A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9, Hampstead, Paddington. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.
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Tyburnia was a name used in the early 19th century for the south-eastern corner of the parish, the first part of the Paddington Estate to be built up. (fn. 1) It was adopted presumably because 'Tyburn' was already well known, as a reference to the gallows at Tyburn tree. (fn. 2) The old name of the execution site was itself misplaced since the Tyburn, teo or 'boundary' stream, (fn. 3) ran much farther east, from Hampstead across Marylebone to Oxford Street. The Marylebone manor of Lisson lay west of the stream, along Edgware Road, and that of Tyburn to the east. (fn. 4) Paddington's Tyburnia, in the angle between Edgware and Bayswater roads, stretched westward from the former gallows to merge with Bayswater. In the 1870s the name was confined to a fashionable area, bounded on the west by Westbourne and Gloucester terraces, north of Lancaster Gate. (fn. 5) The area described below extends westward only to Eastbourne Terrace and the southern end of Westbourne Terrace (fn. 6) but northward to the industrial belt beyond Praed Street, as far as the canal basin. It covers Hyde Park ward and a southerly part of Church ward, as created in 1901, and also includes St. George's burial ground. (fn. 7)
The execution site (fn. 8) was chosen presumably because there was a prominent group of trees at the parting of two main roads out of London. Some medieval references to 'the elms' may have been to those at Smithfield, but it was at Tyburn that William FitzOsbert was hanged in 1196 and at the elms there that Roger Mortimer, earl of March, died in 1330. From the 14th century many political executions took place at Tyburn, where the trees probably made way for temporary gallows before a permanent triangular frame was set up in 1571. The frame was depicted by Hogarth, (fn. 9) in whose day it was known as Tyburn tree and served as London's chief place of public execution, where 21 victims could be hanged simultaneously. Often there were triumphant processions and huge crowds, an estimated 200,000 attending the death of Jack Sheppard in 1724. A grandstand on the west side of Edgware Road was sometimes used, (fn. 10) before and after the triangular frame was replaced by a movable gallows in 1759, until criticism led to the choice of a new site outside Newgate gaol in 1783.
The triangular gallows stood in the centre of the wide southern extremity of Edgware Road until the building of the Uxbridge road tollhouse in 1759. The approximate site has been marked by successive plaques: against the railings of Hyde Park, in 1909 in Edgware Road, and in 1964, after road widening, on a traffic island at the junction with Bayswater Road. The position of the later movable gallows was c. 50 yards farther north in Edgware Road and was thought in the 1870s to have been that of a house at the south-east corner of Connaught Square (formerly no. 49), (fn. 11) although several sites close by have been suggested.
Burials of corpses from Tyburn were recorded from 1689 and brought profit to the minister and churchwardens of Paddington in the late 17th and the 18th century, (fn. 12) when execution days came to be known as 'Paddington fair'. (fn. 13) Remains were also buried under the scaffold and unearthed when the area came to be built up. Among them were the presumed bones of Oliver Cromwell and fellow regicides, whose posthumous consignment to a pit at the gallows' foot in 1661 probably gave rise to William Blake's allusion to 'mournful ever-weeping Paddington'. (fn. 14)
In 1742 the whole area was farmland, part of the bishop of London's Paddington Estate. At the southeastern tip lay Tyburn field of c. 16 a., bounded by other fields of the 90-a. Bell farm, whose home field lay farther north along Edgware Road. There were no buildings, the nearest being at the Harrow Road junction or at Bayswatering, (fn. 15) although in 1746 a single structure was marked at Tyburn, perhaps connected with the gallows. (fn. 16)
The earliest building between Tyburn and Bayswatering was a chapel, on part of Tyburn field which Sir Thomas Frederick sold in 1763 to the parish of St. George, Hanover Square. (fn. 17) The chapel, with its walled burial ground behind, was set back from the Uxbridge road, leaving strips of waste to east and west. St. George's vestry, hoping to recoup its expenses, took legal advice and granted the verge on a 99-years' building lease to William Scott, who by 1767 had covered part of it with seven houses, known by 1772 as St. George's Row. (fn. 18) Eventually there were 14 houses, forming two terraces in 1790, beside a footway which was maintained by St. George's. (fn. 19) No. 4 St. George's Row was from 1772 the home of the artist Paul Sandby (1725-1809), who lived next door to the marine painter Dominic Serres (1722- 93) and who entertained many distinguished men. (fn. 20) A lying-in (later Queen Charlotte's maternity) hospital was also in St. George's Row before moving in 1791 to Bayswater. (fn. 21) Some more buildings were put up along the Uxbridge road frontage and a few isolated ones along Edgware Road during the 1790s, while fields remained behind them. (fn. 22)
The south-eastern tip of the parish, being the closest to London, was the first part to be affected by the building Act of 1795. (fn. 23) Successful schemes for the Marylebone side of Edgware Road influenced not only the decision to build on the Paddington Estate but to some extent the layout devised by the bishop's surveyor Samuel Pepys Cockerell, who had already designed the Foundling hospital's estate in Bloomsbury. (fn. 24) The key to Cockerell's plan was a wide avenue running north-east to link the Uxbridge road with the western end of the New (later Marylebone) Road. Traffic would thus be diverted and the proposed residential area would also be separated by the avenue from the industrial belt around the new canal basin where building materials could be brought.
