Ramble London


Victoria Street, Mansion Flats And Model Dwellings:


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Walk information

The walk starts at the Broadway exit to St James' Park Station and finishes at Grosvenor Gardens (close to Victoria Station).

How to get to St James' Park Station:

  • The nearest Underground station is: St James' Park (Circle/District Lines)
  • These main line train stations are on a 15 minutes' walk radius away: Charing Cross / Victoria Station
  • Buses stopping in the area: 11, 24, 148, 211, 507
  • For more detailed information see Transport for London website

Duration of the walk: 3 hours 

Length of the walk: 3 km/1.9 miles

This walk should be accompanied with the walk map for a better understanding of the route and locations.

A 'Modern Cities' Urban Walk




The aim of this walk is to explore the modernity of late 19th- and early 20th-century London through a variety of modern city spaces and places, both taken-for-granted and, in context, spectacular. Victoria Street was newly laid out in the mid-nineteenth century with many of the characteristics we associate with modernity - intended as an 'improvement', both socially and economically, as a new 'artery' in London's communications network, and providing an excuse for slum clearance, in practice for the displacement rather than the eradication of the poor.

It draws upon the resources of City of Westminster Archives Centre (10 St Ann's Street, Westminster), which holds archival sources and can be visited as part of the walk (see location in map).

The route

Click to listen to Audio Intro

55 Broadway [1a], the headquarters of London Transport, into which St James' Park Station is incorporated, was built in 1927-29; designed by Charles Holden, who was also responsible for many of the modernist designs for new underground stations in the 1920s and 1930s. When new, it was claimed to be the tallest building in London: an indication of the leading role that London Transport and its predecessor, the London Underground Group, played in the cultural as well as the economic life of inter-war London. Note the sculptures of the four winds high up on each face of the building - by such leading sculptors as Jacob Epstein, Eric Gill, and Henry Moore. Compare 55 Broadway with other 1920s buildings in London: Broadcasting House, Bush House, Senate House. Note that shopping arcades on the ground floor of office buildings are nothing new! Note, too, how the step-backs on the upper storeys were designed to conform, in a more modernist style, to the requirements of the London Building Act (1894), which limited the height of new buildings, but allowed for extra storeys and dormer windows in a mansard roof (see below).

Click to listen to Audio Start

Across Petty France from 55 Broadway, 29 Queen Anne's Gate [1b], 6-storey flats of 1888, now offices, and apparently completely rebuilt behind the facade. Also on Petty France, the massive office building, originally built for the Home Office [1c] and now the Ministry of Justice, an appropriately awful 1970s replacement for what was often regarded as the ugliest Victorian building in London - Queen Anne's Mansions, erected between 1873 and 1889, and demolished in 1971-2: 14 storeys in part. According to Pevsner, "The architecture was rudely bare, yet the rents were £60 for a two-room flat and £300 for a six-room flat. The large archway to Queen Anne's Gate might have been called Italian Gothic; otherwise there was nothing but sheer grimy brick walls and uniform windows."

Queen Anne's Mansions was the subject of at least three court cases when it was extended in the late 1880s - brought by the War Office, which feared the new flats would exclude light from the Guards' Chapel at the back of Wellington Barracks; by local residents who displayed the same, understandable self-interest in defending their homes' access to sun and air, but who also raised the spectre of "the awfulness of the fate of hundreds who might be caught by a conflagration in such a totally inacceptible [sic] tower of Babel"; and by the District Surveyor who argued, unsuccessfully, that the building had not received the MBW's approval for rising above 100 feet. The building continued to its planned height (approx. 160 feet), but a consequence of the MBW's defeat was the introduction of new building acts limiting the height of new buildings in London to 90 feet to the parapet in 1890 and 80 feet in 1894 (in each case, two additional storeys in the roof were allowed).

