Marshall Street Area


English Heritage



F. H. W. Sheppard (General Editor)

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'Marshall Street Area', Survey of London: volumes 31 and 32: St James Westminster, Part 2 (1963), pp. 196-208. URL: Date accessed: 19 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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Marshall Street Area: Pesthouse Close

Until its surrender to the Crown in 1536 the area shown on fig. 26 had formed part of the estate of the Mercers' Company, which in January 1559/60 was granted by Queen Elizabeth to William Dodington. In January 1618/19 Robert Baker, the tailor of Piccadilly Hall, acquired some twenty-two acres of this ground, including the close of four acres now to be considered, the title to which was later in dispute between two of his great-nephews, John and James Baker. This close is shown on the plan of 1585 as being divided into three strips, the middle one being marked 'the houses of Mr. Howicke' (Plate 1).

At the time of the Great Plague of 1665 the Earl of Craven hired this ground as a site for pesthouses and a burial ground. (ref. 1) Similar institutions already existed in the vicinity, one in Colman Hedge Close which was established in 1630 (see page 219), and another which was erected at the time of the Great Plague by the Justices of Middlesex and Westminster in Clayfield in Soho Fields. (ref. 2) (fn. a)

William, first Baron (later Earl of) Craven (1606–1697) had had a distinguished career as a soldier, mostly in foreign service, and was a Fellow of the Royal Society. (ref. 4) He remained in London throughout the plague of 1665 and was a member of the commission appointed to consider the best means of preventing the spread of the epidemic. (ref. 5) He strongly recommended the wider use of pesthouses and plague pits, the only alternative being to shut the victims of infection with their families into their own houses and then to bury the bodies in the parish churchyards. (ref. 6)

The pesthouses which Craven erected in 1665 are shown on the map of c. 1689 reproduced on Plate 4; they were enclosed by a brick wall and in addition to accommodating the sick, there were rooms for a physician and surgeon. (ref. 7) In 1739 they were described as having consisted of 'thirty-six small Houses, for the Reception of poor and miserable Objects … afflicted with a direful Pestilence, Anno 1665', and 'some thousands' of bodies were said to have been buried in a pit near the corner of what are now Marshall and Beak Streets. (ref. 8) The discovery in more recent years of human bones buried behind No. 41 Beak Street confirms the existence of such a plague pit. (ref. 9)

In 1671 Lord Craven purchased the freehold of the site of his lazaretto (by then known as Pesthouse Close) from James Baker for £280. (ref. 10) James Baker's title to the ground was disputed by his cousin John, for in the following year there was another conveyance of the same property to Craven from Sir James Oxenden, to whom John Baker had probably sold his claim (ref. 11) (see page 39).

In 1687 Lord Craven conveyed Pesthouse Close to Sir William Craven and his heirs, upon trust to maintain the buildings for 'the Reliefe Support Comfort Use and Conveniencie of such of the Poore inhabitants of the Parishes of St. Clements Danes, St. Martins in the Fields, St. James's Westminster and St. Pauls Covent Garden as shall hereafter at any time happen to be visited with the Plague, as a Pest-House or Place sett apart for their Reliefe and for severing from the well… . And for a Burying Place for the Dead'. (ref. 12)

In the latter part of the seventeenth and early years of the eighteenth centuries all the land surrounding Pesthouse Close was gradually built over, thereby greatly diminishing the potential effectiveness of the lazaretto as a place of isolation and also greatly increasing the value of the land for building purposes; the map of 1720 reproduced on Plate 5 shows the close as entirely surrounded by new streets. In 1722–3 the third Baron Craven tried to buy out the interest of the four parishes concerned by a payment of £300 to each. This arrangement, though agreeable to the parishes, failed to obtain parliamentary approval when brought forward as a Bill in the House of Lords. Another proposal for Lord Craven to pay £2000 into the hands of trustees for the purchase of land elsewhere and for the erection of another pesthouse was also unsuccessful. It was then estimated that 'to purchase the like quantity of Ground being above three Acres that shall be lying and situate in a more convenient place and to fence it in with a Brick wall and to erect the like Buildings upon it for the like Accommodation of Physician, Surgeon and Sick People may be reasonably computed to amount to the sum of 2000 l'. (ref. 13)

Figure 26: Pesthouse Close, layout plan. Based on the Ordnance Survey, 1870–5

In the early 1720's there was still widespread fear of a recurrence of plague. In 1713 there had been a number of cases amongst English soldiers returning from the Continent, (ref. 14) and in 1719 greatalarm was felt in London at the outbreak of a serious epidemic of plague at Marseilles. The government then commissioned Dr. Richard Mead to study the danger. The result of his work was the publication in 1720 of his Short Discourse concerning Pestilential Contagion and the Methods to be used to Prevent it. This book (which had run into eight editions by 1722) emphasized the effectiveness of speedy isolation and the dangers of contagion from dead bodies. (ref. 4) In 1721 an Act was passed to tighten the quarantine regulations 'for the better preventing the plague being brought from foreign parts', the late epidemic in southern France having 'occasioned just apprehensions'. (ref. 15) It is therefore not surprising that prominent physicians who gave evidence before the House of Lords during the various readings of Lord Craven's Bill all stressed the great danger of disturbing the plague pits, or that the Bill was eventually withdrawn. (ref. 16)

