Pagoda, Kew Gardens, London


Pagoda, Kew Gardens
Postmarked 1906
Publisher: Millar & Lang, Glasgow

Google Street View.

Kew’s Pagoda was completed in 1762 as a gift for Princess Augusta, the founder of the Gardens. It was one of several Chinese buildings designed for Kew by Sir William Chambers, who had spent time travelling and studying the architecture of East Asia. A popular ‘folly’ of the age, it offered one of the earliest and finest bird’s eye views of London
Royal Botatanic Gardens, Kew

The Great Pagoda was completed in only six months. The speed of completion and the quality of construction were points of pride for Chambers; “the walls of the building are composed of very hard bricks…neatly laid, and with such care, that there is not the least crack or fracture in the whole structure, notwithstanding its great height, and the expedition with which it was built”. 80 gilded dragons decorated the roofs of its ten storeys although these had been removed by 1784. The height of the building impressed contemporaries; in 1762, Horace Walpole wrote to a friend, “the Pagoda at Kew begins to rise above the trees and soon you will see it from Yorkshire”.
Wikipedia.

At the time of its construction it was considered so unusual that people were unconvinced it would remain standing. Chambers studied oriental architecture in China, but when he designed Kew’s pagoda he ignored the rules. Pagodas should have an odd number of floors, traditionally seven (rather than ten), believed to represent seven steps to heaven. The Great Pagoda was the most accurate reconstruction of a Chinese building in Europe at the time. It was originally flanked by a Moorish Alhambra and a Turkish Mosque, follies that were all the rage in the great gardens of the time.
Wordl Heritage Journeys

The dragons are back at Kew after more than two centuries, tails curled, wings neatly furled to make them less of a wind catcher, gazing down with glittering eyes on the acres of gardens and thousands of visitors far below. . . . Legends insisted they were made of gem-studded enamelled bronze or even solid gold, and that they were stripped off the pagoda to settle the Prince of Wales’s gambling debts, or to decorate his extraordinary oriental-styled in Brighton. The truth was more boring. Chambers took them off when he restored the building in 1784, because although they looked magnificent, they were made of cheap pine and after a spell of atrocious weather – the Thames froze over in 1783 – they were rotten.

Their replacements, blazing in green, blue, red and gold, guard a secret. The eight at ground level were hand carved from cedar wood, but the 72 dragons on the higher floors were produced on a 3D printer. “The biggest engineering problem we had was attaching the dragons to the roofs,” Putnam said. “They didn’t worry much about health and safety in the 18th century, but the biggest of the printed ones weigh less than 10 kilos, and the wooden ones weigh a quarter tonne – to make them all in wood we’d have had to punch the original structure through and through with steel-reinforcing rods to hold them.”
The Guardian

The Dorchester, London


The Dorchester, London, W.1.
c.1931

Google Street View.

Sir Robert McAlpine created a vision for what he considered to be the perfect hotel. His vision became a reality when The Dorchester opened its doors on April 20, 1931. The state-of-the-art design was built in record time over 18 months, at the speed of a floor a week, to become the world’s first hotel to be constructed from reinforced concrete.
The Dorchester

Sir Owen Williams was commissioned to design the new hotel, using reinforced concrete to allow the creation of large internal spaces without support pillars, but he abandoned the project in February 1930 and was replaced with William Curtis Green. James Maude Richards, hired by Williams, served as an architectural assistant within the all-engineer staff. Percy Morley Horder, consulting architect to Gordon’s Hotels, had not been consulted during the design process and, after seeing the plan, resigned from the project, remarking to The Observer that the design was ill-suited for the location, assuming the concrete was to be left unpainted and that the insulation would be minimal. Some 40,000 tonnes of earth were excavated to make room for the hotel’s extensive basement which is one-third of the size of the hotel above the surface. The upper eight floors were erected in just 10 weeks, supported on a massive 3 feet (0.91 m) thick reinforced concrete deck that forms the roof of the first floor.
Wikipedia.

Teddington Lock, England


Teddington Lock
Postmarked: 1905
Publisher: Stengel & Co

Google Street View.

The very first lock at Teddington was built in 1810 and was made of timber, this quickly became dilapidated and was replaced in 1856/7 with basically the launch lock that you see today (although it was refurbished in 1950) In 1904 the barge lock was added making Teddington Locks the largest lock system on the non-tidal Thames. Everything about Teddington Locks is big, we have the largest weir on the Thames , 20 electrically operated gates capable of letting 12 billion gallons (54.50 billion litres) of water through a day at peak flow. We also have the largest lock (The Barge Lock) which is 650 feet (198.12 metres) long and holds 1.75 million gallons (8 million litres) of water.
Teddington Lock

Teddington Lock is the lowest lock on the Thames and therefore the waters are tidal below the lock. There are, in fact, three separate locks chambers – a chamber was first built here in 1811 but replaced with a new one a little way downstream in 1857. This is the ‘launch’ lock we see today. In the same year, the tiny skiff lock was added especially for pleasure craft. This small beam-operated lock (nicknamed the coffin lock) is only 1.77metres (5ft 10in) wide, and 15.08metres (49ft 6in) long. In 1904 the mighty barge lock was built. Measuring 198.12metres (650ft) long and 7.54metres (24ft 9in) wide, this lock has an extra pair of gates (used infrequently) one third of the way along the chamber.
River Thames

Teddington Lock is a complex of three locks and a weir on the River Thames between Ham and Teddington in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, England. It was first built in 1810.
Wikipedia.

