Bust

Grosvenor Hotel - head 05

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 05

Also at this site i

Nearby Memorials

Old Westminster Library - head 4 - Dryden

Old Westminster Library - head 4 - Dryden

SW1, Great Smith Street

The foundation stone is immediately to the right of the central entrance. Above the entrance: "Westminster Public Library, The united pa...

1 subject commemorated
National Portrait Gallery - Lawrence

National Portrait Gallery - Lawrence

WC2, Charing Cross Road

This building, 1896, designed by Ewan Christian, has 18 busts contained in medallions around the top of the facades. Starting at the east...

1 subject commemorated
Drill Hall - head 3 - Foreign Legion soldier

Drill Hall - head 3 - Foreign Legion soldier

W1, Chenies Street, Drill Hall

In the spandrels above the entrance door: "Bloomsbury Rifles Pro Patria Semper" ('for my country always'). The technique used for this le...

Owen Owen

Owen Owen

WC2, Kingsway, Kingsway House, 99-107 (odd)

The architect for this 1906 building was Arthur Sykes (1862 - 1940) who also built this Oxford Street/Stratford Place corner block, See P...

1 subject commemorated
John Hunter, Lincoln's Inn Fields

John Hunter, Lincoln's Inn Fields

WC2, Lincoln's Inn Fields

{The front of the stone plinth is inscribed:} Hunter {On a plaque attached to the side of the plinth:} This bust of John Hunter (1728 ...

3 subjects commemorated, 2 creators