Social Victorians/Bedford Park

Bedford Park, One of the PlacesEdit

Bedford Park, West Chiswick, in West London

Edward William Godwin designed houses for Bedford Park beginning in 1876, though not many were built.

In his biography of Jack Yeats, Bruce Arnold describes Bedford Park this way:

Its founder was Jonathan Thomas Carr (1845–1915) one of a family of ten noted for their radical opinions, their involvement in the arts, and their disposition towards politics. And he set out to provide a self-contained community, complete with church, shops, a club, a tavern, schools, and — more or less — its own railway station. He bought his first parcel fo land, 45 acres, in the mid-1870s from the Bedford House estate. This had been the home of Dr John Lindley, a distinguishe botanist and Fellow of the Royal Society, who had died in 1865. He had also been secretary of the Royal Horticultural Society which at one time had its gardens at Chiswick. Carr bought land piecemeal, and the immediate success of his revolutionary scheme can be measured from the fact that by 1883, just seven years after the start of the project, he had acquired 113 acres. Well before that, the aesthetic character of the venture had been clearly defined. The most obvious and lasting expression of this is in the architecture. Bedford Park coincided with the Queen Anne Revival, and is a clear and unified expression of that distinctive style, with its half-timbering, its sharply-pointed gable roofs, and its variety of design. (Jack Yeats: p. 382, n. 37)

In The Place of Enchantment: British Occultism and the Culture of the Modern, Alex Owen says,

Bedford Park during the early 1890s was a quiet, leafy suburb that, like other outlying areas of London before the turn of the century, retained the flavor of a self-contained village. It was in fact only about thirty minutes by underground train to central London, but it boasted spacious, inexpensive houses designed in the vernacular style and placed along winding, tree-lined streets. It was home to a collection of journalists, academics, and bohemian artists and writers who felt fiercely loyal to their / "colony" and supported it with a a variety of artistic and cooperative ventures. Bedford Park exuded a genteel if faintly shabby aestheticism that accorded well with the impoverished Yeats household, and proved hospitable to experimental theatre, the kinds of arts and crafts being promoted by William Morris in nearby Hammersmith, ethical socialism, and occultism. (Alex Owen. The Place of Enchantment: British Occultism and the Culture of the Modern: pp. 60–61)

Jonathan Thomas Carr built a Clubhouse, and studios were built for artists. The Clubhouse contained a theatre. There was a Bedford Park Gazette in the 1880s, and a "Ballad of Bedford Park" (St. James Gazette, 1881 [Greeves 14]).

In Streets and the Shaping of Towns and Cities, Michael Southworth and Eran Ben-Joseph say,

At the time the Bye-law [sic] Street Ordinanace came into effect in 1875, developer Jonathan T. Carr acquired a suburban community, Beford Park. Carr and his architect, E. W. Godwin, recognized the potential of the large existing trees and rejected the idea of bare and clean by-law streets laid out in a uniform pattern. Their scheme responded to the natural pattern of the plantation. Organized around a small green with a church and a few shops near Turnham Green Station, Bedford Park was promoted as "The Healthiest Place in the World." ... Streets usually bend or terminate with a view of buildings rather than open street, creating a very intimate, village feeling. Although the street right-of-way remained at 40 feet (12.2 m), the actual pabed area of most streets is only 26 feel (8 m) and there is parking on both sides. Houses are set bakc to 12 to 20 feel (4–6 m), allowing small front yards or courts that create an effective transition between house and street, private and public. Many of the houses were designed by Norman Shaw in Queen Anne Revival style in red brick with white trim of wood. (47)

Bruce Arnold describes the Chiswick School of Art in the context of the development of Bedford Park:

One of those promoting the scheme was the younger brother of the man responsible for the overall development of Bedford Park. Joseph Comyns Carr was the friend of Edward Burne Jones, William Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He was an art critic, and editor of The English Illustrated Magazine, he was also associated with Sir Coutts Lindsay in the founding of the Grosvenor Gallery, so that the weight he threw behind the art school was significant. E. S. Burchett came from the Science and Art Department at South Kensington; F. Hamilton Jackson came from the Slade School of Art and was a first class medallist of the Royal Academy.

It is perhaps appropriate that when it opened, in 1881, a conversazione was held in the presence of Thomas Armstrong, the ARt Director of the Science and Art Department at South Kensington, and a distinguishjed figure in late nineteenth-century art and art politics. George Augustus Sala gave an address. ...

The Chiswick School had modest beginnings. Most students — seventy-one at the outset — came in the evening, with only thirteen full-time, or day students. But it developed rapidly, and by the time Jack [Yeats] enrolled there, in the autumn of 1888, there were 273 students. Three years earlier it had become the Chiswick School of Art and Science, but art students outnumbered those taking science or technical studies by four to one. (Jack Yeats: p. 41)

