Chatelaine's picture of Paddington Green.
The Bayswater Annual, 1885

The engraving, drawn much later, was published in the Bayswater Annual of 1885 and shows the view looking across Paddington Green from what is now North Wharf Road.

The paper says:­

'The picture represents Paddington Green as it appeared between 1750 and 1790. The main feature of this pretty rural view will easily help us to identify the site and its surroundings, in spite of the transformations which have taken place during the past hundred years. The larger extent of t he village green at this date wi ll at once strike the observer. The common or 'Waste' then lay on both sides of the highway, and the strip of 'the common field' on the south side (now covered with shops) was railed off continuously from the high road, the green itself being partially open. The Harrow Road is seen running then as now on the south side of the green. It has in later days lost somewhat of the bold curve towards the pond, owing to the more rigid lines adopted, by the builders of the present century. - A little extension of the view to the left would show the row of Paddington houses, erected in 1714 and taken down in the last twenty years. From an area of some five or six acres, Paddington Green is now reduced to less than an acre and a half. The picture shows the largest of the ponds on the village green, where the village geese, the commoner's cattle, and the passing team from Harrow and yet more distant parts, could disport themselves, or slake their thirst. The last of the ponds was situate on the south side of the road (beyond the limit of our picture) close to the site of the present parish schools. It has been filled up within living memory.

This view was drawn from the Common, near what is now Praed Street. Thus the site of North Westminster Community School, Upper House must be in the foreground, just in front of the fenced Harrow Road. By my reckoning, everyone in the north-east corner of the present school playground must be standing in the duck pond. Several ponds are mentioned in local accounts and we shall locate several of then.

North Westminster Community School had three sites. This one was The Upper School (14-19) and was later sold off and rebuilt as housing on North Wharf Road.


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Updated June 8, 2012