Gloucester Gate

Pages 98-99

Survey of London: Volume 19, the Parish of St Pancras Part 2: Old St Pancras and Kentish Town. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1938.

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The imposing block of building known as Gloucester Gate (Plates 53 and 54), though not shown on Elmes' Plan, may be seen on the extreme left of the lithograph panorama (Plate 49) published by J. Mortimer but not dated, which illustrates the whole east side of the park. This terrace, together with the two next to be described, is attributed to John Nash and is built of brick rendered in stucco and the main feature of the design lies in the range of fluted pilasters of the Ionic Order, on pedestal bases, the height of the first and second floors, which stands on a podium, jointed to imitate masonry, on the ground floor. Above the pilasters is a continuous architrave and dentilled cornice with a parapet and balustrading, some of the balusters being removed to admit attic windows, though the design of the chimney stacks suggests the intention of a more important attic such as may be seen at Cumberland Terrace. Emphasis is given to the design by the introduction in the centre and at either end of six and four columns respectively in front of the lines of pilasters. These columns stand upon the front walls of three of the houses which are projected forward to support them and the columns or colonnades are surmounted by the full entablature and balustrading. The main wall behind is carried up to form an "attic" carrying a pediment at either end of the terrace and a flat roof over the central feature.

The door and window openings are finished in the plainest possible manner, three openings to each floor of each house as a rule. But variety is obtained in the planning of certain houses. The central feature is formed by a single house, which is "double fronted," and the central entrance doorway, which has two windows on either side of it, is the only one to be permitted any embellishment in the whole of the three terraces. It has an architrave with console brackets supporting an entablature. On either side of this big house are planned two smaller ones, only two windows wide instead of three. The staircase, top lit, is placed between the front and back rooms and a passage from the front door is extended beyond the staircase hall to a projection on the back elevation containing a cloakroom. This scheme was no doubt originally adopted, with certain variations, in all the houses. At the back of each house is a long narrow yard extended to the stabling, the walls of which were sometimes treated with some architectural embellishments. In these houses as well as those in the other terraces many changes have been made during the past 100 years, particularly in the kitchen offices which were originally always in the basement. Most of the principal fireplaces have been removed but one remains in the back ground-floor room at No. 5 Gloucester Gate, and there may be others. The original plaster cornices usually remain, but mouldings have been nailed to the walls in a large number of rooms to form panelling, which Nash made no attempt to provide. Except for the staircases the feature that most commonly remains is the bedroom fireplace. One is illustrated on page 118 and this type was, it seems, universal, except in Chester Terrace. The stairs were all of Portland stone and, except in Gloucester Gate, the same type of open-ironwork balustrading was provided throughout. The intermittent ornamental features are omitted in the exceptions just mentioned. No. 6 is the finest as well as the largest house in the four east-side terraces. Elaborate enriched plaster cornices remain in the hall and all the principal rooms and the white marble fireplace surround in the large drawing-room on the first floor is almost certainly original (see below and Plates 53 and 54).

Extracts From The Rate-Books

Except for Cambridge Gate at the southern end, which was not built till the removal of the Colosseum in 1875, Gloucester Gate is the latest of the four great groups of regency building on the east side of the park. (fn. n1) In its earliest days the block was known as Gloucester Terrace. Numbers 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 were all occupied in 1832, four years later than the date of the first entries relating to Chester and Cumberland Terraces. The houses known to-day as Gloucester Lodge and Gloucester House were than numbered 1 and 2 in a group of five known as Gloucester Lodges, three of them being outside the park at the head of Albany Street and they were also occupied by 1832. In the next year Nos. 8 and 11 were occupied and Nos. 9 and 10 in 1834; Nos. 4 and 6 were not taken until 1836.

Figure 8:

Gloucester Gate. Details of Fireplace at No. 6

The complete list in that year reads: No. 1, William Dobree; No. 2, Michael Sloper; No. 3, Cecilia Farrer (she followed Ann Farrer); No. 4, Elizabeth Wyatt; No. 5, Frederic Beevor (who succeeded Ann Le Blanc); No. 6, Charlotte Dent (the big centre house); No. 7, Mary Ann Cardale; No. 8, Mary Pares; No. 9, David Barclay Chapman; No. 10, Lady Isabella, Dowager Viscountess Hawarden; No. 11, De Pentheney O'Kelly.

In Gloucester Lodges: No. 1, Sebastian Gonzalez Martinez; No. 2, John Cryder. Sebastian Martinez will be found simultaneously rated for offices and stables at No. 1 Cumberland Terrace. He is also rated for No. 5, Cumberland Terrace, from 1830 to 1838 and for Nos. 20 and 21 until 1835. From 1833 to 1840 he is also paying rates at No. 20 Chester Terrace. To complete the story of the Gate up till 1840, we find Dobree remains at No. 1 all the time; at No. 2 is Capt. Trent in place of David Chambers, decd., who replaced Sloper for a single year. No. 3 is still Cecilia Farrer; No. 4 Henry Sullivan Græme, Eliza Wyatt having resided there only 3 years. At No. 5 Catherine Clayton, who replaced Beevor in 1837; at No. 6 is still Charlotte Dent; at No. 7 Elizabeth Ross, who took the place of Mary Cardale in 1839. At No. 8 is still Mary Pares; at No. 9, Henry William Eaton had just come in place of Chapman; at No. 10 is the Dowager and at No. 11 William Whittaker Maitland's tenancy is just terminating. He had been there 3 years. At the lodges Joseph Laxe takes the place of Martinez, but Cryder remains.


  • n1. The second name in the original leases is always that of Richard Mott, glazier (see also Cambridge Terrace), and he was responsible for the building of the terrace.