There was, however, no reappearance of the plague in England in the 1720's, and fears of another visitation gradually subsided. In 1733/4 Lord Craven brought forward another Bill to relieve him of the obligation to maintain the pesthouses, having in the meantime purchased three acres of ground in Paddington for the purpose of transferring the trust. This proposal was successful, perhaps because of the 'great Terror and Annoyance' which would certainly have been given to the inhabitants of the streets surrounding Pesthouse Close in the event of its re-use as a lazaretto. The preamble to the Bill also stated that the continued survival of Pesthouse Close as open ground in the centre of an over-populated metropolitan parish 'would be a great Prejudice and Nuisance to the Neighbourhood by harbouring evil and disorderly Persons, and furnishing Occasions of Robberies, murders and other mischiefs.' (ref. 17)

The Bill received the royal assent on 16 April 1734 (ref. 18) and subsequently another pesthouse was built in Paddington for the use of the four parishes concerned. The new buildings are shown on Rocque's map of 1741–5 of the environs of London and occupied the site of the present Craven Hill and Craven Hill Gardens. When this site was built over in the nineteenth century, the surplus income from the ground-rents was assigned in 1864 to King's College and Charing Cross Hospitals. (ref. 19) The income from the charity is now used to supply special comforts, foods and medicines to the sick and infirm poor in the City of Westminster. (ref. 20)

The redevelopment of the site of Pesthouse Close began immediately after the passing of Lord Craven's Bill, a number of building leases having already been granted in the previous year in anticipation of the royal assent. (ref. 21)

The layout of the estate (fig. 26) is of some interest, for the previous development of all the surrounding area demanded that some agreement should be reached with the adjoining property owners for the integration of the streets to be laid out on the Craven estate with those which already existed outside it. Two such agreements—unusual in this area of generally haphazard building—are known to have been made.

In 1735 Lord Craven reached an agreement with William Pulteney, the lessee of adjoining property in Broad (now Broadwick) Street, for the latter to remove a bar which he had erected across this street at the boundary between their two estates. The purpose of the agreement was to allow for the westward extension of Broad Street over the Craven estate and one of its clauses provided that the street should 'for ever thereafter remain free and open for all passengers, Coaches, Carts and Carriages'. For this concession Lord Craven promised to pay an annual tribute of one fat buck. (ref. 22) In 1882 this was commuted to an annual rent of four guineas. (ref. 23)

An agreement was also reached with the executors of William Lowndes, the freeholders of the adjoining property to the west, for the eastward extension of the market built on the Lowndes estate some ten years previously (see page 191) on to Lord Craven's ground. (ref. 24) Rocque's map (Plate 6) shows that by 1746 the original market house had been extended to the line of the west side of Marshall Street, and that there were open spaces on the north and south sides of the new buildings. Horwood's map of 1792 shows that many of these spaces had been covered with more market buildings in the intervening years.

By 1736 Pesthouse Close was almost entirely covered with small houses, market buildings and shops, built under sixty-year leases granted by Lord Craven. There was one main street, Marshall Street, running north-south through the centre of the close. This was integrated into the street layout then existing outside Pesthouse Close by the westward extension of Broad Street on the east side and by the enlarged market buildings on the west. At the same time Dufour's Court (now Place) whose north and east sides formed part of the adjoining Pawlett's Garden and had been developed some years previously, was completed by a new western range of houses built on part of Pesthouse Close.

One area remained unaffected by these changes. This was a small parcel of open ground leased by Lord Craven in 1733 to the St. James's parish vestry as an extension to their adjoining (and over-crowded) burial ground in what had been Pawlett's Garden (see page 210). The lease was for five hundred years at a rent of £57 per annum. (ref. 25) The vestry enclosed their new burial ground with a brick wall erected by George Wyatt. (ref. 26)

Between 1774 and 1791 the Craven estate was extended westward by the purchase of part of the adjoining Lowndes estate in Six Acre Close. The Lowndes share of Carnaby market house and a number of small adjoining properties were acquired, which together covered all the land east of Carnaby Street between what are now Foubert's Place on the north and Ganton Street on the south. (ref. 27)

This westward extension of the Craven estate into Six Acre Close was followed in 1817 and 1819 by the sale of the freehold of ten houses on the east side of Marshall Street and of seven small tenements in Brown's and Munday's Courts to St. James's vestry, to provide extensions to the adjoining workhouse, built on the former parish burial ground. (ref. 28)

The first changes in the visual character of the Craven estate were initiated in 1820–1 when Carnaby Market was closed and its buildings demolished. (ref. 29) At the same time the small island site to the north of the original market house, and about half of that to the south (i.e. the Craven portions of Six Acre Close) were cleared for rebuilding. In this way almost the whole of the area which had formerly comprised Carnaby Market and its immediate purlieus, was redeveloped under building leases from the then representative of the Craven interest, William, seventh Baron and first Earl of Craven (of the second creation). New buildings were erected on the four blocks between what are now Foubert's Place on the north, Ganton Street on the south, Marshall Street on the east and Carnaby Street on the west. (fn. b) These buildings were all completed by 1825. (ref. 29)

Some of the leases were granted by the Earl of Craven to Thomas Finden, builder, of John Street, Fitzroy Square, who was also concerned in the granting of leases to other parties. (ref. 30) Finden was surveyor to the Craven estate (ref. 31) and probably exercised general supervision over the design of the buildings.

