Posts Tagged ‘1988’

Around Chelsea Embankment: 1988

Monday, September 13th, 2021

Dawliffe Hall,  Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 198888-5e-24-positive_2400
Dawliffe Hall, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-24

Dawliffe Hall is a Grade II listed building probably built between 1881 and 1885. It became known as Rayleigh House in the 1890s when it was bought by the third son of the Second Baron Rayleigh who engaged architect Georg Campbell Sherrin, better known for his various Metropolitan Railway and other stations and Spitalfields Market, to make external and internal alterations. Sherrin’s plans for a new porch ran into planning problems, but eventually more limited modifications to the existing porch shown here were allowed.

I don’t know when at what date 2 Chelsea Embankment became Dawliffe Hall but in 1967-8 it was bought by the Catholic organisation Opus Dei and converted into a women’s hostel, and now continues its work as a part of the Dawliffe Hall Educational Foundation.

Embankment Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-25-positive_2400
Embankment Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-25

Although the picture shows Embankment Gardens, this building has the address 1 Chelsea Embankment and is usually known as Shelley House. A house on this site was built for the son of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Sheely in 1878, and he lived there for around six years before leasing to various wealthy individuals, including Sir Arthur Charles, the judge for Oscar Wilde’s first trial.

In 1912 the house was bought and demolished by Charles Harold St John Hornby, who was a director of W H Smith & Son. In 1894 he had founded the Ashendene Press, a small private press inspired by William Morris’s Kelmscott Press which produced high quality editions with no expense spared, using type-faces by Emery Walker and Sir Sydney Cockerell, particularly the Subiaco font, based on 15th century examples. Hornby had the house demolished, and a new house built. Its architect was Edward Prioleau Warren, well known to Hornby as a prominent member of the Art Worker’s Guild.

It was requisitioned by the Admiralty in 1939 for living quarters for the WRNS and when they relinquished it in 1953 (doubtless by then realising the war had ended) it was leased by W H Smiths as a staff training centre and hospital. After they left in 1974 it was empty and was damaged by squatters, before being purchased and used as a Catholic educational centre. For a couple of years from 2019 it became The Laurels School, a Catholic independent girls school, but since that has moved out to Upper Norwood is now offices. Much of the information here comes from the school web site.

Carabiniers' Memorial, Chelsea Embankment, 6th Dragoon Guards, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-26-positive_2400
Carabiniers’ Memorial, Chelsea Embankment, 6th Dragoon Guards, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-26

The Carabineers (Les Carabiniers) released in 1963 remains one of my favourite Godard films, as a satire on war, but the spirit which led to this memorial being erected by public subscription organised by the 6th Dragoon Guards in 2005 was very different.

Carabiniers (there are various spellings) were soldiers, usually cavalry, who carried carbines, short barrelled muskets (later rifles) which were lighter and easier to use on horseback than full length guns. This memorial to the men of the 6th Dragoon Guards killed in South Africa and China, designed by Adrian Jones, was erected in 1906. The regiment had its beginnings in 1685 when Richard Lumley raised a troop of horse riders to oppose the 1685 Monmouth Rebellion, though it went through many name changes before becoming the 6th Regiment of Dragoon Guards (Carabineers) in 1826.

The regiment was sent to South Africa for the Second Boer War in 1899 and remained there until the war ended in 1902. Two plaques record the names of those who died there, one of around 30 killed in action and another slightly longer one those who died of wounds or disease.

Dilke St, Swan Walk,  Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-32-positive_2400
Dilke St, Swan Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-32

Dilke Street is a short street running parallel to Chelsea Embankment around 50 yards to its north between Swan Walk and Tite St. This house is part of a block on the north corner with Swan Walk and at its right is the entrance to Clover Mews, and its address is I think 9 Swan Walk.

Swan Walk overlooks the Chelsea Physic Garden and properties here are said to have an average value of £9m, though I think some are now divided into flats. The street gets its name from the Swan Inn, which gets a mention in Pepys diaries and was the finishing post of the Doggett’s Coat and Badge Race. Although the race still takes place, the inn here was demolished around 1780 and it now finishes at Cadogan Pier.

Another riverside inn around 150 yards further west on the other side of the Physic Garden was rebuilt as an inn and brewery at around the same time and confusingly renamed The Old Swan. This was demolished as a part of the site for a run of 18 houses built in the late 1870s, designed by some of the leading architects of the day including Norman Shaw. One of his houses is now called Swan House, and has been describe as London’s finest Queen Anne Revival domestic buildings and it was on sale in 2007 for £32m.

Dilke St, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 198888-5e-33-positive_2400
Tite St, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-33

31 Tite St was designed by Robert William Edis (1839-1927), another of the architects who moved from Gothic to Queen Anne revival buildings such as this late 19th century artist’s studio and home. As well as being an architect he became the commanding officer of the Artist’s Rifles in 1883, becoming its honorary colonel in 1909.

The house and studio at 31-33 was built in 1877 for John Abbott McNeill Whistler, and he later persuaded fellow American Sir John Singer Sargent to move into No 31, where he lived until his death in 1925. The plaque above the circular window beside the door, too small to read in this picture, records “JOHN S. SARGEANT, R.A. WHO WAS BORN IN FLORENCE JAN . 12. MDCCCLVI, LIVED AND WORKED 24 YEARS IN THIS HOUSE AND DIED HERE APRIL 15. MCMXXV”.

