Bust

Grosvenor Hotel - head 04

Erection date: 1862

Site: Grosvenor Hotel - 14 heads (14 memorials)

SW1, Buckingham Palace Road, Grosvenor Hotel

This 1860 building, by architect James Knowles Snr, is studded with many portrait busts of which we believe only these 14 are representations of particular individuals. Given their facial features and rather exaggerated head-gear the others seem more to represent types: racial, or national, etc.  The 14 are on the central section of the Buckingham Palace Road elevation, facing to the right in our photo, in the first floor window spandrels.

However we have failed to identify most of these heads. Victoria was easy and she gave us Albert, on her left, but the 6 on each side are tough. The costumes help - a few indicating military men, and the togas presumably indicating politicians but the two with loose-collared shirts - artists? We wonder, did the Victorian populace of the 1860s enjoy this 'spot the celebrity' game? If you have an eye for faces please have a go and let us know who you find.

2018: Via a lead we've nominated one of the heads as Palmerston. 3 down, only 11 to go.

2023: We've noticed that the south elevation which is barely visible also has some roundels, certainly at the fourth floor. We can't see the first floor at all but that could also have some heads. Perhaps when the hotel was first erected this elevation was more visible. Since those on the north elevation are generic, we trust these are too.

One of the more interesting visitors to this hotel was Emile Zola.

This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
Grosvenor Hotel - head 04

Also at this site i

Nearby Memorials

Colonial Office - B09 - Ethelbert

Colonial Office - B09 - Ethelbert

SW1, Whitehall, Foreign Office

Statues Hither and Thither has been invaluable in identifying some of the busts and most of the statues. The statues are not labelled and...

1 subject commemorated, 2 creators
Morley mosaics - KEW - Heather Rabbatts

Morley mosaics - KEW - Heather Rabbatts

SE1, King Edward Walk, Morley College

These 10 portrait mosaics are the result of a project by Morley College to celebrate the achievements of significant women who have lived...

1 subject commemorated, 3 creators
Duke of Cumberland

Duke of Cumberland

SW6, New Kings Road, Duke on the Green, 235

When this pub was built in 1892 the Duke of Cumberland was Ernest Augustus, the 3rd Duke, who while crown prince of Hanover was also a li...

1 subject commemorated
Dickens bust - EC1

Dickens bust - EC1

EC1, Holborn, 273, Holborn Bars (ex-Prudential Building)

Dickens lodged at Furnival's Inn while writing the first part of Pickwick Papers.

1 subject commemorated, 1 creator
Somerset House - 3, Queen Charlotte

Somerset House - 3, Queen Charlotte

WC2, Strand, Somerset House - Strand Block

The three central first floor windows of the Strand Block of Somerset House are each topped, below their pediment, with a relief portrait...

1 subject commemorated