Colville Place

Page 29

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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(Formerly Colville Court)

Colville Place is a paved court connecting Charlotte Street with Whitfield (formerly John) Street. It was planned as a double row of modest dwellings, three storeys in height in stock brick with a plain parapet masking the roofs. Each house had two sash windows on the first and second floors, and the entrance door, with rectangular fanlight, and one window on the ground floor. Some of these ground floors had been fitted with shops. Old lamp standards stand in the centre line where the sloping pavement from each side met (Plate 6).

The houses were being built in the year 1766. In a lease of the northern side by Francis and William Goodge to William Franks, dated 29th July in that year, (fn. 36) the project is described as "a new intended Court 18 feet wide to be called Colvill Court" with a house at the corner of John Street, let to George Beavan and 15 messuages on the north side of the Court. The lease was for 61½ years, and on 19th November of the same year it was assigned to Edmund Pepys, (fn. 37) when the 15 messuages are stated to be "now in building." From the various subsequent transactions it would appear that Pepys financed the work which was carried out by John Colvill, carpenter, who evidently gave his name to the Court. The south side was being erected in 1766 and 1767 but by 1774 the cost had become too great for the resources of Colvill who had become bankrupt. (fn. 38)

The Court was much damaged in the air-raids, No. 1, the easternmost house on the north side, and Nos. 20–26, the eastern part of the south side, being demolished. The houses are numbered consecutively from east to west on the north and continue from west to east on the south, the corner houses being numbered in Whitfield and Charlotte Streets. Nos. 5 and 6 have a wooden entablature to the ground floor with dentil cornice and fluted pilasters. There is a similar treatment to Nos. 10, 12, 14 and 16, but with plain pilasters and cornice.


  • 36. Ibid., 1766/6/248.
  • 37. Ibid., 1766/8/224.
  • 38. Ibid., 1774/1/228.