Posts Tagged ‘mews’

Around Randolph Avenue 1988

Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

Randolph Ave, Maida Vale, Westminster, 1988 88-7d-11-positive_2400
Randolph Ave, Maida Vale, Westminster, 1988 88-7d-11

If you take the Bakerloo Line to Maida Vale, the station exit is on the corner of Elgin Avenue and Randolph Avenue, and within a few yards of the corner I found a number of scenes that interested me enough to take a picture, including several I’ve not put online, including one of the station itself. It’s a nice Underground station, with the typical maroon tiles of the period and Grade II listed, opened in 2015, designed by Stanley Heap for the London Electric Railway but I think I felt it it would look better in colour, though I don’t think I made a colour image of its exterior.

Instead I crossed the road and walked a few yards north up Randolph Ave for this picture of Burke Electrical Services and the White Rose Laundry, both seemingly in an outhouse on the rear of the rather grandiose buildings of Elgin Avenue. All three shops in this picture are now a Starbucks, and those single-storey blocks now have two additional floors above, rather nicely blending in with the surroundings.

Elgin Mews North, Randolph Ave, Maida Vale, Westminster, 1988 88-7d-12-positive_2400
Elgin Mews North, Randolph Ave, Maida Vale, Westminster, 1988 88-7d-12

The left hand building of the above picture was a part of the archway leading east from Randolph Road into Elgin Mews North.

Most of the houses in Elgin Mews North seem modern, said to date from around 1984, but the gateway and those on Randolph Avenue are Grade II listed. The mews arch in an Italian Gothic style was built around 1864 but according to the listing text heavily restored and possibly reconstructed behind the facade around 1980.

Randolph Ave, Maida Vale, Westminster, 1988 88-7d-14-positive_2400
Randolph Ave, Maida Vale, Westminster, 1988 88-7d-14

A very similar pair of houses and archway are on Randolph Avenue just to the south of the Underground station, and are again Grade II listed.

Randolph Ave, Maida Vale, Westminster, 1988 88-7d-16-positive_2400
Randolph Ave, Maida Vale, Westminster, 1988 88-7d-16

According to the Victoria County History, Maida Vale gets its name from a victory in the Napoleonic Wars in 1807 when Sir John Stuart defeated the French at Maida in Calabria, and in 1810 a new pub on Edgware Road was named The Hero of Maida in his honour.

George Gutch (1790-1894) architect to the Bishops of London who owned the area made plans on a grand scale including a long avenue Portsdown Road parallel to Edgware Rd crossed by Elgin Road, but these were slow to be put into action, and it was only in the 1860s that the area began to be built up.

By this time the white stucco of earlier developments was being replaced by buildings in brick, often multicoloured which give the area its distinct look. Elgin Road was renamed Elgin Avenue in 1886, but it was only in 1939 that Portsdown Road was renamed to its current Randolph Avenue.

Randolph Ave, Maida Vale, Westminster, 1988 88-7e-02-positive_2400
Randolph Ave, Maida Vale, Westminster, 1988 88-7e-02

These long terraces are just beyond the mews in the image above.

Randolph Ave, Maida Vale, Westminster, 198888-7e-51-positive_2400
Randolph Ave, Maida Vale, Westminster, 198888-7e-51

The terrace continues for some length down Randolph Avenue.

Elgin Ave, Maida Vale, Westminster, 198888-7e-52-positive_2400
Elgin Ave, Maida Vale, Westminster, 198888-7e-52

I walked back to the tube station and Elgin Avenue, where a couple of shopfronts took may attention. The pillar dividing 294 and 296 is spiral, like those Italianate examples in Randolph Avenue.

Elgin Ave, Maida Vale, Westminster, 1988 88-7e-54-positive_2400
Elgin Ave, Maida Vale, Westminster, 1988 88-7e-54

And a little further east there was a blind stating ‘312 MEN’ above quite a few images of women which probably amused me slightly.

I walked out of Maida Vale across the Edgware Road and into St John’s Wood – where my next post from 1988 will continue. You can click on any of the images here to see a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos and browse the album from there.


