Late 19th century Estate Agent brochures give a glowing picture of these houses. Describing them as "first class family residences in the most aristocratic and healthy part of South Kensington". Great emphasis was placed on the first class drainage and sanitary works. Facilities included billiard rooms, smoking rooms and boudoirs. John Roberts, the builder, also lived there. He converted three of the houses into the Barkston Gardens Hotel, an early indicator of the fate that was to befall these family homes.
Famous residents included Ellen Terry who lived at number 22 from 1889 to1902. During her time in Earl's Court she achieved great fame as an actress. In 1878 she formed a partnership with Sir Henry Irving. Together they dominated the stage both in England and America. Sir Henry was a terrible snob but was happy to visit Ellen at this address. For a while the developer's dreams were realised.
No trace of Barkston Gardens can be seen on the next image but this is the exact the same location.
Copyright: the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Libraries (RBKC Libraries)
Location of original: LS vf PC//1466
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