research thought

Forget Google Street View; what I need is Google Back Garden View.

I wonder if, when I come to London, I could persuade anyone along Queen’s Gate Terrace in South Ken to let me into their back gardens for a look at the space? Satellite resolution just ain’t cutting it.

0 Responses to “research thought”

  1. la_marquise_de_

    I will ask around and see if the in-laws know anyone in that area.
    I know the feeling: I really need to know the elevation above the river of a Welsh abbey and I can’t find anything about it and all the Google shots are from above and thus fairly flat.
    When are you over, incidentally? There’s a late Victorian satire (London Assurance) currently playing at the National Theatre which might be of interest to you.

    • novalis

      Depending on how detailed the elevation data you need, Google does have a terrain view (on maps, click “more”, then click “terrain”). I find it very difficult to read. If you want to get fancy, you can download very low resolution (1 px = ~30 m) elevation data from the SRTM. Ordnance Survey probably has better resolution, but they’re a very expensive way to get data.

  2. j_cheney

    So there’s an I phone app called Field Agent where you can pay somoene to go take a pic for you…you might be able to try something like that…

  3. novalis

    It’s not quite Back Garden View, but if you go to, click “Aerial”, and click “Bird’s Eye”, you’ll be able to get a bit of a look.

  4. shui_long

    But I can pretty well guarantee that the back gardens have changed – probably out of all recognition – since 1884… The street facade of the house may have been preserved (though attic dormers and rooflights may well have been added), but much else will be different. Certainly the “offices” (the outside lavatory, coal store, ash bin etc) at the back of the property will have changed. The coach house in the mews at the end of the garden is now upmarket accommodation: more easily adapted than the main house, and the coach and horses probably went after WWI, when there was little legislation – or even any thought of legislation – to control building alterations.

    Incidentally, be slightly careful about “Queen’s Gate Terrace”: what Google shows under that name seems to be the eastern side of Queen’s Gate, but Queen’s Gate Terrace is actually a road off Queen’s Gate towards Gloucester Road, and may be a little too early and not grand enough for your purpose.)

    In 1884, the area to the south of the Albert Hall, as far as the Natural History Museum, was the Horticultural Society garden; the Imperial Institute was built on that site in the 1890s, and what is now Imperial College came later.

    • Marie Brennan

      Yeah, once I saw the Bing map’s “bird’s eye view,” I saw what look like extensions added onto the backs of all the buildings. But it did clarify what I suspected, which is that there were likely coach-houses behind all the residences there.

      (Adding on “terrace” was a temporary error on my part. I’m actually looking at the western side above Cromwell Road, and in the 1886 map it at least appears as if there would have been residences along that stretch.)

      • shui_long

        The typical terrace house of the period was L-shaped, with a wing at the back, probably not extending to the full height of the main building.

        In 1882, starting at the northern (Kensington Gore) end of Queen’s Gate, on the western side house numbers 1 to 26; then the junction of Queen’s Gate Terrace; 27 to 35 (the Italian Embassy); junction of Elvaston Place; 36 to 46; junction of Queen’s Gate Place; 47 to 67; then the junction of Cromwell Road, numbers 68 to 107 being south of Cromwell Road. On the eastern side, again starting at the northern end, numbers 200 to 196 (no.200 dates from 1873, no.196 from 1874, designed by Norman Shaw in ‘Queen Anne’ style), then the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens running down as far as Cromwell Road. Nos 134 to 108 are south of the Cromwell Road.

        The Horticultural Society Garden survived until 1886, but by the 1880s the Society was struggling to pay the rent and the gardens were rather run down: there were several exhibitions on the site, in temporary buildings, in the early 1880s.

        • Marie Brennan

          Where are you getting this information? It’s amazingly detailed, and I’d kind of like to know where the well is, so I can indulge my obsessive-compulsive desire to look things up without having to trouble you every time. 🙂

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