Many changes were made to the plans, which may have been drafted as early as 1804, but the attraction of Hyde Park always permitted a layout in the grand manner. Intended improvements of 1809 included not only the avenue from the Uxbridge road to Edgware Road, eventually completed as Grand Junction Street (later Sussex Gardens), but two focal points in the form of a large open space to the south, called the polygon, and an imposing crescent facing the park west of St. George's burial ground. (fn. 25) Presumably it was the determination of the bishop and his lessees to maintain high standards which induced them to lease small plots to local builders or other speculators, rather than call in a contractor such as Thomas Cubitt, and at first delayed the progress of building.
The first building agreement was made in 1807 between the trustees for the beneficial lessees of the Paddington Estate and John Lewis, surgeon, of St. George's, Hanover Square. Lewis took a lease for 98 years from 1806 of land with a frontage of c. 400 ft. along the Uxbridge road and one of 360 ft. along Edgware Road to the corner of Upper Seymour Street West, a proposed continuation of Marylebone's Upper Seymour Street. A range of substantial dwellings of the first class facing Hyde Park was to be built by 1812, with second- or third-rate houses along the south side of Upper Seymour' Street West and mews between in Edinburgh (later Connaught) Place. He took a similar lease of a 56-ft. frontage in the Uxbridge road, for a 'capital mansion of the first rate', in 1808, when he was also to be granted more land nearby. (fn. 26)
Aristocratic patronage was assured from the start. Lewis's first lease referred to a projected Connaught Street and Edinburgh Mews (built as Stanhope Place and Connaught Place), (fn. 27) named after George III's nephew and son-in-law Prince William Frederick (d. 1834), who in 1805 had succeeded as duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh and earl of Connaught. (fn. 28) The duke apparently had the first house facing Hyde Park, no. 1 Connaught Place, built for Lady Augusta De Ameland (d. 1830), who had married his royal brother-in-law, the duke of Sussex (d. 1843), without parliamentary sanction. (fn. 29) Lewis had built the house by the end of 1807, when Lady Augusta took a 96½ years' lease, and the 12 other houses of Connaught Place by 1812. (fn. 30) Lady Augusta was one of four residents listed for 1811 and one of ten for 1819, when the others included the earl of Lindsey, Viscount Barnard, Sir Charles Coote, Bt., Sir Robert Wigram, Bt., and the bishop of Exeter. (fn. 31) Her house was later occupied by her son Sir Augustus D'Este (1794-1848) and by 1855 nos. 1 and 2 Connaught Place had been united as Arklow House, named after the duke of Sussex's Irish barony of Arklow. (fn. 32) No. 7 (Connaught House) was a residence of Caroline, princess of Wales, in 1814, when her daughter Princess Charlotte briefly sought refuge there. (fn. 33) The mansions enjoyed the same prospect as St. George's Row, where the actress and writer Elizabeth Inchbald lodged from 1810 to 1816 at no. 5 and then at no. 1, in a position claimed as the finest in London. (fn. 34)
The tall stuccoed houses of Connaught Place had their principal rooms overlooking the park and were entered from a private road behind. That layout was used by Cockerell some 15 years before Nash adopted it for York Terrace, facing Regent's Park, and was later to be repeated farther west along the Uxbridge road. (fn. 35)
Connaught Place and Mews were to be lit with gas in 1819 (fn. 36) but it was not until 1821 that work began on the brick houses of Tyburnia's first square, Connaught Square. (fn. 37) Meanwhile a start had been made on Connaught Terrace, along Edgware Road. Building, as elsewhere on the Paddington Estate, was piecemeal: leases, for example, were granted for no. 6 Connaught Terrace in 1818, for nos. 4, 7, and 9 in 1820, for nos. 2, 3, and 8 in 1821, and for nos. 10 and 16 in 1822. Many lessees were individuals, (fn. 38) including Sir Carnaby Haggerston, Bt. (d. 1831), and the Revd. Mr. Whalley (possibly the poet Dr. Thomas Sedgwick Whalley), but others were local builders such as Arthur Bott, who in 1829 was to take seven houses in Connaught Square. (fn. 39)
By 1824 only 36 builders had taken up contracts for c. 570 houses on the Paddington Estate. (fn. 40) Under Cockerell, who in 1820 was accused by Sir Frederick Morshead of mismanagement, (fn. 41) progress continued to be unspectacular. (fn. 42) By 1828 about a third of the triangular site between the Uxbridge road, Edgware Road, and Grand Junction Street had been filled in: housing extended west of St. George's burial ground to Hyde Park Street and along the entire Edgware Road frontage but did not reach far behind the main roads except along Albion Street, Upper Berkeley Street West (later Connaught Street), Sovereign (soon renamed Cambridge and later Kendal) Street, and Titchborne Street. (fn. 43)
Quicker progress was made in the humbler area farther north, where land had been leased to the Grand Junction Canal Co. and the Grand Junction Waterworks Co. (fn. 44) By 1828 there existed South Wharf Road, Praed Street as far as the beginning of Conduit Street, the three reservoirs of the waterworks company, Sale Street (later Place), most of Market (later St. Michael's) Street, and part of Star Street. (fn. 45) Praed Street had been named after William Praed, banker and chairman of the canal company. (fn. 46) Grand Junction Street itself was the joint responsibility of the canal company and the Paddington Estate. The street was built up from the Edgware Road end: leases for the first houses were granted in 1826, many there and in Titchborne Street immediately to the south being taken by Henry Augustus Capps. (fn. 47)
