Sticks in the Smoke 32: Upper and Lower Grosvenor Gardens, Belgravia

STICKS IN THE SMOKE (a sketchbook in London)

upper-grosvenor-gardens(Wednesday 28 September 2016)

Like two wedges of Camembert pointing at each other across the cheese board, these two gardens are laid, with a whiff of France, at the edge of Belgravia. They sit within a long ‘X’ of mid- nineteenth Century Parisian style houses, tall and stately, with white stone arches 032aand pillared porches, and ornamental ironwork balconies. Built in the mid 1860s, these palatial terraces were designed by Thomas Cundy II to celebrate Gallic design and culture, echoing the newly opened French Renaissance- style Victoria Station. In fact there were 3 generations of Thomas Cundys (or would that be Cundies?), all of them surveyors to the Grosvenor Estates, spanning most of the 19th century. Between them they created the grand squares and terraces of Belgravia. This area was instantly fashionable, but I’m imagining the 3 Thomases collectively spinning in their graves at the thought that the houses they built are now some of the most expensive in the…

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