Click to listen to Audio1

From Petty France via Vandon Passage and Vandon St into Buckingham Gate (formerly St James' Street). St James' Hotel and Apartments [2a], originally St James' Court, eight blocks of serviced flats, were erected between 1896 and 1905 on the site of Emanuel Hospital/School (almshouses dating from 1602; school from 1738), which moved to Wandsworth (in south London) in 1883: a common pattern of originally suburban charitable institutions later migrating to new suburbs. The open central courtyard includes a spectacular terracotta frieze - scenes from Shakespearean stories - while the entrances to individual staircases are guarded by female 'atlantes'. The cast iron fountain dates from the construction of the building. The owners of St James' Court also initiated the process whereby the adjacent section of the Circle Line was covered over following electrification (in 1905). Initially, they had been required to pay the District Railway a 'rent' (£58 p.a., 50p per window) to guarantee that the windows overlooking the cutting through which the railway passed would not be obscured by building over the railway. Once it really did become possible to build over the railway line, they agreed to pay to cover over the line and to take a long lease on the newly created land, thereby ensuring it would not be built on!

Click to listen to Audio2

On Caxton Street, a red-brick building occupied by another 18th-century school (the Blewcoat school, 1709 [3a]) survives as Heritage with a capital H: not only owned by the National Trust but completely taken over as a National Trust shop! Bluecoat goes along with Greycoat and Greencoat as other charities providing welfare in this part of Westminster. Next comes Caxton Hall [3b] (1882-3) (formerly Westminster City Hall, latterly famous for 'trendy' Registry Office weddings), and then St Ermin's Hotel (1887) [3c], originally an apartment hotel (serviced flats, with mostly long-stay residents, especially bachelors. Isobel Watson notes they had "their own livery stables, division bell [for MPs] and private entrance to St James's Park Station").

Click to listen to Audio3

Between St Ermin's/Caxton Street and Victoria Street are the gardens where Christ Church [4a], a new 19th-century church (1841-4) destroyed during World War II, was situated, and New Scotland Yard (1962-6) [4b], the Metropolitan Police headquarters, superseding the old 'New Scotland Yard' on Victoria Embankment, and built on the site of another block of Victorian mansion flats that aspired to attract MPs as its tenants: Members' Mansions.

Click to listen to Audio4

At the junction of Victoria Street and Broadway, we will continue south into Strutton Ground [5], a major 19th-century (and surviving) street market. Mayhew (1865) recorded 119 costers 'usually attending' the market at 'Tothill-street and Broadway', of which Strutton Ground is the surviving remnant. The regulation, if not elimination, of street-trading was a universal element of modernising government (for the control of street markets in London, see Green, 1982; for New York, see Bluestone, 1992; for Melbourne, see Brown-May, 1996). 

Click to listen to Audio5

A short diversion left into Old Pye Street and we enter the world of Victorian philanthropy. Like many new 19th-century streets, one motive for Victoria Street was to get rid of a notorious slum - the Devil's Acre. As usual, the slum was not eliminated, merely displaced. One sign of the area's poverty was the Ragged School on the south side of Old Pye Street (1855). In 1862, William Gibbs erected Rochester Buildings (also on the south side of Old Pye Street) as an individual act of philanthropy. They appear in Gustave Doré's stylised depiction of the Devil's Acre in Doré and Jerrold's London: A Pilgrimage (1872). They were designed by Henry Darbishire, who was also architect to the Peabody Trust. Rochester Buildings were sold to Peabody in 1877, when further slum clearances were authorised, under the Cross Act, whereby the Metropolitan Board of Works (London's government from 1855 until 1888) cleared sites which were then redeveloped by the Peabody Trust. One of the earliest Peabody estates was at Brewer's Green (near Caxton Hall), now demolished; but a chain of estates still survives: Old Pye Street [6a] and Abbey Orchard Street [6b], erected in the 1870s and 1880s.

Click to listen to Audio6

After Abbey Orchard Street Estate, and before continuing the walk to Horseferry Road Estate, you are welcome to make a short diversion and visit the City of Westminster Archives Centre [7] which holds archival sources, such as public health records, manuscript censuses, and ratebooks; local newspapers (there is an excellent, street-by-street, cuttings collection as well as microfilm copies of local papers) and printed ephemera (e.g. advertising material for mansion flats and department stores); street and trade directories; maps (including a superb collection of fire insurance maps, and alternative layouts for the route of Victoria Street) and plans (such as drainage plans, deposited whenever major changes were made to the plumbing of buildings, which often show interior floor plans - their prize exhibit is the plan of Winston Churchill's two-storey flat in Morpeth Mansions) that provide further evidence of 'modern' sources for researching a 'modern' city.

