History of the Courthouse HotelSet right in the heart of London’s bustling shopping and theatre district, the Courthouse Hotel offers a luxurious haven for those wishing to enjoy the best that the capital has to offer. A stone’s throw from Liberty’s and the shopping paradise of Bond Street, Regent Street and Carnaby Street, the hotel is in a prime location. Situated in an old courthouse, the Grade II listed building retains much of the splendour of the original, with a number of quirky features.
The Great Marlborough Street Magistrate’s Court set the scene for many famous cases over the years, which were either heard there or taken to full trial at Crown Courts such as the Old Bailey. This was the case with the first obscenity trial for a comic book in English history, against International Times in 1971. John Lennon’s sensational court case regarding the sale of sexually explicit lithograph drawings was thrown out on a technicality in 1970, and Mick Jagger spent time here defending his name when it was alleged he was caught in possession of cannabis (and Marianne Faithful!). Keith Richards received a £205 fine here in 1973 for possession of marijuana, heroin and mandrax, as well as a Smith and Wesson revolver and an antique shotgun, both held without a licence. Oscar Wilde also had the start of his ‘Queensbury’ case heard in the building.
Many remnants of this time have been incorporated into the building’s current scheme. Original Robert Adams fireplaces adorn some of the suites, and The Bar’s private tables are actually inside three of the original prison cells. Silk, the hotel’s destination restaurant, is the old Number One court where the Judges bench, witness stand and dock take centre stage. Elsewhere in the hotel, glimpses of former use can be seen – such as the iron bars that separate the lobby lounge from the Bar.
Courthouse Historical Releases - Dates
1835:Charles Dickens worked as a reporter there for the Morning Chronicle.
1847:Napoleon witness in fraud case between attempts to establish a second empire in France
1895:Oscar Wilde took the Marquess of Queensbury to court on a criminal libel charge.
1963:Christine Keeler in court over sex allegations which led to Profumo scandal becoming public.
1965:Thief in court for breaking into Lord Longford’s house and stealing pearl and diamond ring worth £105.
1966:Bob Monkhouse faced charge of conspiracy to defraud film distribution companies out of fees for films.
1967:Former TV presenter Katie Boyle gives evidence against man facing careless driving charge after collision.
1969:Mick Jagger was fined £200 for drugs charges.
1973:Keith Richards was fined £205 for possession of marijuana, heroin, mandrax, a revolver and an antique shotgun.
1970:Case against John Lennon for exhibiting pictures which were too sexually explicit in the London Art Gallery dismissed.
1970:Artist Francis Bacon accused of possessing cannabis
1971:Songwriter Lionel Bart charged with possessing dangerous drugs.
1977:Johnny Rotten fined £40 for possessing amphetamine sulphate
1981:John Miller, who masterminded kidnap of Ronnie Biggs, appeared in court after being arrested on arrival back from Barbados.