The vestry was asked to survey Grand Junction Street in 1827, when drainage had been provided, but refused to accept it as a parish road. The dispute turned on interpretation of Paddington's Local Act of 1824: whether the vestry was compelled to appoint surveyors for new roads and whether such appointment would automatically commit it to maintenance, a crucial question since Paddington was considered 'the most eligible parish for additional buildings of any of the out parishes near London'. (fn. 48) Judgement was given for the vestry in 1829, on the grounds that Grand Junction Street had so few inhabited houses that its maintenance by ratepayers would amount to a subsidy to private builders. (fn. 49)
Uncertainty about the responsibility for roads may have delayed progress on building Tyburnia as a whole during the 1820s. (fn. 50) Another delaying factor may have been the grandiose nature of Cockerell's plans, with their lavish use of space, although some changes were made: Connaught Square had not originally been included and Cockerell's own design for a classical church on the axis of the polygon was not put into effect. His successor George Gutch, (fn. 51) formerly surveyor to the Grand Junction Canal Co., made further changes, although he still catered for the rich, by introducing more squares and larger houses. The polygon was partly filled by the Gothic St. John's church, built 1829-32, and neighbouring houses, leaving Cambridge Square to the north and Oxford Square to the south; a projected Polygon Street, running south-westward past a single square towards Lancaster Gate, was made to border Gloucester and Sussex squares; the proposed west end of Berkeley Street West was widened to form Hyde Park Square. A straight terrace, Hyde Park Gardens, was substituted for the crescent which was to have faced the park.
Building activity, while increasing from the late 1820s, remained fragmented. (fn. 52) In both Tyburnia and Bayswater leases, for 95 years or thereabouts, were still made to a few private individuals but more often to speculators, many of them builders, who acquired several plots in different streets. Prominent in Tyburnia was James Ponsford, who had a wharf at Paddington basin from c. 1835 to 1850 and who by 1845 was also listed as an architect. (fn. 53) Leases taken by him in Tyburnia were for houses and stabling behind Connaught Terrace in 1825, for houses in Titchborne Street in 1828, in Connaught Square, Sovereign Street, and Lower Porchester Street in 1829, for 10 on the south side of Grand Junction Street in 1834, for others in Southwick Street, Porchester Place, and Bathurst Street in 1838-9, and for two more in Grand Junction Street in 1840. Apparently unscathed by charges that he had defrauded house buyers, (fn. 54) he was building farther west on the edge of Bayswater in Gloucester Road (later Terrace), Conduit Street, and Spring Street from 1840, when Thomas and William Ponsford were also active. Thomas Ponsford, of Westbourne Terrace, was listed as a builder in 1845, as were Lionel Ponsford of Porchester Terrace and William Ponsford of Gloucester Road in 1847. (fn. 55) Also prominent was William Crake, who took leases of the first 'mansion houses' in Hyde Park Gardens in 1837 and soon acquired most of that terrace, with a few other houses nearby. He was a builder, of Old Quebec Street, Marylebone, (fn. 56) and presumably was related to John Crake, the architect of Hyde Park Gardens. Among other speculators were Matthew Cotes Wyatt and his sons Matthew, later knighted, George, and James Wyatt. Matthew Cotes Wyatt acquired many sites, beginning with four houses in Upper Hyde Park Street in 1839, when George and James also took leases, but he was apparently acting on behalf of his eldest son Matthew, a practising architect who retired in affluence to Hyde Park Square in the late 1840s. (fn. 57)
A few of the larger builders were helped by loans from the Royal Exchange Assurance, which from 1839 generally advanced up to half the estimated completion value of a house, at 5 per cent interest. Borrowers included William Kingdom, also active on the edge of Bayswater as a builder in Westbourne Terrace, George Wyatt, who by mid 1846 had received £135,400, and Matthew Wyatt, who received £25,000. Such investments, made on a smaller scale after George Wyatt's bankruptcy in 1846, was generally confined to London's west end, benefiting the fashionable parts of Paddington and, to a lesser extent, Belgravia. (fn. 58)
Gutch's final proposals, published in 1838, determined the appearance of Tyburnia for almost a hundred years. (fn. 59) Many of them had already been carried out, Grand Junction Street having been almost completed as a tree-lined avenue, bordered by carriage roads called Cambridge Terrace to the north and Oxford Terrace to the south. The whole of the area south of Grand Junction Street had been filled by 1840, except Gloucester Square, Sussex Square, and a small gap at the avenue's western end. Star Street, farther north, had also been finished.
It is not known how far Gutch was responsible for architectural details in the 1830s, as the Italianate style evolved and brick gave way to stucco. Another Gothic church, St. James's, designed partly by Gutch, was built at the end of Grand Junction Street in 1841-3. (fn. 60) Houses were generally built one storey higher than in the 1820s, the effect being sometimes to produce a verticality which strained the classical orders 'almost to breaking point': circular turrets softened the angles of the layout, and bow fronts afforded north-south terraces, such as Hyde Park Street, a glimpse of the park. The monumental Hyde Park Gardens was designed by John Crake (fn. 61) but presumably it was Gutch who decided to repeat the back-to-front principle of Connaught Place, with mews behind the entrances to the north and the main rooms facing the park across a large strip of communal garden. The same arrangement was used in Gloucester Square, where in the 1840s George Ledward Taylor's houses (fn. 62) faced the central garden, with their entrances in the approach roads behind. Taylor, who took over many sites from Crake, also built Chester (later Strathearn) Place and part of Hyde Park Square. (fn. 63) The new emphasis on gardens, marking a shift from status to amenity, was to be copied both in Kensington and Bayswater.