Click to listen to Audio7

Also part of the Peabody Trust the Horseferry Road Estate [8] was erected in 1922. The Peabody Trust had been founded in 1862 on the donation (and, later, bequest) of the American banker, George Peabody, to provide housing 'for the London poor'. In practice it accommodated the 'deserving', mostly regularly employed poor rather than the very poorest. It is still one of the largest providers of 'social housing' in London.

Click to listen to Audio8

Victoria Street was a government improvement, planned in the 1830s (when it appeared on plans as King William Street), authorised in the 1840s, but not formally opened until 1851. However, it was another forty years before the street was fully developed. The street functioned as a 'sanitary improvement' - it was raised several feet above its marshy surroundings - and as a real estate speculation. Of the original buildings that lined the street, including many early luxury apartment buildings, mostly dating from the 1880s, very few remain. All the north side was originally blocks of apartments, known in London as 'mansion flats', such as Grosvenor Mansions, Albert Mansions, Prince's Mansions, and Queen's Mansions, where one of the residents was Sir Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert & Sullivan - see the Mike Leigh film Topsy-Turvy for an imaginative reconstruction of Sullivan's flat). In fact, London's very first middle-class flats had been built on Victoria Street in 1853. All the buildings on the north side and many of those on the south side of Victoria Street were demolished and replaced by glass-and-concrete modernism in a second round of modernity that began in the 1960s and is still continuing. Some surviving 19th-century buildings are the Albert public house (1862) [9a], Artillery Mansions (1895) [9b], now renovated and marketed as 'The Artilleries', after a long time lying empty and threatened with demolition, and - next door to Artillery Mansions - the now unnamed and undistinguished Marlborough Mansions [9c]. Around the corner, and externally more attractive, is Westminster Palace Gardens (1897-9) [9d] by the same architect (C.J. Chirney Pawley), and using the same decorative devices - terracotta and striped brickwork - as St James' Court. Next door, a redevelopment of the late 1920s, Artillery House [9e], offers a modernist form of militarism, the 'artillery' names in this area commemorating its pre-modern use for military exercises and target practice. An intervening use for the site, in the mid-19th century, was the Artillery Brewery, one of several breweries and distilleries in the area, of which the most famous was the Stag Brewery (founded 1641, rebuilt 1797-1807, subsequently acquired by Watney's, closed 1959, now replaced by 1960s offices in Stag Place - a surviving appendage of the brewery, is Castle Buildings (1883) on Palace Street, artisans' dwellings specifically intended for Watney's employees).

On the opposite corner of Artillery Row and Victoria Street, the Army & Navy Stores [9f] (now yet another branch of House of Fraser), opened in 1872 as a kind of upper-class co-operative store for the military and gentry, especially catering for those on their way to or from the colonies. In Mrs Dalloway, after Miss Kilman had purchased a petticoat - "There were the petticoats, brown, decorous, striped, frivolous, solid, flimsy" (p. 169) - she and Elizabeth took tea and cake ("sugared cakes", "the pink one", "chocolate éclair") at the "marble table(s)". When Miss Kilman finally got up to leave, "she lost her way, and was hemmed in by trunks specially prepared for taking to India; next got among the accouchement sets and baby linen; through all the commodities of the world, perishable and permanent, hams, drugs, flowers, stationery, variously smelling, now sweet, now sour, she lurched" (p. 174).

Click to listen to Audio9

Over time, the building was steadily extended back from Victoria Street across Howick Place [10] (in 1927, but recently demolished). Rebuilding of the original store - to give it a proper department store front - began in 1922. Now, the Victoria Street frontage doesn't even betray any of that rebuilding. The store was famous for its mail-order catalogues, and the buildings on Francis Street, dating from the 1880s, now refurbished for offices, were originally warehouses, and also workshops (e.g. for making and altering clothing) associated with the store. Bradley and Pevsner (2003) comment that "the chain of huge warehouses for the Army & Navy Stores in Francis Street and Greycoat Place is in its way as impressive a relic of maritime empire as the Chatham boatyards" (p. 68). On the other side of Francis Street, another manifestation of the Victorian 'networked city', was one of London's major mail sorting offices - the South-West District Sorting Office (1893, extended 1911).

