Friday, September 26, 2008

Eaton Terrace , Belgravia

Eaton Terrace is one of Belgravia's prime streets. The name comes from Eaton Hall in Cheshire, the Grosvenor family's ancestral estate.
The southern section runs from and Street to Cliveden Place It's a wide street flanked by large houses, from 4 to 7 bedrooms in size, generally with basements. Most of them are still used as single family homes. Many of the houses were built by Samuel Archbutt, who was a considerable builder in Belgravia. For the most part the terrace was complete by 1850.
This is not entirely stucco country. Although some facades are entirely stucco, most houses have stucco facades up to ground floor level, with exposed brick work from the first floor level upwards.
25 Eaton Terrace has an elegant Regency balcony at first floor level (built around 1825). 28 Eaton Terrace, a large mansion on the west side of the street near Clivedon Place, is among the most notable houses in the street. It used to have its own 35 foot ballroom (and may still have) and it was famous for society parties. 52 Eaton Terrace is a particularly pretty house opposite the 'Duke of Wellington' pub.
The 'Duke of Wellington' has interesting traditions of its own. It was originally intended as a library for the employees of Belgravia's gentry. The famous battles fought by the Duke of Wellington (1769 - 1852) are listed over the entrance door. There are several paintings and prints of the Iron Duke. They've even got hold of 'The Duke's Mounting Block', a large block of granite carved by Wellington's batman, which the duke used to mount his horse. Of more attraction than the memorabilia to most visitors is the fact that tables and chairs are set outside in the Summer, where they can enjoy the Shepherds Neame beer. (It is unusual in Belgravia for pubs to be allowed to set tables and chairs on the pavement).
There is a useful 'corner shop' and newsagent half way down the street.
The northern section runs from Cliveden Place up to West Eaton Place.
Most of the houses are large, with five storeys above a basement. No. 17 on the east side is particularly attractive, although it is much lower than the other buildings, with only two storeys above basement level. The façade employs a slate style frontage at first floor level with a well developed creeper covering much of the front elevation.
The houses on the east side generally have stuccoed first floor balconies, while the houses on the west side have cast iron balconies and slightly less ornate facades. Most of the buildings in this part of the terrace are fully stuccoed, although some have stucco only up to the first floor windows.
On the west side is The Antelope Pub, a traditional and very attractive old pub. The façade employs wood panelling at ground floor level, with some carvings above the first floor, and an attractive painting in place of the middle window on the second floor.
On the north west side there is an attractive narrow passage entered through an arch with a gate. It has a statue which looks like Peter Pan on a delicate pedestal.
Samuel Archbutt built many of the houses in the 1840s.

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