Why Batty Langley’s?
Batty Langley (1696 – 1741) was a drawing master who published immensely popular books designed to help owners and their builders plan Georgian houses of all sizes in “the most Grand Taste”. Even at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Batty’s influence is to be seen all over the house. In this hotel, too, many of the interior features owe their inspiration to his handbooks.
Located just outside the ancient walls of the City of London, Spitalfields in early times was the site of the Mediaeval priory of St Mary Spital (or Hospital, hence Spital Fields), founded in 1197. Part of the brickwork of the priory survives in the basement of this building.
Later, Protestant refugees expelled from Catholic France congregated here, founding a silk-weaving industry which became almost as famous as that of Lyons.
The parish of Spitalfields is clustered around the magnificent Christ Church, built in 1729 to the designs of Nicholas Hawksmoor, who had been Wren’s assistant before succeeding him as Master of the King’s Works. It is now an up-and-coming residential area thronged with fashionable restaurants and bars, home to celebrities and artists such as Tracey Emin and Gilbert and George.