Leinster Gardens is a street, the majority of which is a half-lined avenue lined with tall, ornate, mid-Victorian terraced homes many of which are listed buildings for heritage and/or architecture. It is in Bayswater — the district along the north side of Hyde Park in London.
A shift towards late 20th century apartments, in part built as social housing, flanks its northern end and some of its de facto southern end. The southern end has shops and restaurants however few buildings front it compared to side elevations of architecturally listed neighbouring Victorian developments. It is named Leinster Terrace. Marking a corner of Leinster Terrace is Porchester Lodge and Lancaster Corner (or 100-101 Bayswater Road) which fronts Hyde Park, the closer half of which was home to the writer J. M. Barrie.
Leinster Gardens is mostly made up of a half-lined avenue lined with tall, ornate, mid-Victorian terraced homes many of which are listed buildings. Its thoroughfare status has been curtailed as the road allows a right-turn into arterial Bayswater Road to the south; no other turns. A skew towards late 20th century apartments built as social housing flanks its northern and de facto southern ends. The southern end has shorter Victorian buildings than Leinster Gardens of yellow brick with white casements and simpler dressings. The southern part of the road is named Leinster Terrace, equally an official street name.
Leinster Terrace's east side is Craven Hill Gardens and Lancaster Gate with one exception, its first numbers. These are today in its centre, 16, 17 and 17A: one of which is a listed public house, the Leinster Arms. The street starts opposite Hyde Park with the side elevations of Porchester Lodge/Lancaster Corner (synonym: 100-101 Bayswater Road) which is listed in the middle category (Grade II*) and is marked with a blue plaque to once long-resident writer J. M. Barrie (d.1937) who wrote Peter Pan. Adjacent, on the west side of the street, is Hyde Park Towers, an 8-storey, dark-brick, Art Deco-inspired block with hexagonal and lozenge projections. This is behind a narrow band of trees, shrubs and railings. Beyond this are shophouses of yellow-brown then yellow brickwork with a crowning cornice (ledge), other white dressings and sash windows (19-34 consecutive), many of which face the main front of Corringham, an architecturally listed, glass-heavy residential block officially in Craven Hill Gardens, designed by Kenneth Frampton (born 1930, in later life, Ware Professor of Architecture at Columbia University), behind which is a private garden. These shophouses are flanked by one-storey restaurants (nos. 18 and 35). A broad alley marks the end of the Leinster Terrace section of the street.
Many Victorian road names in London, apart from Craven Hill, named after owner William Craven, 3rd Baron Craven, are tributes to titles of Dukes, senior Earls, Marquesses and members of the Royal Family. Princes Square and symmetrical, facing Leinster Square are about 500 metres to the north-west of the north end of the street.
Paddington (in which parish grew the newer settlements of Bayswater, Little Venice, Maida Vale and Westbourne) began a trend of names after the provinces of Ireland: Munster, Leinster, Connaught and Ulster. Much of the land belonged to the Bishop of London and his lessees, resulting in necessary Building Acts (of Parliament) in 1804. A policy of regulated subletting to ensure high quality housing ensued. "The success of the policy was ultimately shown, both in the grandeur of the first new houses in Connaught Place c. 1807 and in the elegance of the terraces put up over the next thirty years."
Two false houses
The street's listed building middle section has two false houses. These are façades built to match their neighbours: front walls, lightly projecting ionic column-sided porches topped by balustraded balconies, upper-storey sash windows, windows flanked by fluted, half-diameter (semi-circular profile) Corinthian columns and pedimented, higher windows, corniced (white-ledged) with individual balustraded balconies. They are maintained by Transport for London. The false houses — numbers 23 and 24 — have no rooms behind and were later than their neighbours built in the late 1850s. Their building accompanied the 1860s building of what was a steam engine-hauled tube line, the Metropolitan Railway. The false houses hide a very short area of tracks which are uncovered. The result is the illusion of unbroken terraced row of houses (or perhaps homes as the terraces are mainly internally divided into apartments) between 22 and 25.
Before electrification the locomotives serving the London Tube were fitted with condensers to reduce the furnaces' carboniferous smoke. Drivers vented off accumulated smoke and condensation in open-air sections. In this upmarket area, the railway company hid this unsightly necessity from residents using the present false façades and front approaches including trees (together: frontages) incorporated into the prestigious terrace. The façade is 5 feet (1.5 m) thick, behind which is a ground-level opening of the rail line. The façade includes 18 dark-greyed windows and front doors with no letter boxes.
In the 1930s, a hoax was played on guests who were sold ten-Guinea tickets to a charity ball at one of the two sham numbers, only to turn up in evening dress to discover the address was fake.[clarification needed]
- 58 Joralemon Street, a false residential built frontage that serves as a vent for a New York City subway line.
- Historic England. "32-48 Leinster Terrace and accompanying maps (1221943)". National Heritage List for England.
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- Historic England. "Porchester Lodge/Lancaster Corner - Grade II* architectural listing (1218088)". National Heritage List for England.
- T F T Baker, Diane K Bolton and Patricia E C Croot, 'Paddington: Bayswater', in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9, Hampstead, Paddington, ed. C R Elrington (London, 1989), pp. 204-212. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol9/pp204-212
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- "Sherlock Locations: Leinster Gardens". londonist.com. Londonist. 13 January 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- Media related to Leinster Gardens at Wikimedia Commons