Posts Tagged ‘Jacob Epstein’

Sculpture and more – Battersea &Chelsea 1988

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

Sculpture, In Town, John Ravera, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5f-12-positive_2400
Sculpture, In Town, John Ravera, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5f-12

My next walk in London on the following Friday started where I had finished the previous Sunday. I think I’d finished my teaching for the week at midday and jumped on a train to Clapham Junction then a bus to Battersea Bridge. I got off on the south side of the bridge to photograph a couple of pieces of sculpture and to enjoy the walk across the river.

Sculpture, In Town, John Ravera, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5f-15-positive_2400
Sculpture, In Town, John Ravera, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5f-15

The first piece, just the the west of the bridge was the sculpture In Town by John Ravera (1941-2006), commissioned by Wates Built Homes Ltd who developed the area around it and dates from 1983. Ravera was born in Surrey and went to Camberwell School of Art and created many public sculptures still on display. This one was cast at the Meridian Foundry in Peckham, where two of Britain’s leading art foundries were located in the railway arches between Consort Road and Brayards Road.

Sadly this sculpture is no longer intact, and the dove for which the young child is reaching – the real climax of the piece – has gone.

Two swans, Catherine Marr-Johnson, sculpture, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5g-62-positive_2400
Two swans, Catherine Marr-Johnson, sculpture, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5g-62

On the Thames Path on the other side of Battersea Bridge Road in front of an office block is Two swans, by Catherine Marr-Johnson, born in Crickhowell in Wales in 1945. The two piece sculpture dates from 1984 and the swans taking flight reflected the formation of the new company in front of which it stood.

Two swans, Catherine Marr-Johnson, sculpture, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5g-65-positive_2400
Two swans, Catherine Marr-Johnson, sculpture, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5g-65

I think on this visit I didn’t have a lens with a wide enough angle of view to take the picture I wanted with the pair of swans taking off across the river, though I returned at a later date to do so. It was rather easier to show both from the front, but not so satisfying as you can see if you browse the album.

Old Church St, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-56-positive_2400
Former Dairy, Old Church St, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-56

I walked across the bridge and began taking pictures in Chelsea, including one of a house decorated with tiles at 46 Old Church St and, between the second floor windows a cows head, with another cows head on the building down the alley by its side, which is dated 1908, though it could be the date a much older building was restored.

Wrights Diary was first set up in 1796 with around 50 cows and a goat, though it moved slightly west to this site in the 1800s. Cows were kept here into the 20th century but eventually milk production moved completely out of London. The company was eventually bought by United Dairies probably in the 1950s. Their properties on Old Church St became shops but the courtyard building was converted into a recording studio, Sound Techniques which was in business from 1964-74, where, according to Metro Girl, “Among the acts to record at Sound Techniques Ltd included Sir Elton John, The Who, Jethro Tull, Judy Collins, Tyrannosaurus Rex and John Cale.” as well as Pink Floyd and Nick Drake.

Justice Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-41-positive_2400
Justice Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-41

The picture looks up from Justice Walk into Lawrence St, and was probably named as the home of John Gregory, a Justice of the Peace, who possibly lived in the house which now has the name Judges House. An imposing building on the street, named The Court House has had many stories told about it by estate agents and others about trying highway robbers and other criminals is a former Wesleyan Methodist Chapel built in 1841 and used as a church until 1903.

This corner is the former site from 1750-84 of the Chelsea china works, demolished at the end of the 18th century. It was the first factory outside of Japan and China to produce high quality porcelain. Should you wish to walk around this area I recommend Adam Yamey’s Where A Judge Once Walked In Chelsea from which much of the information above comes. Nothing like this was available to me when I was walking around in 1988 before the days of the World Wide Web.

Lawrence St, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-42-positive_2400
Lawrence St, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-42

Lawrence St took me back to Cheyne Walk, and on the corner was this side of Carlyle Mansions, No 54 Cheyne Walk, dated 1886 and named after Thomas Carlyle who lived nearby. The white-painted stone relief panels with cranes and flowers date from 1888.

The block is nicknamed the “Writers’ Block” and has been home to authors including Henry James, Somerset Maugham (briefly), Erskine Childers and Ian Fleming who wrote Casino Royal here. Henry James who lived and died in Flat 19 described his flat as his “Chelsea Perch…the haunt of the sage and the seagull“.

Untitled, bas-relief, Jacob Epstein, sculpture, Ropers Gardens, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, 88-5g-45-positive_2400
Untitled, bas-relief, Jacob Epstein, sculpture, Ropers Gardens, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, 88-5g-45

More sculpture close to the riverside in Ropers Gardens – this by Jacob Epstein.

Awakening, Gilbert Ledward, nude, sculpture, Ropers Gardens, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-33-positive_2400
Awakening, Gilbert Ledward, nude, sculpture, Ropers Gardens, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-33

And a rather more realistic nude by Gilbert Ledward in this very artistic area of London. Ledward (1888-1960), born in Chelsea, trained at the Royal College of Art (where he was later a professor) and the Royal Academy Schools and became one of the best-known of British sculptors. His works included many war memorials.


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


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.


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.