Few parts of London have such a fascinating history as Holborn, which stretches from the Old Bailey, past the Hatton Garden jewellery quarter and Chancery Lane's Inns of Court to Covent Garden. It was through these streets that condemned prisoners travelled on their way from Newgate in the City to the gallows at Tyburn, Marble Arch.
Urban since the Middle Ages, the area has always changed with the times and is now undergoing another transformation. In recent years, big law and accountancy firms have moved in, which has triggered demand for local homes — main residences as well as crashpads for higher-earning career professionals.
Five new luxury apartments in a listed building designed by renowned architect Edwin Lutyens are for sale at splendid Lincoln's Inn Fields, London's largest public square and one of the oldest, being first laid out in the 1600s.
The apartments have about 1,500 sq ft of space, and are linked to Club Quarters, a small designer hotel offering facilities to residents. Prices from £2.15 million to £3.25 million. Call Savills on 020 7409 8756.
Area change has been given momentum by two new Crossrail stations being built at Tottenham Court Road and Farringdon. Fetter Lane has the world's newest and biggest "courts complex" (29 courtrooms and other judicial offices), evidence of the area's resurgent legal sector.
Nearby Inner and Middle Temple, with their barristers' chambers, are London's oldest live-work estates. Among the best new homes are those tucked away in narrow lanes and passageways, or next to heritage buildings.
Red Lion Court, close to the Royal Courts of Justice, fits into this category — 14 flats priced from £775,000. Call Galliard on 020 7620 1500.