The estate boundaries remained unchanged throughout the nineteenth century. (ref. 27) The present representative of the Craven interest still retains property in the area.

Marshall Street

Marshall Street probably takes its name from Hampstead Marshall, the seat of the Craven family in Berkshire. It was laid out for building in 1733 and the building leases were granted between August 1733 and September 1735. The street seems to have been completely built by 1736. (fn. c)

From 1827 to 1892 there was a National School on part of the site now occupied by the electricity station on the west side of the street. (ref. 47)

The southern third of Marshall Street, between Broadwick and Beak Streets, is uninteresting; Nos. 3 and 4 on the east side, probably of the early nineteenth century, are much altered. From Broadwick to Ganton Street the west side is occupied by an electricity station. The east side contains seven houses (described below) which were erected in 1734–5 as part of the same development as Nos. 1–6 (consec.) Dufour's Place and the western end of Broad (now Broadwick) Street. The west side of the northern third of Marshall Street, above Ganton Street, was rebuilt when Carnaby Market was closed and its buildings demolished in 1820–1; the houses here are described on page 202. Most of the east side of this part of the street is occupied by the Marshall Street Baths.

Nos. 7–13 (consec.) Marshall Street

Each of these seven houses has three storeys and a garret, and originally the fronts were probably finished in stock brick, with a brick bandcourse above the ground storey. Shop-fronts have been inserted in all but Nos. 7 and 9. The fronts of Nos. 9–11 and 13 have been cement-rendered in a plain utilitarian manner, and that of No. 12 more decoratively stuccoed. Nos. 7–10 are the more modest, being two windows wide, Nos. 11, 12 and 13 are three windows wide, and Nos. 12 and 13 have mirrored fronts and a shared chimney-stack. The entrance passage, at one side in each case, led to a dog-legged staircase; later extensions filled in most of the back yards. The upper-storey plan was for one front room and a back room, with a closet beyond the back room.

At No. 11 the first-floor front room, with ovolo-moulded panelling, moulded dado-rail, and dentilled box-cornice, is unusually complete for this neighbourhood although in poor condition. This room has also kept its original four-panelled doors and white marble chimneypiece with panelled jambs and a shaped lintel, similarly panelled. The staircase has closed moulded strings, turned balusters, moulded handrail and column newels. On the back wall of the house, which has been whitewashed, the windows have flush frames.

No. 12 at ground level is now mainly a vehicle entrance to back premises. The stucco facing, the decoration of the first-floor windows and the main cornice suggest a date around 1840. These windows were given thin cornices on brackets, the central one being pedimented. The new main cornice was enriched with modillions and carried a balustrade between pedestals, but the balusters have since been taken out to give more light to the dormer windows.

At No. 13 the entrance passage still has, on the north wall, some sunk panelling with a moulded dado-rail and a small cornice. In the first-floor front room the panelling, although dilapidated, is complete, comprising raised-and-fielded panels with dado-rail, box-cornice and shutters. To the left of the Victorian chimneypiece, in the south wall, is a large cupboard with panelled doors and shaped shelves. The staircase is mainly nineteenth century, except for the flight to the basement, which has closed moulded strings, turned balusters and a moulded handrail.

Marshall Street Baths

Part of this site has been occupied by public baths and wash-houses since 1851–2. (ref. 29) These were erected by the vestry of St. James's, one of the first local authorities to take advantage of the Baths and Wash-houses Act of 1846. (ref. 48) The seven commissioners appointed by the vestry to implement this legislation met for the first time in January 1847, (ref. 49) but at first had difficulty in obtaining a suitable site. Eventually the vestry made available a parcel of freehold ground which they owned comprising No. 16 Marshall Street and part of the workhouse yard behind. (ref. 48) Building work began in February 1851 and the new baths and wash-houses were first opened on 14 June 1852. (ref. 50) The architect was Pritchard Baly of Buckingham Street, Adelphi, and the building contractor was H. W. Cooper of Wakefield Street, Regent's Square. (ref. 51)

In 1860 the commissioners took over Nos. 17 and 18 Marshall Street, which adjoined the original building to the north. These were then demolished to allow for the erection of an extension to the baths. This work was carried out between November 1860 and October 1861. The architect for this work was Charles Lee and the builder William Palmer. (ref. 52)

In 1891–2 further extensions were made to the baths when the adjoining Nos. 14 and 15 Marshall Street were rebuilt and incorporated into the building. (ref. 53)

In 1928 the existing baths, together with the adjoining Nos. 7–10 Dufour's Place, were demolished for the erection of the present building by the Westminster City Council at a cost of £173,000. Messrs. A. W. S. and K. M. B. Cross were the architects and Messrs. Bovis the building contractors (Plate 140d). The new building, which was opened on 17 April 1931, (ref. 54) included a firstclass swimming bath 100 feet by 35 feet, a smaller second-class bath, slipper baths, public laundry, maternity and child welfare centre, and a highways depôt at the rear in Dufour's Place. (ref. 55) The two swimming baths have concrete semicircular barrel vaults containing glazed window panels. The larger bath has stepped ranges of seats along either side with dressing boxes at high level behind them. The walls are lined with Sicilian white and Swedish green marble, and the niche at the shallow end has a fountain with dolphin and merman figures by Walter Gilbert. The Marshall Street elevation is neo-Georgian, with a stonefaced arcaded ground floor, brick-faced upper floors with stone dressings, and an attic floor above a large cornice. A pedimented projecting bay at the northern end originally bore a belvedere above an extra storey.

