Posts Tagged ‘Collingham Gardens’

South Ken, Earls Court and further west

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

The final selection of images from my black and white photographs of London in 1987, taken in December.

Collingham Gardens,South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12f-62-positive_2400
Collingham Gardens,South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

A couple of doorways from the area largely built in the 1880s to the varied designs of George and Peto, with motifs borrowed from a range of cities across Europe.

Collingham Gardens,South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12f-63-positive_2400
Collingham Gardens,South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

You can read more about the architects in my previous post on the area.

Bolton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12f-44-positive_2400
Bolton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

A LCC blue plaque records that Sir Edwin Arnold (1832-1904) lived and died at 31 Bolton Gardens. He spent five years in India as a college principal and return in 1861 to work as a journalist on the Daily Telegraph, later becoming its editor, and he, together with the New York Herald sent explorer H M Stanley, who had three years earlier discovered David Livingstone, to explore the course of the Congo River.

But he was best known in the Victorian era for his book of eight poems, The Light of Asia, an Indian epic about Prince Gautama of India, the founder of Buddhism, along with other poetic works on India and the far east. Mahatma Gandhi admired his poetic English translation of the Bhagavad Gita, The Song Celestial and invited him to be vice-president of the UK Vegetarian Society. Widely decorated at the time, Arnold and his work are now largely and probably deservedly forgotten.

Barkston Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12f-32-positive_2400
Barkston Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Barkston Gardens a short walk from Earls Court station was built from 1886 as a part of the Gunter estate, with houses by several developers. These flats have shops on the Earls Court Rd on their west side and on the east the long still private communal garden around which Barkston Gardens was developed. Previously this had been the site of Earl’s Court House.

Hogarth Rd, Earl's Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12e-64-positive_2400
6 Hogarth Place, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Hogarth Place is directly opposite the Earls Court Road exit from Earls Court Station, and seems to integrate seamlessly with Hogarth Road for its first section. Although there are still shops along here, the cacophony of signage is now considerably muted, though the New Asia is still there.

Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12f-13-positive_2400
Hotels, Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Cromwell Road is the busy A4, and perhaps not the quietest place for a hotel, but there are still many along it. I think this is now the Crown Plaza near Gloucester Rd station.

Sales Office, Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12f-22-positive_2400
Sales Office, Point West, Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Until the end of 1973 passengers for British European Airways (BEA) flights from Heathrow could check in at the West London Air Terminal on Cromwell Road, from where coaches would take them along the A4 to the airport. The terminal was built where a short disused section of railway line called the Cromwell Curve had connected the District Line close to Gloucester Road station to allow trains to go to High Street Kensington avoiding a section of Metropolitan Line track. The building, by Sir John Burnet, Tait and Partners was opened in 1963 replacing a temporary facility and had six floors of BEA offices above the concourse. After the closure part of the building became a Sainsbury’s Superstore and the rest was converted into flats, including many now used for short-term rentals by tourists.

Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12f-12-positive_2400
Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Christmas was coming and the Lorenzaccio Club was offering Christmas Parties ‘Lorenzo’s Way’ with a fine winged lion and a curious crescent moon sign supporting a rather sad-looking hanging basket. I didn’t go in to enquire.

Latimer Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12e-61-positive_2400
Latimer Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

The view from the west end of the platform at Latimer Rd Station as I waited for a train to Hammersmith.

Wellesley Rd, Gunnersbury, Hounslow, 198787-12e-62-positive_2400
Wellesley Rd, Gunnersbury, Hounslow, 1987

You can still see this row of houses with unusual facades topped by a faux balustrade reminding me of icing on a cake on Wellesley Rd though I think one of those shown here has since lost its topping.

There are a few more photographs I haven’t featured here on page 8 of my 1987 London Photos.

Earls Court & South Ken: 1987

Saturday, March 27th, 2021
Melbury Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12d-63-positive_2400
Melbury Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Another of those artists houses in Melbury Rd, just a short walk north from Earls Court. The house, now Grade II* listed, was commissioned by painter and illustrator Marcus Stone from achitect Richard Norman Shaw and completed in 1875. Stone’s best work was probably his illustrations for books by Charles Dickens, Antony Trollope and others, and his paintings, particularly his later works, though technically superb have been described as “a particular type of dainty sentiment, treated with much charm, refinement and executive skill” or more bluntly, “chocolate box.” The many windows of the studio were probably more to light his work for clients than for painting, as the larger group shown here are east-facing.

Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12e-31-positive_2400
Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Collingham Gardens is one of a number of streets on the edge of Earls Court and South Kensington which together have a wide range of late Victorian architecture, sometimes rather overdone.

Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12e-26-positive_2400
Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Many of the houses in this area were built by Peto Brothers to the plans of Ernest George (1839-1922) and the younger Harold Ainsworth Peto (1854–1933). These architectural partners also designed houses for the Cadogan Estate before Peto decided to leave London in 1891. Many of the leading architects of the early 20th century trained in George’s London office, includint (according to Wikipedia) “Herbert Baker, Guy Dawber, John Bradshaw Gass, Edwin Lutyens and Ethel Charles”, who was the first woman to be admitted to the RIBA.

Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987   87-12e-46-positive_2400
Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

George and Peto added a remarkable range of vernacular elements derived from across Northern Europe to the basically Queen Anne design of the hourses in the area, particularly in Harrington Gardnes and Collingham Gardens, based on the sketches they had made of houses in Holland, Germany and elsewhere. It was an eclecticism that was not always admired, either at the time or now.

Harrington Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12e-35-positive_2400
Harrington Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

These houses are large and many have been converted into flats. Some are listed but many are not. The overall effect of wandering these streets is overpowering and best taken in small doses. A 2-bed flat in the area may cost you a million, and houses perhaps £15m.

Kenway Rd, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12e-41-positive_2400
Kenway Rd, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Coming out of Earls Court Station I often crossed Earls Court Road and made my way down Hogarth Road and then along the narrow Hogarth Place past shops onto Kenway Road as a short cut to a friend’s studio not far away. Or rather than wait for the crossing I might walk a few yards north and then cross directly to Kenway Road, where this shop was at No 9 on the north side of the street, with Arabic script on the window and its illuminated sign, together with an animal I was never sure was a sheep, cow or goat.

Kenway Rd, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12e-42-positive_2400
Kenway Rd, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

I think Kashmir Stores was more or less opposite, where a short alley leads off to a rear yard. The owner saw me taking photographs and was very keen not to be left out.

There are a few more pictures of the area in my 1987 London Photos.


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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.