Bust

Grosvenor Hotel - head 12

Grosvenor Hotel - 14 heads Grosvenor Hotel - head 12

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 12

Also at this site i

Nearby Memorials

Drill Hall - head 2 - Scots soldier

Drill Hall - head 2 - Scots 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...

Dickens bust - SW1

Dickens bust - SW1

SW1, Parliament Street, 48, Red Lion Inn

These two busts are above the second floor bay windows, Dickens on Parliament Street, Chaucer on the return in Derby Gate. The building ...

1 subject commemorated
Queen Victoria bust - SW3

Queen Victoria bust - SW3

SW3, Tryon Street, 27, Queen's Head pub

What Pub tells a sorry tale: "Built in 1840. ... pub closed on 7 Sept. 2016 ... Planning app dated 03 Aug 2018: Change of use of first an...

1 subject commemorated
Frederick Craufurd Goodenough

Frederick Craufurd Goodenough

WC1, Mecklenburgh Square

In a niche over the original central entrance (now mainly disused in favour of the north entrance).

2 subjects commemorated
Grosvenor Hotel - head 05

Grosvenor Hotel - head 05

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 representat...