Dirty Old London  published by
Yale University Press (October 2014)

Friday, 4 April 2014

Victoria(n) Grove

One of the most interesting Victorian survivals in Stoke Newington can be found in the suitably-named Victorian Grove ...

I'm talking about a row of Victorian semi-detached homes, formerly next to a Methodist chapel, visible on this 1862 map below (and, I would guess, built between 1840 and 1860 or thereabouts). You'll see the road was originally called, more reasonably, Victoria Grove. The name seems to have been changed in the mid-twentieth century. I wonder why?

It actually just one of these pairs of houses that's fascinating, the second from the right, because it looks like this ...

Those curved bay windows are a bit unusual, not least the scalloped covering on top:

There's something of sea-side air about them, and totally different from their neighbours - see below ...

You do see curved bays in London, such as on these grander houses on nearby Stamford Hill ...

And, of course, there are bow windows in Georgian Mayfair (btw, is there any difference between bow and bay?) ...

but I am fairly confident this design is distinctive on a house of that size, and not duplicated on many a mid-Victorian semi - unless you can tell me otherwise.

Who lived there? The Morning Post, 7 November 1854, mentions a 'lady of fortune', Mrs Jane Chapel, who lived at No.8 - she was prosecuting another woman for stealing her gold watch. No.9 was being let at £40 per annum in the 1870s.  By 1900, no.9 was the home of an actor called John Grant, touting a self-penned play about General Gordon in the theatrical press. Doubtless a thorough trawl of the census would reveal a raft of middling-to-modest-income suburban Victorians.

But why those windows?

I don't suppose I'll find out - although maybe I'll ask Hackney Archives, next time I'm passing.

Meanwhile, if you know anything about 9&11 Victoria(n) Grove, Stoke Newington (not to be confused with similar named roads in Victoria Park or Bayswater), then let me know.

P.S. I've just noticed that there's a careworn plaque on the building, 'Brighton Villas' - sea-side air indeed!


  1. If you look here http://booth.lse.ac.uk/notebooks/b348/jpg/1.html it looks like the house overlooks Brighton Rd.
    You will be glad to know that 9 and 11, Victorian Grove N16 are Grade II listed buildings
    Earlyy 19th-century houses survive in Victorian (formerly Victoria) Grove, including Albion Villas, nos. 9 and 11, a semi-detached two-storeyed pair with basement and attics and semi-circular bays
    Interesting swap between Brighton and Albion, Footy fans or snobs?

    1. Cheers - glad to know they're listed ... not sure if Albion thing might be a typo (perhaps someone thinking of nearby Albion Road).