Swan Walk,Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-46-positive_2400
Swan Walk,Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5e-46

I think I took this largely for the mysterious circular plaque on the brickwork of the post, which seems to be almost exactly the same side as the ball on the top of the post. It is very hard to make out the lettering on it, which seems to include some symbols not in the alphabet but from around the 8 o’clock to 5 o’clock position appears to have the letters ZOVID, possibly followed by an O.

I can find nothing out about this – so perhaps someone will enlighten me? Otherwise I will go on thinking it was placed there by visiting aliens. It could have some connection with the Chelsea Physic Garden whose curator around 1750, Philip Miller, probably lived here.

The houses in the background are I think part of 68 Royal Hospital Rd, since 1998 the home of Restaurant Gordon Ramsey. This part of the street was once called Paradise Row.

Chelsea Embankment Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 198888-5g-13-positive_2400
Thomas Carlyle, Chelsea Embankment Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 198888-5g-13

Fortunately the story of the statue of Thomas Carlyle, erected in 1882 is more clearly stated in its inscriptions. On the front of the red granite plinth it states:


THOMAS CARLYLE
B DEC 4 1795
AT
ECCLEFECHAN DUMFRIESSHIRE
D FEB 5 1881
AT
GREAT CHEYNE ROW
CHELSEA

and on its right it records the name of the artist involved in the phrase ‘J.E. BOEHM. FECIT’ though as is says on the read, it was not actually made by Sir Edgar Boehm, sculptor, but cast at ‘H. YOUNG & CO. FOUNDERS. PIMLICO’.

Chelsea Embankment Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-14-positive_2400
Chelsea Embankment Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-14

Carlyle sits there facing the Thames and you can just make out Chelsea Bridge through the trees of the Embankment Gardens. Behind him is Cheyne Row where he moved in 1834, living there for the rest of his life.

Click on any of the images above to go to a larger version in the album 1988 London Photos, from where you can browse through many of my black and white images of London made that year.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Around the King’s Road 1988

Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

I took a stroll along the King’s Road, looking at some of the shop windows, then explored some of the streets to the north.

Shop window, Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-52-positive_2400
Shop window, Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-52

There was something very strange about this view, and looking at when I made a print made me think that somehow it had turned into a negative. The contrast between the two mannequins, one white and one black had attracted me and I think the lighting and my treatment almost makes the right hand figure dissolve.

Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988  88-5b-64-positive_2400
Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-64

Light fittings for sale in a shop window give some interesting shapes.

Chelsea Town Hall, Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988  88-5b-65-positive_2400
Boy, Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-65

Stephane Raynor opened BOY on the King’s Road in 1976, and it became “the epicentre of a new dawn in both fashion and music, defining the spirit of punk and birthing the New Romantic scene that appeared in its wake.”

Elm Park Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-01-positive_2400
Elm Park Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-01

72 Elm Park Road is one of a row of individually designed late Victorian houses that make this an interesting street. Since I took this picture it has been extended with an extra storey at both top and bottom, but still looks much the same from the street. The house is now valued at around £12m and was named in 2015 as the address of one of the many people exposed in the The Panama Papers exposure of the rogue offshore finance industry

The Vale, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-03-positive_2400
The Vale, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-03

I’m unsure why this property at 26 The Vale required such an elaborate security camera, something rather unusual back in 1988. I’m sure my framing, although I was mainly interested in the doorway was deliberately to include this. The building is a part of a corner site including joined properties in Elm Park Road, and plans were made in 2012 which would have involved the removal of this doorway. It was still there in 2020.

Fernshaw Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 198888-5c-34-positive_2400
Fernshaw Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-34

Taken from the corner of Edith Terrace and looking north up Fernshaw Rd (late Maude Grove). The taller block on the right in the distance is Fernshaw Mansions. an Edwardian block in this largely late Victorian street. The houses and garden walls are generally in rather better decorative state now than in 1988.

Gunter Grove, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-46-positive_2400
Fernshaw Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-46

This unmodernised freehold house in Fernshaw Road was for sale in 1988 and if I had been able to afford it I should have bought it. It’s one of a terrace from 1-11 and would probably now sell for around £4m. I suspect the price in 1988 was around a hundreth of that.

Click on any of the pictures abouve to go to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos, from where you can browse through all the pictures in the album.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


South Kensington and Chelsea 1988

Friday, August 13th, 2021

Redherring, Old Brompton Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-52-positive_2400
Redherring, Old Brompton Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-52

Red Herring had a shop for some years at 6 Old Brompton Road, more or less opposite South Kensington Station, which has now for some years been an opticians. They sold trendy casual clothes for women including shoes and bags. The poster at left in Arabic I think reflects the Iranian presence in the area.

Old Brompton Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-53a-positive_2400
Old Brompton Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-53

The Brompton Hotel is still there at 30 Old Brompton Road, getting rather mixed review which perhaps reflect its 3* status and rather cheap rates for London. You can no longer go in and swear an oath at Lawrence Bloomfield, though the curious short pillar is still there. The Punch wine bar has last its superstructure, though the low wall at the bottom remains and there is still a popular bar area, but now steps lead down to a steak restaurant.

Imperial Hotel, Queen's Gate, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-4q-62-positive_2400
Imperial Hotel, Queen’s Gate, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-62

I couldn’t resist another picture of the Imperial Hotel on the corner of Queen’s Gate and Harrington Rd, demolished in 1992 and since then a cleared site used as a car park. In an earlier post I mentioned that planning permission had been granted in 1975 for the erection behind this facade of a cultural centre for the Islamic Republic of Iran and twenty self-contained flats, and later by Kensington and Chelsea for the use of the cleared site as a car park pending the building of this.

