Posts Tagged ‘Brompton’

Around Chelsea

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021
Michelin Building,  Fulham Rd, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-46-positive_2400
Michelin Building, Lucan Place, Fulham Rd, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-46

It was too hard to resist the Michelin Building any time I walked past, though I felt it had already been photographed to death – and most of my pictures were in colour, including closer views of its decorative panels.

Opened in 1911 as the first UK headquarters and tyre depot for the Michelin Tyre Company Ltd, and designed by Michelin employee and engineer François Espinasse it was more an architectural advertising hoarding featuring the Michelin Man ‘Bibendum’, his name derived from “Nunc Est Bibendum“, “Now is the time to drink”. A precursor of art-deco, it is grade II listed. It was also a fairly early use of ferro-concrete, using the Hennebique system, which gave its interior wide spaces for a tyre bay and made it relatively fire-proof. This picture was made three years after Michelin moved out, when the building was redeveloped by publisher Paul Hamlyn and restaurateur/retailer Sir Terence Conran as offices, shop and restaurant. (mainly from Wikipedia.)

Fulham Road, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-54-positive_2400
Trees, Fulham Road, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-54

This house is on the west corner of Pelham Crescent, and the three trees that attracted my attention are still there, remarkably little changed 33 years later, though of course each spring they get covered with leaves.

Selwood Terrace, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-61-positive_2400
Selwood Terrace, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-61

The east side of this street is Neville Terrace and the west side is Selwood Terrace. This front garden with a wall covered with ivy is close to the Fulham Road and I think both wall and ivy have disappeared, possibly as a part of a basement extension to the property.

South Parade, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-62-positive_2400
South Parade, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-62

I think this tall building probably dates from around 1892 and is part of long terrace including a former fire station with that date on the north side of Chelsea Square. It was the Nurses Home for the Royal Brompton Hospital and is still a part of the hospital. Chelsea square was named Trafalgar Square when it was laid out in 1810 but that was later used for a rather larger square in Westminster. The square later became a tennis club before much of the area was rebuilt in neo-Georgian style in the 1930s.

The Crown, pub, Dovehouse St, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-63-positive_2400
The Crown, Dovehouse St, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-63

The Crown pub is on the corner of Dovehouse St and Dudmaston Mews, just a few yards south of the Fulham Rd and more or less surrounded by hospitals. No longer a Whitbread pub it has lost the crown sign, replaced by a dreary sign with a neon crown, and other largely flowery embellishments have ruined the simplicity of the frontage. The Princess Of Wales at the left of the row of buildings closed as a pub around 2000 and is now a French restaurant, with considerably more expensive food than The Crown.

Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-11-positive_2400
Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-11

I took fewer pictures of the Kings Road than I should have done. This shop window display seemed more erotic than most.

Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-16-positive_2400
Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-16

These rather disparate buildings are still there on the Kings Road, on the south side just east of Radnor Walk, though now occupied by different shops and rather less trendy.

Jubilee Place, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-15-positive_2400
Jubilee Place, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-15

And immediately opposite the previous picture is Jubilee place, leading north with this house and wrought ironwork at No 9 over double gates leading down to a basement garage.

Click on any of the images to go to larger versions in my album 1988 London Photos were you can browse through these and other pictures.


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.


Blacklands, Blowup, Flats, Baby Doll & more: 1988

Saturday, August 14th, 2021

Blacklands Terrace, Earl Jellicoe, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988   88-4r-23-positive_2400
Blacklands Terrace, Earl Jellicoe, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-23

A GLC plaque records that Admiral of the Fleet Earl Jellicoe (1859-1935) lived in this house.

Blacklands Lane ran from the Kings Road to Fulham Road; most was renamed Marlborough Road in the 1820s and later became Draycott Avenue. The name Blacklands possibly came from the dark earth of Chelsea Common and was a small hamlet and a large house dating at least from the 1680s which at the start of the 18th century was a French boarding school for young ladies and became an asylum for the insane in the 19th century and Samuel Wesley spent some time as a patient there in 1808. Blacklands Terrace was developed at the end of the 19th century taking its name from the house a short distance to the west and was on a part of its extensive estate There was also a house nearby called Whitelands, which became a paper factory. The short street is now best known for a restaurant (an earlier version was a location in Blowup) and a independent bookshop opened by John Sandoe in 1957.