Craven Chapel And Hall, Foubert's Place

The Craven Chapel was opened in 1822 on part of the site of the former Carnaby Market. The project was financed by Thomas Wilson, a retired merchant who from 1799 onwards had devoted himself to the building and repair of Congregational chapels. (ref. 4) Wilson particularly wished to open a chapel in the Westminster area, and in 1821 he obtained a site from Lord Craven. The foundation stone of the chapel was laid in March 1822 (ref. 56) and the building was opened for worship on 11 December 1822 (fig. 27). (ref. 57)

The architect was a Mr. Abraham, possibly Robert Abraham, who was working in the St. James's area at this time. Thomas Finden, the surveyor to the Craven estate, was the builder. (ref. 58) The chapel had a seating capacity of between 1500 and 2000, and cost about £11,000. The whole of this expense appears to have been borne initially by Thomas Wilson. (ref. 59)

A Congregational church was formed on 25 April 1823, but no permanent minister was called and for the next eight years the congregation was served by visiting preachers. (ref. 60) In May 1831 the Rev. John Leifchild was appointed as minister of the chapel. During his ministry the Craven Chapel attracted a large congregation, many of the members living 'scattered over half London'. Leifchild retired in 1854, (ref. 61) but the congregation appears to have remained fairly numerous under his immediate successors, for early in 1874 a lecture hall and schools were opened on the north side of Foubert's Place. These were planned to replace the basement school-rooms which were part of the original chapel plan. Work was begun in the spring of 1873 from the designs of R. H. Burden of Oxford Street, the completed hall, with its fittings, costing a total of around £5000. (ref. 62)

By 1894, however, the congregation seems to have felt that it could no longer continue in the area and the leases of both the Craven Chapel and Craven Hall were assigned to the West London Mission of the Methodist Church. (ref. 63) Four years later the lease of the chapel expired, (ref. 64) and the building was converted into a stable for the Lion brewery in Broad(wick) Street. (ref. 65) In 1907 the West London Mission sold the lease of the hall to Messrs. Liberty. (ref. 66) The hall is now used as a warehouse, and the chapel for industrial purposes.

Figure 27: Craven Chapel, Foubert's Place, in 1847. From an engraving in The Congregational Year Book

The Craven Chapel, occupying a site of some 80 feet north to south, and 60 feet east to west, was planned to accommodate a large congregation. Comfort and architectural effect were minor considerations, and a Congregational critic, writing in 1847, observed that 'even the Craven Chapel, the largest and most costly of the whole, has only a very meagre approach to an architectural character'. (ref. 67) The oblong plan appears to have been arranged with a staircase in each corner, these emerging to the gallery surrounding the chapel. The main entrance was at the north end, from Foubert's Place; the pulpit was placed centrally at the south end, with the organ in the gallery above.

The exterior, of yellow brick with cement dressings, survives in a much altered state, the two clearly defined stages corresponding with the main floor and gallery levels. The long east elevation is six bays wide, originally having low oblong windows in the first stage and tall arched windows in the second, each end bay being slightly accented with a forward break. The north front to Foubert's Place is of three bays and the middle bay originally contained the main entrance. This was dressed with a pseudo-portico of Ionic columns in antis supporting a frieze, lettered 'ERECTED A.D. 1821', and a triangular pediment. In the upper face, also surmounted by a pediment, was a tablet lettered 'CRAVEN CHAPEL'.

The Craven Hall, on the north side of Foubert's Place, contained three storeys above vaults designed for letting. The infants' school was on the ground floor, with two large rooms for meetings; on the first floor was the lofty hall, also used as the girls' school, with galleries on its west and south sides; and on the second floor was the boys' school, with an open timbered roof. The front to Foubert's Place appears to have been little altered. It is an eclectic Victorian Gothic design, carried out in yellow brick banded with red brick, ornamented with terra-cotta and dressed with stone. There are three tall and widely spaced windows in each storey, the topmost rising into the great gable that finishes the front.

Nos. 33–37 (consec.) Marshall Street, 1–15 (consec.), 17 Newburgh Street, 22–30 (consec.) Carnaby Street, And 2–12 (even) Ganton Street

Newburgh Street formerly West Street. Ganton Street formerly Cross Court and South Row

Most of these buildings (Plate 136b, 136c, fig. 28) were erected in the 1820's by or under the supervision of Thomas Finden after the closure of Carnaby Market (see page 198). This redevelopment was uniformly planned, small in area and scale, but forming to-day an unusually pleasant oasis for pedestrians, and offering facilities for shopping away from the through streets. There is accommodation for shop-keepers over the shops, as well as for chamber trades such as tailoring. The least altered parts are the block bounded on the west by Newburgh Street and on the south by Ganton Street, and the two pedestrian courts west of Newburgh Street—Lowndes Court and Marlborough Court.

