Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Urban Wandering: Paddington to King's Cross

Well I was more than excited yesterday when I found that not only did I have some free time after work to do some urban wandering, but also that the evening was still light, and the weather warm(ish). During the afternoon as my thoughts drifted towards of possibilities as to where I could comfortably go in the remaining hours of daylight, I eventually decided to walk out from Paddington in the direction of Marylebone High Street, and continue beyond it towards Bloomsbury. There are of course plenty of mews along this route, but many I had not really explored before, and even fewer I'd managed to photograph. And then there was my new, slight obsession with ghost signs to satisfy.

I have walked past the Temperance on the corner of Enford Street and York Street countless times, but I'd never looked up before. I assume the Royal Oak was once a pub that stood at this site, which is now the site of the Temperance. I wonder if perhaps the rendered area below the Royal Oak ghost sign once displayed signage of its own.

Ghost sign for The Royal Oak pub, now The Temperance, Enford Street, London W1
Ghost sign for The Royal Oak pub, now The Temperance, Enford Street, London W1

Crossing the Marylebone High Street took me to some less familiar streets. For anyone looking for mews, there are several running off from Devonshire Street, and I've captured a few below.

Dunstable Mews, London W1
Dunstable Mews, London W1

 I'm not normally a fan of where original brickwork has been painted over, but these blue mews houses in Devonshire Mews South seem to work quite well, being bright but understated simultaneously.

Devonshire Mews South, London W1
Devonshire Mews South, London W1

Devonshire Mews South, London W1
Devonshire Mews South, London W1

 There are several roads, mews and closes with Devonshire in the name, but Devonshire Close had to be the most interesting. It looked impressive enough from the entrance, but on exploring it further I realised that it was in fact more of an H-shape.

Devonshire Close, London W1
Devonshire Close, London W1

Devonshire Close, London W1
Devonshire Close, London W1

Hallam Mews was a less conventional mews, and possibly the first one I've really noticed where the houses are more than two or three storeys tall.
Hallam Mews, London W1
Hallam Mews, London W1

I wished I was paying more attention when I reached this old building as I might have been able to work out what it was originally. It was a couple of minutes north (or north-west) of Russell Square. I'm assuming that given the sign refers to outpatients that it's a hospital, but hopefully some intrepid reader can enlighten me as to its name and purpose. Paul Talling has an excellent Derelict London web site and Derelict London book, but even on his derelict hospitals page I still could not work out which hospital this was.
Outpatients Entrance of abandoned London hospital, somewhere near Russell Square, London
Outpatients Entrance of abandoned London hospital, somewhere near Russell Square, London

My final photograph on this urban wander is of a magnificent, massive, double ghost sign on Regent Square. I could see this from quite a way off and as I approached it just got better and better.

Ghost sign for Bates Salves, Cures Wounds & Sores, Regent Square, London WC1
Ghost sign for Bates Salves, Cures Wounds & Sores, Regent Square, London WC1

    

Sorry if anyone has found this post a little on th elong side today but other than a brief lunchtime break on Thursday, there's unlikely to be any more opportunities for me to do any further urban wandering this week or weekend.

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