St Paul’s Studios, Talgarth Road
Just around the corner from Baron’s Court tube station are the delightful St Paul’s Studios.
Unless you live locally, you probably only know them as the buildings that you whizz past on your way West along the A4. They’re the ones that make your jaw drop and gasp ‘who on earth lives in them?!’
Well, wonder no more!
History of St Paul’s Studios
Built in 1891 and designed by Frederick Wheeler, The row of houses along Talgarth Road were aimed at ‘bachelor artists’ (ie unmarried) with lovely large north facing windows and housekeepers apartments in the basements.
Typical of late Victorian architecture they are covered in lovely little flourishes in terracotta.
There’s also a careful attention to the font design too.
Who lived here?
It’s not particularly surprising that all the homes were occupied within a year of being built.
And although they may not be household names, some of the more notable artists who lived here include;
Ruby Levick (1871-1940) who was a Welsh sculptor and medallist who often exhibited at the Royal Academy. You can see a sculptural bust of Chemist John Dalton in the Royal Society of Chemistry in Burlington House.
William Logsdail who lived in the studios 1903-1922 and his epic oil paintings of events like the Lord Mayor’s show can be seen in the Guildhall Art Gallery.
George Kruger Gray (1880-1943) who, during the First World War, designed fake military items that confused enemy forces. Later he utilised this skill and became the preferred contractor for the Royal Mint, designing British coins.
Inglis Sheldon-Williams (1870-1940) who in the early 1900s travelled to South Africa, India and Europe. His sketches of British Colonial officers are held in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection.
Who lives here now?
The busy A4 right on the doorstep does somewhat detract from the studios’ appeal, but these are still beautiful buildings.
Although some of the houses seem to be in better shape than others, a few having been left in a pretty dire condition during the 1930s and 1940s.
However if you fancy having a peek inside a recently renovated studio (and I know you do…) The Guardian published an article in 2016. Have a read here.