Belgravia was originally built as an area of high quality properties by the first Marquess of Westminster and the same family are the landowners still. Nowadays it is said that many of the residents of Belgrave Square are not merely well off, but billionaires – see a recent Daily Mail. Certainly it seems that in the area around Eaton Square every third or fourth parked car is a Bentley Turbo.
I have contrasted pictures of Belgravia with pictures of parts of the East End including Columbia Road – home of the flower market. I think the contrast between Grosvenor Crescent in Belgravia and the traditional mansion flats in Columbia Road is interesting, but both are lovely pieces of architecture.
A flower market is held in Columbia Road every Sunday morning – whatever the weather. It’s really popular – and rightly so – as the quality of the produce is first class.
I have quite a number of photos of the flower market and Columbia Road – including one which shows the Broadgate Tower in the background.
One of the photos – just off Columbia Road – shows a busker – who was very good, with what I think is his “minder” in an electric invalid chair. It’s nothing to do with architecture – but it makes quite a good snap.
The one of Hackney Empire was taken in the middle of July – and you can see that the theatre is already advertising the Christmas Panto – Mother Goose. I know they have to set up these things early but…
The photos from Belgravia include some of St Peter’s Church in Eaton Square. This was the subject of a serious fire in 1987 resulting in loss of the roof of the Church. It was rebuilt and re-opened in 1991 and the opportunity was taken (no doubt with help from the well to do local residents) to remodel the interior in a modern style resulting in a particularly beautiful church.
Over in the East End I show a photo of the Jesus Green area. These houses were originally built in the 1860’s as social housing provided by the Jesus Hospital of Chipping Barnet. At one time, Tower Hamlets Council saw fit to have them all demolished – but after a campaign they were saved and the area is now a Conservation Area.
Finally the picture just off Mare Street in Hackney is interesting. It’s a lovely traditional street – but a look at the quality of the cars is indicative of the changes that are coming fast to this part of Hackney and Tower Hamlets.
Postscript: With reference to my July blog, on 18th August the last of the 2,818 homes that were once the Olympic Village were handed over by Lend Lease after conversion to normal housing and most of them are now occupied. This is one of the best legacy results that any Olympics has ever seen. There are still more entirely new residential properties being built on the site and it is these that I referred to when talking about properties seeming to go up by £60K overnight.