Rolls-Royce marks founder's birthday with London pilgrimage

August, 27th 2021

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars marks the 144th birthday of co-founder The Hon Charles Stewart Rolls on Friday 27 August 2021. In honour of the occasion, the marque undertook a pilgrimage around London locations associated with the great man’s life and career, capturing striking images of Ghost at each stop along the way. The itinerary took in the following sites:

35 Hill Street, Mayfair

The Hon Charles Stewart Rolls was born in this house close to Berkeley Square on 27 August 1877. As the third son of Lord and Lady Llangattock, he was born into a life of wealth and privilege, going on to be educated at Eton and Cambridge and enjoying the freedom to indulge his passions for aviation and motor racing.

By contrast, his business partner, Henry Royce, came from a humble background. In 1876, aged just 10, he was working as a telegram delivery boy at the Mayfair Post Office. His ‘beat’ included Hill Street, so it is perfectly possible that he delivered congratulatory letters and telegrams to Rolls’ proud parents.

119 Piccadilly

Until 1961, this Grade II Listed building on Piccadilly was the home of the Royal Aero Club, which Rolls co-founded in 1901 with Frank Hedges Butler, a leading London wine merchant, and Butler’s daughter, Vera. Rolls began his flying career as a balloonist, making over 170 flights and winning the Gordon Bennett Gold Medal in 1903 for the longest sustained time aloft. In 1910, he became only the second person in Britain to be awarded an aeroplane pilot’s licence; that same year, he achieved the unique feat of being the first Englishman to fly an aeroplane across the English Channel, and the first aviator ever to fly non-stop from England to France and back again. Though now based outside the capital, the Royal Aero Club remains the national governing and coordinating body of air sport and recreational flying in Britain.

Royal Automobile Club (RAC)

Rolls was also a founder member of the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland, which became the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) in 1897. It was a fellow RAC member, Henry Edmunds, who arranged the historic first meeting between Rolls and Henry Royce at the Midland Hotel, Manchester, on 4 May 1904. The Club’s Secretary, Claude Johnson, was Rolls’ business partner in his car dealership, C S Rolls & Co, and later became the first managing director of Rolls-Royce.

The Club took up residence in its current home at 89 Pall Mall in 1911, a year after Rolls’ tragic early death in a flying accident, aged just 32.

14-15 Conduit Street

This building on Conduit Street, which connects Bond Street and Regent Street, was the West End headquarters of Rolls-Royce Ltd for much of the twentieth century. From 1905 until his death in 1910, Rolls had his office here, and used it as a base for demonstration drives of early Rolls-Royce models. On 22 March 2010, its historic significance was marked with an English Heritage Blue Plaque, unveiled by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu.

Berkeley Street

A stone’s-throw from Rolls’ birthplace and one of the most prestigious addresses in London, Berkeley Street is regarded as the heart of Mayfair. Today, it is the site of Rolls-Royce’s flagship UK store, the first in the world to be transformed with the marque’s new corporate identity.

FURTHER INFORMATION

You can follow marque on social media: LinkedIn; YouTube; Twitter; Instagram; and Facebook.

By continuing to browse or by clicking “Accept All Cookies,” you agree to the storing of first and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation and analyse site usage. Find out more about our cookie policy.

By continuing to browse or by clicking “Accept All Cookies,” you agree to the storing of first and third-party cookies on your device. View our Cookie Policy.

> Cookie Settings

Cookie Preference Settings

Close

Your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences, your device or used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually identify you directly, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. You can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, you should know that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on the site and the services we are able to offer.

Always Active

Essential Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site may not work then.

Cookies Used

  • Cookie Preferences: ccSitePreference
  • Website CMS Identifier: xxx_username
  • Website CMS Authenticator: xxx_identity
  • Website Session Identifier: CraftSessionID
  • Website Session Authenticator: CRAFT_CSRF_TOKEN
  • Stripe Payment Authenticator: __stripe_mid
  • Forum Session Identifier: phpbb3_oaxjc_sid
  • Forum Identifier: phpbb3_oaxjc_k

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.

Cookies Used

  • Google Analytics Cookie: _ga