Ian McKellen owns 500-year-old property at heart of Thames-side area steeped in maritime history

Ian McKellen

The Lord of the Rings star reportedly owns two properties in Limehouse

Solen Le Net

By Solen Le Net

Published: 20/04/2024

- 12:08

The Lord of the Rings star is thought to own two properties in one of London's most tranquil neighbourhoods

Ian McKellen has won five Olivier Awards and a Tony Award for his extensive stage work, but he is most famous for his work in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

The Lancashire-born star is thought to enjoy a quiet life in the Thames-side setting of Limehouse, in East London, which beckons thousands of visitors with its cultural prestige.

Situated at the heart of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Limehouse has long been considered an important connection between the Thames and the canal system.

It also is the home of Sir Ian’s 500-year-old pub, The Grapes, which proudly displays photos of his Lord of the Rings co-stars behind the bar.


Ian McKellen co-owns the 500-year-old pub


According to the pub’s website: “Limehouse was first settled as one of the few healthy areas of dry land among the riverside marshes.

“By Queen Elizabeth I’s time, it was at the centre of world trade and her explorer Sir Humphrey Gilbert lived there.

“From Directly below The Grapes, Sir Walter Raleigh set sail on his third voyage to the New World.”

The star snapped up the residence in 2011 with his business partners Sean Mathias and Evgeny Lebedev, and famously declared on The One Show that he would run a pub quiz every Monday.

Visitors can stroll through the area’s historic streets to get a feel for its maritime character.

A growing number of Londoners are moving to the area because it offers a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle while remaining well-connected.

“The district’s transformation into a residential hub, with the development of newly built apartments and refurbished historical buildings, caters to a wide range of tastes and budgets,” say experts at Property London.

The area also boasts beautiful outdoor spaces which contribute to its uniquely tranquil charm.

Real estate agents at Cluttons note: “Limehouse has large open green spaces, including Stepney Green Park, Whitehorse Road Park, St James’s Gardens and Ropemarker’s Fields.

“The high concentration of green areas can access the outdoors despite being in a very urban setting.”


Ian Meckellen

Ian reportedly owns a pub in Limehouse


How much do houses cost in Limehouse?

According to Rightmove, properties in the area have fetched an average of £512,893 over the last year.

“The majority of sales in Limehouse during the last year were flats, selling for an average price of £466,781," says the property website.

“Terraced properties sold for an average of £836,745, with semi-detached properties fetching £675,000.”

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