Blacklands Terrace, Bray Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-4r-25-positive_2400
Blacklands Terrace, Bray Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-25-positive_2400

Both the outside of Andrea’s Restaurant and the interior feature in the film ‘Blowup’ made in 1966 and its exterior had changed little 22 years later. After than it became El Blason Restaurant & Tapas Bar and then in 2013 went considerably upmarket as The Five Fields with a Michelin star and prices to match.

Lucan Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-4r-31-positive_2400
Lucan Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-31

This huge block of flats in Brompton is the rear of Chelsea Cloisters, ten storeys with over 800 small flats as well as shops etc along its Sloane Avenue frontage, built in the 1930s, demolishing the earlier houses on the site. The block was controversially bought in 1968 by the Freshwater Corporation. The conversion of part of the property into a hotel was extremely controversial, and many tenants lost their homes. Plans by the GLC and Kensington & Chelsea council to buy the block for public housing fell through and in 1984 the 747 flats, garage, petrol-filling station, restaurant, and coffee shop were sold. It was then extensively refurbished. (British History Online.)

Bury Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-34-positive_2400
Bury Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-34

The entrance into a small private courtyard in front of 53 Bury Walk still has this pair of lions proudly guarding a rather plain and basic gate. The street perhaps gets its name (previously Bury Street) as it led to St Lukes Burial Ground. It was developed on Chelsea Common in the nineteenth century.

Flats, Kinbolton Row, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-43-positive_2400
Flats, Kinbolton Row, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-43

These flats are I think Thurloe Court which consists of two linked blocks, that at right with a frontage on the Fulham Road, or possibly a neighbouring 1930s block of flats, and I walked down the narrow Kinbolton Way to take this picture bwtween the blocks. An estate agent describes it as a “charming, period, redbrick portered mansion block ideally situated between South Kensington, Knightsbridge and Sloane Square” and flats there are valued at £1.5-£2m.

Shop, Fulham Rd, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-44-positive_2400
Shop, Fulham Rd, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-44

The Baby Doll poster is for the 1956 American dramatic black comedy film directed by Elia Kazan. I think the shop is probably in Crescent Mansions at 113 Fulham Road. Steps led down to a basement where men’s clothes were for sale.

Pelham Crescent, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-45-positive_2400
Pelham Crescent, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-45

Pelham Crescent was named after Henry Thomas Pelham, third Earl of Chichester, one of the trustees of the Smith’s Charity which acquired the land from nurserymen Samuel Harrison and William Bristow who went bankrupt in 1832. George Basevi junior provided the drawings for the house frontages which were contracted to builder James Bonnin who was required to build houses worth at least £800 and complete the job in seven years. (British History Online.) They now sell for over £10m.

Click on any of the images to see a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos and to browse the images there.


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.


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.


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 Fulham Rd: 1988

Saturday, July 24th, 2021

Redcliffe Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-16-positive_2400
Redcliffe Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-16

Redcliffe Square, part of the Gunter estate in unusual in that the garden in its centre is open to the public. It was given free to the local authority, now the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in 1949 with the proviso that the character of this tree-lined space was not changed. It’s a pleasant place to sit in the shade on a hot summer day. The street along its west side, called Redcliffe Gardens was an old north-south track through the area, previously called Walnut Tree Walk.

Robert Gunter employed George and Henry Gunter as surveyors and architects for the estate development, and Redcliffe Square was built to their designs in 1869–76. My picture show the front steps of No 6, as the east corner and houses in the eastern extension of the street towards The Little Boltons. None of the houses in the square are listed – its only listed building is a telephone kiosk. The Gunters came from Bristol and brought the name Redcliffe from there.

