Posts Tagged ‘Cheniston Lodge’

Back to Kensington – 1987

Thursday, March 18th, 2021

Iverna Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-11e-32-positive_2400
Iverna Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

I returned to Kensington and took a few more pictures in November 1987. In my project on London I liked to go back to walk around areas a second time, often walking along the same streets in the opposite direction or on the opposite side of the streets to perhaps see things I had not noticed on my walk. There were some areas too that I found of more interest that I’d return to every few years, and others that I visited regularly for reasons other than photography, perhaps to visit friends or go to particular shops etc.

Scarsdale Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-11e-34-positive_2400
Scarsdale Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

I can’t at this remove remember what took me back to Kensington only a short time after I’d previously walked there. It may have been that there were some pictures I’d taken that I wasn’t entirely happy with, though there were probably plenty I thought that about. Perhaps I had some business not far away, or an exhibition I went to see, and it’s an area not far from where a friend had a studio. But what impresses me now is the variety of the architecture I found there.

Cheniston Lodge, Cheniston Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-11e-35-positive_2400
Cheniston Lodge, Cheniston Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Cheniston Gardens was given its name by its developers and derives from the spelling of Kensington in the Domesday Book when ‘Chenesitone’ had18 villagers, 7 slaves and one priest. Chenistone Lodge, the single red brick and terracotta Queen Anne building in a sea of stucco was the last building to be completed on the street in 1885. It was on the site of Abingdon House, where in 1874 Archbishop Manning set up a Catholic University College run by Thomas Capel, which was a failure as wealthy Catholics preferred to continue to get special dispensation to send their sons to Oxbridge, and because of Capel’s poor finanacial management, which led to his bankruptcy in 1878. More problems were to follow for him, and the following year Monsignor Capel was found guilty of having sex with three women (one a servant of one of the others); on his appeal to Rome there was no verdict on his guilt or innocence but he was sentenced to continue his career in the Catholic Church in the United States. Abingdon House was sold to the developers in 1879.

Cheniston Lodge was let to a number of tenants in the years up to the First World War and later had two longer term residents, probably as private owners. In October 1940 Kensington Council purchased the freehold for £2000 to use it as an air raid materials store, and after the war it became Kensington Registry Office. It was Grade II listed shortly before they sold it to a developer in 1981 for £250,000 to be converted into offices. In around 2012 it was converted back into a single residence.

St. Sarkis, Armenian Church, Iverna Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-11e-46-positive_2400
St. Sarkis, Armenian Church, Iverna Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Not far from Cheniston Lodge is the Grade II* listed St. Sarkis Armenian Church in Iverna Gardens which is the only church in the country in the traditional Armenian style, inspired by a 13th century monastery which looks remarkably similar but rather squatter, but it was designed by English architect Arthur Joseph Davis. The building was a gift of the oil baron Calouste Gulbenkian in 1922–23, and conveniently his father had been named after the Armenian St Sarkis the Warrior and it was built as a memorial for his parents, and apparently contains sculptures of his family members inside. Like Cheniston Lodge it was also listed in 1981, possibly as a part of the comprehensive review after developers Trafalgar House demolished the art deco Firestone Tyres building on the Great West Road during the August Bank Holiday in 1980 to prempt its listing the following day.

Baptist Church, Kensington Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-11e-61-positive_2400
Baptist Church, Kensington Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Rather plainer than St Sarkis is Bethesda Baptist Chapel in Kensington Place, suitably austere for ‘strict bapists’.

It was The Chapels Society ‘Chapel of the Month in May 2017, where Dr Jennifer Freeman writes:

The Church in Kensington Place was built in 1866 for baptised believers who subscribe to ‘Restricted Communion’ ( i.e. with communion being exclusively available to professing, baptised Christians), to ‘Particular Redemption’ and to the teachings of the Authorised Version of the Bible, under the oversight of a Pastor.

Apparently the facade is now illuminated: “in the evening delicate floodlighting pinpoints the building“, though when I photographed it there was only a broken light fitting over the door – and I think it had once been for a gas lamp. Inside Dr Freeman describes it as “dignified modest and reverent, in spirit with Baptist thinking.”

Kensington Church St area, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-11e-63-positive_2400
Kensington Church St area, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Although at first sight these long Victorian stucco terraces look the same, closer inspection shows significant differences, enough for me to decide that this is not any of the Kensington streets I’ve looked at. But it is number 15 on a street in Kensington – and if you can be sure which street please click on the image to go into it in my Flikr album and write a comment to let me know.

HyperHyper, Kensington High St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-11e-66-positive_2400
HyperHyper, Kensington High St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

I don’t think I had any real reason to revisit Hyper Hyper and photography these leftover caryatids from its previous incarnation as an antiques supermarket as my previous image was I think satisfactory. But when you are in the area and walk past something like this it isn’t easy or even necessary not to indulge in another photograph.

These images are all from page 8 of my Flickr album 1987 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.