Saturday, 16 April 2011

Georgian Buildings in Soho

I am a member of a society that tries to protect and save Georgian buildings in the UK. The society holds events throughout the year, and about two weeks ago I went on one to Soho in London, to visit two Georgian houses. One was a private home and the other a charity for the homeless. From the outside they both looked like typical London buildings, but there interiors were amazing.

Here are a few photos of the interior of the charity. I don't think I can post ones of the private home:

A newsagent that we passed on the way to the house - in the middle of being restored - but it has had the same detailing since the beginning of the 18th century!

Outside of the house

Outside of the house

The Drawing Room fireplace. The building was being rented for a month by some media company, hence the modern pictures and furniture!

Detail of plasterwork on Drawing Room ceiling

Plasterwork on one of the walls

Plasterwork above the door

Ceiling again

Detail above the fireplace in the Dining Room

The staircase - We all thought it was the servants one as it is so plain, but apparently it was the staircase that the ladies of the house used! The bannister is bent in such an odd way in order to make room for the ladies dresses.

An odd photo of the main stairwell. But beautiful plasterwork. Interesting paintings - not sure if they go with the décor!!!

Another photo of the main stairwell

Part of the main stairs

The Victorian fireplace in one of the rooms (it is being used as a bar at the moment but I can't remember what room it originally was). In the 19th century the charity was run by nuns, and they installed this Gothic fireplace, with Queen Victoria in pride of place on the mantelpiece. 

A pub clock in the same room. Apparently at one point in history (I think it was some time in the late 17th/early 18th century) there was a tax on watches so no one wanted to be caught checking their watch to see what time it was! So pub landlords put up this type of clock so people could know what time it was without being fined!

A lovely Regency bookcase

Th Victorian chapel that is in the courtyard. Apparently it is the only church in the country that is wider than it is long (if that makes sense!) - the aisle is shorter than the width of the chapel. It is because of the limited space that they had to build it. 

Part of the ceiling of the chapel - not Victorian as the ceiling was damaged in WWII when a bomb landed on the roof! 

An organ that is looking its age! - they are hoping to restore it soon.

Lovely mosaics behind the alter

Stained-glass windows on one side of the chapel

Detail of one of the pillars in the chapel

The courtyard which the chapel is in is believed to be the setting of one of the scenes in one of Charles Dicken's novels. I think it is 'A Tale of Two Cities' - (I must confess that I have never read any of his novels!). The tour guide said there is a scene where some of the characters are sitting in a courtyard in London with two trees in it - and apparently this was the only courtyard in London at the time that could fit the description!

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