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Document Tite: Adelphi Conservation Area Audit Document Status: Adopted Supplementary Planning Guidance Date: 21 March 2003 Document ID No: 2932 This report is based on a draft prepared by Conservation Architecture & Planning. It is accurate at the time of publication, March 2003. Department of Planning and Transportation, Development Planning Services, City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP

PREFACE Since the designation of the first conservation areas in 1967 the City Council has undertaken a comprehensive programme of conservation area designation, extensions and policy development. There are now 53 conservation areas in Westminster, covering 76% of the City. These conservation areas are the subject of detailed policies in the Unitary Development Plan and in Supplementary Planning Guidance. In addition to the basic activity of designation and the formulation of general policy, the City Council is required to undertake conservation area appraisals and to devise local policies in order to protect the unique character of each area. Although this process was first undertaken with the various designation reports, more recent national guidance (as found in Planning Policy Guidance Note 15 and the English Heritage Conservation Area Practice and Conservation Area Appraisal documents) requires detailed appraisals of each conservation area in the form of formally approved and published documents. This enhanced process involves the review of original designation procedures and boundaries; analysis of historical development; identification of all listed buildings and those unlisted buildings making a positive contribution to an area; and the identification and description of key townscape features, including street patterns, trees, open spaces and building types. Given the number and complexity of Westminsters conservation areas the appraisal process has been broken down into three stages, the first of which is complete. This first stage involved the publication of General Information Leaflets or mini-guides for each conservation area covering in brief a series of key categories including Designation, Historical Background, Listed Buildings and Key Features. The second stage involved the production of Conservation Area Directories for each Conservation Area. A Directory has now been adopted for 51 of the Citys conservation areas and includes copies of designation reports, a detailed evaluation of the historical development of the area and analysis of listed buildings and key townscape features. The City is now working on a programme to prepare Conservation Area Audits for each of its conservation areas. This will form the third and final stage of the appraisal process. As each audit is adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance it will incorporate the Directory for that conservation area.


overview unlisted buildings of merit landmark buildings roof extensions


railings, boundary walls & enclosure historic shopfronts statues and monuments street furniture historic floorscapes trees


Adjacent conservation areas Topography

Areas of archaeological priority Article 4 directions Regulation 7 direction


Design Briefs and Guidelines Further reading.


INTRODUCTION 1.1 The City Council has a statutory duty to review the character and boundaries of its conservation areas. The Audit is the third, and final stage of the appraisal process. The overall appraisal strategy is based upon the English Heritage publication Conservation Area Practice. 1.2 The first stage (Mini-guide) and second stage (Directory) documents have already been adopted. The Mini-guide provides a brief description of the area and its characteristics. The Directory provided a detailed source of factual information. This has now been incorporated as part of the Audit providing an Appendix of factual information. 1.3 The Audit describes both the historical development, and character and appearance of the conservation area. It is designed to identify and explain important local features such as unlisted buildings of merit, unbroken rooflines and local views. In addition the audit also seeks to apply relevant Unitary Development Plan policies to the local context in order to preserve and/or enhance the character and appearance of the area. 1.4 The Conservation Area Audit for the Strand was adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance by the Cabinet Member for City Development on 21 March 2003. The Adelphi Conservation Area was designated on 26 March 1981. The designation reports can be found in the Directory, Section 1, at the back of this document.

2 HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT 2.1 Following the abandonment of the Roman City in the fourth century AD, a trading and manufacturing port became established, which was called Lundenwic. The Saxon town of Lundenwic thrived in the seventh, eighth and ninth centuries; its site has been identified by major archaeological discoveries of items from this period in Aldwych, Covent Garden and the Strand. Described by Bede as 'a mart of many nations coming by land and sea', Lundenwic was evidently an active trading settlement. Excavations have also revealed evidence of houses, agriculture and industries such as metal working, antler working and cloth production. This period of settlement was ended in the mid to late ninth century by a series of Viking raids on the area. 2.2 The northern boundary of the Conservation Area is the ancient route of the Strand. Its southern edge follows the course of Savoy Place, which marks the original riverbank. Before the Thames was embanked the Strand was the street nearest the river, a busy thoroughfare connecting Temple Bar and Charing Cross. It was lined on the south side with houses that turned their backs on the street in order to face the Thames over long gardens that led down to the river bank. Thus the street frontage comprised gatehouses and walls set back from the road, with stables and domestic ranges. The grand scale of the buildings was described as suburbio frequente continuante its suburban character presumably different from those of either the City to the east or the Court to the west. The land was owned by noblemen and ecclesiastics: Norwich Inn, originally the house of the Bishop of Lincoln and later known as York House, is mentioned in 1237, when the Bishop was ordered to repair the quay. Its gatehouse stood on the present entrance from the Strand to Villiers Street. It is also known that Richard Le Poer, Otho Papal Legate, lodged at 'the Bishop of Durhams house near London' in 1238. In the same period, the north side of the Strand was rapidly developing as a commercial centre with small premises housing businesses connected with Covent Garden Market. 2.3 In 1330-1336 a tax was levied to complete improvement work to the road surface of the Strand up to Temple Bar. Consequently land values in the area increased. The continuous development and importance of the Strand meant that by the mid fifteenth century the south side of the road had changed in character and scale to being predominantly commercial with an almost continuous line of shops, tenements and inns. 2.4 Recorded in 1536 is an exchange of property between the King and Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham. The transactions described a building called Durham Rents comprising twenty-two messuages (dwellings) and gardens. It is clear from Ralph Aggas map of the 1560s in Figure 1, that there were houses of considerable importance and grandeur within this tightly-bound area. Particularly prominent is the Great Hall of Durham House abutting the Thames. Although the buildings have gone, one feature on Aggas' map remains and now forms the eastern boundary of the Conservation Area. Ivy Bridge Lane, so called because from the 1220s onwards it provided a crossing over what was then virtually swamp from the river to Covent Garden, is one of the oldest routes to the Thames in London. 2.5 From the mid-sixteenth century onwards a pattern began to evolve of small houses on streets and lanes leading off the Strand. The mansions of the medieval period were becoming obsolete and the sale of parcels of land to less wealthy landlords

resulted in numerous subdivisions and land splits, which began to give the area a definite character and relationship with the river, access to which was via lanes and gateways from the various private residences. The western side of Durham House, known as the Inn of the Bishop of Norfolk, was obtained by Heath, Archbishop of York in the 1550s and subsequently became known as York House. 2.6 York House had a series of owners who allowed it to fall into disrepair. When the house was obtained by the King's favourite, George Villiers, First Duke of Buckingham, an extensive programme of repair was drawn up but never carried out; the Duke was reported to be invariably out of funds. Inigo Jones' Water Gate is the only physical evidence that still exists of the rebuilding plans but this could only have required 200 tons of the 2,000 tons of Portland Stone that James I is know to have given Buckingham. The planned great house never materialised, as the Duke's murder in 1628 put an abrupt end to any further building. The famous York Water Gate of 16


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