Building Tyburnia and Bayswater

At the very end of the 18th Century, the Bishop of London had sold certain fields of his Paddington Estate to the Grand Junction Canal Company and in 1801, the Canal reached Paddington. Hay, bricks and a thousand other bulky items could be brought within easy carting distance of the capital. Paddington became a potential industrial centre - a nineteenth century Slough. At the same tine, residential London was reaching the other side of the Edgware Road. The fields of the Paddington Estate appeared ready for development. Hyde Park would always be a great attraction, especially when public hangings, with their riotous crowds, had been removed from Tyburn.

Samuel Pepys Cockerell, an architect who had already pianed Mecklenberg and Brunswick Squares, was appointed to plan the development of what was to become Tyburnia, or Bayswater. He published a plan in 1824, but Gordon Toplis considers that it had been planned twenty years earlier.1

The southern end of the estate was developed to attract the wealthy and fashionable. Sussex Gardens was built as a wide, landscaped avenue leading straight from Tyburnia to the old Marylebone Road, to give direct access to the West End and City. On returning to the edge of town, it formed a triumphal, tree-lined entrance to this fashionable new estate. At the same time, Sussex Gardens was designed as a barrier against the industrial landscape round the canal; a kind of cordon sanitaire erected between the grimy brick warehouses of the north and the residential stucco terraces of the south.

S.P.Cockerell's Plain for Tyburnia, now part of Bayswater, dated 1524.


  1. Country Life, 15th November, 1973, on which much of this account is based.



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