Shop,  Harrington Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-4q-63-positive_2400
Shop, Harrington Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-63

There was a crude simplicity about this mosaic of a bottle advertising the off-licence to its left that attracted my attention.

Instutut Francais, Queensberry Place, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-64-positive_2400
Instutut Francais, Queensberry Place, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-64

The Institut français du Royaume-Uni was begun in 1910 by Marie d’Orliac to introduce Londoners to well-known French writers, thinkers and artists. This building in Queensbury Place by architect Patrice Bonnet (1979-1964) in an art deco style was opened in 1939. Along the top of the facade are an olive branch, a cockerel, an asp and an owl, symbolising peace, courage, knowledge and wisdom. The Grade II listing text attributes the building to A J Thomas, a former assistant of Edwin L Lutyens and the architect of St Pancras Town Hall.

Bray Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-4r-13-positive_2400
Bray Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-13

Bray Place is a short street a little to the north and parallel to the King’s Road in Chelsea presumably named for Sir Reginald Bray who owned the manor at the time of Henry VII. This house with its two round windows is on the corner with Draycott Ave.

Bray Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-14-positive_2400
Bray Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-14

Mr Brunello is no longer here, and the shop is now a hairdresser, on the corner opposite the previous image at 3 Bray Place. The view is looking down Draycott Ave to the houses on Coulson St, and above them the tall block of flats, Whitelands House, a 10 storey block of flats dating from 1935-7 above the shops in the Kings Road by Frank Verity & Sam Beverley.

Draycott Avenue, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-15-positive_2400
Draycott Avenue, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-15

I can tell you nothing about this small half-timbered house on Draycott Avenue, which I suspect is considerably more modern than it looks. At a glance the tiles and windows look remarkably ancient, and the beams have something of the character found in genuinely old buildings. Perhaps someone reading this will know more and comment.

Click on any of the above images to go to a larger version in the album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse through other pictures that I made in that year in London.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


South Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Wednesday, August 11th, 2021
Roland Gardens,  South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-65-positive_2400
Roland Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-65

More pictures from my wandering walks around South Kensington.

Another of the houses in Roland Gardens, No 46, was built in 1883-5 for Peter Le Page Renouf, a former professor of ancient history and Oriental languages, an Inspector of schools who in 1886 became the Keeper of Oriental Antiquities in the British Museum, and was occupied after his death in 1897 by his wife and daughter. Since the late 1930s the house together with No40, 42 and 44, is now St Teresa’s Home, a care home run by Sisters Hospitallers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. According to the Survey of London, the architect of this Tudor Gothic house, which is “reminiscent of a Victorian country vicarage, and has a prominent corner tower capped by a small spire” was most probably T Chatfeild Clarke who designed the rather similar Parmiter’s School in Bethnal Green.

Poster, Queensgate, SOuth Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-03-positive_2400
Poster, Queensgate, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-03

The Iranian Embassy in London is in Princes Gate overlooking Hyde Park and there is also a Consular section in Kensington Court in South Kensington, as well as a vacant site on the corner of Harrington Rd and Queens Gate, so it was perhaps not surprising to find this poster calling on Ayatollah Khomeini, Supreme Leader of Iran, to stop killing children and end his terrorism and mad war, though it was a called destined to fall on deaf ears.

Shop, Fulham Rd, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-12a-positive_2400
Shop, Fulham Rd, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-12

I think my bus to South Kensington went along the Fulham Road, and I decided to alight here and take a few pictures. I’m not sure who would want to buy any of the things on display here or what they would do with them, other than the fireplaces which are around the edges, but I am sure they would all be very expensive.

Fulham Rd, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-22-positive_2400
Fulham Rd, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-22

I suspect it will have been this shopfront which made me get off the bus, and take a few pictures on the corner of Sydney St on my way home from South Kensington. The shop window has the name of New Zealand born interior designer Anouska Hempel (Lady Weinberg) whose “vision of a utopian world encompasses luxury design from landscapes, gardens, hotels and residential to retail, yachts and couture” according to her website.

This location is now occupied by a Thai restaurant which a rather plain frontage, and the pub opposite, the Cranley, which can be glimpsed in a reflection in the window in one of the pictures closed bin 1990.

Onslow Square, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-33-positive_2400
Onslow Square, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-33

Onslow Square is between Fulham Road and South Kensington station and is on land purchased by the trustees of the Henry Smith Charity in the 1620s from the Earl of Onslow. Henry Smith had made his fortune as a moneylender in the City. When the chrity trustees leased land to Charles Freake to build the square they insisted they were built to the specifications of their architect George Basevi. The first houses were completed in 1847 two years after Basevi’s death and the square was only completed in 1865, with later houses diverging from his designs with exposed stock bricks. The Smith Charity estate was sold to the Wellcome Trust in the late 1970’s.

French school, Queensberry Way, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-41-positive_2400
French school, Queensberry Way, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-41

The Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle has a distinctly French look to its building along Harrington Road and Queensbury Way, known as Victor Hugo, which was built in the 1980s. The concrete structures at the entrance from Queensbury Way, (this was one of a pair) have been replaced.

