Don’t get blue – get into The Grays: New homes in the legal heart of London

The Grays, Holborn, from £895,000
What do you call the area between St Paul’s and Oxford Street? Holborn? An extension of Clerkenwell? Or simply the legal heart of London? Well, estate agents and developers have other ideas that involve turning this Zone One no man’s land into a residential hotspot. The name they’ve chosen for the area is “Midtown”, which some say is an unwelcome NYC-esque addition to London’s lexicon. Recent openings, like the Rosewood Hotel and Holborn Dining Rooms, have played their part in putting this area on the map and now all that’s left is to fill it up with City workers, foreign buyers and wealthy downsizers.
The latest set of homes vying for their attention is The Grays, a small development of only 12 apartments. The brooding name actually comes from its address, Grays Inn Road, and it sits directly opposite the Honourable Society of Grays Inn. Studios, one and two bedroom apartments are available in addition to the now-obligatory penthouse with a roof terrace. At only six storeys high and with a red brick facade, the architecture by Harper Downie – which is also revamping parts of the Barbican – nods to the area’s venerable history as the home of literary and academic residents such as Charles Dickens, the Bloomsbury Group and Charles Darwin.

The Grays from the outside

The development company, Merchant Land, say they grabbed the chance to build in an area where new build stock is low and you should, too.
“It’s a rare opportunity to invest in Midtown, a burgeoning location where residential values are expected to rise by up to 15 per cent in the next two years,” says development director Katherine McCullough.

Inside the penthouse

The apartments are expected to prove a hit with international students in particular as the London School of Economics and University College London are nearby.
With three Tube stations – Chancery Lane and Holborn on the Central Line, Farringdon on the Hammersmith & City Lines – it’s also well connected. The arrival of Crossrail at Farringdon with access to the Thameslink service will also boost prices when it starts running in 2018.
Sources: Zoopla; TfL
House Prices
Time to Canary Wharf22 mins
Time to Liverpool Street5 mins
Nearest stationChancery Lane
For apartments, call sales agent CBRE on 020 7182 2394 or email For the penthouse, call sales agent Sotheby’s International Realty UK on 020 3714 0751 or email

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