Friday 13 February 2009

The housing boom of the 1880's

It's not the most obvious feature and I have found I've walked past on more occasions than not without reacting, but here on England's Lane is Chalcot Gardens.

It's set back and 'protected' by a brick wall with a sort of sealed gateway effect on which is mounted an old plaque. (if you double click on the pictyure on the left it should open up and the words are much more legible larger!)

Chalcot Gardens came about in 1880, as part of the great development of the Eton College Estate that is now Belsize, Belsize Park and the Chalcots Estate itself.

The 'first six' were built in 1881 in 'Queen Anne' style. Another eight houses were built nearby in 1882-3 in Chalcot Gardens, where additions were later made to no. 16 by C. F. A. Voysey.

Eton Road has a long tradition of being occupied by artists.

Other artists included Robert Bevan (d. 1925) at no. 14 Adamson Road from 1901, Arthur Rackham at no. 16 Chalcot Gardens 1903-20, Duncan Grant at no. 143 Fellows Road c. 1910, and Stanley Spencer for a short time in Adelaide Road.

This unusual name of Chalcots is described as being related to habit, and whilst of Olde English origins, is associated with the Romans. The derivation is from "ceald-cote", which means "the cold house", an unusual distinction at a time when all houses lacked any warmth!

It seems more likely that the name refers to the location, particularly as it has been suggested that wherever a Roman road existed - ye olde Kilburn High Road (Watling Street and now the A5), so did a place called "Calde-cote", the Romans preferring to construct their roads along the windy uplands, making them more difficult to attack and less prone to flooding.

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