Pont Street Mews, St. Saviour’s Church, and Walton Street

DSC_1058.NEFPont Street Mews is a cobble-street cul-de-sac off Walton Street, housing 26 residential properties.  The two and three storey properties were built in 1879.  They were originally constructed as a coach house and/or stable accommodations for the houses on Pont Street, but are used as residences now.  Mews is a name for stables and carriage houses with living quarters above and were generally located in prosperous neighborhoods to house the servants.  Everchanging Mews lists 386 original and surviving mews residences, and 236 that have been demolished for redevelopment.  They rank the surviving structures as least concern, vulnerable, endangered, and highly endangered.  You can also visit any number of mews in London with descriptions and photographs.  They also identify which properties were bombed during World War II.  Mews are also found in New York City.DSC_1057.NEFSt. Saviour’s Church on Walton was designed by George Basevi, who also designed the houses opposite Walton Street and Belgrave Square in 1838-1840.  The church was constructed of “stock brick with red brick banding, diapering, and other patterning, and stone dressings” (The Victorian Web).  The church is in the Early Decorated Style of Gothic Revival, and includes “traceried gable” and “window tracery”.  The front facing entrance is a recent addition, as originally the entrance was from a side street.  It was restored and altered in 1878 and was listed as Grade II in British listed historic buildings.  After most of the building was sold due to loss of congregants and cost of repairs, developers converted it to a four storey home owned by writer Alain Boubil.  In 2009, Boubil sold it and it was again redeveloped and upgraded with 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, pool and hot tub room, spa with sauna and steam room, and a number of other luxury items including “a bronze and glass lift-shaft surrounded by a spectacular stone staircase” (Evening Standard, 3 April 2013).

Churchgoers at St Saviours said the vast conversion had caused ‘endless aggravation.’ One said: ‘I just pray the next person doesn’t want to gut it again, it all seems madness to us.’

The remaining rear section of the church provided spaces for religious services and a community theatre workshop.  In December 2019, the “hideous and tacky….monstrosity of it…” (Anne Atkins) was for sale for £55,000,000.DSC_1059.NEFTake a walk around the corner toward the rows of flats opposite the opening to the “monstrosity” formerly known as St. Saviour’s Church.

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