This week the new Duke of Westminster inherited a multi-billion pound property portfolio – which began with his ancestor Sir Thomas Grosvenor acquiring 500 acres of swamp, pasture and orchards in the 1670s. The expansive business owned by the Grosvenor family started 338 years ago when Sir Thomas, an ancestor of the late 6th Duke of Westminster, married a wealthy heiress. In 1677, Sir Thomas wed Mary Davies who had just inherited a medieval manor in Middlesex – now part of London – and 500 acres of swamp, pasture and orchards to the west of the capital. The land that she received remained relatively untouched until the Grosvenor family began developing the area in 1720.
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