Friday, 30 December 2011

Oriental Club, Stratford Place W1

Stratford Place was built in the 1770s as a sort of top-end buy-to-let scheme with terraces of houses framing and funding a grand mansion at the centre.
The name on the drawings is Richard Edwin, but the real designer may well have been the client, the Hon. Edward Stratford, an Irish politician who later became the 2nd Earl of Aldeborough. His hobbies were architecture and quarreling with his family.
Stratford not only named the development after himself but placed his coat of arms in the pediment, on a banner displayed by Mars (Stratford was not a military man but his father was). Fame blows her trumpet while shaking Mars by the hand, which is about as difficult to do as rubbing your tummy and patting your head at the same time.
Those ox-skulls in the frieze below are called bucrania, by the way. Technically, they should only be used in the Doric order, not the Ionic, but that is what happens when amateur architects call the shots.


columnist said...

I used to be a member. Beautiful building. Accommodation is a bit tired, but quite typical of London clubs.

Ann said...

Fascinating about the bucrania - I'm so thankful for your blog, most informative!

London Remembers said...

These fabulous beings really are multi-tasking – as well as shaking hands and blowing trumpets they are also trying to roll, or unroll, a flag thing. They need to re-plan the project.

tristan said...

apropos de nuffinque .... happy new year .... it is always a treat to visit your excellent blog

SolSol said...

Simply beautiful.