Connaught Square, W2

Road in/near Marble Arch, existing between 1828 and now

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Road · Marble Arch · W2 ·
November
6
2017

Connaught Square was the first square of city houses to be built in the Bayswater area.

Connaught Square, 2004
Credit: Andrew Dunn,
It is named after the Earl of Connaught who had a house nearby. The current appearance of the square dates from the 1820s. The square is just north of Hyde Park, and to the west of Edgware Road. It is also within 300 m of Marble Arch, and the western end of Oxford Street.

Connaught Square’s architecture is primarily Georgian. Redevelopment was initially planned in the early 18th century and the first of its 45 brick houses was built in 1828 as part of the Hyde Park estate by Thomas Allason.

Residents of Connaught Square hold an exclusive summer party in the central communal garden every year. The garden square is maintained by the owners of the adjoining properties who contribute to its upkeep, and in return are issued keys to the garden. Such gated gardens are a particular feature of this area of London. The horses of the Royal Artillery regularly do their early morning rides down Connaught Street.

In October 2004, the then Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie purchased a house on the West side of Connaught Square, for a reported £3.5million. In many ways Blair’s house is similar to 10 Downing Street, having even been used as a replica for the official residence of the First Lord of the Treasury during the filming of the TV series "The Alan Clark Diaries".

The houses on the west side back onto Archery Close, a very quiet, dead end picturesque mews street. Beyond Archery Close is St George’s Field, built on the site of the burial ground of St George’s, Hanover Square.

As well as houses, the square also contains other enterprises including a very small primary school and doctor’s surgery. To the west on Connaught Street are the shops of Connaught Village and the Chinese restaurant which was the location of dealings during the Bruce Grobbelaar football corruption scandal.

In fiction, Lionel Holland lives at 242 Connaught Square in the film "Kind Hearts and Coronets".


Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence

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Connaught Square, 2004
Andrew Dunn,


 

Marble Arch

Marble Arch station was opened on 30 July 1900 by the Central London Railway.

Like all the original stations on the CLR, Marble Arch was served by lifts to the platforms but the station was reconstructed in the early 1930s to accommodate escalators. This saw the closure of the original station building, designed by the architect Harry Bell Measures, that was situated on the corner of Quebec Street and Oxford Street, and a replacement sub-surface ticket hall opened further to the west. The new arrangements came into use on 15 August 1932. The original surface building was later demolished.

The platforms, originally lined in plain white tiles, were refitted with decorative vitreous enamel panels in 1985. The panel graphics were designed by Annabel Grey.

The station was modernised in 2010 resulting in new finishes in all areas of the station, apart from the retention of various of the decorative enamel panels at platform level.
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