Who Lived ThereEdit

  • Maurice B. Adams?
  • H. D. Booth: 12, Newton Grove, Bedford Park, W. (C. T. C. [(Apr. 1896]: 184)
  • Percy Bullock: 26 Thornton Avenue, Bedford Park, by mid-March 1900 (Howe 211)
  • Jonathan Carr, Tower House
  • G. K. Chesterton. The first chapter of his The Man Who Was Thursday is set in Bedford Park (called Saffron Park, "possibly inspired by Stepniak"? (Greeves, T. Affleck. Bedford Park: The First Garden Suburb. Anne Bingley, 1975.)
  • Captain P. Perceval Clark: 9, Queen Anne's Gardens, Bedford Park, Chiswick, W. (C. T. C. [(June 1896]: 302)
  • J. C. Dollman: 14, Newton Grove" (Greeves )
  • Florence Farr, who in the 1890s was "living in lodgings just West of Bedford Park" (Owen 65)
  • T. S. Hareon: 41, Addison Road, Bedford Park, Chiswick, W. (C. T. C. [(May 1896]: 244)
  • C. Herd: 1, Flanders Road, Bedford Park, Chiswick, W. (C. T. C. [(June 1896]: 303)
  • W. A. J. Hickes: 8, Bedford Road, Bedford Park, W. (C. T. C. [(Sept. 1896]: 468)
  • R. E. Hughes, M.A.: Gwenva, Fairfax Road, Bedford Park, W. (C. T. C. [(June 1896]: 303)
  • E. W. Humphreys: 15, Fairfax Road, Bedford Park, W. (C. T. C. [(Oct. 1896]: 527)
  • Dorothea Hunter (Owen 68)
  • Mrs. A. W. W. King:, 3, Marlborough Crescent, Bedford Park, W., 1897 (C. T. C. Gazette: The Official Organ of the Cyclists' Touring Club, Vol. 15 (C. T. C. [(Sept. 1896]: 468)
  • Mrs. H. W. Latham: 16, Priory Road, Bedford Park, W., 1897 (C. T. C. [(Sept. 1896]: 468)
  • Miss A. Macdonnell: 5, The Avenue, Bedford Park, W. (C. T. C. [(June 1896]: 303)
  • Edward John May, architect, who did a number of the houses in Bedford Park
  • Arthur Pinero (Greeves 14)
  • Lucien Pissarro: 62 Bath Road (1897–1902); Pissarro's father Camille painted Bedford Park (Arnold 40).
  • Frederick York Powell, 1890 (Arnold, Bruce. Jack Yeats. p. 80.)
  • T. M. Rooke: 7 Queen Anne's Gardens (Arnold 40)
  • Lieutenant-Colonel A. R. Savile: Bedford Park, W. (C. T. C. [597])
  • Mrs. A. R. C. Savile: Orchard House, Bedford Park, W. (C. T. C. [
  • Stepniak
  • Mrs. H. Stevens: 23, Queen Anne's Grove, Bedford Park, W. (C. T. C. [(Sept. 1896]: 469)
  • William Terriss, actor, who lived at 2 Bedford Road until "his assassination by a madman outside the Adelphi Theatre in 1897" (Greeves 98)
  • John Todhunter, "a leading member of the Bedord Park set" (Owen 61)
  • Manfred Traurschold, 13 Marlborough (Greeves 15)
  • A. H. Wilson: 2, Queen Anne's Gardens, Bedford Park, W. (C. T. C. [(Apr. 1896]: 186)
  • E. T. Wine: 29, The Avenue, Bedford Park. W. (C. T. C. [(July 1896]: 355)
  • The Yeats family: W. B. Yeats; John Butler Yeats, his father; Jack Yeats, brother; Lilly and Lolly Yeats, sisters (Greeves, T. Affleck. Bedford Park: The First Garden Suburb. Anne Bingley, 1975: p. 14.). First moved to Bedford Park in Spring 1879, 8 Woodstock Road. (Bruce Arnold. Jack Yeats. p. 18.) Later, it looks like they were living at 3 Blenheim Road, Beford Park (Arnold 40).

InstitutionsEdit

  • Alpha Cinematograph Works (de Vries, p. 118)
  • Caradoc Press, Bedford Park (at least in 1903)
  • Chiswick School of Art
  • The Theosophical Society, the Chiswick Lodge, from 1891 (Owen 61) (June 1896]: 304)

BibliographyEdit

  • Arnold, Bruce. Jack Yeats: A Biography. Yale University Press, 1998.
  • C. T. C. Gazette: The Official Organ of the Cyclists' Touring Club, (Apr. 1896)
  • C. T. C. Gazette: The Official Organ of the Cyclists' Touring Club, (May 1896)
  • C. T. C. Gazette: The Official Organ of the Cyclists' Touring Club, (June 1896)
  • C. T. C. Gazette: The Official Organ of the Cyclists' Touring Club, (July 1896)
  • C. T. C. Gazette: The Official Organ of the Cyclists' Touring Club, Vol. 15 (Sept. 1896)
  • C. T. C. Gazette: The Official Organ of the Cyclists' Touring Club, (Oct. 1896)
  • de Vries, Tjitte, and Ati Mul. "They Thought It Was a Marvel": Arthur Melbourne-Cooper (1874–1961), Pioneer of Puppet Animation. Pallas Publications, Amsterdam University Press, 2009.
  • Greeves, T. Affleck. Bedford Park: The First Garden Suburb. Anne Bingley, 1975.
  • Howe
  • Owen, Alex. The Place of Enchantment: British Occultism and the Culture of the Modern.
  • Southworth, Michael, and Eran Ben-Joseph. Streets and the Shaping of Towns and Cities.