Click to listen to Audio10

Behind the Army & Navy Stores, a mixture of modest and luxury flats. Greencoat Mansions [11] in Greencoat Row (now Peabody, but originally Improved Industrial Dwellings Co., 1892).

Click to listen to Audio11

Likewise, Coburg Buildings [12] (now renovated as Coburg Close) (built by the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company, 1875), which runs through from Francis Street to Greencoat Place. The Improved Industrial Dwellings Co. was one of London's leading 'five per cent philanthropy' companies, so called because dividends to shareholders were limited to no more than 5%. It provided working-class flats that were a bit smarter (and more expensive) than Peabody. There is a statue to the founder of the Improved Industrial Dwellings Co., Sir Sydney Waterlow, in the grounds of a school on Palace Street (on the north side of Victoria Street). Waterlow was also at various times Lord Mayor of the City of London, a Liberal M.P., and a leading businessman (Waterlow's, the stationers and printers).

Click to listen to Audio12

Much more up-market than Coburg Buildings, Ashley Gardens [13], first occupied in 1890, a series of 6-storey and later 8-storey luxury flats. Bradley and Pevsner (2003) emphasise their mass-production characteristics: "Stone-striped red brick with five superimposed balconied storeys, the same design repeated fivefold. It is the same principle as the early Peabody estates, of repeatable units stuck together and stretched or curtailed to fit the edges of the site. Behind, in THIRLEBY ROAD, they rise to eight stories, of which a full seven have these same repeated balconies - an overpowering spectacle" (p. 698). Ashley Gardens was sufficiently fashionable to feature in the stage directions for a play by George Bernard Shaw (The Philanderer (1893)), which opens with the direction: "A lady and gentleman are making love to one another in the drawing room of a flat in Ashley Gardens in the Victoria district of London. It is past ten at night." A slightly postmodern touch is added by the fact that Shaw's leading lady, the actress Mrs Patrick Campbell, really did live in a flat in Ashley Gardens! The late Victorian novelist, George Gissing, also set one of his more risqué characters, a young widow, in a flat in Victoria Street, in his novel, The Odd Women (1893).

Click to listen to Audio13

Ashley Gardens are overlooked by Westminster Roman Catholic Cathedral [14] (1903, though started long before then and still far from complete inside). Note what previously occupied the site of the cathedral: the Westminster House of Correction, latterly a women's prison, closed in 1877. The architect (John Francis Bentley) originally proposed a Gothic cathedral (reflecting the taste for neo-Gothic in other mid/late-Victorian buildings). The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vaughan, wanted "an Early Christian basilica, partly in order not to compete with Westminster Abbey, partly because it could be built in one rush and ornamented at leisure, and partly for its clear lines of sight inside" (Bradley & Pevsner, 2003, p. 673). The compromise was Byzantine; which effectively makes the building very different and, to our eyes, more obviously 'modern' than 19th-century neo-Gothic churches; and which clearly fulfils Vaughan's ideas - it is still being "ornamented at leisure". The piazza to Victoria Street was created in 1975; before then, the Cathedral was hidden away on a narrow side street behind the flats and offices that still lined Victoria Street, perhaps indicating that, despite its resurgence, in 1900 Roman Catholicism was still somewhat marginal, to be tolerated rather than welcomed into the forefront of British society. For more information on the Cathedral see http://www.westminstercathedral.org.uk/.

Enter the Cathedral and follow the signs to the Tower [15] (please see opening times and prices through the previous link).

The tower rises 284 feet to the top of the cross, and offers excellent views, looking east to Westminster Abbey, north to Green Park and Piccadilly, and west to Victoria Station and Kensington.

