The Mews of Bayswater

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This is a short walk in West London, combining an exploration of the various mews in the area north of the Baywater Road, formerly known as Tyburnia, with passing glances at the Blue Plaques in the area that commemorate people from different walks of life.

The word 'mew' originally meant a cage for hawks. The Royal Mews at Charing Cross were converted to stables in the reign of Henry VIII and thereafter the word mews meant stabling grouped around a yard or alley. Mews in the Victorian era were tenanted exclusively by one class of people, coachmen and grooms. The 1881 census shows my great-grandfather and his family of six living in one, his occupation recorded as horse-keeper. Each individual property at that time housed, on the ground floor, a horse or horses, a carriage, a harness room, grain bins, a WC and the staircase, with upstairs a family. That order is quite deliberate – the needs of the people came after the needs of the horses.

Much of this area is part of the Church Commissioners' Hyde Park Estate and it also lies within Westminster City Council's Bayswater Conservation Area.

Tyburnia was part of the westward expansion of residential London in the early 19th Century. It established itself as a fashionable suburb, particularly for those people affluent enough to own private carriages. Adequate mews space had to be provided and in Bayswater you find some of the longest mews in London, most surviving to this day.

There are plenty of opportunities for refreshments, with pubs, coffee bars and street cafes and restaurants along the length of the walk.

England - South England - London - Town or city

Features

Ancient Monument, Cafe, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Mostly Flat, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, Tea Shop, Toilets
25/02/2018 - ruth nolan

Interesting urban walk. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for other blue plaques (there are plenty around) and Google the famous resident of Connaught Square who keeps a 24 hour armed guard. If you are fortunate you will enjoy the smells of the Persian and Indian restaurants and eggs and bacon from the local cafés.

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