Erection date: 1880
Site: Stuart reliefs on Stuart House new (3 memorials)
SW3, Cadogan Square, Stuart House, 84
This Queen Anne style house was designed in 1880 by architect F.G. Knight for Oscar Leslie Stephen, a director of the Great Northern Railway. A large window on the north side both lighted a studio and advertised the artistic activities of the residents.
The house is decorated with 3 terracotta relief panels. We have numbered them, left to right: 1 'James I arrives in London' (ground floor, facing left); 2 'Mary arrives in Scotland by boat' (1st floor, below "Stuart House"); 3 "Mary arrives in Scotland by horse" (1st floor, towards the back of the building). Mary was, of course, James's mother.
Why, one asks, are there scenes from the Stuart monarchy on this house in Cadogan Square? We note that GNR initiated the East Coast route from London to Scotland and by 1862 there was a daily service from King's Cross to Edinburgh. Given the subject matter of the panels, we think they were tailor-made for this house, and inspired by the service provided by Stephen's business: arriving in Scotland or arriving in London from Scotland - both possible by GNR!
We've only space for one close-up picture of each panel but Lookup London has some excellent photos. Incidentally, Lookup London states that these 3 panels were originally on Victorian Mansion Buildings in Poultry along with the four panels that are now on the facade of 1 Poultry. But the Poultry panels only became available when Victorian Mansion Buildings were demolished in the 1990s. We're convinced that the Stuart House panels were commissioned for this house and have been in situ since it was built in 1880.