The prevailing form was the four-storey terrace house fronted in stock brick, two windows wide with plain window-openings, and a continuous plain parapet with stone coping. The windows, most of which have their original narrow glazing-bars, have stone sills. The ground floors were built as shops from the beginning, for this was the period of the planned shopping street. At street corners and at the entrances to pedestrian courts, as was common in such terraces, the angle of the upper face was rounded with a stopped quadrant, the projecting shop fascias following this curve with the shop entrances splayed beneath. Nos. 1 Newburgh Street and 37 Marshall Street have frontages to Ganton Street with wider than average single windows on the upper floors, and beside each corner shop is a plain house-front with one window by the front door, which at No. 1 Newburgh Street has a glazed fanlight and reeded jambs.

The ground floors of Nos. 33–36 Marshall Street have thin pilaster-strips and a continuous entablature; space appears to have been provided for shop-windows but, except at No. 35, these spaces have only one domestic-size window each. The ground floors of Nos. 20–22 Peter Street are similar.

Nos. 2–10 Newburgh Street form the more typical row of shops for this area and period, each with a central shop-window between house door and shop door. No. 6 has a slightly projecting shop-window curved at the angles, but most of the shop-windows are flat. Stall board gratings, usually plain, are placed a little to one side; square fanlights over some shop doors have similar iron grilles.

The shop at Nos. 12 and 12A on the west side, with a return front in Lowndes Court, has a more decorative entablature than the rest, with a continuous egg-and-dart ovolo-moulding on the cornice. The window-openings above have stucco architraves.

Figure 28: No. 6 Newburgh Street, section, elevation and plans

Nos. 10 and 12 Ganton Street with No. 17 Newburgh Street form a three-storey block which appears to antedate the redevelopment of the 1820's described above, although the groundfloor shops were perhaps inserted at that time. All three were stuccoed, their parapets finished with a continuous cornice. The upper window frames are exposed. The corner house, No. 17 Newburgh Street, is, like the other two houses, two windows wide to Ganton Street, with a splayed shop entrance at the corner and a plain house entrance in the longer front to Newburgh Street; the dog-legged staircase immediately inside has closed strings and turned balusters. This house has an unusual feature in the small extension on the north side, recessed from Newburgh Street, a frame structure of three storeys with barred sashes set in a face of weatherboarding. In the same block the much altered houses at Nos. 22 and 23 Carnaby Street also appear to antedate the rebuilding of the 1820's.

No. 28 Foubert's Place

This building appears in the Post Office directories from 1871 to 1901 as the Aberdeen Free School. It is a small building (now used for commercial purposes) in the Victorian Gothic style peculiar to church schools, a modest design in gault bricks with dressings of stone, now painted. There are three tiers of windows, the topmost rising into small gables, and a gabled bellcote at the corner.

Broadwick Street

Until Pesthouse Close was laid out for building in the 1730's, Broadwick (then Broad) Street had extended westward only as far as Dufour's Court on its north side and the modern No. 49 Broadwick Street on the south side; the general history of the street is described on page 221. Soon after obtaining the Act of Parliament permitting him to build on Pesthouse Close, the third Baron Craven began granting building leases of vacant sites on either side of a new westward extension of Broad Street, laid out to connect with Marshall Street, the most important street on his estate. All the original houses in this section of the street have survived, although alterations in the nineteenth century and later have rendered many of them barely recognizable.

Nos. 60–74 (even) And 51–67(odd) Broadwick Street

Formerly Nos. 22–28 and 36–29 (consec.) Broad Street

The sites of Nos. 60–74 (Plate 129a, figs. 29, 30), on the north side of the street, were leased by Lord Craven between August 1733 and December 1734 to Richard Nicholson, carpenter, who took those of Nos. 60–70, (ref. 68) and Nathaniel Walker, carpenter, who took those of Nos. 72–74. (ref. 69) The Crown public house, which now occupies Nos. 60 and 62, has existed at the west corner of Dufour's Place since at least 1740, (ref. 70) and probably since the grant of the lease of the site in 1734. (ref. 71)

William Blake, the painter and poet, was born at No. 74 (then No. 28) Broad Street and spent most of his childhood there; his residence is commemorated by a plaque erected by the London County Council. After his marriage in 1782 he set up in business in 1784 as a print seller at the next-door house, No. 72 (then No. 27), but had removed to Poland Street by Christmas 1785; his partner, James Parker, remained at No. 72 until 1794. (ref. 72)

The nine sites of Nos. 51–67 (Plate 129c, fig. 31), on the south side of the street, were leased between February 1733/4 and July 1735 to Henry Stenton, bricklayer (Nos. 51–57), (ref. 73) Mary Warring, spinster (No. 59), (ref. 74) and John Nolloth, carpenter (Nos. 61–67). (ref. 75)