Small Ads, Harrington Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-42-positive_2400
Small Ads, Harrington Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-42

I was amused by the range of small adds, offering dance lessons, corrective training, Caribbean Beauty, health therapy, French massage, electrical repairs, a Morris Oxford, a flat for students and more.

Vacani, School of Dance, Harrington Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-4q-43-positive_2400
Vacani School of Dance, Harrington Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4q-43

The Vacani School of Dance was founded in 1915 by Marguerite Vacani and later taken over by her niece Betty Vacani, and the pair of them later gave private lessons to the young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose. Lady Diana Spencer later spent three months as an apprentice teacher at the school. Founded in Knightsbridge it moved to South Kensington under Elfrida Eden and Mary Stassinopoulos in the early 1980s. There are now Vacani schools in Clapham and Woking.

The doorway is still there on Harrington Rd, but now longer a school of dancing, but at the side of the South Kensington Club at 38-42.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Sculptors, Homes, Graffiti and Blaises, 1988

Tuesday, August 10th, 2021

Dora House, Sculptors, sculpture, Old Brompton Rd,  South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-36-positive_2400
Dora House, Sculptors, sculpture, Old Brompton Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-36

Dora House at 108-10 Old Brompton Road was originally built in 1820 by builder William Blake as 7 & 8 Gloucester Terrace, but they were considerably adapted and the frontage here and in the next picture dates from 1885-86, when the house became the studios of portrait photographers Elliot and Fry of Baker St. The firm employed a number of photographers and as well as Baker St (which they left in 1919) had several other studios and a printing works in Barnet. Many of their early negatives were destroyed by bombing in the second World War, and the rest are now held by the National Portrait Gallery. They photographed many of the leading personalities of the Victorian era.

Dora House, Sculptors, sculpture, Old Brompton Rd,  South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-36-positive_2400
Dora House, Sculptors, sculpture, Old Brompton Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-36

Stonework on the new frontage was carved by John McCulloch, wrought iron by Alfred A. Newman and the architect was William Flockhart. The building is Grade II listed. The house was leased and later bought by sculptor Cecil Walter Thomas in 1919 and later he set up the Dora Charitable Trust, named after his late wife, to make the house available to the Royal British Society of Sculptors after his death. They have occupied it as a studio museum since 1979, opening it to the public with family activities and temporary exhibitions.

Clareville St, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-22a-positive_2400
Clareville St, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-22

Clareville St, off the Gloucester Rd and the Old Brompton Road, was developed after 1820 when the landowner, Catherine Lee let the ground to William Blake of Pear Tree Lodge, Little Chelsea, a builder and bricklayer, on a 99 year lease to build houses that at least met the London Building Act of 1774 for ‘fourth-rate’ houses.

Along the two main roads, Blake built rather larger houses – including what is now Dora House, but in the two back streets there were smaller houses to varied designs, including detached villas and terraces. As the Survey of London says, these “gave the estate a distinctly intimate character which it still retains, despite much subsequent rebuilding and infilling.”

Clareville St, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-23-positive_2400
Clareville St, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-23

When built the streets here were named Gloucester Grove, Gloucester Grove East and Gloucester Grove West, but were later renamed Clareville Grove and Clareville Street after Clareville Cottage which was a short distance further west outside this estate.

Imperial Hotel, Queens Gate, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-24-positive_2400
Imperial Hotel, Queens Gate, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-24

If you go to see the Imperial Hotel on the corner of Harrington Road now all you will find is an empty plot surrounded by fences and used as a car park. The demolition of the hotel was completed in 1992 after the borough of Kensington & Chelsea had granted planing permission for this use “pending redevelopment.” Permission for the redevelopmentof this listed building, I think a part of the Harrington estate and dating from the 1860s, had been granted by the GLC in 1975 for the provision of a new cultural centre for the Islamic Republic of Iran and twenty self-contained flats but with the development to be behind the existing facade. I don’t know whether later planning permission allowed full demolition or whether this was carried out illegally.

No development has taken place on this very expensive piece of land since, and I wonder if it is still owned by Iran but sanctions against that country have prevented any building. The hotel was better known in earlier years for its basement club Blaises, a music venue where among others The Byrds, John Lee Hooker, Ike & Tina Turner, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Pink Floyd, Bo Diddley, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Captain Beefhear and The Pretty Things played.

St Augustine's Church, Queens Gate, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-26-positive_2400
St Augustine’s Church, Queens Gate, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-26

The demolition of the Imperial Hotel next door to St Augustine’s Church means we can now see the north side of the church; when I made this picture only its frontage was visible from Queen’s Gate. This II* listed building is said to be the second-best surviving church by William Butterfield; it opened for worship in 1871, but was only completed in 1876. The listing text is brief, probably because it was listed in 1949, but mentions its yellow brick with red and black bricks and stone as well as the Gothic western bellcote with flanking pinnacles.

The building replaced an earlier temporary iron church built in the garden of its priest in Gloucester Road in 1865, where services were said to be “Popery itself under the thinnest guise of the Protestant name” (Wikipedia.) Plans to build a larger replacement were blocked for some years by the Bishop of London, probably because of this extreme Anglo-Catholicism, but also because there were already plenty of churches in the area already, and the building could only begin after he moved away to become Archibishop of Canterbury. The listing text and some other sources wrongly give the date of the church as 1865.

