink on sale

Create your own Mayfair mega mansion! Naval Club frequented by Prince Philip and Lord Mountbatten goes on the market for £35million – but could be worth up to £100million if converted into a private home

  • The Naval Club, a private members’ club based in a Georgian mansion in Mayfair, is on sale for £35million
  • It was originally the home of the Earl of Chatham, brother of William Pitt the Younger, who served as PM 
  • The house, which is one of the largest single addresses in Mayfair, has been a private club since 1946 

The Naval Club, a private members’ club where Prince Philip, Lord Mountbatten and other members of the notorious Thursday Club are said to have gathered, is on the market for £35million.

Based in a Georgian mansion at 38 Hill Street in Mayfair, the Naval Club’s home was originally the property of the Earl of Chatham, brother of William Pitt the Younger, who served as Prime Minister between 1793-1801 and 1804-1806.

The house, which at 17,131 square feet is one of the largest single addresses in Mayfair, has been a private members’ club since 1946 – but if it were to be turned back into a private abode, it could be worth up to £100million, according to joint selling agents Wetherell and Gerald Eve.

Once renovated – with refurbishments costing anywhere between £17million to £18million – the property could become one of the most expensive properties in the capital.

Notable members of the Naval Club have included Lord Louis Mountbatten, Prince Philip’s uncle, with guests including the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales. It is believed that during the 1950s members of ‘The Thursday Club’, portrayed in Neftlix’s The Crown as Prince Philip’s weekly escape from royal life, socialised at the property.

The Naval Club (pictured), a private members’ club where Prince Philip, Lord Mountbatten and other members of the notorious Thursday Club are said to have gathered, is on the market for £35million

Based in a Georgian mansion at 38 Hill Street in Mayfair, the Naval Club’s home (pictured) was originally the property of the Earl of Chatham, brother of William Pitt the Younger, who served as Prime Minister between 1793-1801 and 1804-1806

The house, which at 17,131 square feet is one of the largest single addresses in Mayfair, has been a private members’ club since 1946 – but if it were to be turned back into a private abode, it could be worth up to £100 million, according to joint selling agents Wetherell and Gerald Eve. Pictured, the grand staircase

Once renovated – with refurbishments costing anywhere between £17million to £18million – the property (pictured) could become one of the most expensive properties in the capital

Notable members of the Naval Club have included Lord Louis Mountbatten, Prince Philip’s uncle, with guests including the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales. Pictured, a CGI photo of what the property could look like once refurbished

The Thursday club – a men’s eating and drinking group dedicated to ‘Absolute Inconsequence’ – mostly met for lunch at Wheeler’s fish restaurant in Soho every week. 

Among several traditions established by members – which is thought to have included actors David Niven and Peter Ustinov – was one in which a speaker would remove his trousers to keep the attention of a yawning audience.

Meanwhile, the mansion which houses the Naval Club was privately owned until World War II, when it was used as a London headquarters by the Auxiliary Territorial Service, as the women’s arm of the British Army was then known.

As early as 1943, the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) Officers serving in nearby Whitehall wanted to keep in touch when the war was over and have a private members’ club where active and reserve Naval officers could socialise.

It is believed that during the 1950s members of ‘The Thursday Club’, portrayed in Neftlix’s The Crown as Prince Philip’s weekly escape from royal life, socialised at the property. Pictured, the lavish staircase

The mansion (above) which houses the Naval Club was privately owned until World War II, when it used as a London headquarters by the Auxiliary Territorial Service, as the women’s arm of the British Army was then known

Then in 1946, the freehold of 38 Hill Street was purchased from the Raphael family and it has been the home of the RNVR and the Naval Club, which was established in 1919, ever since. Pictured, the reading room, which was formerly the ground floor dining room

The ground and first floors of the property provide an entrance hall (pictured), grand staircase and five main reception rooms, including the vast first floor Louis XVI style drawing room, with up to 16 bedrooms on the upper floors

As such, in 1946, the freehold of 38 Hill Street was purchased from the Raphael family and it has been the home of the RNVR and the Naval Club, which was established in 1919, ever since.

The history of the house 

The grand Georgian building at 38 Hill Street was originally built in 1748-49, designed by architect Benjamin Timbrell, under local landowner Lord Berkeley.

One of the early occupants was John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham (1756-1835), the First Lord of the Admiralty and brother of William Pitt the Younger.

As the London home of the Pitt family, the property hosted political figures, royalty and senior Naval staff and in the 1800s the building was enlarged at the rear to allow for grand entertaining.

In the late 1890s the property was purchased by E G ‘Isaac’ Raphael, the head of an affluent family who had made a fortune from finance, publishing and property including the building of Raphael Street in Knightsbridge.

In 1905 Raphael commissioned William Flockhart, architect to the Edwardian super-rich, to refurbish 38 Hill Street including a dark stock brick exterior with canted bay, Portland stone entrance porch, elegant entrance hall with circular staircase and a vast first floor Louis XVI style drawing room.

The mansion remained in private ownership until World War II, when it was requisitioned for use as a London headquarters by the Auxiliary Territorial Service, as the women’s arm of the British Army was then known.

The ground and first floors of the property provide an entrance hall, grand staircase and five main reception rooms, including the vast first floor Louis XVI style drawing room, with up to 16 bedrooms on the upper floors.

Peter Wetherell, founder and chairman of Wetherell, who has socialised and stayed at the Naval Club, said: ‘It is extremely rare in Mayfair to have the opportunity to purchase the freehold of an entire mansion building of this size which is still configured as a vast single property.

‘The principal rooms in 38 Hill Street are magnificent and only Dudley House on Park Lane and Ancaster House in Chesterfield Gardens rival in terms of grandeur. If remodelled into a super-prime mansion, it would be one of the most valuable, largest and prestigious private homes in Mayfair.’ 

Peter suggested the billionaire buyer of this property is likely to be a family person, with an art collection and a portfolio of beautiful homes around the world. 

‘In my opinion the top five countries where the buyer could originate in rank order are Qatar, India, Britain, America or China, or if not Qatar then one of the other Gulf states such as the UAE or Saudi Arabia,’ he added. 

‘It was always said that at the height of the British Empire the world was run from the mansions of Mayfair, now the people who run the world all own a palatial home in Mayfair. 

‘The district has become the London address of choice for the super-rich who run and own the world.’

He continued: ‘The other possibility in my view is a government buying 38 Hill Street for use as an Ambassador’s Residence or Embassy. 

‘The building has a consented flag pole, so a state would be legally able to fly their flag from the building, and Hill Street is the widest avenue in inner Mayfair, so a country owning the property as an Embassy would be very high profile.’

Lloyd Davies, Partner at Gerald Eve, added: ‘Located on a wide and deep plot, 38 Hill Street is an extremely large property which lends itself to a range of potential commercial or hospitality uses. It is a rare opportunity to secure one of the finest freeholds in Mayfair.’ 


Peter Wetherell, founder and chairman of Wetherell, who has socialised and stayed at the Naval Club, said: ‘It is extremely rare in Mayfair to have the opportunity to purchase the freehold of an entire mansion building of this size which is still configured as a vast single property’. Pictured right: The Duke of Edinburgh in 1958

Peter suggested the billionaire buyer of this property is likely to be a family person, with an art collection and a portfolio of beautiful homes around the world. Pictured, a CGI photo of what the property could look like once renovated

Lloyd Davies, Partner at Gerald Eve, said: ‘Located on a wide and deep plot, 38 Hill Street is an extremely large property which lends itself to a range of potential commercial or hospitality uses. It is a rare opportunity to secure one of the finest freeholds in Mayfair.’ Pictured, the former drawing room

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