'Notes and Queries', by Charles Mason, 13th November, 1869, says:-

'It may be worth noting in the pages of 'Notes and Queries' for the use of future topographers, that these almshouses were commenced to be pulled down on July 4, 1869, to give place to five shops built on their site. They consisted of eighteen rooms, being intended originally for eighteen inhabitants. Latterly, however, each occupant had two rooms. The last occupants were Mrs Hannah Cordwell and Mrs Elizabeth Jones, Prior to July 4, each had an allowance of bread and three shillings each from the Almshouse Ground Committee, which sum is to be continued during the rest of their lives. On the front of the houses was a large stone. This stone is in the Vestry Hall, immediately opposite from where the almshouses stood.'

It seems that when the Almshouses were demolished, the stone tablet seen in the Shepherd painting was displayed in the Vestry Hall and must later have been moved from there to the Vestry Stone Yard near the Canal.

The 1868 Ordnance Survey map, not reproduced here, shows the 18 separate rooms and the two two-storey houses for the schoolmaster and schoolmistress. The Almshouses were demolished in 1869 to give place to five shops in Romilly Terrace. They were along the Harrow Road, between Church Place and Hermitage Street, near what is now Dudley House.

Paddington was filling up with new houses for those driven out of the Cites of Westminster and London by all the building of new streets, new sewers, and new railways. This period from 1860 to 1880 was a period of hectic building, full of noise and confusion. The railways allowed people to get away from the dust and upheaval. The Metropolitan Railway had reached Paddington in 1863, bringing in a horde of commuters from the new suburbs. Factories and offices were still in the centre but many of their workers had moved out. The builders were still busy in Paddington and no doubt these five shops were built to serve the new commuters on their journeys in and out..

 

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A old thatched cottage in London, only three miles and three furlongs distant in a straight line from St. Paul's --this, assuredly, ranks, after its kind, as one of the strangest survivals that can now be found. The cottage is in Paddington, standing on a plot of land behind St. St. Mary's terrace (east side), and is occupied by the caretaker of the adjacent 'Cenhadaeth Eglwvsig; Cym' or Welsh Church of St. David's. The church is but a temporary iron structure, to be, replaced shortly by a new one, together with schools and a vicarage, and to make room for these the cottage will be pulled down. It is approached by a pathwav lined along one side by trees; its ground-floor, having two doors with porches, is built of a flint and of pebble rubble, covered with rough-cast, the attic floor, gained by an iron staircase, has dormer-windows. There are eight rooms in all, much modernised ; the large room in the first storey is fitted all round with cupboards, the porches even are similarly fitted. This singular relic of a bygone time when the village green, now considerably curtailed extended to its doors and westwards to Dudley Grove, and along the south side of Harrow-road opposite the church, is known in the neighbourhood as Chambers's Cottage and, it is said, was inhabited by a banker so-named, in the early years of this century. It is, however, of a much earlier date than his day, The cottage and land, we gather, were given to the Welsh congregation, about live years ago, by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. We notice, too, that from Dudley House, or Grove, at the foot of the bridge across the canal basin and the railways, have been removed the wooden outbuildings in which Matthew Coles Wyatt modeled and cast his statue of the Duke of Wellington, now at Aldershot. The statue was drawn from that foundry to Hyde Park Corner on September 29, 1846'

The casting is described and illustrated in The Growth of St Marylebone & Paddington, by Jack Whitehead.

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