Roland Gardens,  South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-53-positive_2400
Roland Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-53

In the 1890s this house at 43 Roland Gardents was the home of Mrs Ada Freeman Gell, (aka Mrs Newman Gell, Miss Ada Evershed) (1849-1929) a solicitor’s daughter from Brighton who became an artist who apparently exhibited both sculpture and paintings from around 1888-1898. Several of her sculptures are in the Brighton Art Gallery though I think not on public display.

The development of the site was diverted in the 1970s by the craze for roller-skating and an open-air rink was opened on a large site here in 1876 and soon covered over to enable all-weather skating. In 1889 the site was sold to the firm of Aldin and Plater who had developed other houses in the road. They obtained a licence from the London County Council to build “private Studios for Painters” and sold the site on to a local builder who completed Nos 43 and 45 in 1891-2.

Graffiti, art, Cranley Mews, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-62a-positive_2400
Graffiti, art, Cranley Mews, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4p-62

This graffiti was on a large and rather dirty stone-faced wall, on Cranley Mews, on the section of the street leading down from Cranley Gardens to the main mews street behind the houses. The wall on the side of 54 Cranley Gardens was repainted in 2014 and the cracks no longer show, but there was no trace of the graffiti remaining before that. The rather utilitarian light fitting was replace some years earlier by a more ornate lantern on a fancy iron bracket. But no, I didn’t think it was art, though I have seen some even sillier things that were accepted as such.

Click on any of the images to go to the album where you can see large images and browse others on-line in 1988 London Photos.

More Around Brompton: 1988

Saturday, July 31st, 2021

The Boltons, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-52a-positive_2400
The Boltons, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-52

If the houses around The Boltons are all much the same – the Grade II listing text for most simply tells you to see that for the first pair, 1 &2 – some distinguished themselves by their gates. Those of No 16 have lost their eagles since I made this picture, and the iron gates have lost both their angled top and the arch above as well as the rampant creeper but have gained an entryphone and a letter box. Walking down the street today there would be no picture to make here.

The Boltons, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-66-positive_2400
The Boltons, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-66

There are various designs of wrought iron gates to the houses around The Boltons, though quite a few share the same pattern. This one, I think at No 23, appealed to me more than most and I was fortunate to find it half opened, giving a clearer view of the tiled path and those ornamental ceramic leaves containing a small bush.

It also shows the peeling paint which still then could be seen on quite a few of these houses, which are now all I think pristine. I rather liked the impression it gave of these houses being old and lived in.

Jenny Lind, Boltons Place, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-55-positive_2400
Jenny Lind, Boltons Place, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-55

Boltons Place leads north from The Boltons to the Old Brompton Road and its east side is occupied by several large houses. That occupied by Jenny Lind, the ‘Swedish Nightingale’, has undergone various changes of street name and number since she moved in as the first occupier in 1874, and is in a rather different style to the rest of the area. In 1906 it was altered by the addition of a rather attractive semi-cicular bow window, hidden in my view. The effect is less austere, described in the Victoria History as “un-Godwinian suavity in a rather French way“.

School, Boltons Place, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-54-positive_2400
School, Boltons Place, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-54

The west side of Boltons Place is quite different, occupied by Bousfield Primary School. This primary school was built in 1954-6 by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon and is on the site of Beatrix Potter’s house and garden at 2 Bolton Gardens, where she lived for more than 40 years until she was married in 1913, a short walk from Brompton Cemetery where she found some of the names for her characters. The site became available thanks to wartime bombing.

The school is a heavily over-subscribed local authority school which had its origins in a school set up as a “poor school” for local Catholic children by the parish priest in the 1800s which was renamed Bousfield School in 1913. The children were transferred to the new school in 1956. Later the old building became another Catholic school.

Fulham Rd, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-43-positive_2400
Fulham Rd, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-43

The Fulham Road has a rather different atmosphere with this row of shops with an entrance probably for horses to be led through to stables behind. When I took the picture it led to the Hungry Horse Restaurant, and although the board with its two horses heads looks like that of a French horse butcher, the English menu will almost certainly not have included horsemeat – nor will it have had hay offer, so any horses would have remained hungry.

Now the gate seems closed and the area behind looks unused. Unsurprisingly the shop at left is now an estate agent.

Cinema, Fulham Rd, Drayton Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-44-positive_2400
Cannon Cinema, Fulham Rd, Drayton Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-44

The cinema opened as the Forum Theatre in 1930, designed by architect J Stanley Beard, featuring live variety shows with an orchestra. It was sold to Associated British Cinemas (ABC) in 1935 and lost its organ in the 1960s. Like others it got altered internally to provide first three then four, five when I made this picture and finally six screens. Now owned by Cineworld who have transferred it to their Picturehouse chain, it had further renovations in 2019.


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All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


South Kensington & Little Chelsea, 1988

Thursday, July 29th, 2021

St Yeghiche, Armenian, Church, Cranley Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-16-positive_2400
St Yeghiche Armenian Church, Cranley Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-16

I’m unsure why St Yeghiche Armenian Church should be Grade II* listed, as it appears to me to be a fairly typical Victorian Decorated Church, built as S Peter’s in 1866-7 by C J Freake for the Smith’s Charity Estate, with later alterations and additions by W.D Caröe and others in 1907-9, but it is perhaps the internal features including stained glass mentioned at some length in the listing which I’ve not seen that qualify it for that extra *.