The Octagon, St Mark's College, Fulham Rd, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-21-positive_2400
The Octagon, St Mark’s College, Fulham Rd, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-21

The Octagon at 459b Fulham Road was a part of one of the first teacher training colleges in the country. It was founded 1841 with Derwent Coleridge its first principal and Edward Blore its architect, probably responsible for this building in 1843 in what he described as a Byzantine style, but seems to be more Romanesque. It was built as “practising school” for the students with a classroom full of desk, and was originally only a single storey, with the rest being added 5 years later.

The building was converted into a library in 1953. The college merged with various others over the years and moved away in 1973 after its land which extends south to Kings Road was compulsorily purchased for a road building scheme which appears no to have materialised. It was bought by Chelsea College in 1980, and in 1989 after their 1985 merger with King’s College was put on sale. It is now a dwelling.

The Chapel, St Mark's College, Fulham Rd, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-22-positive_2400
The Chapel, St Mark’s College, Fulham Rd, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-22

The neighbouring chapel at 459a Fulham Road was again by Edward Blore, this time in a Lombardy Romanesque style, and was built to serve both the college and the local community. Permission was granted in 2013 for it to be converted into two private residencies.

Marine Stores, Fulham Rd, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-23-positive_2400
Marine Stores, Fulham Rd, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-23

Unsurprisingly there is no longer a scrap metal dealer occupying this shop on the corner of St Mark’s Grove, but an estate agents. 340 Fulham Rd had been Marine Stores at least since1940, probably rather earlier, but I’ve no idea why it got that name.

The houses were build at St Mark’s Terrace shortly after the land was bought in 1844 with front gardens, which were later converted to these shops. The land was sold by the Equitable Gas Light Company, who had been planning a gas works in the area on the Kensington Canal but changed their mind and built it in Westminster. (British History Online.)

Hollywood Arms, Hollywood Rd,  West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-26a-positive_2400
Hollywood Arms, Hollywood Rd, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-26

The developers of the Redcliffe estate planned from the start to include shops and adjoining public houses, and the Hollywood Arms first opened in 1866. The pub is Grade II listed. It predates the settlement in California that became synonomous with commercial film. That was apparently named after an earlier estate in Illinois, which was apparently named after a small village in County Wicklow, Ireland and perhaps this street and pub got their name from that same place.

Chapel, Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-33-positive_2400
Chapel, Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-33

Finally for today, three pictures from Brompton Cemetery.

Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-36-positive_2400
Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-36

Photographers tend to spend a lot of time in cemeteries, though I suspect I went there as a quiet place to rest and eat my sandwich lunch.

Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-42-positive_2400
Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-42

Robert Coombes (1808-1860), though a rather small and light man, was the fastest oarsman of his era and was later trained both Oxford and Cambridge crews for their annual Boat Race. He died in poverty in a lunatic asylum, but friends and admirers paid for a magnificent Grae II listed tomb, on top of which is an upturned boat and the Doggetts Coat and Badge arms. All four oarsmen at the corners have lost their heads.

Brompton: 1988

Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

Brompton Rd, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-51-positive_2400
Brompton Rd, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-51

Estate Agents seemed to be taking over the world and this large Foxton’s seemed to symbolise this. In an article in ‘Property Chronicle‘ in 2020, Dan Channer suggests that Foxtons is the only UK Estate Agent brand “truly differentiated” for several reasons, one of which was that “It spent money on its offices like no other agent.” This building is perhaps an example of this and part of what has made them probably the most hated estate agent by those opposed to gentrification. Perhaps surprisingly this building on the Brompton Rd, though still and estate agents is now a branch of the other contender for that title, Savills.

Egerton Gardens,  Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-62-positive_2400
Egerton Gardens, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-62

Although the street sign says Egerton Crescent which is the address of the row of Grade II listed houses, I was standing in Egerton Gardens, and the garden with its threes and flowering daffodils is the garden between the two. The street is one of several to have been described in recent years as the “most expensive street in Britain”, with average house prices in 2015 of over £7.5m. (Wikipedia.) Among those who have lived there are broadcaster David Frost and film director Tony Richardson.

