Thursday, June 07, 2007

Faded glories

I know it's very backward-looking of me, but sometimes a look at past glories makes you want to weep. Today's picture is of West Cliff Terrace Mansions which you'll find by walking along West Cliff past the boating pool and greens, and at the end on your right there looms this lovely Terrace. The first picture shows it as it is now (well, on Boxing Day 2006 at least...)

the terrace as it is
Here's another view, seagull-style, showing the full terrace. I imagine the gardens originally stretched down to the cliff top, but were sliced through by the Royal Esplanade in the 1930s, but that's a bit of a guess.

the terrace as it is

And then look at it near the start of the last century, already 60 years old, but clearly a little enclave of elegant living, with carriages drawing up in the communal driveway, and parties on the terrace... Click on the picture below to fill your screen with Georgian/Victorian style (they were built c.1840, so it's Victorian builders using Georgian styles!).

the terrace as it is

According to their entry in English Heritage's Images of England, the Grade II listed terrace was built as a speculative venture (which never quite came off) for James Wire, Alderman of London. Clearly some restoration work has gone on, judging by the one or two (out of 24) that look freshly painted, and the cost must be eye-watering, so fingers crossed for future glories here.


Helen said...

I've just rented one of the first floor flats with the stone-balustraded balconies. It's very shabby outside but the flat is absolutely glorious (except it needs 10 foot long curtains!). It's going to take some time, being Grade II listed and in a conservation area, but the restoration is going ahead and will be well worth it (just hope I can still afford the rent then!).

ZumiWeb said...

Hi Helen, nice to hear from a resident - we've noticed the restoration proceeding, and I can well believe how fabulous the spaces (and hopefully the decor) are inside. A balcony with a view to treasure as well... you lucky thing...