Like me you may be ignorant of St Yeghiche, born in Alexandria around 435CE, but who is “is known for his many achievements that have enriched the cultural treasury of the Armenian Nation“. Working at a time when the Armenian alphabet was invented and the first translations of the Bible into Armenian were being made he wrote many commentaries on the Bible and other religious works. He was a personal scribe to the Armenian General in the involved in the “famous battle of Avarair” in 451CE and wrote the famous phrase “Death, unanticipated, is death; death, anticipated, is immortality”, which apparently became a motto for many Armenian soldiers.

Priory Walk, Drayton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-22-positive_2400
Priory Walk, Drayton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-22

This area is or was apparently known as ‘Little Chelsea in Kensington‘. If the architect of 86 Drayton Gardens had intended a heavy and ponderous effect then he was remarkably successful. This plot on the Gunter Estate was apparently developed by the builder Edward Deacon, who also built a couple of other houses along the street, but I think the architect is unknown. But the Victoria County History names its first occupier in 1888 as Sir Evan MacGregor, who was Permanent Secretary to the Admiralty for 23 years from 1884, a time when the navy underwent dramatic changes.

Drayton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-23-positive_2400
Drayton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-23

This very solid looking canopy and railings are in front of a large block of flats at 53 Drayton Gardens, built in the 1890s, architect J Norton. Not quite a porte-cochère and I think the only such structure on this street. The block is set a little further back from the road than most of the houses, many of which have rather solid front porches.

Drayton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-24a-positive_2400
Drayton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-24

A two storey house on Drayton Gardens which looks rather domestic and out of place and stands directly on the pavement, this is said to date from the earlier period of building in the area, around 1826. My black and white picture doesn’t do justice to the painting above the doorway, which shows the same house standing on its own (including those shutters) surrounded by fields – but without the painting.

Drayton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-25-positive_2400
Drayton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-25

More flats at 49 Drayton Gardens. Architect again J Norton and again dating from 1894-8, these were too close to the road to need a canopy but have an impressive portico supported by five columns. It looks lopsided, as if it was designed to have two doorways, only the left one of which was actually built.

Priory Walk, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-32-positive_2400
Priory Walk, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-32

Although I made this picture on Priory Walk, the front door of the house is to the right at 24 Gilston Rd, one of a pair of large detached Italianate properties with pyramid roofed towers built between 1850 and 1852 to designs by George Goodwin. I’m told, but can’t confirm it, that Peter and Alison Smithson, two of Britain’s best-known modern architects of Brutalist masterpieces such as Robin Hood Gardens in Poplar moved in here in 1971.

The house was redesigned around 2012 by Shalini Misra with a 4,500 square foot new basement including a swimming pool, gym, media room and three bedrooms which almost doubled the floor area while leaving its exterior unchanged and can now be rented for £260,000 a month. Yes, a month.

Gilston Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-34-positive_2400
Gilston Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-34

Security cameras like this were rare back in 1988, and I don’t know why this building required one, but I smiled for the camera when I took this picture. There is a short section of road around here oddly absent from Google Streetview which I think is where this was located. I wondered if it was the home of one of a very nervous Russian oligarch.

The Boltons, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 198888-4o-42-positive_2400
The Boltons, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-42

The Boltons is undoubtedly the best known of the streets in the area, but one I found less interesting than some others. The area had been bought by James Gunter in 1807 who used much of it for market gardening. The whole ellipse was planned by the architect and editor of ‘The Builder’ George Godwin and built, mainly as large three-storey semi-detached pairs in 1849-59.

All of them are I think Grade II listed. They have Doric porches and their brick is faced with stucco. No 21 in my picture is a typical example, photographed where part of the wall had been removed which enabled a clearer view, and taken at an angle which hides some of what I felt was fussier detail.

Click on any image above to display a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Around Gloucester Rd – 1988

Saturday, July 17th, 2021

Cornwall Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-02-positive_2400
Cornwall Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-02

I never felt quite at ease when photographing the plusher areas of Kensington, but it was something I felt I had to do if my work was to reflect the whole of London. And certainly these streets showed an enormous diversity and and incredible amount of craftsmanship made possible by the wealth of London, particularly in the Victorian era, largely dependent on our exploitation of the British Empire as well as the working class of this country.

Cornwall Gardens was built between 1862, when Queen Victoria’s eldest son who was the Duke of Cornwall had the title Prince of Wales added to his portfolio and 1879 and is a series of three linked rectangular garden squares to the west of Gloucester Rd. This building is later and I think not actually in Cornwall Gardens (as my contact sheet says) but close to it, though I can’t actually find it.

Queen's Gate Terrace, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-12-positive_2400
Queen’s Gate Terrace, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-12

Helpfully 56 Queens Gate Terrace has its address on it. It is part of a Grade II listed pair at 56-58 on the corner of Gloucester Rd built by architect Charles Gray in 1863–65.

Queen's Gate Terrace, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-16-positive_2400
Queen’s Gate Terrace, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-16

This is the side of 58 Queen’s Gate Terrace which adjoins the Gloucester Rd, which has been occupied since 1972 by Da Mario Kensington, described on Google as “Family friendly trattoria in Venetian-Gothic building, serving thin-crust pizza and other classics.”

Elvaston Place, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-33-positive_2400
Elvaston Place, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-33

The out-of-focus posts at left and extreme right lend this fenced yard in front of a Queen’s Gate Lodge on Elvaston Place a rather sinister feel, quite different from the next picture in the album (not in this post) which you can see if you click on the above and then to the right.

The house is on the corner of Elvaston Mews, entered through a rather grand arch like many in the area.