Except for No. 59, which has three storeys, each house contains a basement and four storeys, the top storey being almost certainly an addition replacing a roof-garret. The fronts are of brick, variously two or three windows wide, but there are two larger houses, now divided and numbered 51–53 and 64–66, which are four windows wide. It is difficult to generalize about the exteriors because most have been stuccoed and a variety of early nineteenth-century ornament added, while the front of Nos. 51–53 has been entirely rebuilt. The windows mostly have flat arches and contain flush or slightly recessed box-frames, but Nos. 72 and 74 have segmental arches. No. 59 has the best-preserved exterior, although its brickwork has been painted red. There are pilaster-strips at either end of its front and bandcourses above the second and third storeys; the third-storey bandcourse has its upper courses slightly projected and is finished with a cornice. Nos. 61 and 63 have bandcourses in the second storey both at sill level and immediately above the gauged windowarches, while above the third storey is a bandcourse with the upper brick-courses slightly projected and finished with a small cornice, similar to the one at No. 59 but narrower. There are indications that this treatment was originally continued on the front of No. 65. The brickwork has been resurfaced at No. 61 and dyed yellow at No. 63, but there are signs that it was originally dull pink in colour with red bandcourses and window-arches. The front of Nos. 64–66 is of pink and yellow brick, but this may be a refacing since at the back the brickwork is purplyred and the windows have segmental arches of red brick. In most houses the ground storey has been altered by the insertion of a shop- or public-house front in the early or mid nineteenth century.

Figure 29: No. 74 Broadwick Street, plans

The interiors are as difficult to summarize as the fronts because most have been altered and because multiple occupation prevents a detailed examination. It is clear, however, that the majority have the standard plan of a single front room on each floor with a smaller room and a dog-legged staircase behind it, a closet sometimes projecting beyond the back room. Nos. 60, 67 and 74 must have differed in plan simply because they are built on cramped corner sites, but they are also among the houses that have been most heavily altered. However, it is evident that No. 67 originally had its entrance at the far end of the Marshall Street front, whence a passage led to a dog-legged staircase at the back. No. 74 still has this arrangement and probably had so originally, even though the staircase is later in date, for the house was always listed under Marshall Street in the ratebooks. Nos. 51–53 and 64–66 have four rooms to a floor, the two back rooms being separated by a doglegged staircase which is linked to the street by a narrow entrance passage placed between the two ground-floor front rooms. Nos. 64–66 have a closet projecting beyond the western back room. The alterations to Nos. 51–53 are interesting as an example of how a good-sized early Georgian house with ground at the back could be turned into a warren of tenements in the early or mid nineteenth century. The original ground-floor rooms and the entrance passage have been converted into two shops, and a passage, open at both ends, inserted at the western end. A new flight of stairs leads up to the first floor from this passage and a yellow-brick tenement block has been built in the court-yard.

Except for Nos. 64–66 the interior finishings seem to have been of the plainest early Georgian type. The rooms on the first three floors are, or were originally, lined with simple rebated panelling in two heights finished with a moulded dado-rail and a box-cornice. Sometimes there is a very small moulded cornice and occasionally the firstfloor rooms have ovolo-moulded panelling. The staircases have moulded closed strings fixed into column newels with big rectangular heads having moulded tops, and the turned balusters support a moulded handrail. At No. 65 the beam between the entrance passage and the staircase compartment is supported by plain-shafted Doric pilasters.

Figure 30: Nos. 64–74 (even) Broadwick Street, elevations

Figure 31: Nos. 59–67 (odd) Broadwick Street, elevations

At Nos. 64–66 both the first-floor front rooms have ovolo-moulded panelling, that on the west, which is the larger with three windows on to the street, having raised-and-fielded panels. This room also has on the south side of the chimney-breast a round-headed, semi-circular cupboard with shaped shelves, panelled doors and a moulded architrave, a second cupboard below the dado-rail having panelled doors flanked by panelled pilasters. There is also ovolo-moulded panelling in the west front room on the second floor. The staircase is of slightly better quality than the others in this part of the street, the first three flights having cut strings, carved step-ends, turned balusters with square necking-pieces, and a moulded handrail carried over column newels. Both the staircase compartment and the passage leading to it have ovolo-moulded panelling, while the beam dividing them is supported by pilasters like those at No. 65. None of these houses can be called wellpreserved, and most are in a squalid condition after years of use as tenements and work-rooms. However, Nos. 59, 61, 63 and 64–66 are the best of the group, having complete staircases and fairly complete panelling in the first-floor rooms.

Nos. 1–6 (consec.) Dufour's Place

The houses on the north side of Dufour's Place (formerly Court) stood in Pawlett's Garden and were built in 1719–21 (see page 214); those on the west side were built as part of the development of Pesthouse Close. Between May 1735 and September 1736 Lord Craven granted building leases of all six sites, five to Richard Nicholson, carpenter, and one to George Hawkswell, joiner. (ref. 76) The houses seem to have been erected, though not all occupied, by 1737 (ref. 29) (Plate 129b, figs. 32–4).