These houses were designed by George Basevi and built by in the 1840s as Brompton Crescent by developer James Bonnin, responsible for much of the development in the area (and other parts of London) from 1822 on. Bonnin leased the site in 1843 and some of the houses were occupied by 1845, with the work being completed by 1848. The site had previously been occupied by a mansion named Brompton Grange, which was demolished. The street was renamed Egerton Crescent in 1896 after the Honourable Francis Egerton, one of the trustees of the Smith’s Charity who owned the land.

Egerton Terrace,  Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-65-positive_2400
Egerton Terrace, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-65

This Grade II listed terrace was also built on land owned by the Smith’s Charity and Basevi may possibly have been involved in its design. This cul-de-sac at the east end of Egerton Gardens was also developed by Bonnin in the 1840s on the land he leased in 1843, and was originally called Michael’s Grove.

Brompton Oratory, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-4m-66-positive_2400
Brompton Oratory, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-66

Anglicans who followed the lead of John Henry Newman and became Catholics in the middle of the 19th century first established a London Oratory near Charing Cross, but soon purchased a site in Brompton in 1852. They first built an Oratory House and temporary church but in 1874 launched an appeal to build this Italianate Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, more commonly known as the Brompton Oratory. They held a competition for the design, which was won by Herbert Gribble in 1876 and the church was consecrated in 1884, although it was made taller and the cupola added in 1895. (Wikipedia). The church is Grade II* listed.

Harcourt Terrace, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-11-positive_2400
Harcourt Terrace, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-11

This is one I took for the tree, and shows why I liked photographing on London streets in winter when you see the remarkable patterns made by the branches. Of course there is another huge advantage, as in summer you can’t see the houses for the trees in many streets which created an impenetrable green barrier.

Although I find Google’s Streetview extremely useful at times – and check any locations I’m unsure about using it, one extremely annoying feature is that it only seems to have views taken between April and October, many of which are obscured by leaves. That seems a poor decision. The earliest views were taken in 2008, and its often useful to be able to go back to that date; if it had been going in 1988 I might not have thought my long walks necessary, though you often find that it doesn’t allow quite the view you want.

Harcourt Terrace, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-12a-positive_2400
Harcourt Terrace, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-12

Here’s another picture of Harcourt Terrace where you can see some of the houses.

Harcourt Terrace, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-13-positive_2400
Harcourt Terrace, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-13

And walking a little further down the street shows a little more variety.

Land in this area south of Brompton Road was bought up by the builders and consolidated by around 1866 and became the Redcliffe estate. Building continued until around 1876 with over 800 houses and “72 mews premises” (British History Online) The builders, William Corbett and Alexander McClymont, were noted for their modern methods, including the use of steam powered joiner’s machinery and building fire-resistant roofs, but went bankrupt in 1878 with liabilities of around one-and-a-quarter million pounds. William Corbett in his earlier years described himself as an accountant, and the huge debt was possibly a result of the work being based on unconventional “modern” accounting methods. Fortunately most of the building was completed by then.

Redcliffe Mews, Harcourt Terrace, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-14-positive_2400
Redcliffe Mews, Harcourt Terrace, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-14

Redcliffe Mews is behind the houses on the west side of Harcourt Terrace and is one of the few mews in this area. The date of 1869 probably applies to the terraces on the main street as well as the mews behind them.

Click on any of the images to see a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos


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 Sloane Square & Brompton: 1988

Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

Four Eyes, Opticians, Shop, Sloane Square, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-16-positive_2400
For Eyes, Opticians, Shop, Sloane Square, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-16

I perhaps need an eye test, as when I was captioning this picture to go onto Flickr I called it ‘Four Eyes’, a term of abuse for schoolboy spectacle wearers. But perhaps I was referring to the door at left which has very much a face on it with the two circular panels and a letter box and a know for the nose, panels of facial hair on each side and a lower letter box for a mouth, along with the cut-off face of a man walking into the picture at extreme left.

