Monday, 8 December 2008

Building Plaques

This collection of photos comprises mainly of interesting plaques and brickwork that pop up from time to time. They don't really fall into any easily identifiable category so they vary from one to another, from the fairly plain to the ornate
New Malden High Street
Starting with one of the less ornate, this dedicatory plaque seems to have been created with a more impressive cast list in mind. Mr Penny seems a little lost in all the space.
Garrat Lane, Wandsworth
This is typical of the plaques found on the sides of schools all over London that were commissioned and built by the London County Council. This particular example is dated 1905.
Kingston Road, Wimbledon Chase, SW19
This is the sort of brick plaque that intrigues me, with all the delicate scrolling and attention to detail. I was wondering how they were made - presumably a model would be made up a cast taken and brick dust mixed in with a binder before being poured in to obtain the detailing. I'm probably very wrong about this, but it cetainly makes an attractive addition to the side of a house
Munster Road, Fulham SW6
A similar example to the one above, only larger and designed for the front of the building rather than being tucked away on the side.
Kingston Road, South Wimbledon, SW19
Built by John Innes (he of No.2 fame) the Masonic Lodge features this attractive plaque above the front door.
High Street, Croydon
Although the new shopping centre has changed the focus of Croydon, there's still a fair bit of the Victorian Town to be seen, although it's not always easy to work out what you're looking at! For example this plaque is dated 1894 but I've no idea what the letters 'BG' stand for.
High Street, Croydon
This either represents justice (the scales and the blindfold) or it could be something relating to fair trade and merchants. Although why the boy would be blindfolded if it related to trade is beyond me...
Coldharbour Lane, Brixton
Bit of a sad and shabby example here. I'm thinking that maybe York House was a smart and prestigious house when it was first built but it's obviously seen better days.
Old Town, Clapham Common
There must be a story here! This plaque is on the side of a fairly small building (compared to its neighbours) but has an unmissable plaque on the front. It seems to be a heron standing on the back of a two-legged dragon. These two are on a set of furled flags that surmount a coat-of-arms. However the most eye catching element is the motto 'Contentment Passe Richesse' which is a quotation from a play by Moliere that refers to marriage and translates as 'Happiness Before Wealth'. How it ends up on the side of a house in Clapham is beyond me though.
Clapham Common South Side
Part of a pub that obviously used to cater for a wide clientele, I wonder how long it's been since luncheons and teas were regularly available?
off Clapham High Street
I'm not sure what building this one came off, but it was one of a series of several of similar designs. Very nice though wherever it came from.
Borough High Street
This one speaks for itself. Really attractive and eye catching stuff, especially with the gold lettering. The hop exchange is just up the road so Borough Market was obviously the centre of hop dealing in London
Westminster, W1
The Portcullis is the symbol of Wesminster and the lettering is attractive in an art-nouveau sort of way as well.
Coombe Road, New Malden
This looks like a pretty standard plaque found on the front of local telephone exchanges, in this case one laid during the reign of George VI in 1937
Braganza Street, Lambeth nr. Kennington Tube
This attractive plaque was on the side of a fairly small shop, but had been painted over, which was a pity really. A bit of damage too. I wonder if that might have been from the last war? More likely a careless workman fixinf the drainpipe or something...
Wimbledon Broadway SW19
The courts may have moved and the site now a shopping centre, but the Royal Standard is still looking down on the shoppers.
Borough Market
The BMT stands for 'Borough Market Trust' and sits above the small historic building used for runing and regulating the market.
Balham Station Road
This one is so ornate you can hardly read it! Nice one to finish on though...

2 comments:

CarolineLD said...

Borough was indeed a centre for the hop trade, as I recently blogged here .
A lovely collection of photos, I'm fascinated by these too. Some gorgeous examples, and I often wonder too about how the more ornate brick designs were made.

rtb said...

The blindfolded figure does indeed represent "Justice" - although its the first time ever I've seen a male symbolic figure; they're 99.99% of the time female. Even "brotherhood" (or fraternity) is usually a seated female figure with two small boys. Justice is always blindfolded so that s/he isn't swayed by appearances, relying on (usually) both the Sword of Truth and the Scales of Evidence, as on the Old Bailey.