Several of the new houses had notable residents. (fn. 64) No. 32 Cambridge Terrace was occupied by Napoleon I's surgeon Barry O'Meara (1786-1836) from 1830 and no. 34 by the caricaturists John Doyle (1797-1868) and his son Richard (1824-83) from 1833 to 1864. Henry Buckle (1821-62), the historian, lived in Oxford Terrace from 1843 to 1846. The painter Benjamin Robert Haydon (1786-1846) lived nearby in the slightly older Burwood Place, off Connaught Square, from 1839 or earlier until his suicide. The civil engineer Robert Stephenson (1803-59) occupied no. 15 Cambridge Square and later no. 34 Gloucester Square, where he died. (fn. 65) William Makepeace Thackeray's first London home was with his mother and step-father, Maj. and Mrs. H. Carmichael-Smyth, at no. 18 Albion Street in 1836 and 1837. (fn. 66) Edwin Chadwick, the sanitary reformer, was at no. 4 Stanhope Street from c. 1844 to c. 1850. (fn. 67)
The grandest houses, as in Bayswater immediately to the west, were those facing Hyde Park. Special vestrymen in 1843, by virtue of their rank, included the duke of Argyll, the earls of Shannon and Bandon, and Sir Charles Coote, M.P., all of Connaught Place, and Lord Sherborne, Mr. Justice Coltman, and five other M.P.s of Hyde Park Gardens or Hyde Park Terrace. (fn. 68) Unlike most of his neighbours John George Shaw-Lefevre, the future clerk of the parliaments, in 1838 took a direct lease from the Paddington Estate of his house at no. 5 Hyde Park Gardens. (fn. 69) It had passed to the earl of Ducie by 1845, when the earl of Dalhousie occupied no. 21. (fn. 70) The chief beneficial lessee of the estate, Thomas Thistlethwayte (d. 1850), by 1826 held a lease of no. 8 Connaught Place, which passed to his third son Augustus Frederick, (fn. 71) husband of the courtesan Laura Bell. (fn. 72)
Rapid building and social recognition led to some criticism. Trollope's 'Princess Royal Crescent', from one end of which a corner of Hyde Park could be glimpsed, was unfinished, chilly, and pretentious; although the houses were cramped, except their drawing rooms, and less well built than those of such areas as Fitzroy Square or Baker Street, they had the advantage of forming a 'quite correct' address. (fn. 73)
Several tradesmen served the new suburb by 1835. (fn. 74) Some were established near the southern end of Edgware Road, south of the Mitre at the corner of Upper Seymour Street West (later Seymour Street). Farther north most of Edgware Road was lined with private houses as far as Titchborne Street, but close by there were tradesmen in Berkeley (later Upper Berkeley) Street West (renamed Connaught Street by 1879) and its offshoot Lower Porchester Street (later the southern end of Porchester Place). Their numbers had grown by 1840, when, with others in the adjoining Cambridge (later Kendal) Street and Upper Frederick Street (by 1844 called Portsea Place), they formed a centre which has survived as Connaught village. Businesses included a post office in Berkeley Street West and two taverns, the Hope and the Rent Day, to which the Duke of Kendal had been added by 1845. There were also shops in Praed Street before it came to form the chief approach to Paddington station.
Tyburnia was compared with Belgravia in the 1850s. (fn. 75) An example of entertainment on the grand scale was described in 1861, when crowds watched the arrival of glittering guests of Mrs. Milner Gibson at no. 5 Hyde Park Place, where in 1870 Charles Dickens was to hold his last public meetings. (fn. 76) The two districts were considered almost equally fashionable in 1873, although Belgravia was noted more for its blue-blooded householders and Tyburnia for its 'mushroom aristocrats' and self-made millionaires. (fn. 77) In 1884 Tyburnia was 'the city of palaces north of the park'. (fn. 78)
Despite their social eminence, several houses soon came to be used for prostitution. The problem, although presumably made worse by the opening of the railway terminus, was widespread. In 1843 nine householders in [Upper] Frederick Street were prosecuted and seven convicted, (fn. 79) in 1849 neighbours complained of a brothel in Titchborne Street, and in 1851 a woman was prosecuted for keeping a disorderly house in Upper Berkeley Street. (fn. 80) Complaints in 1865 concerned, beside Moscow Road in Bayswater, Star Street and three houses in Titchborne Street. (fn. 81) By 1899 the incidence was slowly lessening, in face of a municipal policy based on dispersal, through rigorous inspection of premises, rather than prosecution. (fn. 82)
