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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Warren Street is named after the family of the first Lady Southampton, who was the daughter and heiress of Admiral Sir Peter Warren. It was built as a residential street, but shops have been inserted in most of the houses and it is largely given over to business. It is numbered consecutively, starting from the east end of the south side and continuing on the north from west to east. (fn. n1)
Nos. 1 to 7 on the south side of the street have been rebuilt, and No. 8 has been refronted in cement. Nos. 9 to 15, the last being the corner house adjoining Whitfield Street, show the original type of three-storey houses which, according to the building leases, were erected in 1790 and 1791. (fn. 66) The fronts are of stock brick with a plain parapet, above which are attics with dormer windows within a mansard roof. Nos. 11, 13 and 14 retain their arched doors and the wrought-iron railings that guard their basement areas. No. 13 has balconies of interlacing ironwork to the first-floor windows. No. 9 has an early shop front, with a bowed fascia, and a door at each side. No. 10 retains its door but a small modern shop has taken the place of its windows. The ground floor of No. 14 is rendered in cement and there is a large single light in place of the two on the ground floor. The corner house has a later shop, but retains an excellent pedimental doorcase on the return in Whitfield Street. This return has blank recesses for the pair of windows over the shop but the third window is open on each floor above the entrance.
At the opposite corner of Whitfield Street (No. 15 Warren Street) is a house of four storeys in height with an old shop front facing both streets, the shop entrance being at the angle beneath a curved fascia. There is a private entrance in Warren Street and the western part of the house has wrought-iron railings to a small area. Between this house and the next, the space has been filled by a narrow weather-boarded dwelling, numbered 15A. Adjoining this to the west is a pair of houses (16 and 17) faced with stock brick, four storeys high, built in 1792. Cement architraves and (in No. 16) cement rendering have been added to the ground floor. The wrought-iron railings remain. A similar pair (18 and 19) have been rebuilt and beyond the latter is the entrance to Grafton Mews. Nos. 20 and 21 are similar to Nos. 16 and 17 but have narrower fronts. The first has a modern shop, but the second preserves a good original shop front with curved window and fascia and two doors, that to the right preserving its original fanlight. An area below the window is guarded by iron rails of original pattern. No. 22, like its neighbour the corner house in Fitzroy Street, is rendered in cement.
The houses between Fitzroy Street and Conway Street are not specially distinguished, except No. 29, which is built on an ampler plan than the rest of the street, with a semicircular-headed doorway with fanlight in the centre and a window on each side. It is of stock brick, in good condition, and retains its old railings. Between Nos. 23 and 24 is the entrance to Richardson's Mews, and No. 28 is a public-house called the Marquis of Cornwallis. The shops in this section are all modern. West of Conway Street, Nos. 30 to 34 retain their original stock brick fronts except No. 34, which is rendered on the ground floor. The shops are modern and there is an entrance to Warren Mews under No. 32.
On the north side of the street all are modern between Cleveland Street and Conway Street, but east of this the old houses, for the most part remain. Between Nos. 45 and 71 there are only three houses (Nos. 50, 69 and 70), which are entirely rebuilt. According to the leases, Nos. 52 and 55 were erected in 1777 and the rest in 1792. (fn. 67) They now exhibit little uniformity in general treatment or detail. No. 45 has been re-faced. Nos. 46 to 48 have stock brick facing and are of four storeys, No. 47 having an arched doorway with plain fanlight and late railings. No. 48 has had the ground floor rendered and the fanlight has Gothic lines. No. 49 is three storeys in height and has a door with key-block and cement architrave and simple fanlight. No. 51 retains its railings. Nos. 52 to 55 alternate with three and four storeys and at No. 56 the levels of the floors alter, the storeys being higher and the stringcourse at the first-floor window sills being raised some ten courses of brickwork. No. 56 (on which is a plaque commemorating Charles Turner) is faced with old red brick and the same material is used at Nos. 66 and 71. Nos. 58 and 60 are good specimens of the original three-storey house as first planned, two windows to a floor and the ground floor having arched entrance and fanlight over door, with one window alongside. The arch to the door to No. 58 has a carved mask on the key-block, and the door frame is panelled. The railings remain at Nos. 58 to 60 and 62 to 64. From No. 72 to Tottenham Court Road the buildings are modern.
Warren Street, like the surrounding streets, was popular with artists and literary men. At No. 10, from 1808 to 1833, lived Abraham Raimbach (1776–1843), who engraved Wilkie's pictures. He died at Greenwich and is commemorated by a tablet in Hendon Church. Another well-known engraver, James Mitan (1776–1822) lived at No. 63 Warren Street from 1808 to his death. He married Charlotte, daughter of William Gowing, the builder, who took a leading part in developing Charlotte Street and its neighbourhood.
At No. 43 on the north side (now rebuilt) lived Dr. William Kitchiner, the versatile Doctor of Medicine, who wrote on musical and scientific subjects and who specialized on the art of cooking, on which he not only wrote several valuable books, but gave practical evidence in the select dinners at his house. He died here in 1827. At No. 48 lived Frederick Reynolds, the dramatist, from 1812 until his death in 1841. Charles Turner, the mezzotint engraver, lived at No. 50 from 1803 until his death in 1857. This house has been rebuilt, but Turner had formerly occupied No. 56 (from 1799 to 1803), and on this house the London County Council has affixed a plaque commemorating him. At No. 60, from 1798 to 1833, lived James Boaden (1762–1839), biographer, dramatist, and journalist, who wrote the life of Mrs. Siddons; from 1808–1818 the name is given as John Boaden, probably his son the portrait-painter. At No. 68, R. W. Buss, the subject- and portrait-painter lived and at No. 70 was born, in 1816, the Rev. F. W. Robertson, son of Frederick Robertson, an officer in the Royal Artillery.