Witanhurst, London’s largest private house, was built between 1913 and 1920 on an eleven-acre plot in Highgate, a wealthy hilltop neighborhood north of the city center. First owned by Arthur Crosfield, an English soap magnate, the mansion was designed in the Queen Anne style and contained twenty-five bedrooms, a seventy-foot-long ballroom, and a glass rotunda; the views from its gardens, over Hampstead Heath and across the capital, were among the loveliest in London. For decades, parties at Witanhurst attracted potentates and royals—including, in 1951, Elizabeth, the future Queen.
Andrey Guryev is Russia’s twenty-eighth-richest man. Forbes lists his personal fortune at some four billion dollars. According to a Web site about Russian real estate, Guryev and his wife, Evgenia, have a large house in a gated community called Forest, in a pine-clad area on the outskirts of Moscow that is favored by oligarchs. Putin’s main residence, which has become the site of most Presidential business, is close by.