While the area south of Grand Junction Street remained select, that to the north was more varied. (fn. 83) The character of Edgware Road north of Titchborne Street was always more commercial than residential, with several shops and workshops by 1835. (fn. 84) The terraces of Star, Market, and Praed streets remained unchanged, as did the warehouses of South Wharf Road, but the three reservoirs became redundant with improvements in the water supply and were filled in during the 1840s. (fn. 85) The site of the northern one was taken for St. Mary's hospital, opened in 1851, (fn. 86) and for Francis (later Winsland) and Stanley streets and Arthur Mews. Ground to the west, between London Street and the northern part of Spring Street (later Eastbourne Terrace), both projected by 1828, was earmarked for the permanent Paddington railway station. The sites of the Southern and Lower reservoirs, by contrast, were taken for Norfolk Square, with a church from 1847 and partly built up by 1855, and Talbot Square, slightly later, whose first-class houses (fn. 87) constituted a northward extension of residential Tyburnia. (fn. 88) Leases for new houses at the western end of Grand Junction Street and in its cross-streets Spring Street and Gloucester Road had been taken by the Ponsfords and others between 1840 and 1842. (fn. 89) Sussex Gardens by 1842 constituted the westernmost stretch of Grand Junction Street, itself later called Grand Junction Road, (fn. 90) but did not give its name to the whole avenue until 1938. (fn. 91)
Tyburnia had been filled by the mid 1850s, when builders were still active in Westbournia and Maida Vale. (fn. 92) Gutch had successfully carried out the original scheme of extending the fashionable west end of London north of Hyde Park, producing what was hailed in 1851 as the capital's one example of the symmetry and variety of street planning which Wren had vainly tried to introduce. (fn. 93) Social change had nonetheless taken place in Edgware Road, where north of the Mitre tavern Connaught Terrace, stretching to Titchborne Street, had in 1845, although containing a stables and two lodging houses, consisted mainly of private houses, some used by professional men. By 1863 most of the terrace had been taken for shops, offices, or consulting rooms (fn. 94) and in 1868 its buildings were renumbered as part of Edgware Road. (fn. 95) Another change was the conversion of many houses to apartments, at first notably in Connaught village and by the 1860s also on either side of Grand Junction Road. (fn. 96)
The residents of Bayswater Road were classified as wealthy c. 1890, and those of Edgware Road and Grand Junction Road as wealthy or well-to-do. Most of the streets and all the squares within the triangle formed by those thoroughfares were also occupied by the wealthy, although a few ways leading off the main roads, such as Cambridge, Seymour, and much of Connaught and Albion streets, contained merely the well-to-do; pockets of poverty existed only in mews alleys, such as Sovereign Mews or Titchborne Place, behind the Edgware Road frontage. North of Grand Junction Road the social pattern was more varied. Norfolk and Talbot squares were inhabited by the wealthy, as was the whole of Westbourne Terrace, and Eastbourne Terrace and much of Praed Street by the well-to-do, but Star and Market streets and their offshoots supported both the moderately comfortable and the poor; mews alleys there and in South Wharf Road were poor. (fn. 97) In 1902 Tyburnia was chiefly an area for the rich and their servants, with some high-class lodging-house keepers and shopkeepers. (fn. 98)
Eminent residents towards the end of the 19th century (fn. 99) included Lord Chief Justice Coleridge, who died at no. 1 Sussex Square in 1894, (fn. 100) the artist and writer George Du Maurier, who died at no. 17 Oxford Square in 1896, (fn. 101) the diplomatist Lord Currie (1834-1906), householder of no. 1 Connaught Place in 1902, and the contractor Sir John Aird, Bt. (1833-1911), M.P. and Paddington's first mayor, at no. 14 Hyde Park Terrace from 1874. Lord Randolph Churchill moved in 1883 to no. 2 Connaught Place, which was soon claimed to be the first private house in London to have electric lighting. (fn. 102) The distinction between plutocratic Tyburnia and aristocratic Belgravia, although always exaggerated, still held some force: Tyburnia in 1902 housed the Jewish philanthropist Frederick Mocatta (1828-1905) at no. 9 Connaught Place, Sir Joseph Sebag Montefiore at no. 4 Hyde Park Gardens, and the Armenian oil millionaire and art collector Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, who from 1900 until 1925 was lessee of no. 38. (fn. 103)
Only slight changes were made to the Regency or Italianate streets before the First World War. In Edgware Road houses on the south corner of Seymour Street in 1898 were to be replaced by flats and shops before 1905. (fn. 104) Connaught House, dated 1906, was built under that or a revised agreement; most of its Seymour Street frontage was taken up by the Connaught club, first established for young men of limited means, which was bombed in 1940, taken over by the American Red Cross, and in 1948 leased to the Victory (Ex-Services) club. (fn. 105) In Bayswater Road the replacement of St. George's chapel by the Ascension chapel (fn. 106) was followed by the sale in 1900 of the former St. George's Row (in the mid 19th century called St. George's Terrace and from 1866 Hyde Park Place). (fn. 107) The houses made way for blocks of flats, which survived in 1984 as no. 12 Hyde Park Place, called Hampshire House, and nos. 18 to 23. (fn. 108)