Buckingham Palace, London


Buckingham Palace, London
c.1910

Street View

Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of the UK’s sovereigns since 1837 and today is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch…. Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms. These include 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms. In measurements, the building is 108 metres long across the front, 120 metres deep (including the central quadrangle) and 24 metres high.
Royal Residence: Buckingham Palace

Originally known as Buckingham House, the building at the core of today’s palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 on a site that had been in private ownership for at least 150 years. It was acquired by King George III in 1761 as a private residence for Queen Charlotte and became known as The Queen’s House. During the 19th century it was enlarged, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, who constructed three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace became the London residence of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. The last major structural additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the East Front, which contains the well-known balcony on which the royal family traditionally congregates to greet crowds.
Wikipedia.

Highlights of Buckingham Palace (has 360o views of some rooms)


Buckingham Palace, London

On back:
Buckingham Palace
The London residence of the Sovereign. Derives its name from the Duke of Buckingham who erected the mansion in 1703. Was purchased by George III in 1761.

Horse Guards & Admiralty House, London


Horse Guards, Whitehall
c.1910

Horse Guards is a historic building in the City of Westminster, London, between Whitehall and Horse Guards Parade. It was built in the mid-18th century, replacing an earlier building, as a barracks and stables for the Household Cavalry, later becoming an important military headquarters. Horse Guards functions as a gatehouse giving access between Whitehall and St James’s Park via gates on the ground floor. It originally formed the entrance to the Palace of Whitehall and later St James’s Palace; for that reason it is still ceremonially defended by the Queen’s Life Guard
Wikipedia

Household Cavalry Museum


London Horse Guards, Whitehall
Dated & postmarked 1905
Publisher: Pictorial Post Card Company (1904-1909)
(There are lines of glitter across the open space at the front & outlining some parts of the building.)

Street View

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Marble Arch, London


The Marble Arch, London
Postmarked 1908
“The Auto Photo Series”

Marble Arch is a 19th-century white marble-faced triumphal arch in London, England. The structure was designed by John Nash in 1827 to be the state entrance to the cour d’honneur of Buckingham Palace; it stood near the site of what is today the three-bayed, central projection of the palace containing the well-known balcony. In 1851, on the initiative of architect and urban planner Decimus Burton, a one-time pupil of John Nash, it was relocated and following the widening of Park Lane in the early 1960s to where it is now sited, incongruently isolated, on a large traffic island at the junction of Oxford Street, Park Lane and Edgware Road. . . . Nash’s three-arch design is based on that of the Arch of Constantine in Rome and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in Paris. The triumphal arch is faced with Carrara marble with embellishments of marble extracted from quarries near Seravezza. . . . Construction began in 1827, but was cut short in 1830, following the death of the spendthrift King George IV—the rising costs were unacceptable to the new king, William IV, who later tried to offload the uncompleted palace onto Parliament as a substitute for the recently destroyed Palace of Westminster. Work restarted in 1832, this time under the supervision of Edward Blore, who greatly reduced Nash’s planned attic stage and omitted its sculpture, including the statue of George IV. The arch was completed in 1833.
Wikipedia.

Street View

Westminster Abbey, London


Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom’s most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs. The building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey or a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of England “Royal Peculiar”—a church responsible directly to the sovereign. According to a tradition first reported by Sulcard in about 1080, a church was founded at the site (then known as Thorn Ey (Thorn Island)) in the seventh century, at the time of Mellitus, a Bishop of London. Construction of the present church began in 1245, on the orders of King Henry III.
Wikipedia.