Launceston Place, Kynance Mews, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-42a-positive_2400
Launceston Place, Kynance Mews, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-42

Kynance Mews also has its entrance arch, in this case from Launceston Place, though rather more rugged and business-like, and it faces a similar arch across Launceston Place into the east section of the mews.

Back in 1988 the house to its right was occupied by Hairdressers Simon and Peter St John but now appears to be residential.

Launceston Place, Kynance Mews, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-62-positive_2400
Launceston Place, Kynance Mews, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

And this is the facing archway on the east side of Launceston Place.

88-4f-63-positive_2400
Launceston Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-63

Next to the hairdressers on Launceston Place is this rather fine villa. Along with its neighbours it is Grade II listed and described as a semi-detached stucco house, circa 1830, distinguished from the others in the row by its circular tower and dome

Kynance Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-65-positive_2400
Kynance Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-65

There are several shops in Kynance Place which is off Gloucester Road immediately north of Kynance Mews, but I can’t remember which of them had this window display. It appears to feature a number of brushes, some things I think might be small genuine sponges, a tortoise (or turtle?) and an advert for eyelash dye, something I never knew existed, but apparently in demand in Kensington.

There are quite a few more pictures around the area in my album 1988 London Photos which you can access by clicking on any of the above images to get a larger version from where you can browse the album.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Knightsbridge – Around Hyde Park

Sunday, July 11th, 2021

Rutland Gate, Westminster, 198888-4c-55-positive_2400
Rutland Gate, Westminster, 1988 88-4c-55

The Rutland Gate to Hyde Park from Knightsbridge is just to the west of Hyde Park Barracks, and Rutland Gate is a rather strange double square with bits that extends south from there. These houses are at its south-west extremity, and that in the right is called Clock House, though I think you have to imagine the clock in the circular window above the door. It does have a statue on its roof, or possibly on that of an adjoining building, which appears to be some kind of classical figure. The frontage dates from its conversion to a ‘bijou residence’ between the wars, and the statuary arrived in the 1960s when Austin Blomfield remodelled the house for a former Lord Mayor of London, Sir Henry Aylwen.

Asia, John Henry Foley, Albert Memorial, Hyde Park,Westminster, 1988 88-4d-02-positive_2400
Asia, John Henry Foley, Albert Memorial, Hyde Park,Westminster, 1988 88-4d-02

Down the road at the Albert Memorial there is no shortage of sculptures, although I’m unsure why this rather large and half-dressed woman seated on an elephant should have been chosen to represent Asia. I suspect she more represents the fantasies of the sculptor than anything else.

Victoria Grove, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-12-positive_2400
Victoria Grove, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-12

Albert is also remembered in Albert Mews, through the archway on this picture of Victoria Grove. Victoria Grove runs from Gloucester Road to Victoria Road.

Kensington Court Place, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-16-positive_2400
Kensington Court Place, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-16

Kensington Court Gardens is a large mansion block built on the site of the Kensington Lawn Tennis Club in 1887-9 which was bought by Albert Barker. The block was designed by Henry Peck and built by Frederick Moir of Moir, Wallis and Company who moved into a flat there. The street, then Charles St, was renamed to Kensington Court Place in 1908. Flats then were advertised at between £195-£250 per year – equivalent allowing for inflation to £25,000 to £33,000. Some are quite large – one recent advertised had 4 bedrooms, 2 reception rooms, a large study, large kitchen/breakfast room and 3 bathrooms.

The flats have a blue plaque for T S Elliot who moved to flat 3 after his secret marriage to his secretary and editor Valerie in 1957 when he was 68 and she was 30. He died in 1965 but she continued to live her until her death in 2012

Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-21-positive_2400
Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-21

The blue plaque to sculptor Jacob Epstein is on a tall house at 18 Hyde Park Gate where he lived from 1929 until his death in 1959. Almost opposite is another blue plaque for novelist and playwright Enid Bagnold, and a little further down the road one for Winston Churchill who bought the house as his London base after his election defeat in 1945. Widely regarded as a hero for leading the country through the war, he is also vilified for his attacks on miners in Tonypandy, the deaths of millions of Indians in the Bengal famine, his approval of area bombing of German cities – surely a war crime – and many other actions.

Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-22-positive_2400
Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-22

The flag outside 45 Hyde Park Gate is the Australian flag as this is the Australian High Commissioners official residence. The house has been greatly altered and enlarged since it was built in 1838 as Stoke Lodge by Robert Thew, a major in the East India Company’s artillery.

Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-31-positive_2400
Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-31

Hyde Park Gate also includes sections running along the south side of Kensington Road as well as a road leading south. These modern flats are on the north east corner I think date from around 1972 when I think the houses on both sides of the entrance to the street were demolished.

Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 198888-4d-32-positive_2400
Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-32

Reading the list of well-known people who have lived in Hyde Park Gate in the Survey of London and on Wikipedia it seems almost every house could have a blue plaque. This one is for Lieutenant General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, OM, GCMG, GCVO, KCB, KStJ, DL though there isn’t room for all that on the plaque at 9 Hyde Park Gate, which simply records “Robert Baden-Powell 1857-1941 Chief Scout of the World lived here”.

All pictures are from my album 1988 London Photos. Clicking on any of the images will take you to a larger versinon in the album from where you can navigate forward or backward through all the images.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Knightsbridge and Brompton, 1988

Sunday, July 4th, 2021

Brompton Square, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-13-positive_2400
Brompton Square, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-13

I can’t look at the picture without thinking there should be people on folding bicycles cycling around this small oval island.

