Saturday, 5 September 2009

Paddington /Padintune Greater London: Place in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Series ****

Paddington is an area of the City of Westminster, in Central London, England. Formerly a metropolitan borough, it was integrated with Westminster and Greater London in 1965.

Paddington Station

Three important landmarks of the district are Paddington station, designed by the celebrated engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1847;

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

St Mary's Hospital and Paddington Green police station (the most important high-security police station in the United Kingdom).

St. Mary's Hospital Paddington

Paddington Green Police Station

The earliest extant reference to Padington, historically a part of Middlesex, was made in the year 1056.

Map of Middlesex

By 1773, a contemporary historian determined that "London may now be said to include two cities, one borough and forty six antient villages", Paddington and adjoining Marybone (Marylebone) being named as two of those villages.

Marylebone Station

Roman roads formed the parish's north-eastern and southern boundaries from Marble Arch: Watling Street (later Edgware Road) and the Uxbridge road, known in the 1860s as Bayswater Road.

Edgware Road Paddington

Tyburn Gallows and Seperate place for Shooting Soldiers

They were toll roads in the 1700s, before and after the dismantling of the permanent Tyburn gallows "tree" at their junction in 1759.

Grand Union Canal at Westbury Park

By 1800, the area was also traversed by the Harrow Road and an arm of the Grand Union Canal.

Historic personages and places

Robert Browning

The great Victorian poet Robert Browning moved from No. 1 Chichester Road to Beauchamp Lodge, 19 Warwick Crescent from 1862 until 1887. He is reputed to have named that precinct, on the junction of two canals, "Little Venice", a legend which was disputed by Lord Kinross in 1966 and by London Canals. Both assert that Lord Byron humorously coined the name, which is now applied more loosely to a longer reach of the canal system.

Little Venice Junction

Robert Baden-Powell

Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the scouting movement and hero of the Siege of Mafeking during the Second Boer War, was born in Paddington on 22 February 1857.
St Mary's Hospital in Praed Street is the site of several great medical accomplishments. In 1874, C R Alder Wright synthesised heroin (diacetylmorphine). Also there, in 1928, Sir Alexander Fleming first isolated penicillin, earning the award of a Nobel Prize. The hospital has an Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum where visitors can see Fleming's laboratory, restored to its 1928 condition, and explore the story of Fleming and the discovery and development of penicillin through displays and video.
The royal princes William (21 June 1982) and Henry ("Harry") (15 September 1984) were both born at St Mary's Hospital.

Edward Wilson

The courageous Edward Wilson, physician, naturalist and ornithologist who died in 1912 on Captain Robert Scott's ill-fated British Antarctic expedition had earlier practised as a doctor in Paddington. The former Senior Street primary school was renamed the Edward Wilson School after him in 1952.

Map of Tyburn gallows and immediate surroundings, from John Rocque's map of London, Westminster and Southwark (1746)

And so how did Paddington get its name? It is thought by many to be derived from the old Sussex word “Pad” meaning pack-horse, which before the advent of motorised transport and the canals was the only means of bringing goods to the city. The pack-horses would be grazed in what was farm land outside the City of London. Hence it is suggested that Paddington might mean “the village of the pack-horse meadows”.In the late 1700’s paddington was just a few houses with Westbourne Green and Bayswater neighbouring hamlets.

Map of Medieval London

The rivers fleete, the tybourn and the Brent flowed through the vast Middlesex forest which in the early 13th century was “disafforested” by Henry III
Most of this land was church land owned by the Bishop of London. In 1801 in this area now known as Paddington there were only 357 houses and a population of 1,881 people. Paddington is bordered by Edgware road(formerly the Roman Watling Street) to the east and to the south by Bayswater road. It is near to the junction of these two roads that the infamous Tyburn Tree(or group of trees) stood where public hangings of upto 21 people at a time took place. Hangings ceased here when public executions were moved to Newgate in 1783.

Sussex Gardens

This area known for some time as Tyburnia would in the early part of the 19th century become transformed into the magnificent terraces and gardens, squares and crescents examplified by the magnificent Sussex Gardens, Westbourne Terrace, Gloucester Terrace and further west Leinster Gardens. At this time there was great wealth and social awareness which attracted lawyers, bankers and other professional people.

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