Or perhaps I just thought ‘Four Eyes’ was a better name for an opticians rather than the prosaic ‘For Eyes’. The shop at 136 Sloane St is long gone, though the building remains and this is now a part of a wider shopfront.

Shop, Cadogan St, Halsey St,  Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-21-positive_2400
Shop, Cadogan St, Halsey St, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-21

The term ‘corner shop’ conjures up something far to plebian for this location, though this is one of a pair of them on the junction of Cadogan St and Halsey St. One is now an Estate Agents and this one an office for a company advising wealthy clients on their investments.

Cadogan Gardens, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 198888-4m-25-positive_2400
Cadogan Gardens, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-25

Cadogan Gardens, originally Leete St, a part of the Cadogan Estate was rebuilt in 1887 in a Queen Anne Rivival style. No 20 apparently dates from 1891 and was built by Henry John Wright who also built some other houses on Lord Cadogan’s estate. The previously rather poor area was one of speculative building for the growing upper middle classes who often had large families – there were no reliable or widely used methods of contraception and women who survived childbirth continued to produce children until menopause. The house was converted into flats in the 1950s.

Donne Place, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-31-positive_2400
Donne Place, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-31

Donne Place is a “mews Style cul-de-sac with pedestrian through road”, off Draycott Avenue in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The houses were built in the mid 19th century in what was then a poor area and the street was then known as Caroline Place. Other streets in the area have also changed names and when built it was a street off what had been Blacklands Lane, was then Marlborough Road and is now Draycott Avenue. Although sometimes described by estate agents as a mews, the forty or so houses were built as small family homes around the middle of the nineteenth century, along with other similar streets in the area. At the end of the street is the large block of Marlborough Buildings, two large blocks opened in 1890 by the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company to house 500 people.

A high-explosive bomb destroyed some of the area in 1940-41, and some properties and I think part or all of this one, at the corner with Bulls Gardens, a slightly earlier development, is probably one of these. Many of those in the street have been extensively rebuilt behind their facades (and in some cases below ground) in more recent years. Houses built as simple dwellings for the better-off working classes now sell for £2-3million.

Draycott Ave, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-32-positive_2400
Draycott Ave, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-32

I think this building was probably at 163 Draycott Avenue, and though still standing, its frontage has been altered beyound recognition, with no trace of their the Draycott Gallery, Manguette or the subterranean L’escapade.

Milner St, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-42-positive_2400
Milner St, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-42

10 Milner Street still looks much the same apart from a coat of paint and a new front door, and is still next to the entrance to St Catherine’s Mews, now with a less attractive gate that no longer matches the balcony. The shop at right is still an estate agent, but has changed from Lloyds to Stanley.

The house, often known as Stanley House, is Grade II listed as a substantial early mid-19th century house. It was built in 1855 by “Chelsea speculator John Dodd” as his Chelsea Home according to Wikipedia and the many web sites who have copied this information. I think this may be John Todd (1817-1897), the son of George Todd & Ann Beecroft of Durham who were married in 1815 at Bishop Wearmouth, Durham, England and is said to have moved to Middlesex where he became an builder and became rather rich.

Milner St, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-43-positive_2400
Milner St, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4m-43

And these are the doors no longer present on 10 Milner St. The house became the home of famous horologist Courtenay Ilbert and housed his collection of clocks, watches, marine chronometers and sundials. His nephew, Michael Inchbald lived with him from 1945 and after his death refurbished the interiors in a manner that established his reputation as an interior designer. Inchbald’s then wife Jacqueline Ann Duncan founded the Inchbald School of Design, the first interior design school in Europe, in their family home in 1960. (Thanks again Wikipedia and their link to Christies.) It is still going strong but now at 7 Eaton Gate, where somewhere inside they possibly still have these doors.


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.


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.


