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Monday, 14 May 2012

London Monopoly (9): Northumberland Ave

This is the final property in the 'Pink' set on my tour of the London Monopoly board.
Northumberland Avenue runs from Trafalgar Square, down to the Thames embankment. It's a grand but fairly unremarkable street but does have some interesting history.
In 1605 Henry Howard, the 1st Earl of Northampton, cleared a site and built a huge mansion-house based on the medieval style with a great hall and separate apartments for various family members and attendants. His property had a garden that backed onto the river and adjoined Scotland Yard in the west; an unthinkably large land-holding by today's standards. The property was eventually sold to the Percy family, the Dukes of Northumberland, who owned it until it was acquired by the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1874 to make way for Northumberland Avenue to be built.
Edison House, Thomas Edison's British headquarters, were in Northumberland Avenue and historic phonograph recordings (which still exist) were made there including the voices of William Gladstone and PT Barnum. 
The Metropole Building,
One notable building is the former Metropole Hotel a grand triangular structure, built in the 1880s and often frequented by Royalty but used as government offices since 1936 .


John said...

Another fascinating read Bazza! Not really knowing London very well, these posts are widening my knowledge of our capital city!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I love blogs that introduce me to new (old) places.

vicki said...

I'm not really sure how I ended up here-- some early morning blog surfing- you know how that goes!

The first thing that intrigued me was the name of your blog and your use of the quote from The Hundred Years of Solitude-- an incredible book.

Then I saw your London posts referencing the Monopoly board- totally ingenuious! I plan to take the time later (I'm at work right now--) and read everyone of them!! Twice! And maybe a third time!!

Your blog is amazing- its unique-- I think you are a rock star--


Austan said...

One of my grandfather's first jobs was as a bellhop at the Metropole, many, many years ago. I love history and I love your style, bazza. Keep 'em coming and thank you!

joanne fox said...

Really enjoying your Monopoly series, Bazza.

bazza said...

John: London must seem like a foreign capital to you! I grew up in and have always lived in the suburbs of London and often assume that everyone knows it as well as I do. Obviously I research the historical stuff so writing this Blog is a learning curve for me too.

bazza said...

Starting Over: Yes, the world is a small place these days, isn't it?

bazza said...

Vicky. Hello and welcome. I think the world can be divided into two halves - those who know and love One Hundred Years of Solitude and those who don't! I have found some of my favourite Blogs by random surfing.
Thank you so much for your kind words. As I am 'a rock star' I will ask my wife if I'm allowed to have groupies. I'll let you know!

bazza said...

Austan: Thank you; now I'm blushing! I think in the early part of last century The Metropole must have been a magnificent building.

bazza said...

joanne: Thanks for reading it! I love writing it so it's a real bonus to know people enjoy it.

Dixie said...

last of the pink property; it would seem we're moving right along.

i liked both buildings, but then i'm a fan of architecture.

i was trying to figure out why the map seemed familiar. might it have been part of the route for the Royal weeding a year ago? :)

bazza said...

It wasn't quite a part of the Royal procession but very nearly. However, the other two 'pink' properties, Whitehall and Pall Mall were.
There is plenty of wonderful architecture in Great Britain and the rest of Europe especially Italy.
I see that you have managed to work the shift key!

David said...

Dear bazza,
Another fascinating instalment. I didn't know much about this part of London, so this was very instructive. I do, of course, plan to do a similar series based on the many wonders of Stoke. I just don't know where to start, though, bazza. The local kebab shop, maybe?
But I jest, of course!
Very Best Wishes,

klahanie said...

Hey bazza,
Loved the way you incorporated the London Monopoly board into to this series of fascinating and informative postings.
And it does make me realise that a triumphant return of my humble self to London, is long overdue.

bazza said...

David: I am sure there are things about Stoke that beat London. It's probably a lot more friendly! London would have more in common with other great world capitol cities than lots of parts of Britain.
Anyway, Arnold Bennett wouldn't agree with you!

bazza said...

Gary: We await your triumphant return but they are beginning to close some roads while they rehearse for the Olympics so you had better not parade down The Mall with your army of followers just yet!

Dixie said...

the alternative, all caps, looks like i'm screaming...

bazza said...

Dixie: Yes, it's better to whisper!

Kelly said...

That's interesting that P.T. Barnum made a recording for Thomas Edison. Nice edition to your Monopoly series, Bazza. Made for engaging reading.

Take care,


bazza said...

Hi Kezza. It is interesting about PT Barnum but surprising that it was done in London. Whodathunkit?

Kelly said...

Not I.