Primrose Hill – Take 1

Friday is Project Awesome day so at 5.20am, off I headed to Primrose Hill for crazy running around and sit-ups with this fabulous view.

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From this highest point in the park, but with a little more light than this, I ran off in search of Blue Plaque joy. I was not disappointed.

Down to the bottom of the park and just a few houses along, I found my first plaque.

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This is the house where Roger Fenton, photographer, lived. Born in 1819 and educated at Oxford, he originally planned to become a painter and even had work displayed at the Royal Academy. Photography being new on the scene, he decided to dedicate his energies to that instead and in 1854, he went to photograph images of the Crimean War, which he was invited to show Napoleon III and Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on his return. He was instrumental in creating the organisation that later became the Royal Photographic Society. Thank you, Sir. You done good.

A little further down the main road, I went looking for another blue plaque and was treated with extras, all next to each other. Hurrah!

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Number 2 – William Roberts, born in 1895, was a war painter in both world wars. He was featured in a magazine dedicated to Vorticism, the only movement in the art world at the time to originate in Britain, although he classed his work as Cubism. He was shown in the Royal Academy and the Tate Gallery and used his surroundings (the house backs onto Regent’s Canal) to inspire the urban scenes in his later work. I have looked at your paintings, Mr. Roberts, and they are wonderful.

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Number 3 – AJP Taylor, historian specialising in 19th and 20th century European diplomacy. During the wars, he often befriended emigre statesmen, which helped him develop the opinions later seen in his political and historic writings. As a broadcaster, he became well known for his television lectures and was involved with (co-editing, editing or authoring) 49 books. Impressive, to say the least.

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Number 4 – the 19th century poet, Arthur Hugh Clough, a native of my own hometown, Liverpool. His plaque is one I wasn’t expecting so it was a nice surprise to discover him. He was assistant to Florence Nightingale and, ironically, died in Florence. After spending time living in London at this address, he travelled round much of Italy, writing poetry during his visits to Rome and Venice.

Anyone seeing similarities? From Liverpool to London to Italy….? Sound like someone you know?

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*please excuse my filthy hand, the 6.30am workout left me muddied, soggy and frozen*

Number 5 – After running the wrong way up the road for a little while (thank GOODNESS I finally learned to take the book out with me!) I found my final plaque, Walter Sickert. Born in Germany, he later came to England and was a pupil and etching assistant to Whistler (as in Whistler’s Mother, you know the one). Despite being an eccentric, his paintings deal with ordinary people and situations and, strangely enough, recent theories have suggested that he was Jack The Ripper (he believed he stayed in a room where Jack the Ripper had once stayed and one of his paintings was entitled ‘Jack The Ripper’s Bedroom’.)

Now that I was done with my blue plaques, I headed off to the station and passed this amazing art deco building that I believe was a cigarette factory once upon a time.

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It’s another one of those places that I had no idea existed and would never have come across if it weren’t for blue plaque searching. There are a ton more plaques in the area and I only ticked off a few today so watch this space, I’ll be back to run some more.

STATS

TOTAL MILES RUN – 11.1

BLUE PLAQUE COUNT – 18

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9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Rambler on January 31, 2015 at 02:10

    I did some digging and found out that in order to qualify for a blue plaque you have to have been dead for 20 years or it has to have been 100 years since you were born. (This is why in Liverpool John Lennon has a blue plaque on his childhood home but Paul McCartney doesn’t!). Apparently the scheme began in London in 1866 and the first ever Blue Plaque was put up the following year for Lord Byron (1788-1824) so you absolutely have to get him (if you haven’t already). I’ll wait to be impressed.

    Reply

  2. Great for you! Keep up the good work!

    Reply

  3. Posted by The funschool mom on February 1, 2015 at 14:43

    Wow! Awesome!

    Reply

  4. Posted by The funschool mom on February 1, 2015 at 14:44

    Impressive!

    Reply

  5. Well done on the morning run. Primrose Hill is one of my favourite areas in London. I am enjoying your blog. Although it does get me a little homesick!

    Reply

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