Survey of London: Volume 21, the Parish of St Pancras Part 3: Tottenham Court Road and Neighbourhood. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1949.
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Maple Street, which was formerly known as London Street, connects Tottenham Court Road with Cleveland Street and crosses Whitfield and Fitzroy Streets, while Conway Street enters it on the north, west of Fitzroy Street. It was laid out for building in 1777–8. (fn. 48) The north side of the street is on the Southampton Estate and the south side on the Bedford Estate. The houses are numbered from east to west, the odd numbers on the south and the even on the north.
Only the western section between Fitzroy and Cleveland Streets has survived the war, with the exception of three houses, Nos. 14, 16 and 18, farther east, on the north side of the way. The leases for the south side, west of Fitzroy Street, date from 1790, (fn. 49) and the whole row of houses Nos. 35 to 63 were designed uniformly. Each was of four storeys, with two windows on each floor. The ground floor had an entrance below and arch and fanlight alongside two windows. The door-case had a fluted head, with centre panel and fluted pilasters each side. There were the usual iron railings to the basement area and flanking the door. In this row No. 35 has been refronted but retains its old door. No. 37 has been rebuilt, Nos. 39 and 47 have had their ground floors rendered in cement and Nos. 41 and 43 were destroyed in the raids. The last three (Nos. 59, 61 and 63), have had their ground floors modernised, and similarly the windows above in Nos. 61 and 63.
On the north side the three survivors east of Fitzroy Street, Nos. 14, 16 and 18, have stucco fronts, but belong to a group of houses leased to the Rev. Robert Anthony Bromley in 1777. (fn. 50)
Nos. 32 to 44 follow in general lines the houses opposite. Nos. 32 and 34 have entrance arches with key-block and blocks at the springing, the former houses being largely refronted. Their leases date from 1784 and the remainder from 1787. No. 36 has balconies to the first floor windows (lowered below the sills) and has a stuccoed ground floor (Plate 15). This and its neighbours have door frames with pilasters and cobweb fanlights over. Nos. 38 and 40 have beaded mouldings to their doorheads. No. 42 has a cement-rendered ground floor. All have excellent railings, with cast-iron vases to the standards, surrounding their areas.
Beyond Conway Street Nos. 46 to 54 show some variations, the most noticeable being the brackets to the hoods over the doors of Nos. 46 and 48. The pair adjoining (50 and 52) have stuccoed ground floor, jointed to imitate masonry.
The only person of note residing in this street was Timothy Essex (1765?–1847), composer, who lived at No. 20 in 1808. He was Doctor of Music (Oxon.) and established a musical academy at 38 Hill Street, Berkeley Square. Beside his compositions he was organist and director of the choir of St. George's Chapel, Albemarle Street. He died at York Buildings, New Road.
Fitzroy Chapel (St. Saviour's Church), Maple Street
The chapel was built by the Rev. Anthony Bromley, to whom the site was leased by Lord Southampton on 3rd June, 1777, (fn. 51) and it was opened in 1788. Its design was of the simplest Character, of brick, rectangular in plan, with its main axis north and south. The entrance front in Maple Street had a pediment crowned with a bell-cote. Three circular-headed windows occupied the upper part of the front and the side windows in Whitefield Street followed suit. Under the west windows were three arched doorways, that in the centre being within a simple framework of four pilasters with two smaller entrances, one each side. The site was surrounded by iron railings. There is a water-colour drawing of the chapel in the extra illustrated copy of Lysons' Environs in the Guildhall Library (Plate 4).
The Rev. Sydney Smith preached here (alternately with Berkeley Chapel) at a time when he was evening preacher at the Foundling Hospital (fn. n1) (1805–1808). The congregation in the early years of the 19th-century was a distinguished one. Benjamin West, then president of the Royal Academy, painted pictures of Christ and Moses for the chapel.
In 1863 the chapel was given parochial status and became the Church of St. Saviour. This was effected by the Rev. Frederick Perry with the support of Dean Champneys and the Bishop of London (afterwards Archbishop Tait). In 1913 St. Saviour's Church was attached to the church of St. John the Evangelist and both livings were held by the Rev. Trevor Basil Woodd.