Official Website


London. Westminster Abbey.
c.1910
Publisher: Pictorial Postcard Company

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Gardens, Hampton Court, England


HAMPTON COURT PALACE
Fountain, East Garden
c.1940
Publisher: Ministry of Works

William III and Mary II (1689-1702) created the Great Fountain Garden on the East Front to complement their elegant new baroque palace. Their gardener, Daniel Marot, created a garden containing 13 fountains and planted two radiating avenues of Yew trees in the fashionable form of a goose foot.
Historic Royal Palaces

The Great Fountain Garden, between the Palace and the Long Water canal, was originally the Great Parterre, designed for William and Mary by the French designer Daniel Marot, extending to a pattes-d’oie of trees beyond. Queen Anne later had all the box removed as she objected to its smell. She replaced it with grass and the original clipped yew trees have since been allowed to grow to a substantial size. Large Victorian beds, originally for carpet bedding, now contain larger colour co-ordinated flowers. The long interesting herbaceous border against the Broad Walk wall was introduced in the 1920s.
Sisley Garden Tours


Broad Walk, Hampton Court Palace
c. 1910
Publisher: Morland Studio


Hampton Court Palace, Fountain of the Three Graces
Publisher: H.M. Office of Works/John Swain & Sons Ltd, London

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Ludgate Hill, London


Ludgate Hill, London
c.1910
Publisher: Photographic Printing & Publishing Company, Croyden

Google Street View (approximately)

Ludgate Hill is a hill in the City of London, near the old Ludgate, a gate to the City that was taken down, with its attached gaol, in 1760. It is the site of St. Paul’s Cathedral, traditionally said to have been the site of a Roman temple of the goddess Diana. It is one of the three ancient hills of London, the others being Tower Hill and Cornhill. The highest point is just north of St. Paul’s, at 17.6 metres (58 ft) above sea level. Ludgate Hill is also the name of a street which runs between St. Paul’s Churchyard and Ludgate Circus (built in 1864), from where it becomes Fleet Street. It was formerly a much narrower street called Ludgate Street.

Many small alleys on Ludgate Hill were swept away in the late 1860s to build Ludgate Hill railway station between Water Lane and New Bridge Street, a station of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway. It was closed in 1923 and the railway bridge and viaduct between Holborn Viaduct and Blackfriars stations was demolished in 1990 to enable the construction of the City Thameslink railway station in a tunnel. This also involved the regrading of the slope of Ludgate Hill at the junction.
Wikipedia.

Of all the eyesores of modern London, surely the most hideous is the Ludgate Hill Viaduct— that enormous flat iron that lies across the chest of Ludgate Hill like a bar of metal on the breast of a wretch in a torture-chamber. Let us hope that a time will come when all designs for City improvements will be compelled to endure the scrutiny and win the approval of a committee of taste. The useful and the beautiful must not for ever be divorced. The railway bridge lies flat across the street, only eighteen feet above the roadway, and is a miracle of clumsy and stubborn ugliness, entirely spoiling the approach to one of the finest buildings in London. The five girders of wrought iron cross the street, here only forty-two feet wide, and the span is sixty feet, in order to allow of future enlargement of the street. Absurd lattice-work, decorative brackets, bronze armorial medallions, and gas lanterns and standards, form a combination that only the unsettled and imitative art of the ruthless nineteenth century could have put together.

Think of what the Egyptians in the times of the Pharaohs did with granite! and observe what we Englishmen of the present day do with iron. Observe this vulgar daubing of brown paint and barbaric gilding, and think of what the Moors did with colour in the courts of the Alhambra! A viaduct was necessary, we allow, but such a viaduct even the architect of the National Gallery would have shuddered at. The difficulties, we however allow, were great. The London, Chatham, and Dover, eager for dividends, was bent on wedding the Metropolitan Railway near Smithfield; but how could the hands of the affianced couple be joined? If there was no viaduct, there must be a tunnel. Now, the bank of the river being a very short distance from Smithfield, a very steep and dangerous gradient would have been required to effect the junction. Moreover, had the line been carried under Ludgate Hill, there must have been a slight detour to ease the ascent, the cost of which detour would have been enormous. The tunnel proposed would have involved the destruction of a few trifles —such, for instance, as Apothecaries’ Hall, the churchyard adjoining, the Times printing office— besides doing injury to the foundations of St. Martin’s Church, the Old Bailey Sessions House, and Newgate. Moreover, no station would have been possible between the Thames and Smithfield. The puzzled inhabitants, therefore, ended in despair by giving evidence in favour of the viaduct. The stolid hammermen went to work, and the iron nightmare was set up in all its Babylonian hideousness.
Old and New London: Volume 1. (1878)

Ludgate Hill— The appearance of this, the western approach to St. Paul’s, has been completely marred by the railway bridge of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway, which crosses it at its lower end, and destroys the view from Farringdon-circus at its foot. Ludgate-hill is steep, and in slippery weather horses with heavy waggons have serious difficulty in getting up it, though the difficulty and danger have been much lessened by the laying down of the new wood pavement. Some houses recently built near the foot of the hill, on the south side have been thrown back some feet: and it is hoped that eventually the improvement will be carried out throughout the whole length of the street. From Ludgate-hill only can a good view be obtained of the grand western façade of St. Paul’s cathedral, a view that has been greatly improved by the clearing away of the iron railings, so leaving the west front open to Ludgate-hill. Few improvements in a small way have been as valuable and effective as this.
Victorian London (Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens’s Dictionary of London, 1879)