West Norwood

A weekend at Edmund de Waal’s studio has given me an opportunity to get to know West Norwood, an area of indeterminate south London south of the south circular and beyond the boundary of my previous London knowledge, once an area of open farmland where the mistress of Lord Bristol lived and Lord Chancellor Thurlow had a mansion built by Henry Holland.   He refused to inhabit it because of its cost.   The most prominent landmark is St. Lukes, West Norwood, designed by Francis Bedford and consecrated in 1825:

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In the 1850s the area was opened up by the arrival of The West London and Crystal Palace Railway and in 1888 a Free Public Library was opened, designed by Sydney Smith, the architect of Tate Britain (Tate was a local resident and is buried in the Crematorium):

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