Posts Tagged ‘Carlyle Square’

Glebe Place and Carlyle Square 1988

Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

Glebe Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-52-positive_2400
Glebe Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-52

Glebe Place on the southern side of the King’s Road is a curious street with two right-angle bends and includes a series of artists studios, some grander than others, and its residents over the years have included a huge list of artists and writers – Wikipedia lists around 30 – as well as Paul Robeson, Shirley Williams and Constant Lambert.

I don’t remember outside which house I found this rather fierce sculpture which I think is no longer present.

Glebe Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-51-positive_2400
Glebe Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-51

25 and 25a Glebe Place. The heraldic lions have since left and the roof has been replaced. No 25 was the home of artist George Washington Lambert (1873-1930) who was born in Russia, educated in Somerset and emigrated with his mother and sisters to Australia in 1887. There he began exhibiting paintings and working as a cartoonist and illustrator. In the 1900s he spent a year in Paris, then moved to London; in the First World War he was an official Australian war artist, and he returned to Australia in 1921. His second son, Constant Lambert (1905-51), a notable British composer, was born in London in 1905 and also lived here; he was the Founder Music Director of the Royal Ballet.

Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-34-positive_2400
Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-34

The houses at left of the picture are the pair at the north end of the east side, No 27 and 28 and to the right of them are the doors of No 25 and 24 on the north side.

Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-35-positive_2400
Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-35

This rather agonised looking sculpture on the balcony was at No 28 but is no longer present.

Carlyle Square was laid out by the Cadogan Estate in the 1830s after Lord Cadogan bought the land on the north side of King’s Road in 1835, quickly clearing it of the existing small houses and cottages and laying out Oakley Square around an ornamental garden. But development of the square was slow. As originally set out, there were entrances for vehicles from both the east and west sides to King’s Road; more recently an area of garden separates the square from King’s Road, allowing only pedestrian entrance, with vehicle entrance being only from Old Church St.

Development began with short terraces of 3 houses on both the east and west sides next to King’s Rd, all now Grade II listed. They were followed in 1855 by a couple of semi-detached villas on the west side and around 1860 the north side of the square was largely completed with some varied houses. The remaining gaps – including most of its east side – were completed not long after, mainly with large identical semi-detached houses with a few feet gap between them.

Among notable residents over the years were Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell, William Walton, Sybil Thorndike, Edna O’Brien and David Frost (who held an annual summer party for some years in the garden.) No 21 was built for the Duke of Portland around 1860, and a later Duke of Portland who was Chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee during WW2 was still in residence.

Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-22-positive_2400
Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-22

Bushes carefully trimmed in pots under the windows of No 22.

Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-24-positive_2400
Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-24

This rather splendid tree is I think a fig tree and is still present – along with the pots at No 22 on the south-facing north of the square.

Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-33-positive_2400
Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

No 37-40 have walls and gate posts like this, and this is the entrance of 38. Most of the rest of the houses on the east and west side have plain iron railings.


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


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Old Church St, Chelsea, 1988

Monday, August 23rd, 2021

Old Church St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-21-positive_2400
Old Church St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-21

Old Church St is, as its name suggests a rather old street in Chelsea, running north from Chelsea Old Church by the river up to the Fulham Road. It is thought to be the oldest street in Chelsea but it contains two of Chelsea’s most significant modern buildings. No 66 at the left was designed in 1935–1936 by Walter Gropius and Maxwell Fry for the scriptwriter Benn Levy and his actress wife Constance Cummings. They had bought a large site – perviously the garden of a large house – here together with publisher Denis Cohen, and shared it to build a house each, with a communal garden.

Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus, came to England in 1934 and was fortunate to get a flat in the Isokon building in Lawn Road, Belsize Park, where he met many leading left-wing intellectuals of the age including modernist architects, among them the designer of the flats, Jack Pritchard. Pritchard and Gropius worked on several projects together, few of which were ever built.

Gropius also worked with Maxwell Fry, and this house they designed together was his most significant domestic work during the 3 years before he left to take up a professorship in the USA. My photograph doesn’t show it well, as it was built to face the private garden to which I did not have access, but for those interested there are plenty of pictures on-line. It was offered for sale in 2013 for £45 million, but I couldn’t afford it. Surprisingly the house is only Grade II listed.

Old Church St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-34-positive_2400
Old Church St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-34

Cohen House on the other half of the site, also completed in 1936 was designed by Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff for the publisher Denis Cohen and is more visible from the road. Like Gropius, Mendelsohn was also fleeing from Nazi Germany and went on the the USA; Chermayeff, born to a Jewish family in Russia had come here as a young boy, was educated here and became a British citizen in 1928 and emigrated to the USA in 1940 . This building is Grade II* listed. The partnership between Mendelsohn and Chermayeff only lasted a few years but produced some of the country’s outstanding modernist buildings.

Old Church St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-24-positive_2400
Old Church St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-24

153 Old Church St. The gate at right I think leads to 153a. THe house at the right which you cannot see much of has a blue plaque for John Francis Sartorius (fl. 1775-1831), an English painter of horses, horse-racing and hunting scenes. Accord to Mark Keble in Chelsea The Resident, 153 Old Church Street was built between 1956-57 on the former site of the studio of the renowned Welsh portrait painter Augustus John (1878-1961).

Old Church St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-32-positive_2400
Old Church St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-32

This house is on the corner of Carlyle Square and Old Church St and the gatepost gives its address as 26 Carlyle Square. The land here which contained a number of buildings was sold to Lord Cadogan in 1835, who quickly had the existing houses and cottages cleared and building of a new square, Oakley Square, began in 1836-7. But progress was slow and there were only a few houses completed by 1851. The square was renamed Carlyle Square in honour of the historian and writer Thomas Carlyle in 1872.

Old Church St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-33-positive_2400
Old Church St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-33

This house is on the corner of Old Church St and Elm Park Rd at 125-127. The plaque records the fact that William De Morgan Ceramic Artist And Novelist (1839-1917) And His Wife Evelyn De Morgan Artist (1855-1919) Lived & Died Here. The house was specially adapted for their work – and you can just see the bottom of a large studio window in this picture.

Queen's Elm Square, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-26-positive_2400
Queen’s Elm Square, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-26

Queen’s Elm Square is on the west side of Old Church St close to the Fulham Rd. It was built in 1904-6 for the Sloane Stanley Estate, just behind the Queen’s Elm pub on the corner of Fulham Rd and Old Church St. This famous pub closed in the 1990s and the ground floor is now shops. The site was earlier a field known as the Queen’s Elm Field and began to be developed – including an earlier pub – in 1792.

The Vale, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-42-positive_2400
The Vale, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-42

The Vale is a short street running parallel to Old Church St north from the King’s Rd about 200 yards to its west. The unusual Russian House, at 27 The Vale, was built in 1914 just before the start of the First World War by architect F.E. Williams and incorporates at in the frontage of the substantial property a Russian Dacha that had formed a part of an exhibition at the Crystal Palace in the 1890s. The house was occupied by the British Red Cross during the war and later became the home of members of the Sainsbury family. It was then converted into flats, but in the 1990s converted back into a single house. It sold in 2018 for 12.75m

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


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