Click to listen to Audio15E

Click to listen to Audio15W

Click to listen to Audio15N

Click to listen to Audio15S

Closest to the cathedral, one can look down on Ashley Gardens to the east - the 'areas', ventilation shafts, lift gear and other rooftop buildings are clearly evident - while on the west side of the cathedral are Morpeth Terrace and 1-3 Carlisle Place (1860-1) [15a], the oldest surviving purpose-built flats in London. Farther along Morpeth Terrace are Morpeth Mansions [15b] (Winston Churchill lived here in the 1930s), while Carlisle Place includes Carlisle Mansions (1886-8) [15c]Evelyn Mansions (1893) [15d] (same design as Ashley Gardens) and Cardinal Mansions (1897-8) [15e].

Beyond the flats you can see Victoria Station [15j], which was opened in 1860 [i.e. AFTER the building of Victoria Street] and served as the West End terminus of both the London Brighton & South Coast Railway and the London Chatham & Dover Railway. It was built on the site of the Grosvenor Canal Basin, which was redundant by the 1850s. It was effectively two stations side-by-side, even when refronted in 1908-09, and this is obvious when viewed from above. The 'Chatham' side of the station has a modest, arched roof, while the 'Brighton' side has a saw-tooth roof, now mostly covered by Victoria Place Shopping Centre. It was only in 1924, by which time the two railway companies had been merged into the Southern Railway, that a hole was knocked in the wall, joining the two stations together. In Oscar Wilde's 'The Importance of Being Earnest' (1895) Jack Worthing recounts that he was found in a Gladstone bag that had been left in the left-luggage office of Victoria Station. He adds "the Brighton line", partly to explain how he got his surname - Worthing was a destination for LB&SCR trains - but also to indicate his respectability: the LC&DR was a much more ramshackle affair, for ever on the verge of bankruptcy. None of this impresses Lady Bracknell for whom "the line is immaterial". 

From the cathedral tower, and to the west side of the Brighton-line station, you can also see the French pavilion roofs of the Grosvenor Hotel (1860), the only part of Victoria Station which might have impressed Lady Bracknell [see below for further details]. 

Spend time examining more distant views from the tower: north past Cardinal Place to Buckingham Palace and Green Park; west to Brompton Oratory, Victoria & Albert Museum and the tower of Imperial College; south to the tower of Chelsea Waterworks and Battersea Power Station; south-east to Tate Britain, the office and residential towers of Vauxhall and, in the far distance, the Crystal Palace transmission tower; east to Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, the Shard and Canary Wharf.

Return to ground level. Before you leave the cathedral note the contrast between the 'finished', sometimes highly decorated side-chapels and the bare 'unfinished' brick of the nave ceiling. Exit onto the piazza and turn left down the south-east side of the cathedral, past the succession of blocks of flats along Morpeth Terrace [15a, 15b] that you looked down on from the top of the tower. Then loop back up Carlisle Place past Cardinal, Carlisle and Evelyn Mansions [15c, 15d, 15e].

Facing the junction of Victoria Street and Vauxhall Bridge Road, the Victoria Palace theatre [15f] was erected as a music hall in 1910, to designs by the leading theatre architect, Frank Matcham. Next, note 'Little Ben' [15g] a cast-iron baby clock tower erected in 1892 in the middle of the chaos of intersecting roads (temporarily removed in 2012 during building operations, but expected to be back in position in 2016), and Victoria Buildings [15h], shops and restaurants dating from 1872, built over and in front of Victoria Underground Station, and still bearing the sign for Overton's, a famous fish restaurant and oyster bar. The underground station opened in December 1868 as part of the Metropolitan District Railway that served inner west London and subsequently formed part of the (Inner) Circle. Until 1905 the line was worked by steam trains and if you go onto the District/Circle line platforms you will see that a light-cum-ventilation shaft still opens up to the sky at one end of the station.

As noted earlier, the mainline station at Victoria is really two stations, and the low lying facade of the Dover lines (London Chatham & Dover, merged into the South Eastern & Chatham Railway in 1899) contrasts with the Edwardian grandeur of the Brighton side. 