Nos. 1–6 Dufour's Place provide a better illustration of the original development in Pesthouse Close than do the houses in Broadwick Street. Each house contains a basement and four storeys (the topmost of which is a later addition replacing a garret) and has a brick front two or, at Nos. 1 and 5, three windows wide. The fronts of Nos. 2 and 6 have been completely covered with cement, but at No. 1 the brickwork is yellowish-brown, and at Nos. 3, 4 and 5 purply-red. The windows have flat arches of red gauged brick and contain double-hung sashes, those at Nos. 1 and 3 being set in flush frames. The only complete original doorcase is at No. 5, where the six-panelled door is framed by a moulded wooden architrave surmounted by a moulded cornice-hood on carved consoles. The doorway of No. 1 has an original moulded architrave of wood flanked by panelled pilasters, but the cornice and shaped consoles above are probably replacements of a later date. Nos. 2, 3 and 4 have early nineteenth-century doorcases of wood, those at Nos. 3 and 4, which were first built as a pair, being identical. The doors are six-panelled with iron knockers in the shape of a mask and flanking them are two Ionic pilasters, the entablature above having a modillion cornice and a frieze enriched with festoons and paterae. At No. 6 there is a two-storeyed entrance porch which is certainly an addition, although it is clear from Horwood's map that there was already a porch in this position in 1792. The basement-areas in all the houses remain open, but the iron railings are later replacements. The back walls, except for that of No. 2 which has been rebuilt, are three-storeyed with mansard roofs above, but the brickwork has been rendered with cement.

Figure 32: Nos. 1–6 (consec.) Dufour's Place, elevations

Internally, all but No. 1 conform to the standard plan already noted in the houses in Broadwick Street, Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6 having two-storeyed closets projecting beyond the back room. On the second floor No. 5 is slightly unusual in having two rooms at the front, the smaller south one with only one window on to the street. No. 1 has a curious L-shaped plan (fig. 33), apparently designed to interlock with No. 62 Broadwick Street, which abuts it on the south. Each floor contains two rooms at the front, the larger northern one, with two windows on to the street, having behind it a smaller room with the staircase compartment beside it on the south. On the ground floor a central entrance passage leads from the front door to the staircase compartment.

Figure 33: No. 1 Dufour's Place, first-floor plan

Apart from No. 2, which has been entirely altered in the early nineteenth century, the interior finishings are relatively well preserved, although the only complete original room is the front one on the first floor of No. 4. The rooms on the first three floors are generally panelled in two heights, with a moulded dado-rail and a wooden cornice, the doors and shutters being panelled to match. Ovolo-moulded panelling with a box-cornice is used only in the ground-and first-floor front rooms, the remainder being entirely plain, sometimes finished with just a small moulded cornice. Nos. 3 and 4 have raised-and-fielded panelling in the first-floor front rooms. There are cupboards with shaped shelves beside the chimney-breast in the ground- and first-floor front rooms of No. 3 and in the grounfloor front room of No. 6, the first of these having a round arch with a moulded architrave and a keyblock. The first floor of No. 4 is unusual for a house of this date in having folding doors, composed of three ordinary six-panelled doors, between the front and back rooms. The doors are joined by old hinges and there is no sign of their having been re-used or of alteration to the surrounding panelling.

Figure 34: No. 3 Dufour's Place, section and plans

The original chimneypieces, of which many have survived, vary considerably in style. There are several of stone, flat with shaped lintels and slight mouldings to the inner and outer edges, and in the first-floor front room of No. 4 is one of white marble. The others are of wood, that in the ground-floor front room of No. 5 having an ovolo-moulded architrave, an ogee-profiled frieze with shaped ends, and a moulded cornice, while that in the first-floor closet of No. 6 is similar but with egg-and-dart carvings on the architrave and enriched mouldings on the cornice. There are simpler versions of this design in the ground-floor south front room of No. 1 and in the first-floor front room of No. 5. The staircases are all doglegged with moulded closed strings, column newels and turned balusters, but at No. 5 the first two flights have cut strings with carved step-ends and fluted newels.


a The whereabouts of this pesthouse has not yet been established. C. L. Kingsford states that it was on the east side of Warwick Street and extended over part of Golden Square, (ref. 3) but this area was never referred to as either Clayfield or Soho Fields. It was more probably somewhere east of the modern Wardour Street.
b In the south-western block Nos. 10 and 12 Ganton Street, 17 Newburgh Street and 22 and 23 Carnaby Street were evidently not rebuilt at this time.
c The following building tradesmen were either included amongst the original Craven lessees or were otherwise involved in the erection of the first houses in the street: Thomas Baker (ref. 32) and Nathaniel Walker, (ref. 33) joiners; William Arnott, (ref. 34) James Gunter, (ref. 35) John Howorth, (ref. 36) John Jones, (ref. 37) Thomas Joyce, (ref. 38) John Manwell, (ref. 39) John Nolloth, (ref. 40) Thomas Phillips (ref. 41) and Nathan Wingfield, (ref. 39) carpenters; William Hewitt (ref. 42) and George Pearce, (ref. 43) plumbers; John Brown, bricklayer, (ref. 44) Walter Lee, mason (ref. 45) and John Philips, stone cutter. (ref. 46)


