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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Streets, Squares, and Buildings

City of London Corporation Estate

Estates in Bloomsbury

1 Duke of Bedford
2 City of London Corporation
3 Capper Mortimer
4 Fitzroy (Duke of Grafton)
5 Somers
6 Skinners' (Tonbridge)
7 Battle Bridge
8 Lucas
9 Harrison
10 Foundling Hospital
11 Rugby
12 Bedford Charity (Harpur)
13 Doughty
14 Gray's Inn
15 Bainbridge–Dyott (Rookeries)

Area between the Foundling and Harrison estates: Church land

Grey areas: fragmented ownership and haphazard development; already built up by 1800

About the City of London Corporation Estate

This small estate was owned by the City of London Corporation from the seventeenth century but remained undeveloped until the beginning of the nineteenth century (Survey of London, vol. 5, 1914)

There are plans of the estate dating from c. 1799 and 1899 in London Metropolitan Archives (COL/CCS/PL/01/091 and COL/PLD/PL/01/0728)

In 1900 The Times reported on plans by the Corporation to change the layout of the estate when most of the leases expired in 1902 (The Times, 20 December 1900)

The plans involved abolishing the two crescents, which were described as “quite out of date,” replacing them with extensions of Alfred Place northwards to Alfred Mews, which was to be widened, and southwards to a new, also wide street, running into Tottenham Court Road (The Times, 20 December 1900)

Although this had been approved by the old St Giles District Board of Works and the new London County Council, and the resistance of some of the leaseholders was futile given that the leases were about to expire, for some reason, the plans were never carried out (The Times, 20 December 1900)

Alfred Mews

Not to be confused with North Crescent Mews, which it might more appropriately be called given its location, and not to be confused with Alfred Mews, South Kensington

It is on the west side of Bloomsbury, off Tottenham Court Road, opposite Tottenham Street, and hence running behind the gardens of North Crescent

It was presumably built at the same time as Alfred Place, for which it would be the Mews

It was established by 1807, according to an advertisement for a mare for sale at no. 3 (The Times, 29 August 1807)

It was presumably called after Alfred Place

It was designed originally as a mews for Alfred Place and North Crescent

Odell’s Livery Stables was here in 1819, according to an advertisement in The Times (17 June 1819)

In 1841 its occupants were those of a typical mews: carman, wheelwright, carpenter, coach and harness maker, livery stables (1841 Post Office Directory)

By 1861 there were also farriers, cabinet makers, a timber merchant, a smith and gas fitter, and an iron bedstead maker (1861 Post Office Directory)

By 1871 the cabinet makers of Hewetson and Thexton had moved in, joining other cabinet makers, carpenters, and a wheelwright (1871 Post Office Directory)

The two cabinet makers, Frederick Coote and Hewetson & Thexton, had taken over (1881 Post Office Directory)

In 1884 a parcel containing a human skull, still with some flesh attached, was discovered there by a carman and a sweeper, according to The Times of 24 October 1884; later reports mentioned other body parts which had been discovered around the western Bloomsbury area

Joseph Cowell, a furniture remover, lived and worked in the mews in 1898 (The Times, 12 January 1898)

By 1901 the established and prestigious furniture makers Hewetson, Milner & Thexton, Ltd, occupied nos 1–15

They resisted the estate’s attempts to extend Alfred Place through their property (The Times, 20 December 1900) but eventually were forced to move to premises at 209–212 Tottenham Court Road at a much higher rent, going bankrupt shortly afterwards (The Times, 13 May 1907)

The Mews buildings were all demolished and replaced by twentieth-century non-residential buildings

It is now mainly a service entrance for Heal’s

Their twentieth-century buildings do, however, contain a much older boundary stone

This page last modified 14 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


Bloomsbury Project - University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT - Telephone: +44 (0)20 7679 3134 - Copyright © 1999-2005 UCL

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