Earls Court & Brompton – 1987

Monday, March 22nd, 2021

Old Brompton Rd, West Brompton, Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12b-01-positive_2400
Old Brompton Rd, West Brompton, Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

As a sign indicated, the Fulham Training Workshops on the Old Brompton Road seem to lie on the very boundary of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham – and if so I was probably standing in Kensington and Chelsea to take this picture from outside West Brompton staion. Hidden behind the building at the time were the two builsings of the huge Earls Court exhibition centre – a site which when I last visited was a large empty expanse with dust clouds blowing around awaiting redevelopment.

Nevern Place, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12b-12-positive_2400
Nevern Place, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

A whole block along the south side of Nevern Place, between Earls Court Road and Templeton Place has around 15 doorways each framed by a pair of these spiral columns. As my picture shows, the twists on each side of the door are in opposing directions.

Twisted columns were brought to Rome, probably from Greece in the 4th century by Roman Emperor Constantine the Great for the first St Peter’s Basilica. Legend grew that they came from the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, though they were probably made several centuries after that was destroyed, but their use in Byzantine architecture may possibly have been based on the oak tree used for the Ark of the Covenant. ‘Barley sugar’ columns became popular in Baroque architecture thanks to Bernini and were known as Solomonic columns. I’m not sure whether this is the correct term for these, which are made of a series of spiral elements around a central core.

Nevern Place, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12b-14-positive_2400
Nevern Square, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Nevern Place leads into Nevern Square where I photographed this impressive pair of doors.

Richard Tauber, grave, Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12b-22-positive_2400
Richard Tauber’s grave, Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Brompton Cemetery was one of seven large private cemeteries set up around 1840 when London’s churchyards and existing cemeteries were full to overflowing. This Grade I listed cemetery is now owned by the Crown and managed by the Royal Parks. Among the over 200,000 buried there (and there is space for more) are a number of well-known people – Wikipedia has a long list, though most of them I’ve never heard of.

Back in 1987 people were clearly coming to the grave of Austrian tenor and film actor Richard Tauber (1891-1948) and most of them had probably attended his concerts or had his voice on gramophone records.

Emmeline Pankhurst, memorial, Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12b-24-positive_2400
Emmeline Pankhurst memorial, Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858 – 1928) is remembered by a rather fine memorial by Julian Phelps Allan, a woman sculptor born Eva Dorothy Allan, who changed her name to a more masculine version probably because it was hard for women sculptors to get work and continued to use the title ‘Miss’ and feminine pronouns.

Benjamin Webster, memorial, Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12b-31-positive_2400
Benjamin Webster memorial, Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

I knew nothing about Benjamin Webster when I took several pictures of his gravestone, although it tells me he was an actor. I find that there have been two well-known actors called . This one was an actor-mnaager and dramatist and was born in Bath so I don’t know why he had Nottingham in his name though it doesn’t appear on the gravestone. It can be a little of a shock to see him still staring out at you with one eye.

Benjamin Webster, memorial, Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12b-32-positive_2400
Benjamin Webster memorial, Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Benjamin Nottingham Webster named his son William Shakespeare Webster, and his son was Benjamin Nottingham Webster III who also became an actor, though more normally known as Ben Webster. There is also another actor Ben Webster, still so far as I know living, but for me Ben Webster is a guy with a tenor sax who I spent an unsuccesful afternoon trying to entertain in Manchester many years ago trying to keep him sober enough to play. He got through a bottle of whisky and seemed more or less incapable, but then got up on stage and played so beautifully I cried.

Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12b-45-positive_2400
Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

The Colonade around the Great Circle, designed by the cemetery’s architect, Benjamin Baud and based on the piazza in front of St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. It was made for people to walk around – and a stroll around the cemetery was popular among well-off Victorians who would hold family picnics in the grounds.

Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12b-52-positive_2400
Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Nowadays it remains a popular place to go, particularly for film crews and photographers – and you may have to wait some time if you want to avoid others in your pictures. According to Wikipedia, “The cemetery has a reputation for being a popular cruising ground for gay men”.

Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12b-65-positive_2400
Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Clicking on any of the pictures above will take you to a larger version in my Flickr album 1987 London Photos from where you can browse forwards or back through the pictures.