Research showed that this may be the oldest engraved stone in Paddington.

Once it stood high above the Harrow Road, in the chimney of the Paddington Almshouses. The watercolour by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd, now in the British Museum, shows the stone in place, only a few yards from where it is now mounted, on the wall of North Westminster Community School.

I wrote the above in 1890. Since then the site of North Westminster Upper School has been redeveloped as housing and the Stone has wandered yet again.

pic6

Picture of the Alms House Stone

Paddington Almshouses were built in 1713-14 on a patch of land on the south side of the Harrow Road, between what was to become Church Place and Hermitage Street. These two streets have disappeared in their turn and the site of the Almshouse in 1990 became the north-west corner of North Westminster Community School grounds, near Dudley House.

The only surviving buildings in Paddington as old as the almshouses are the Black-Lion, near Queensway, and the Swan, near Lancaster Gate, both on the Bayswater Road. They have been extensively altered over the years, of course, while the Almshouse was demolished in 1869. Only the chimney stone and the watercolour seem to remain as a record of this building, erected over 300 years ago.

pic9a
The Swan, Bayswater Road, by Charles Ginner.

pic9b
The Wheatsheaf, in Edgeware Road, with the old St James's Church
in the distance, from an old picture by an anonymous artist.

 

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Updated June 8, 2012