CHAPTER 8: THE CROMER-LUCAS ESTATE
The Lucas or Cromer-Lucas Estate lay north of the Harrison Estate
and south of Battle Bridge Fields. On the west it adjoined the Skinners'
Estate. On this ground, Joseph Street, Brighton Street, Dutton Street and
Lucas Street (later Cromer Street) were erected. Most of them have since
The early history of this property and its association with the Pindar
of Wakefield is given in Chapter 5, dealing with the Harrison Estate. It
comprised originally seven acres (the northern portion of Peperfield) and had
a frontage of 130 feet next Gray's Inn Road with a cottage and cow pasture.
To the west was a field let to John Turner, a cow-keeper, and on the extreme
west (adjoining the bowling green on the Skinners' Estate) was a small
public-house, tea-house and skittle ground, known as the Golden Boot, and
let to Thomas Ustonson, also two small houses let to W. Grazing and a Mr.
Marshall. (ref. 81) These appear to have been situated in Greenland Place (see John
Tompson's map, c. 1803, Plate 2), and were approached by the lane from
Gray's Inn Road which separated the Harrison and Lucas Estates (see also
The estate is marked on a map of 1756 in the London Magazine as
owned by a Mr. Beech. He was Joseph Beech, a coach-maker, of St. Giles
in the Fields, who died prior to 1782, leaving a widow, Dorothy, and a
daughter, Elizabeth. The family also occupied land on the east side of
Gray's Inn Road situated between George Street and Swinton Street and
extending as far east as the Fleet Brook. All this land was conveyed in trust
for Joseph Lucas, variously described as a tin-man and tin-plate worker, of
Long Acre. (ref. 82)
Lucas decided to build on his land during 1801, and informed Mr.
Cockerell, the surveyor to the Foundling Hospital, who reported it to his
committee. It is interesting to read in the minutes of the latter that, since the
Foundling Hospital did not wish the wooden water-mains from Islington
(which were continually bursting) to pass through their garden, and since
Mr. Harrison would not have them through his land, they were now trying to
persuade Mr. Lucas to have them. (ref. 15) The lay-out of the streets appears in
Horwood's map of 1799 (Plate 1).
In 1837, after the Lucas estate had been fully developed, a Mr.
William Lucas took over the neighbouring St. Chad's Well as a commercial
venture (ref. 83) ; his connection with Mr. Joseph Lucas has, however, not been
CXXIII—Cromer Street (formerly Lucas Street)
Cromer Street (formerly Lucas Street) lies east and west and connects
Judd Street with Gray's Inn Road. It was set out just north of the lane which
divided the Harrison and Lucas estates and gave access from Gray's Inn
Road to Greenland Place and the bowling green (see pp. 83, 84). Greenland
Place, which appears in the Land Tax books for 1794, is shown on Horwood's
map (1799), and also on Tompson's map c. 1803.
According to the poor rate books six houses were built in the new
street in 1801, the year that Joseph Lucas was corresponding with Cockerell
(see p. 94). In 1810 he built another eight houses and in 1815 a further
ninety-one. It was not, however, until 1818 that they were all occupied. In
1834 the name was changed from Lucas to Cromer Street. Practically the
whole of the street has been re-built. Its eastern end runs between the residential flats erected by the St. Pancras Borough Council (see p. 77).
Church of the Holy Cross, Cromer Street. This church was designed (like
the earlier church of St. Jude, Gray's Inn Road, the parish of which is now
joined to Holy Cross) by Joseph Peacock and was dedicated in 1888. It has
a number of interesting fittings, including a font by J. L. Pearson and a rood
by Sir Charles Nicholson. Some of the fittings from St. Jude's Church were
moved here when the latter church was demolished in 1936, and also its
memorial tablets, including that to John Marshall Andrews, first vicar of
St. Jude's, who died in 1896.
|1888||Albert Moore, vicar|
|1907||John Roffey, priest-in-charge|
|1909||Francis Edwin Baverstock, vicar|
|1915||Leslie Douglas Rutherford, vicar|
|1922||Francis R. L. Langford-James, vicar|
|1933||Ralph Huie Le Messurier, vicar|
|1945||Napier Pitfield Sturt, vicar|
CXXIV—Gray's Inn Road West Side (Nos. 243 to 249)
Nothing of importance is left on the frontage of the Lucas Estate to
Gray's Inn Road. There is a modern public-house (No. 243) at the north
corner of Cromer Street; its neighbour, No. 245, is derelict. Nos. 247 and
249 have shops and two brick storeys above; they are unoccupied.