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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.


Holland Park & Notting Hill

Tuesday, May 11th, 2021
Holland Park, Holland Park, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1d-64-positive_2400
Holland Park, Holland Park, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Holland Park is a street in London as well as an actual park and the name of a tube station which has transferred to an area of Kensington to the west of Notting Hill. Virtually every house in the street is listed – I think 88 of them. The exception is the Greek Embassy at No.1. This had been the most interesting house in the street. Built in 1860 it was bought in 1864 by banker Alexander C. Ionides (1810-1890), who had been Greek Consul General in London from 1854 to 1856. He and his son who inherited the house were wealthy Greek business men and patrons of the arts – and from 1864 and they transformed the property, commisioning external work leading Victorian architect Philip Webb, who also gave it a grand staircase and other fine public rooms, with internal decorative work by the leading figures of the day, including Willliam Morris who supervised much of the work and whose company provided much of it. It became a meeting-place for all London’s leading artists coming to its Sunday open house in the 1880s and 90s. The family moved out in 1898 and the house was sold a few years late.

Holland Park, Holland Park, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1d-61-positive_2400
Holland Park, Holland Park, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

The interior of 1 Holland Park was meticulously recorded by the leading architectural photographer of the day, Henry Bedford Lemere as well as in the work of others. But the new owners – who were also the owners of nearby Holland House – did not treat it well, whitewashing over the William Morris ceilings. The house was badly damaged by bombing in WW2 and was sold with Holland House and the park to the London County Council in 1952, when it was reported that little worth preserving remained and the house was demolished. The building which now houses the Greek Embassy was built in 1962 by architects Playne & Lacey and bought by Greece in 1973. An article available online gives muuch more detail on the Ionides family and the house

Holland Park Mews, Holland Park, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1d-63-positive_2400
Holland Park Mews, Holland Park, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Holland Park is actually two parallel streets, each stuffed with listed houses, built under the watchful eye of Lady Holland who saw to it that they met her standards, though at the time they were not felt to be anything special – typical houses for the wealthy. And the wealthy needed carriages which required to be kept at hand, along with the horses to draw them. They and the men who looked after them lived in the mews between the two streets, and would be drive the carriages around when required to the front doors – and the rich would emerge from those iron and glass porte cochères to ride in them.

Stoneleigh Place, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1d-35-positive_2400
Stoneleigh Place, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

A short distance north of Holland Park, some housing is on a less grand scale.

Freston Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1d-24-positive_2400
Freston Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Another picture from Freston Road. The London City Mission built The People’s Hall on Latimer Road in the Kensington Piggeries in 1902, when parts of the area were one of the worst slums in London. This part of Latimer Road was renamed Freston Road when the construction of the Westway and the West Cross Route cut it in half. The hall on the corner of Olaf St became the centre of the Free and Independent Republic of Frestonia in 1977. Probably it’s best known now as the place where much of The Clash’s album Combat Rock was recorded.

Royal Crescent, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1c-61-positive_2400
Royal Crescent, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Royal Crescent is at the western edge of Holland Park/Notting Hill, just to the north of Holland Park Avenue, just east of the Holland Park roundabout. It was one of the earliest parts of the Norland Estate to be developed in the 1840s, to the estate plan of Robert Cantwell and is Grade II* listed. It took a long time to rent these properties, which were thought to be too far out from London in the days of horse-drawn traffic for the wealthy.

St Ann's Villas, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1d-32-positive_2400
St Ann’s Villas, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

St Anne’s Villas leads north from the centre of the Royal Crescent, and is on one of the routes I’ve sometimes walked more recently from Shepherd’s Bush station to join the silent walks remembering Grenfell.

St Ann's Villas, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1c-52-positive_2400
St Ann’s Villas, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

St Anne’s Villas were built as a part of the Norland Estate, mainly around 1845. The area was developed by by Charles Richardson with barrister Charles Stewart taking building licences from him for these Tudor Gothic revival semi-deatched houses, now Grade II listed.


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.