The Grosvenor Hotel [16a] (1860), to the west side of the Brighton-line station, was one of the grandest of 19th-century hotels. It was designed by J.T. Knowles and his son (also James Knowles), who was also the architect of Albert Mansions (now demolished) next to the Victoria Palace Theatre, and the editor of a leading Victorian periodical, the Nineteenth Century. He also had the misfortune to occupy the house in the shadow of Queen Anne's Mansions, the massive block of flats near St James's Park Station that we encountered at the beginning of this walk. The architectural historian, Donald Olsen (1986, p. 202) quotes The Builder magazine which observed that the hotel offered "seven stories above the ground floor, the two first containing suites of drawing, dining and bedrooms, and other accommodation for separate families." There was a bathroom on every floor, "except the topmost one for the servants." On the ground floor were private sitting rooms, a large dining room and separate ladies' and gentlemen's coffee rooms, the latter adjoining a smoking room. There was a lift for passengers and luggage. Altogether, "almost a little town under one roof." It is still quite a grand space, as you can see if you enter the lobby and maybe take tea there!

Across the road from the hotel, Grosvenor Gardens (1865) [16b] offered furnished apartments. The hotel and gardens between them imitate the style of Second Empire Paris, illustrating the theme of Haussmannization (urban development as practised by Baron Haussmann, who Emperor Napoleon III appointed to 'improve' Paris, particularly by carving new boulevards lined with apartment buildings through what had been slum districts). You can read more about Victoria Street as a form of Haussmannization and find references to further reading in the 'Explore' section.

Click to listen to Audio16


The aim of this walk is to explore the modernity of late 19th- and early 20th-century London through a close reading of a part of central London that rarely features in tourist guides, but contains a variety of modern city spaces and places, both taken-for-granted and, in context, spectacular. Victoria Street was newly laid out in the mid-nineteenth century with many of the characteristics we associate with modernity - intended as an 'improvement', both socially and economically, as a new 'artery' in London's communications network, and providing an excuse for slum clearance, in practice for the displacement rather than the eradication of the poor. Although most of Victoria Street itself was subject to a second round of redevelopment in the 1960s and 1970s, the streets in the immediate vicinity still display copious evidence of the earlier modernity - mansion flats from the 1890s, model dwellings dating back to the 1860s, luxury hotels, new office buildings, the bipartite (as featured in 'The Importance of Being Earnest') Victoria Station, linking London to the Continent as well as to the Suburbs, a new department store (providing the most tangible evidence of the area's 'imperial' character), and a new cathedral, which, as evidence of a newly confident Catholicism in late Victorian and Edwardian London, offers a counterpoint to interpretations associating modernisation with secularisation, and, more practically, provides the vantage point for a modernist view from on high. The walk, starts at the exit from St James' Park Underground Station, itself contained within another modernist icon, Charles Holden's London Transport headquarters (1927-29), and ends at Westminster Cathedral where it may be possible to ascend to the top of the tower.

What are streets for?

The focus of this walk is on Victoria Street, one of many new streets laid out in nineteenth-century London, not as grand as Regent Street (1820s) or Kingsway (early 1900s), nor as complex as the building of Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue in the West End in the 1880s, but very typical of the 'improvements' made in mid-Victorian London, similar in some ways to some of Haussmann's boulevards in Second Empire Paris.

Before Victoria Street was constructed, the main route west from Westminster was along Tothill Street and York Street (now Petty France). One aim in laying out Victoria Street was to improve access to fashionable new residential areas in Belgravia and Pimlico, thereby also stimulating the improvement of the area immediately south of St James Park, creating a zone of respectability adjacent to the recently upgraded Buckingham Palace, and providing an excuse for slum clearance of 'Palmer's Village' and the 'Devil's Acre'.

It is hard to imagine Baudelairian flâneurs on Victoria Street. It was never quite wide enough to encourage casual promenading (and by the end of the 19th century a common criticism was that the buildings were too tall for the width of the street). Nevertheless, it became a fashionable place to live and shop, as evidenced by references to the area in contemporary fiction and drama (see below). The mansion flats, offices ('chambers'), hotels and stores that lined the street are also proof of its economic function as real-estate speculation, raising land values and ground rents, and increasing rate income to the local authority (Westminster City Council) by raising rateable values.

