Sunday 30 October 2022

Portobello Road, Notting Hill, West London

One of the most colourful streets in London, Portobello Road is famous for its market, its quirky antique and bric-a-brac shops and its vibrant early Victorian houses with their wrought iron railings. It is more than a mile long, with both residential and retail stretches. The antique traders first moved in 1948, supplanting the original fruit and veg market.

Elgin Crescent, Notting Hill, West London


Although it is slightly dilapidated. the east end of Elgin Crescent still has an air of grandeur. The tall stucco style houses have been embellished with all sorts of Victorian flourishes and period features.

Kensington Park Terrace North, Notting Hill, West London


Built in 1852, Kensington Park Terrace North is made up of about 30 houses (nos. 126-184 Kensington Park Road) painted in sober shades of green and brown. The central six houses (nos. 148-158), which are Grade II listed, are distinguished by two floors of elegant arched windows, above their curvaceous iron railings. The name of the terrace is displayed in the wide central pediment on the middle duo.

Tuesday 25 October 2022

The View from Gypsy Hill, South London


The view from the top of Gypsy Hill is eye catching. The Victorian architecture lining the hill leads the eye down to the leafy environs of Dulwich College and then on to the gleaming skyscrapers of the City.

Monday 24 October 2022

Leeds Town Hall, Leeds, Yorkshire


A grade I listed building dating from 1858, the truly monumental Leeds Town Hall is one of the largest municipal buildings in Britain. Although it is currently closed for a £17 million refurbishment, this enormous neo-classical building is now used for concerts and other entertainment events.  Apparently, it houses a 50-foot high three manual organ in Europe with 5,700 pipes, weighing almost 70 tons. 

Thursday 20 October 2022

Victorian Bath House, Bishopsgate Churchyard, Liverpool Street

New Broad Street, Central London


Cobbled, pedestrianised and with no on-street parking, New Broad Street is a welcome refuge from the hustle and bustle and glass and steel of much of the City. As a handsome early twentieth century office building, numbers 56 to 62 (on the left in the photo above) are Grade II listed. They face the neo-classical Friars House and Orient House, which date from 1907, but aren't listed.

Saturday 15 October 2022

Chimps Squaring Up, Near City Hall, Central London


Two bronze chimpanzees prepare to settle a score on the South Bank. It is one of the 28 statutes between London Bridge and Tower Bridge that make up the Chimps Are Family public exhibition, created by Gillie and Marc to highlight the value of conservation.

Thursday 13 October 2022

St Peter's Church, Walworth, South London


The deservedly Grade I-listed St Peter’s Church was designed by Sir John Soane. It is an elegant brick built building "that would be of considerable interest anywhere", in the words of Southwark Council's report on the local conservation area. The tall arched windows are particularly eye-catching, as is the square clock tower bearing a round tower and small dome.

Thursday 6 October 2022

The King's Arms, Roupell Street, Central London


Although the bar staff can be a bit surly, it's well worth paying a visit to this old school London pub. The cramped and atmospheric interior makes few concessions to the 21st century and the real ales are popular with local workers, creating quite a buzz early on a Thursday evening.

Monday 3 October 2022

The Liverpool Grove Conservation Area, South London

Just north of Burgess Park, the Liverpool Grove Conservation Area spans about half-a-dozen streets of harmonious social housing dating from the dawn of the twentieth century. A mix of two-storey terraced cottages and three-storey tenements, the houses have an Arts and Crafts architectural character and are laid out according to "Garden City" planning principles.

The conservation area report notes two dominant styles: rustic and neo-Classical. It says the rustic style is expressed primarily through front door canopies on wooden braces on the terraces, together with upper storey plasterwork and half-timbered gables. "The neo-Classical style pertains to the block of flats and is expressed primarily through strongly-modeled doorways of various designs," it adds.

Saturday 1 October 2022

Tom Tower, Christ Church College, Oxford

Christ Church College's monumental, yet handsome, Tom Tower is one of Oxford's best known landmarks. Built at the tail end of the seventeenth century, the tower houses Great Tom, the bell used to signal the now notional 9pm curfew for the college's students.

Holywell Street, Oxford


Semi-pedestrianised, Holywell Street is a peaceful oasis away from the hustle and bustle of nearby Oxford High Street. Many of the terrace houses date from the seventeenth century. Famous former residents include J.R.R Tolkein, who lived at number 99 during the early 1950s. A grandiose late nineteenth century extension to New College backs on to the street. 

Old Indian Institute Building, Catte Street, Oxford

Dating from the late nineteenth century, the elegant Old Indian Institute building sits on the corner between Holywell Street and Catte Street. The institute was the brainchild of Sir Monier Monier-Williams, who was appointed the second Boden Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford University in 1860. He wanted to encourage and support greater research into Indian literature and culture. The building is now home to the management of the Oxford Martin School.

The Memorial Gardens, Christ Church College, Oxford

Passing through the ornate iron gates that lead from St. Aldate's into Broad Walk will take you into Christ Church College's well-tended Memorial Gardens.  Designed in the 1920s to mark the college's losses in the First World War, the gardens were laid out in an Arts and Crafts style with a York stone path, stone walls, and herbaceous borders. 

Trinity College, Oxford


Dating from the mid-sixteenth century, Trinity College is proud of its verdant gardens, visible from Broad Street.