Brompton Square isn’t a square, but a long thin rectangle with a garden at its centre off the Brompton Rd, and at its far end is this rounded terrace with its own small oval of private garden in front of it. The square was developed by James Bonnin in 1821 and appears to have changed little with most of the houses now Grade II listed. Three houses sport blue plaques, including one for Stéphane Mallarmé who lived at No 6 in 1863, but the street had and has other famous residents, including “Britain’s most successful serial confidence trickster”, Achilleas Kallakis who bought No 31 at centre-right in this picture in the 2000s for £28 million, proceeding to have the garden dug out for a three-storey basement.

Andrew Ritchie, the inventor of the Brompton Bicycle company was working as a gardener in the area while working on the prototypes for his folding bike and took the name from the Brompton Oratory, whose dome was visible from his bedroom workshop. I’ve ridden a Brompton since 2002, though still prefer my 1980s road bike.

Fairholt St, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-21-positive_2400
Fairholt St, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-21

You will search in vain for the Prince of Wales pub in Fairholt St, replaced in 2015-7 by a “Luxury infill development” featuring something like the retained pub front, a “hi-end single family dwelling, a stone throw from Harrods” which ” boasts a two-level basement, 5 bedrooms, a lift, a spa and a home cinema”, designed by AR Architecture with a construction budget of £3m. The development gained the architects the “Best Architecture Single Residence” award by the United Kingdom Property Awards 2019-20.

The pub was established in 1831 in what was then Middle Street, Montpelier Row. In 1989 it was renamed ‘The Swag & Tails’, and changed from a friendly local to a gastro-pub. According to the Closed Pubs UK web site it was bought and closed in 2009, reportedly “by Tamara Ecclestone (daughter of F1 supremo Bernie) with a view to either rebuilding or expanding the premises considerably and turn it into a late night venue.”

Montpelier Terrace, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-33-positive_2400
Montpelier Terrace, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-33

This gatepost in Montpelier Terrace has lost the small and rather delicate urn which surmounted it in 1988, and the gardens here are now rather better kept and the houses in a much smarter condition. There is now very little of the small pockets of attractive dereliction that relieved the area then.

Sculpture, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-52-positive_2400
The Seer, Sculpture, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-52

Gilbert Ledward (1888-1960) produced many war memorials and other monumental architecture with a number of examples still visible around London – including the Venus Fountain in Sloane Square and the bronze sculptures on the Guards Memorial in Horseguards Parade. The Seer was produced around 1957 for the forecourt of Mercury House, 195-199 Knightsbridge, built in 1956–9.

Mercury House was demolished in 2002, replaced by The Knightsbridge Apartments, completed in 2005. I don’t know what has become of ‘The Seer’. Feel free to comment if you do.

Sculpture, Edinburgh Gate,  Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-62-positive_2400
Sculpture, Edinburgh Gate, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-62

This was the last sculpture completed by Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) shortly before his death and depicts a father, mother, son and dog rushing forwards off from the plinth, encouraged by Pan, the Greek God of the Wild, playing his pipes. Variously known as The Rush of Green, Pan or The Bowater House Group, it was commissioned by the chairman of the Land Securities Investment Trust to stand in front of their newly built offices at Bowater House. When this was demolished in 2006 to be replaced by a yet more hideous new development the sculpture was removed and in 2010 re-installed some distance west in the re-located Edinburgh Gate, its figures again rushing into the green of Hyde Park.

Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Dormition, Ennismore Gardens, Knightsbridge, Westminster, 1988 88-4c-46-positive_2400
Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Dormition, Ennismore Gardens, Knightsbridge, Westminster, 1988 88-4c-46

Originally built as All Saints, an Anglican Church, in 1849, desinged by Lewis Vulliamy in a Lombard style rather than the prevailing Gothic, the church ran out of cash and was only completed in 1860. Then it was given a facelift in 1891-2, with a new west front based on the Basilica of St Zeno of Verona in Verona, Italy. A parish merger made the church redundant in 1955 and it was leased to a Russian Orthodox congregation, who consecrated it in the name of one of their great feasts, the Dormition of the Mother of God. It was later bought by the Russian Orthodox Church.

Ennismore Mews, Knightsbridge, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea,1988 88-4c-34-positive_2400
Ennismore Mews, Knightsbridge, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea,1988 88-4c-34

These mews were built for the coaches for the large houses in Ennismore Gardens and Rutland Gate with stabling for the horses and rough accomodation for the servants who looked after the horses and drove the carriages. Ennismore Mews were rather grander than most, reflecting the quality of the houses in Ennismore Gardens which were developed in the 1868-74 by Peter and Alexander Thorn. Their company also built a new Blackfriars Bridge, and used some of the stone salvaged from the old bridge to face the Ennismore Gardens houses. The mews buildings were rather more basic structures, and have been converted to residential use, now selling for around £3.75m.

Ennismore Gardens, Knightsbridge, Westminster, 1988 88-4c-52-positive_2400
Ennismore Gardens, Knightsbridge, Westminster, 1988 88-4c-52

I was amused by the range of rather unusual structures, including the tower of Holy Trinity Brompton and the dome of the London Oratory along with some lesser features. The gateway at left is the entrance to Ennismore Garden Mews.

Click on any of the pictures to go to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse these and other pictures.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.