1. 7 Geo. II, c. 11, private; Journals of the House of Lords, vol. XXII, p. 122.
2. P.R.O., PC 2/58, pp. 170–1.
4. D.N.B.
5. P.R.O., PC2/59, p. 13.
6. B.M., Stowe MS. 152, f. 112.
7. House of Lords Record Office, House of Lords Papers, 31 Jan. 1722/3.
8. William Maitland, The History of London, 1739, vol. II, p. 721.
9. Notes and Queries, twelfth series, vol. IX, 1921, p. 35.
10. L.C.C.R.O., BRA329/1a.
11. Berkshire Record Office, D/EC, E32, schedule of deeds.
12. W.P.L., deed 10/23.
13. Ibid., D1759, 19 May, 24 July, 27 Nov. 1722; ibid., collection of Acts and Bills relating to St. Martin's parish, 942 13 (95); House of Lords Record Office, loc. cit.; Journals of the House of Lords, vol. XXII, pp. 31, 102, 106, 122, 126.
14. R. Mead, A Short Discourse concerning Pestilential Contagions, 1720, p. 8.
15. 7 Geo. I, c. 3, public.
16. Journals of the House of Lords, vol. XXII, pp. 106–7, 122, 126.
17. 7 Geo. II, c. 11, private.
18. Journals of the House of Commons, vol. XXII, p. 315.
19. Endowed Charities (County of London), 1903, vol. v, pp. 166–7.
20. The Annual Charities Register and Digest, 1961, p. 215.
21. See, for instance, M.L.R. 1733/3/171, 422, 437.
22. L.C.C.R.O., BRA329/12.
23. Sutton deeds, particulars book, property no. 463.
24. M.L.R. 1735/5/393.
25. H.M.C., MSS. of the Earl of Egmont, The Egmont Diaries, vol. I, 1920, p. 379; W.P.L., D1759, 19 June 1733.
26. W.P.L., D1759, 21 Aug. 1733.
27. Deeds in the custody of Laurence Graham and Co., and of Messrs. Taylor and Humbert.
28. M.L.R. 1818/8/275; 1819/8/288.
29. R.B.
30. M.L.R. 1822/3/59–61; 1822/6/640–2; 1823/ 9/76, 407, 606; 1824/6/653; 1824/11/469.
31. The Builder, 16 Feb. 1861, p. 115.
47. Endowed Charities (County of London), 1903, vol. v, pp. 138, 186.
48. Twenty-ninth Annual Report of the Vestry of St. James, 1885, pp. 123–4.
49. W.P.L., D2063, 12 Jan. 1847.
50. Ibid., D2063, 10 Feb. 1851; The Builder, 27 May 1854, p. 284.
51. W.P.L., D2063, 19 Dec. 1849, 2 Dec. 1850.
52. The Builder, 2 Nov. 1861, p. 755; 21 June 1862, p. 448; R.B.
53. Thirty-eighth Annual Report of the Vestry … of St. James, 1894, pp. 27–8; R.B.
54. W.C.C. Minutes, 30 June 1927, p. 415; 26 July 1928, pp. 510–11; 30 April 1931, p. 245; W.P.L., The Marshall Street Public Baths, 1931.
55. The Builder, 10 April 1931, pp. 651, 660, 664– 668.
56. Joshua Wilson, A Memoir of … Thomas Wilson, Esq., 1846, p. 319.
57. The Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle, vol. I, new series, Jan. 1823, p. 27.
58. Twenty-ninth Annual Report of the Vestry … of St. James, 1885, pp. 86–7; M.L.R. 1823/9/ 606.
59. Twenty-ninth Annual Report, loc. cit.; Wilson, op. cit., pp. 320–2.
60. Wilson, op. cit., p. 321.
61. J. R. Leifchild, John Leifchild, D.D., 1863, pp. 177–8, 180, 218, 259.
62. The Congregational Year Book, 1875, pp. 43 1–2.
63. The West London Mission, Seventh Annual Report, 1894, pp. 3–8; Eighth Annual Report, 1895, pp. 4–6 (copies at Kingsway Hall).
64. West London Mission, The Story of Our Work, 1898, pp. 1–18.
65. W.P.L., plans 764–5.
66. Deeds in possession of Messrs. Liberty and Co.
67. The Congregational Year Book, 1847, p. 157.
68. M.L.R. 1734/1/308; 1734/2/356; 1734/3/134; 1734/5/353–4.
69. Ibid., 1733/1/171; 1734/1/382.
70. M.C.R.O., LV(W) passim.
71. M.L.R. 1734/1/308.
72. R.B.; L.C.C. Members' Library, file 265; Bulletin of the New York Public Library, vol. 62, 1958, Paul Miner, William Blake's London Residences, pp. 540–1.
73. M.L.R. 1733/5/124; 1734/1/378; 1734/2/365– 366.
74. Ibid., 1737/3/332.
75. Ibid., 1734/3/280–4.
76. Ibid., 1735/2/158; 1735/4/118; 1735/5/299, 300; 1736/3/478.
3. The English Historical Review, 1925, pp. 436–7.
32. M.L.R. 1734/2/314.
33. Ibid., 1733/3/171.
34. Ibid., 1734/2/35.
35. Ibid., 1733/4/21.
36. Ibid., 1733/5/204.
37. Ibid., 1733/3/422–3.
38. Ibid., 1734/2/439.
39. Ibid., 1734/3/500.
40. Ibid., 1734/3/283.
41. Ibid., 1741/3/343.
42. Ibid., 1733/3/437.
43. Ibid., 1735/4/480.
44. Ibid., 1733/3/480–1.
45. Ibid., 1734/4/159.
46. Ibid., 1734/4/447.