SOUTHAMPTON ESTATE (MORNINGTON CRESCENT AREA)
The Southampton property extends northward as a comparatively
narrow strip between Nash's development on the border of Regent's Park on
the west and the Bedford and Camden Estates on the east, the centre of
Hampstead Road and High Street, Camden Town, being its eastern boundary.
Opposite Harrington Square (on the Bedford Estate) was built Mornington
Crescent, named after Richard Colley Wellesley, Earl of Mornington,
Governor-General of India and eldest brother of the Duke of Wellington.
The crescent appears first in the rate books in 1821, with one entry and a
note by the collector to "leave room for 30 houses." In 1823 Nos. 3, 5 and
7 were occupied, but it was not until 1832 that we find the full complement of
thirty-six houses complete and inhabited. The segment between the crescent
and the Hampstead Road was originally laid out in gardens but is now
occupied by the great building of Carreras, Ltd.
Arlington Road runs northwards from Mornington Crescent parallel
with Camden High Street. It is crossed by Parkway (formerly Park Street)
which runs from Gloucester Gate, Regent's Park, to the High Street,
near Camden Town Underground Station. In Parkway formerly stood
a theatre, first named the Alexandra Theatre and later the Park Theatre.
It was opened in 1873, but was destroyed by fire in 1881 and was not
The crescent is one of the last groups of buildings to follow the
designs which are characteristic of the earlier development in the neighbourhood already described in this volume. The houses are arranged in blocks
of four storeys, flanking the streets radiating from the crescent, with intermediate houses of three storeys and attics lit by dormers in mansard roofs.
Nos. 1 to 3, 11 to 14 (divided by Mornington Terrace), 23 to 26 (divided by
Mornington Place), and Nos. 35 and 36 (the latter, at the south corner of
Arlington Road, now rebuilt), are rendered in stucco throughout, with a bold
cornice above the second floor, and architraves to the windows. The cornice
continues through the intermediate blocks which have their upper storeys
faced with brick. The ground floor of the whole crescent is of channelled
stucco, with semi-circular heads to the doors and windows. The doors
formerly had good fanlights and the windows glazing bars of interlacing
Gothic design, but these have only survived in Nos. 16 and 21. Balconies
of varying designs extend across the front of each house at first floor level.
All the houses have basements and railed areas. At the angles of the streets
the corners are rounded. (Plate 89.)
No. 1, with which the crescent starts at its southern end is larger
than the other houses and has a more elaborate design. The original crescent
ended at Arlington Road on the north, and Nos. 37 to 47 in its continuation
(formerly known as Southampton Street) to Hampstead Road, are later and
smaller three-storey houses. No. 47 is wider than the rest and includes an
entrance to a yard behind.