Vereker Road, lined with hundred-year-old London Plane trees
Photo survey of the fascinating and varied neighbourhood I’ve called home for many years. This is not Earls Court, nor Kensington and not Hammersmith: nobody knows where Barons Court is in West London yet thousands drive through on the A4 Talgarth Road trunk route out to the West. I’ve lived here since 1982. Barons Court features a wide variety of architecture and people in homes ranging from bedsits squeezed between the trunk road and the railway to multi-million pound mansion flats and houses with private gardens. There’s a small theatre, several parades of shops, a courthouse, schools and a choice of pubs.
Star Road, Empress State Building in distance
Sunken football area, Cheesemans Terrace; presumed the remnants of one of the brick pits that the surrounding houses are built from.
St. Andrew’s Fulham Fields, Greyhound Road.
Queens Club Gardens. The personal trainer is live-streaming his class.
25 Vereker Road
Barons Court theatre above The Curtain’s Up
Barons Court Road
Basement flat and cat
Margravine Gardens, convenient for the station. Butcher, baker, pharmacy, grocery, wine shop, dry cleaners and Amazon lockers plus an estate agent.
Barons Court station, opened in 1874. Starting point for many of my travels.
St. Paul’s Studios, built backing on to the railway but unfortunately now fronting the A4 trunk road
Talgarth Mansions, sandwiched between the railway and now the A4 trunk road
Barons Keep, note the staircase windows. Also chimneys.
Hammersmith & West London College. Reportedly built on the site of a doodlebug strike.
North End House
Mortimer House (with London County Council crest)
Trevanion Road new houses, backing on to the A4 trunk road
St Andrews Mansions
Fulham School, the first school funded publicly by the London Schools Board. Now Fulham Prep School (fee paying).
Not Earls Court, nor Kensington and not Hammersmith: nobody knows where Barons Court is in West London yet thousands drive through on the A4 Talgarth Road trunk route out to the West. This is London W14 and I’ve lived here since 1982. Barons Court features a wide variety of architecture and people in homes ranging from bedsits squeezed between the trunk road and the railway to multi-million pound mansion flats and houses with private gardens. There’s a small theatre, several parades of shops, a courthouse, schools and a choice of pubs. The housing is rich in detail as well as overall architectural concept; there’s a variety of ornamentation, windows (some with coloured glass), joinery, ironwork and decorative path tiling. The area’s red facing brick - which gives the area such visual warmth - was imported by the mainline railway but the less durable London Brick was dug from brick pits in the immediate area, hence the many basements and sunken gardens.
Barons Court is the next stop but one out from Earls Court on the District Line. As the railways expanded in the 1870s, the market gardens were built over with mansion flats by developers seeking to rival fashionable Kensington nearby. The expensive properties didn’t sell too well at first but the developers varied their portfolio, made the streets attractive with many trees and invested in bridges over the railways. Soon a new school was built, the first school funded publicly by the newly established London Schools Board. Smaller plots were filled in with terraced houses, like mine. The church of St. Andrew’s, Fulham Fields had to be expanded... and a county court was built.
“Luftwaffe town planning” changed the area further in The Blitz, presumably aiming to disable the strategic railway line between Clapham Junction and Willesden Junction but decoyed or off-target. The London County Council supervised the filling in of the gaps after WW2 but not always with sympathetic architecture. A swathe was cleared, demolishing fine architecture, for the creation of the A4 trunk route which divides Barons Court north and south.
Now many buildings, including St. Andrew’s church and the Underground station are listed and the Barons Court area benefits from a number of interlocking Conservation Areas which seek to maintain a good degree of architectural integrity.