Piecemeal rebuilding began in the late 1920s, as the first leases fell in, and gathered pace until halted by the Second World War. Although most noticeable along Edgware Road, rebuilding occurred on widely scattered sites, as some large houses were replaced by flats, shops, hotels, or smaller houses, others were subdivided, and mews dwellings converted into 'bijou residences'. (fn. 109) Changes in appearance were carefully controlled by the Paddington Estate, through leases which often specified the height and materials of the new buildings. (fn. 110) The population density of Hyde Park ward, covering fashionable Tyburnia, was 91 persons to an acre in 1921 and 97.3 in 1931, already higher than that of the Lancaster Gate wards or Maida Vale; by 1951, at 102.5, it was much higher, (fn. 111) presumably in consequence of changes in the 1930s. On the whole, however, the area remained upper- or middle-class. In 1937 the mews alleys north of Hyde Park and west of Edgware Road held a few old working-class tenants and some chauffeurs, lodged over garages near their employers, but many of the conversions had been into studios for a rising number of 'well-todo people who have a fancy for living in queer places'. (fn. 112)
An early agreement for conversions in 1927 provided for three houses on the north-west side of Gloucester Square, nos. 26 to 28, to be turned into five self-contained flats and for their three abutments behind, nos. 38 to 40 Devonport Mews, to become garages with living rooms overhead. (fn. 113) Similar agreements of 1927 were for nos. 13 and 14 and nos. 15 and 16 Hyde Park Terrace, each pair to form five flats, and for nos. 5 and 6 Chester Mews, behind them, to be replaced by two small private houses. In all those instances the lease was renewed for 61 years or less, although the most common term was still to be 98 years. (fn. 114)
The most thorough-going changes were along Edgware Road, where almost all the four-storeyed terraced houses were demolished as far north as Praed Street. Nos. 13 to 43 odd, from Seymour Street to Connaught Street, in 1928 were to be replaced by shops with flats overhead, built in 1932 as Westchester House and Grosvenor Mansions, (fn. 115) and mews buildings were to make way for a garage. (fn. 116) Between Connaught and Cambridge (later Kendal) streets, a block formed by nos. 51 to 79 Edgware Road, with the buildings behind it in Berkeley Mews and Portsea Place, in 1935 was to be replaced by shops and flats, completed in 1938 as Connaught Mansions and Portsea Hall. Immediately to the north, the block from Cambridge Street to Burwood Place in 1935 was likewise to be replaced; Bell Properties Trust in 1936 built the shops and flats of Park West, which had its main entrance in Cambridge Street and a private club with sports facilities for its residents. (fn. 117) Farther north, between Sussex Gardens and Star Street, the flats and shops of Cambridge Court had been built on the Grand Junction Co.'s estate in 1932. (fn. 118)
Bayswater Road, more desirable residentially and with no shops, underwent little rebuilding. A few of the largest houses became offices or institutions and others were subdivided; in Connaught Place a lease of no. 1 was taken in 1920 by Schweppes, which acquired no. 2 c. 1922 and the next four houses before and after the Second World War, (fn. 119) and nos. 13 and 14 were being gutted for flats in 1923. (fn. 120) Demolition took place only at the two corners of Bayswater Road and Albion Street, where houses in Hyde Park Terrace in 1934 and 1935 were to be replaced by expensive flats, built as two blocks called Albion Gate in 1936. (fn. 121) Away from the main thoroughfares there were major changes in Gloucester Square, whose north-east and south-west sides were rebuilt with smaller 'high-class' houses, in Sussex Place, where eight houses and their adjoining mews made way for flats called Sussex Lodge, built in 1937, and in and around Southwick Crescent, the south-western end of the polygon, where many of the five-storeyed houses with deep basements were replaced by houses of three storeys between 1934 and 1939. (fn. 122) Works of modernization included the conversion of nos. 215, 217, and 219 Sussex Gardens, with buildings behind in Bathurst Mews, into flats. (fn. 123)
North of Sussex Gardens there was also some scattered rebuilding, although not enough to alter the character of the area. New buildings included a telephone exchange of 1935 (fn. 124) in Market (later St. Michael's) Street, London University's Lillian Penson hall of residence in Talbot Square, and projects carried out for St. Mary's hospital. (fn. 125) Overcrowding persisted close to Praed Street, where Star Street was 'not without a criminal element'. (fn. 126)
Haphazard rebuilding and conversions had destroyed the uniformity of Gutch's Tyburnia before the Second World War. Although disfigured and with many neglected properties, particularly along its borders, an area so close to Hyde Park and Edgware Road remained desirable. (fn. 127) It did not therefore figure among those parts of the Paddington Estate which the Church Commissioners, having bought out the interest of the beneficial lessees, (fn. 128) began to sell in 1954. The name Paddington Estate was then dropped in favour of Hyde Park estate for the area south-east of Sussex Gardens, Maida Vale estate for the area north of the Regent's canal, and Lancaster Gate for most of the remaining property, in Bayswater or around Westbourne green, which was to be sold. (fn. 129)
