Bedford Park is known as the first garden suburb. Some 400 homes, mostly in red brick with red tiled roofs, Dutch-style gables, balconies and artists' studios.
ArchitectNorman Shaw, EW Godwin, EJ May and Maurice B Adams
1 Priory Gardens W4 1TT
Meet: Sun 2.30pm at Victorian Society (garden). Duration approx 2hrs.
94, 272, E3
- Free parking
BEDFORD PARK Land for the Bedford Park estate was bought in 1875 by the entrepreneur Jonathan T Carr, for speculative development as a middle-class suburb. It exemplifies the Queen Anne style of architecture popular in the 19th century, a taste heavily influenced by the Aesthetic Movement. When first built, the suburb attracted literary and artistic figures of the day, and the communal buildings in the area _ inn, co-operative stores, clubhouse _ reflect the idealistic socialism of many of the residents. Initially Carr appointed E W Godwin as architect, but he was succeeded from 1877 by Norman Shaw whose detached ‘artistically designed’ red brick houses and short terraces form the dominant character of the neighbourhood. Shaw was followed as architect by E J May and Maurice Adams. The Church of St Michael and All Angels forms, with the Tabard Inn opposite, the main focus of the estate. It was designed by Shaw in 1878 and consecrated in 1882. The exterior successfully combines Perpendicular windows with a 17th century style timber balustrade and dormer windows in the roof. There is a handsome clock positioned on the gable at the west end. The inner south porch is by Martin Travers, and the north aisle and church hall adjoining it were added in 1887 by Maurice Adams. Inside, this is a rare example of an Aesthetic movement church, with a light-filled space, tall chancel and open roof. The screen is a 17th century type and suits the faintly Dutch character of the interior, accentuated by the green-painted woodwork. The elaborate marble paving in the sanctuary was laid in 1887. Font, pulpit and bishop’s throne are all by Adams, who also added the chapel of All Souls in 1909. This space has a different character, a dark jewel-box effect with richly coloured glass by J H M Bonnor and Martin Travers. The vicarage at 1 Priory Gardens (appropriately the headquarters of the Victorian Society) is by May, 1880. The Tabard Inn, across Bath Road from St Michaels, was designed in 1880 by Shaw, and is linked with the co-operative stores as a short terrace. The line is gabled, with oriels and bay windows, an arched entrance to the inn and continuous windows for the shop. Inside, the inn is decorated with de Morgan tiles and reliefs by Walter Crane.