Leinster Gardens

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Coordinates: 51°30′45.4″N 0°11′1″W / 51.512611°N 0.18361°W / 51.512611; -0.18361

The left-hand property (No. 22) is inhabited, but the right-hand one (No. 23) is only a façade. The "windows" are painted grey and the door is false.
Rear of façade with railway tracks and vent area

Leinster Gardens is a street in Bayswater, London. It has two false façades at numbers 23 and 24, constructed in the late 1860s, at the time of the original steam engine-hauled underground railway that had a short section exposed to the surface[1][2] in the space between residences at numbers 22 and 25.

Locomotives were fitted with condensers to reduce fumes, but "venting off" was still needed in open-air sections to relieve the condensers and keep the tunnels free from smoke.[3] In this upmarket area, the railway company hid this unsightly practice from residents. The false façade also maintained a continuous frontage along a prestigious terrace.[4] The façade is 5 feet (1.5 m) thick,[5] behind which is a ground level opening above the rail line. The façade includes 18 blackened windows[3] and front doors with no letter boxes.[6]

In the 1930s, a hoax was played on guests who were sold ten-Guinea tickets to a charity ball at Leinster Gardens, only to turn up in evening dress to discover the address was fake.[3]

Adjacent streets and areas include Queensway and Craven Hill Gardens. The façade of 23 & 24 played a part in the BBC TV series Sherlock, being used in the episode "His Last Vow".[7]

See also[edit]

  • 58 Joralemon Street, a similar residential building that also serves as a vent for a New York City Subway line


  1. ^ Day, John R. (1979) [1963]. The Story of London's Underground. London Transport. pp. 16–17. ISBN 0-85329-094-6. 
  2. ^ Croome, Desmond F. (2003). The Circle Line - an Illustrated History. Harrow Weald: Capital Transport. p. 18. ISBN 1-85414-267-4. 
  3. ^ a b c Slocombe, Mike (January 2007). "Dummy houses in the heart of London". London Landmarks. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  4. ^ William, Hywel. "Cut & Cover Disused Stations". London Underground History. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  5. ^ Simpson, Bill (2003). A History of the Metropolitan Railway. 1. Witney: Lamplight. p. 40. ISBN 1-899246-07-X. 
  6. ^ Cooper, Nick (2004–2005). "23/24 Leinster Gardens". Hidden City. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  7. ^ "Sherlock Locations: Leinster Gardens". londonist.com. Londonist. 13 January 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 

External links[edit]