Early rebuilding on a bombed site at the corner of Edgware Road and Seymour Street was carried out by the Victory (Ex-Services) club, which opened its Memorial wing, with shops below, in 1956. The club, renamed the Victory Services club in 1970 in order to accommodate both serving and former members of the armed forces, remained leaseholders from the Church Commissioners in 1985. (fn. 130)
In perhaps the most ambitious project for private housing attempted in London since the Second World War, the Church Commissioners entered into partnership with Wates, property companies controlled by Max Rayne, and Basil & Howard Samuel to restore the prestige of what had become the 90-a. Hyde Park estate. (fn. 131) Under a general plan by Anthony Minoprio, begun in 1957 with demolition in Hyde Park Square, (fn. 132) many early 19th-century terraces disappeared, notably in the central area around the polygon. Rebuilding was to a high density yet expensive: 930 flats and 68 houses, with shops, showrooms, and offices, were to accommodate c. 4,000 people on 27 a. around Oxford and Cambridge squares in 1962, and over 1,000 garages were to be provided, many underground. (fn. 133) A corner of the estate between Sussex Gardens and Norfolk Crescent was reserved for total control by the Church Commissioners, who started demolition in 1961 and finished building the luxurious development called Water Gardens in 1966. (fn. 134) It covered 3 a. and consisted chiefly of 250 flats, most of them to be offered on short leases, with 6 penthouses, 15 houses, and shops and offices. (fn. 135) In Norfolk Crescent 139 flats in 3 blocks, called Castleacre, Southacre, and Rainham, were finished jointly by the Church Commissioners and London Merchant Securities in 1969 and later passed to the commissioners. (fn. 136)
Rebuilding by the Church Commissioners and their associates proved successful, in that the expensive new dwellings were quickly occupied. (fn. 137) In 1972, however, when conservation was more acceptable, a fifteen-year plan modified the proposals of 1957 by providing for the renovation rather than the rebuilding of Connaught village and, on the western side of the estate, of Westbourne Street and a terrace at the end of Sussex Gardens. (fn. 138) Meanwhile the former St. George's burial ground and the site of the bombed Ascension chapel had been taken in 1967 for flats by the Utopian Housing Society (Group One), which exchanged a strip at the northern end with the Church Commissioners, in return for freehold access from Albion Street, and later passed the ownership to St. George's Fields Ltd. (fn. 139) By 1981 restoration had begun on most of Connaught Place. (fn. 140) Thus, after widespread rebuilding between c. 1930 and c. 1970, the early 19th-century suburb emerged with its social status ensured. (fn. 141) In 1985 the Church Commissioners, having decided to sell their Maida Vale property, (fn. 142) intended to retain their freehold interest in the Hyde Park estate bounded by Sussex Gardens and Edgware and Bayswater roads. The area, excluding St. George's Fields and some freeholds which had been sold around Albion Street and Hyde Park Gardens Mews, covered c. 80 a. (fn. 143)
Tyburnia, the first part of the Paddington Estate to have been built up, has lost more of its original buildings than has Bayswater. Most of those that remain have been included in Bayswater conservation area since 1967 or 1978. (fn. 144) The elaborate grouping of squares and crescents, considered second only to Edinburgh's, (fn. 145) survives, however, in the street plan, despite changes of name and the disappearance of some mews alleys. Moreover, the stages of growth can be seen in contrasts between restrained brick houses, as in Connaught Square, and taller, stuccoed ranges in a more opulent Italianate style. (fn. 146) Equally striking are the contrasts between those and the shops and flats of the 1930s, or between small modern town houses and tower blocks. Architecturally varied, the district south-east of Sussex Gardens is socially homogeneous: within the triangular Hyde Park estate there is little but private housing, although the roads forming that triangle bear separate characters.
Edgware Road as far north as Praed Street remains largely as it has been rebuilt in the 1930s, with flats over shops. The blocks, which stretch along the side streets, are mostly faced in red or yellow brick, with stone dressings, and include Portsea Hall, designed by T. P. Bennett. (fn. 147) In 1951 they were thought to have given greater dignity to one of London's broadest approach roads, making it seem typical of modern Paris. (fn. 148) Many of the tall blocks are at right angles to the road and linked by a continuous street elevation of two or three storeys. The pattern is continued by three 17-storeyed towers faced with bands of white tiles, designed by Trehearne & Norman, Preston & Partners, (fn. 149) rising out of a shopping range as part of the Water Gardens estate. Only between Star Street and St. Michael Street does an older brick terrace with shop fronts (nos. 195-203), survive. Edgware Road's shops and restaurants, many of good quality, form a north-westward offshoot of the commercialism of Oxford Street.
