Monday, 17 January 2011

Elsynge Road

In and around this suburban sidestreet, there is an unusual collection of mid-Victorian houses, mostly in semi-detached pairs. They were built as show houses for the Great Exhibition of 1851 but the area was still green fields because the nearest station, Clapham Junction would not open for another twelve years. So how did people get there to see the show houses? Either by omnibus or in their own carriages. This suggests that the potential market for these house were prosperous merchants who could afford to live on the healthier edge of London.
The houses feature the latest styles: Gothic gables, Flemish gables and windows arranged in pairs in the Italian Rennaissance style as well as the established classical. They are mostly arranged as semi-detached villas with their front doors at opposite sides to give a greater sense of privacy. Most of them were built with half-basements and all of them include the latest feature: the bay window.
Illustrated (above) semi-detached pair with Gothic gables, bay windows and windows arranged in pairs in the Italian Rennaissance style.

1 comment:

  1. HI Richard, it seems that it has become that Estate agent folk-law that the majority of houses on Spencer and Elsynge (formerly Park road) road were build for the great exhibition. But a map of 1861 only shows a couple of houses: existed 10 years after the great exhibition. I would be interested to know your source of info on Elsynge road.