Category Archives: Victorian park estates

Whose house is this? A capital FAMILY MANSION, 1854

Springwell and Northside, Clapham Common

In theory there is a lot of time to write when you’re on maternity leave but I’m an archival historian and… well… babies and archives just don’t mix. So it was a blessing when Thomas Walker at Historic Newspapers sent … Continue reading

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‘What to do with the Crystal Palace?’

What better time to appreciate second chances than at the the beginning of a new year. The Crystal Palace [a name of fairy tale splendor, if ever I heard one] sparkled as the stage for Britain’s Great Exhibition of 1851 but … Continue reading

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House tales: The brothers Letts

  Following on from my earlier post ‘A brief history of park villa estates’, I’ve been devoting a number of blog posts to a park villa I previously had the pleasure of living in on the Crystal Palace Park Estate. … Continue reading

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House tales: The widower of Whitethorns

9 Crystal Palace Park Road, Sydenham Do you ever wonder who lived in your property before you did? Who were the original residents? What was the story of the inhabitants of your house? I did and found a northern merchant … Continue reading

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Brief history of park villa estates

I left South London a few years ago to work ‘up north’ and now live in Southport (near Liverpool), which has a seriously delicious Victorian housing stock. The other thing Merseyside has in common with my previous haunt is substantial … Continue reading

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Rediscovering Victorian park villas

Copyright: Royal Horticultural Society Victorian villas, despite the cost of renovation and upkeep, remain popular today. Just as at the time of their construction, householders are driven by the desire to reside in properties that are comfortably spacious, solid, elegant … Continue reading

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The beginnings of an obsession

Several years back, before children and a lectureship at Lancaster University beckoned, I bought a flat in London on Crystal Palace Park Road. It was a neo-gothic, red brick villa and its garden backed onto Crystal Palace Park (of dinosaur … Continue reading

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A gentleman wishes to LET

CRYSTAL PALACE, near Sydenham Entrance – A gentleman wishes to LET, for six or twelve months, his nicely FURNISHED villa, overlooking well timbered park-like grounds. Five bedroom, dressing room, drawing and dining rooms, usual offices; garden and croquet lawn. Rent, … Continue reading

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