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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Streets, Squares, and Buildings

Skinners’ (Tonbridge) 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 Skinners’ (Tonbridge) Estate

This estate was also known as Sandhills, and was acquired by Sir Andrew Juddd in the seventeenth century, who vested it in the Skinners’ Company as Trustees for the benefit of the Tonbridge School in Kent (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

It comprised an area extending slightly north of what became Euston Road (around the modern St Pancras station), and south into Bloomsbury, extending slightly south and west of Burton Street, south of Leigh Street, and slightly west of Judd Street up to just south of Hastings Street, where it extended further east to just east of Tonbridge Street

Maps of the estate from 1785, before it was developed, and 1898, after development, appear in S. Rivington, History of Tonbridge School (2nd edn, 1898) and are reproduced in the Survey of London, vol. 24 (1952)

North of Euston Road building began before 1800, including Judd Place East and West; the part south of Euston Road remained mainly farmland until 1807, although it also had the buildings of Bowling Green House and access roads to this coffee house with its pleasure grounds (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

Development of the land was prompted partly by development on the neighbouring Foundling Estate to the south, some of which was apparently encroaching on the Skinners’ land; in 1807 the Skinners’ estate followed the Foundling Estate’s example and granted building leases to James Burton

See also S. Rivington, ‘Burton and the Sandhills Estate,’ The Builder, 30 May 1908

In the twentieth century the estate sold the freeholds of much of its Bloomsbury property, although retaining the pubs the Skinners Arms, the Euston Tavern on the corner of Euston Road and Judd Street, and the Dolphin on Tonbridge Street (Shirley Green, Who Owns London?, 1986)

Its Burton Street and Bidborough Street residential properties were let on long leases to Camden Borough Council, while “Cartwright Gardens…is the only street where the freeholds have stayed virtually intact. Several of them are let to London University on long leases and are used as university halls of residence; but most are let to private hotels on shorter and far more profitable leases” (Shirley Green, Who Owns London?, 1986)

Sandwich Street

Also known as Hadlow Street

It is in the north-east of Bloomsbury on the Tonbridge School (Skinners’) estate, running south from what was then Speldhurst Street to Leigh Street

It was developed in the early nineteenth century; its first house was built in 1812, and others quickly followed, with 47 having been erected by 1824 (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

It had been renamed by 1841 (The Times, 4 February 1841), perhaps because of notoriety associated with brothels there

It was named presumably after the village of Hadlow in Kent, and renamed presumably after the larger town of Sandwich in Kent

Numbers appear to run consecutively from no. 1 at the south end of the west side to no. 47 at the south end of the east side (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

No. 20 appears to have been the final home of painter F. Christopher Pack, who died here in 1840 (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)

In 1841 James (alias John) Shearman and his wife Mary (alias Maria) were prosecuted for keeping a brothel in “Sandwich (late Hadlow) Street” (The Times, 4 February 1841

The prosecutor, a committee composed largely of members of the Skinners’ Estate, was said to have succeeded in getting rid of 70 such houses in the immediate neighbourhood in the last 18 months (The Times, 4 February 1841)

There was a soup kitchen here by 1848

There was also a parochial library here in the mid nineteenth century

In 1860 H. Bright, apparently an inventor, of Sandwich Street, applied for a patent for an improved collision guard for ships (8 October 1860; patent. no. 2434 of 3196 in 1860)

In 1873 St Pancras Mission Hall opened here

This page last modified 14 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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