Philobiblon: Camden history

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Camden history

I've been reading up on the local history around this southern end of Camden. A few points:

Tolmer Square, which is just around the corner from me, is now an architecturally undistinguished block of council flats (I'd date it as probably 1980s) around a central square that has a pub, newsagent etc. (Although being diagonally opposite Warren St Tube it is in a brilliant position.)

This is the site of the Tottenhall Manor House, which in 1591 was in the possesion of one Daniel Clark, chief cook to Elizabeth I and James I. It was demolished in the 18th century. (p. 77)

Northeast of it is the Somers Estate, which included The Polygon, a circle of houses facing outward with gardens in their centre most famous as the home of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft.

St Pancras new church (the one opposite Euston station) was built in 1819 by the father and son team of William and Henry William Inwood; the former was born at Kenwood House, where his father had been bailiff to the 1st Earl of Mansfield. The tower is modelled on the Tower of the Winds at Athens and the rest of the building follows the Athenian Erechtheum. The caryatids along the north and south sides were cast by John Charles Felix Rossi. The building cost £76,679 7s 8d, the most expensive since St Paul's Cathedral. (Wonder where the eight pence went?) (p. 81)

The area in which I live, east of Albany Street, seems to have been chiefly a market.

Kings Cross Station takes its name from a statue of George IV which stood at the intersection of Grays Inn Road, the Euston Road and Pentonville Hill from 1830 to 1842.

Page references to The King's England: London North of the Thames except the City and Westminster, by Arthur Mee, filly revised and rewritten by Ann Saunders (Ann Cox-Johnson), Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1972.

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