A new 'artery' designed to relieve traffic congestion also raised problems of conflicting uses (much as Marshall Berman discusses in his interpretation of Baudelaire's Paris and as Richard Sennett argues in Flesh and Stone) - faster traffic passing through versus pedestrians crossing the street; the relatively comfortable view from inside bus or cab, safely segregated from the diversity of 'others' versus the discomfort but also the stimulus of being on the street. Consider Mrs Dalloway crossing Victoria Street (p. 4), or Miss Kilman negotiating the Army & Navy Stores before setting off, 'doggedly' for Westminster Abbey (p. 174), or Elizabeth, Mrs Dalloway's daughter, revelling in the freedom of the street and displaying the streetwise-ness of a daughter of the elite who nonetheless knew how to board the omnibus 'competently' (pp. 177, 182) and to enjoy the view from the top of the bus [all references to the Oxford World's Classic edition of Mrs Dalloway, 1992 (originally published, 1925)].

Finally, by way of introduction, consider the economic and social relations connecting the mansion flats and Queen Anne houses of the elite to the model dwellings of the respectable working classes. 'Improvement' displaced the 'residuum' - Booth's 'semi-criminal' and casually employed underclass - but made space for skilled artisans and service workers on whom the elite still depended. A form of front-street/back-street segregation ideally suited to the transitional modernity of late Victorian London.


F. Barker and P. Jackson, The History of London in Maps (Barrie & Jenkins, 1990), esp. pp. 122-3.

M. Berman, All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity (Verso, 1982).

D. Bluestone, 'The pushcart evil' in D. Ward and O. Zunz (eds) The Landscape of Modernity: New York City 1900-1940 (Russell Sage Foundation, 1992), pp. 287-312.

S. Bradley and N. Pevsner, Buildings of England, London 6: Westminster (Penguin, 2003).

A. Brown-May, 'A charitable indulgence: street stalls and the transformation of public space in Melbourne, c.1850-1920', Urban History 23 (1996), pp. 48-71.

R. Dennis, 'Modern London' in M. Daunton (ed) The Cambridge Urban History of Britain Volume 3 1840-1950 (Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 95-131.

R. Dennis, Cities in Modernity: Representations and Productions of Metropolitan Space, 1840-1930 (Cambridge University Press, 2008), esp. pp. 118-29, 136-40, 287-8.

R. Dennis, '"Babylonian Flats" in Victorian and Edwardian London', The London Journal 33 (2008), pp. 233-47.

R. Dennis, 'Victoria Street in theory and practice: scenes from the governmentality of nineteenth-century London' in M. Davies and J. Galloway (eds) London and Beyond (IHR, 2012), pp. 287-316.

D. Green, 'Street trading in London: a case study of casual labour, 1830-60' in J.H. Johnson and C.G. Pooley (eds) The Structure of Nineteenth Century Cities (Croom Helm, 1982), pp. 129-51.

D.J. Olsen, The Growth of Victorian London (Batsford, 1976).

D.J. Olsen, The City as a Work of Art: London, Paris, Vienna (Yale University Press, 1986).

N. Pevsner, revised by B. Cherry, Buildings of England, London I: The Cities of London and Westminster (Penguin, 1973).

T. Ruddock, 'Charles Holden and the issue of high buildings in London, 1927-47', Construction History 12 (1996), 83-99.

R. Sennett, Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization (Faber and Faber, 1994).

J. Tarn, 'French flats for the English in 19th-century London' in A. Sutcliffe (ed) Multi-Storey Living (Croom Helm, 1974), pp. 19-40.

I. Watson, Westminster and Pimlico Past (Historical Publications, 1993).

A.S. Wohl, The Eternal Slum: Housing and Social Policy in Victorian London (Arnold, 1977).

Among contemporary sources, see:

Gustave Doré and Blanchard Jerrold (1872) London: A Pilgrimage

George Gissing (1884) The Unclassed (First Edition) (in the 1895 revised and abridged edition, Gissing moves the slums from Westminster to the East End)

George Gissing (1893) The Odd Women

John Hollingshead (1861) Ragged London in 1861

Henry Mayhew (1865) London Labour and the London Poor

Oscar Wilde (1895) The Importance of Being Earnest

Virginia Woolf (1925) Mrs Dalloway