Thomas Cubitt was one of the earliest, and the most important, of the speculative builders who built up large areas of London from the early 19th Century. He came from a humble background - the son of a farmer - and worked as a ship's carpenter. He started building in around 1815, designing, laying out and building streets, squares, whole districts, employing a wide range of specialised craftsmen and architects (including his brother Lewis Cubitt) on his staff in order to be able to provide a 'one stop shop'. Among his work in London may be counted Belgravia, centred around Belgrave Square, Pimlico, much of Bloomsbury, and Blackfriars Bridge. Elsewhere, he build a similarly large development in Brighton called Kemp Town, and Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.
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