The former homes of murderers, spies and notorious politicians – are these 6 of Britain's most notorious homes? And would you live there…? We take a look at the stories of the properties and what became of these buildings.
10 Rillington Place, Notting Hill, London
Rillington Place, the crime drama that chilled the nation over Christmas was based on real-life events. John Christie was a serial killer active in the 1940s and 50s who murdered at least eight women, including his wife Ethel, by strangling them at his Notting Hill home. He moved from the address in 1953, and the discovery of four bodies behind the walls and under the floorboards led to him being hanged later that year. Two of his victims were Beryl Evans and her daughter Geraldine, but it was Beryl’s husband Timothy Evans who was hanged for the crime – with Christie as the major prosecution witness. The street was pulled down and built over in the 1970s, but some residents who live where this ghastly house once stood claim the place is cursed…
Photo credit: crimeandinvestigation.co.uk/crime-files/john-christie
25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester
The former home of serial killers Fred and Rose West, nine of their victims’ bodies were discovered in the garden, under the patio or inside this innocuous-looking terraced house – including that of Fred’s own 16-year old daughter, Heather West. It was her disappearance in 1987 that eventually led police officers to this house of horrors, in which Fred and Rose had been kidnapping, torturing and murdering young women since the 1970s. Fred West was found hanged in his prison cell in 1995, and his wife Rose is serving a whole life sentence in a high security prison. The Cromwell Street house was demolished in 1995, in part because of concerns that there might be ghoulish souvenir hunters visiting and trying to keep some part of it. It has now been replaced by a walkway.
Photo credit: http://allexkarras.blogspot.co.uk/
Flat 23D, Cranley Gardens, Muswell Hill, London
Another address occupied by a notorious serial killer, between 1978 and 1983, Dennis Nilsen, now 70, killed at least 15 men and boys he lured back to this flat, and another he rented in Cricklewood, North London. He tried to dispose of the bodies by chopping them up and flushing the pieces down the toilet – and that’s how he was eventually caught. A plumber was called out to unblock the drains – only to find them full of human flesh. The re-furbished one-bedroom flat in this sought-after postcode was sold for the bargain price of £300K in 2015 – £100K less than any of the other flats on this street. But would you dare spend a night there…?
Photo credit: rightmove.co.uk
16 Batty Street, Whitechapel, London
Whitechapel is an up-and-coming part of London these days, but was a seedy area terrorised by notorious murderer Jack the Ripper in the 1880s. In 1887, the body of a six-month pregnant woman called Miriam Angel was found at this address. She’d been forced to drink nitric acid. The murderer, an umbrella salesman named Israel Lipski, was found hiding under her bed. The murder has been linked to the Jack the Ripper case, but no conclusions have ever been drawn. The current owner of the house says it creaks and groans in winter – but, he says, ‘it is just wood.’
Photo credit: jack-the-ripper-tour.com
5 College Close, Soham
In 2002, the nation was rocked by the sudden disappearance of two little girls, 10-year old Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, from the streets of their home town of Soham. A huge manhunt took place, with even the kindly caretaker of their school, Ian Huntley, helping to look for the lost girls. 13 days later, it was discovered that he’d murdered them both at his house in College Close. He claimed it was accidental, but the court didn’t believe him. Huntley received a life sentence with a minimum tariff of 40 years, and the house was pulled down and the plot grassed over.
Photo credit: Barry Phillips (standard.co.uk)
Dolphin Square, Pimlico
If walls could talk in this exclusive square of grand flats and houses, close to Westminster, they’d have a lot to say! Former tenants include Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davis, famous for their roles in the Profumo scandal that rocked the Conservative party in the 60s and ultimately led to the resignation of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in 1963. Oswald Moseley, the British fascist ‘Blackshirt,’ lived here with his wife Diana Mitford, until he was imprisoned in 1940. His neighbour was the extreme right-winger William ‘Lord Haw-Haw’ Joyce who was executed for treason during the Second World War. Maxwell Knight, the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s character M, was a resident here, and MPs who’ve lived here include William Hague, David Steel and Harold Wilson.
Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:France3470