Bayswater Road, although a direct continuation of Oxford Street, marks an abrupt transition from trade to residential occupation, (fn. 150) interspersed with institutions and prestigious offices in converted houses. New buildings have more storeys but in general are no taller than the older ones. From Marble Arch to Stanhope Place stretch the stuccoed terraces of Connaught Place, of five storeys over basements and with first-floor verandahs. The houses still appear residential: after refurbishment nos. 1-6 consist of offices and flats for Cadbury Schweppes, no. 1 having lost its porch on the Edgware Road frontage, (fn. 151) and nos. 7-10 of expensive flats. The next range, Hyde Park Place, begins with stuccoed Italianate frontages (nos. 1-3), brown-brick flats (nos. 4-5), dated 1953, and the more recent Tyburn shrine, with houses converted for the convent of the Sacred Heart and other Roman Catholic bodies, (fn. 152) including the former no. 10, barely 6 ft. wide and sold in 1946 as London's smallest house. Hampshire House (no. 12), ornate and in golden stone, advertised in 1981 as luxurious flats, stands at the eastern corner of a gap formed by part of the garden of St. George's Fields. The estate, planned by Design 5, was first occupied in 1973; 300 flats or maisonnettes are contained in four large stepped blocks and three smaller blocks, white-brick and seven-storeyed or less, in a landscaped setting and with a car park beneath. (fn. 153) Beyond the gap is another block of c. 1900, neo-Jacobean and in red brick and terracotta, including Oranjehaven (no. 23), a former Dutch club. Albion Gate, the only flats of the 1930s resembling those in Edgware Road, consists of taller buff-brick and Portland stone blocks designed by Septimus Warwick (fn. 154) on each corner of Albion Street. Beyond is the imposing classical Park Towers at the east corner of Hyde Park Street and a similar building at the west corner, both converted from pairs of houses to flats under a lease of 1927, (fn. 155) and the brown-brick flats called Falmouth House, built c. 1960. (fn. 156) From Clarendon Place to Brook Street stretches the ornate stuccoed terrace of Hyde Park Gardens, set back from the road behind thick shrubs and still entered only from behind. There is a similar, shorter, range, built at an angle to meet the road, on the west side of Brook Street. Together with the slightly later terraces immediately west of Lancaster Gate, (fn. 157) Hyde Park Gardens has been acclaimed as '19th-century building at its most assured'. (fn. 158)
Sussex Gardens, forming the third boundary of the Hyde Park estate, retains more of its 19thcentury appearance than do the other sides. Stock brick terraces, of four storeys and basements, with stuccoed ground floors, line the north-west side, on the former Grand Junction Canal Co.'s land, as private hotels, having survived presumably because plans for their rebuilding were not put forward until the 1970s. (fn. 159) The south-eastern side is less uniform, with the flats of the Water Gardens, built around a courtyard with fountains, and the Quadrangle, sixstoreyed, with a 24-storeyed tower behind, having replaced Oxford Terrace in the 1960s. (fn. 160)
The Water Gardens and the Quadrangle stretch south from Sussex Gardens to where modern town houses surround the former polygon, the heart of Cockerell's layout, which has lost all its original buildings except St. John's church in the centre. Three tower blocks also share the central island, overshadowing Oxford and Cambridge squares and Norfolk Crescent, and a still taller block of 22 storeys occupies the corner of Oxford Square and Porchester Place. West of the church there has been extensive rebuilding, although more modest in height. Hyde Park Crescent contains neo-Georgian houses of the 1930s, in greyish brick and 'far too like Dagenham'. (fn. 161) Neighbouring streets have similar small but expensive houses, such as those by S. Warwick in Radnor Place, (fn. 162) or later ones in brownish brick. Gloucester Square on its north side has Chelwood House, built c. 1963, (fn. 163) and on the east and west sides flats of the 1930s, red-brick with stone dressings and in 1951 thought more attractive than the houses in Hyde Park Crescent. (fn. 164) To the west in Sussex Place the seven-storeyed Sussex Lodge is another example of piecemeal rebuilding, from 1937. (fn. 165) Beyond is Sussex Square, rebuilt with threestoreyed houses on its east and west sides, including one bearing a plaque commemorating the residence of Winston Churchill 1921-4, and with modern flats to the north. Hyde Park Square in contrast has a stuccoed 19th-century range to form its long north side and similar survivals along part of its south side, stretching westward along Strathearn Place to Sussex Place. Mews dwellings behind the terraces have likewise met varied fates: Hyde Park Mews retains its original buildings while the neighbouring Clarendon Mews has been rebuilt, as has Sussex Mews between Sussex Square and Sussex Place.
Nineteenth-century buildings survive mainly near the perimeter of the Hyde Park estate, notably in Stanhope Place, Albion Street, and Westbourne Street, all leading off Bayswater Road, in Strathearn Place, and in the south-eastern corner, around Connaught Street. Connaught Square retains nearly all of its brown-brick terraced houses of four storeys over basements, with their ground floors stuccoed and rusticated and first-floor balconies, remarkable for their contrast with the nearby blocks in Edgware Road. (fn. 166) Connaught Street is of similar date, as is the south side of much of Kendal Street, which meets it at the Duke of Kendal. Renovated shops near the corner and in Porchester Place, which links the two streets, here make Connaught village a busy centre, (fn. 167) with whose preservation there is little likelihood of further demolition in fashionable Tyburnia.
Scattered rebuilding has also taken place farther north around Norfolk and Talbot squares. A fivestoreyed block of flats, Edna House, has replaced All Saints' church on the east side of Norfolk Square, and the seven-storeyed Lillian Penson hall of residence, in pale concrete, fills the north side of Talbot Square. Mid 19th-century stuccoed terraces, used mainly as hotels, form most of the other sides of the squares and contain shops in London and Spring streets. To the east the much humbler Star and St. Michael's streets, between Sussex Gardens and Praed Street, retain most of their brick terraces, those in Star Street being of three storeys and a basement and those in the narrower St. Michael's Street being a storey lower. St. Michael's Street is the more altered, with the site of the church used as a playground, a few rebuilt town houses, and business premises backing on to it at the Edgware Road end. In both streets and in Sale Place and other cross-streets there are shops and public houses, often on corner sites. Praed Street, lined with shops and with St. Mary's hospital taking up much of its north side, presents a mixture of styles. There are modern blocks near the Edgware Road corner, including British Telecom's depot of the 1960s at nos. 12-20 (even), (fn. 168) and a new red-brick range containing the post office at nos. 128-42 between the hospital and the Great Western hotel. Much of the south side is down-at-heel, with four-storeyed shopping parades of the late 19th century and, between Sale Place and Junction Place, a more modest row of empty shops awaiting demolition. Behind St. Mary's a massive block faced with creamy yellow brick is under construction for the hospital in South Wharf Road, next to the five-storeyed Paterson wing, recently completed. (fn. 169)