Bradshaw’s Hand Book to London, Day 7, St John’s Wood, (no.45)

When the Domesday Book was written this area was in the Manor of Lileston. The Manor passed to the Knights Templar by the 13C, and then to the Knights of St John of Jerusalem. The land changed hands many times but eventually there were two main estates: land along the Edgware Road with which John Lyon endowed his charity, and school; and land which was sold to Henry Simon Eyre, whose family still owns the estate.

St John's Wood, 1822, from Hampstead Churchyard (Guildhall Library)
St John’s Wood, 1822, from Hampstead Churchyard (Guildhall Library)

‘..Until the end of the eighteenth century, when plans for residential development first appeared, the area remained in agricultural use..’. (This site  is excellent; more here.)

St John’s Wood was a planned estate, with new ideas for semi-detached houses rather than squares, and Mr Bradshaw could assure us ‘..The villas are of the first class; and the roads, laid out within the last ten years, are lined with the prettiest ornamental cottages and gardens imaginable..’.

Victorian villa in St John's Wood
Victorian villa in St John’s Wood
Semi-detached villas in St John's Wood
Semi-detached villas in St John’s Wood
Are these substantial houses what Mr Bradshaw meant as 'cottages'?
Are these substantial houses what Mr Bradshaw described as ‘cottages’?

And the gardens? Well, it is winter, but even so there were some real delights, one just has to look.

Cotoneaster
Cotoneaster
Cyclamen
Cyclamen
Pretty idea for fencing
Pretty idea for fencing

‘..In Hamilton Terrace is St Mark’s Church, built in 1847..’, built to designs by Thomas Cundy the elder and his son. The church was damaged in WWII, and the spire rebuilt in 1955. I found it a quiet and peaceful site.

The Church of St Mark, Hamilton Terrace, St John's Wood
The Church of St Mark, Hamilton Terrace, St John’s Wood
The interior of St Mark, St John's Wood
The interior of St Mark, St John’s Wood

There is considerable use of mosaics in the church, on the memorials, and as decoration.

Mosaics in St Mark, St John's Wood
Mosaics in St Mark, St John’s Wood

IMG_1708My route took me down Abbey Road, where the New London Synagogue is in a grand building, the Baptist Church was founded in 1863, and where a constant group of people were picturing themselves on the famous crossing.

The New London Synagogue, Abbey Road, NW8
The New London Synagogue, Abbey Road, NW8
The Baptist Church, Abbey Road, NW8
The Baptist Church, Abbey Road, NW8
The crossing at Abbey Road Studios
The crossing at Abbey Road Studios
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Abbey Road Studios

In 1804 a detachment of the Corps of Gunner Drivers (support unit for an artillery brigade stationed in St James’s Park) was billeted in farm buildings on the St John’s Wood site. By 1810 the Board of Ordnance had decided to base the brigade in its entirety on the site, and negotiated a lease from the Eyre family who owned the land. A long two-storey barrack block designated the New Artillery Barracks was completed in 1812..’, and this became the St John’s Wood Barracks in Ordnance Hill. In 2012 the lease on the property expired, the army moved out, and the site has been bought from the Eyre Estate for residential redevelopment for £250m

St John's Wood Farm in 1804
St John’s Wood Farm in 1804
The Troop in Norfolk Road, 1956
The Troop in Norfolk Road, 1956

A beautiful photograph in The Times, 2011

St John's Barracks, Times photographer Paul Rogers
St John’s Barracks, Times photographer Paul Rogers
St John's Barracks, inside the gates
St John’s Barracks, inside the gates today

I made my way down St John’s Wood High Street, heading towards another church. In Wellington Place I found one of the thirteen remaining Cabbie’s Shelters in London.

Cabbie's Shelter in Wellington Place, NW8
Cabbie’s Shelter in Wellington Place, NW8

St John’s Wood Chapel was designed by Thomas Hardwick

St John's Wood Church
St John’s Wood Church
St John's Wood Church
St John’s Wood Church today
The columns over the porch of St John's
The columns over the porch of St John’s
Inside St John's Wood Chapel
Inside St John’s Wood Chapel

The burial ground was quite overgrown, but the gardens were peaceful.

The gardens of St John's Chapel, NW8
The gardens of St John’s Chapel, NW8
The tomb of Dudley, who fought at Waterloo
The tomb of Samuel Dudley, who fought at Waterloo
A corner of the burial ground at St John's Chapel, NW8
A corner of the burial ground at St John’s Chapel, NW8

Lord’s Cricket Grounda famous spot for the gentlemen of the bat and ball, is near the Eyre Arms Tavern; ..a great match, frequently recurring through the season, is a sight worth witnessing..’, says my guide.

The Eyre Arms  (demolished)
The Eyre Arms (demolished)
Lord's Cricket Ground, 1837
Lord’s Cricket Ground, 1837
Lord's Cricket Ground
Lord’s Cricket Ground

IMG_1855

One of the historic events
One of the historic events

You may be interested in
St John’s Wood history
St John’s Wood Chapel Monuments
Behind the scenes at St John’s Wood Barracks
St John’s Wood Barracks 1945-2012
History & Conservation
St John’s Wood & the Eyre Family

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