An Old Cottage Next to a Fashionable Church

Chamber's Cottage was typical of this early period, yet St Mary's Church, built in 1791, was in the newest fashion. Things were starting to change. This article records its demolition nearly a century later.

An old thatched cottage in London only three miles and three furlongs distant in a straight line from St. Paul's - this ranks, after its kind, as one of the strangest survivals to be found. The cottage is in Paddington, standing on a plot of land behind St. Mary's Terrace (east side), and is occupied by the caretaker of the adjacent "Cenhadaeth Eglwysig Cymraeg," or Welsh Church of St. David's. The church is but a temporary iron structure, to be replaced shortly by a new one, together with schools and a vicarage, and to make room for these the cottage will be pulled down. It has two doors with porches, is built of flint and rubble or pebble covered with rough-cast, the attic floor, gained by an iron staircase, has dormer-windows. There are eight rooms in all, much modernized, the large room in the first story is fitted all round with cupboards, the porches even are similarly fitted. This singular relic of a bygone time when the village green, now considerably curtailed, extended to its doors, and westwards to Dudley Grove, and along the south side of Harrow-road opposite the church, is known in the neighbourhood as Chambers' Cottage, and, it is said, was inhabited by a banker, so-named, in the early years of this century. it is, however, of a much earlier date than his day. The cottage and land, we gather, were given to the Welsh congregation, about five years ago, by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. We notice, too, that from Dudley House, or Grove, at the foot of the bridge across the canal basin and the rail-ways, have been removed the wooden out-buildings in which Matthew Cotes Wyatt modeled and cast his statue of the Duke of Wellington, now at Aldershot. The statue was drawn from that foundry to Hyde Park Corner on September 29, 1846.

This drawing makes the cottage look pretty and romantic, as it may once have been, but a photograph' taken just before it was demolished shows ’a mean, bedraggled building, with tiny windows and torn thatch’.


  1. Westminster History Archive
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Updated February 3, 2011