(Reference: -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mews )
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Preserving London Stables
Very few exciting livable alleys exist today in North America, unlike Europe where alleys have become havens of human habitation after many years of commercial use. In the video below note the homogeneity of the collections of buildings and the traces of their original use as stables. These were abused buildings that have been reclaimed. In many instances the brickwork was "bodged" prompting owners to paint over the brick. Few have retained their original brick facade. These are especially precious.
Mews is a primarily British term formerly describing a row of stables, usually with carriage houses below and living quarters above, built around a paved yard or court, or along a street, behind large city houses, such as those of London, during the 17th and 18th centuries. The word may also refer to the lane, alley or back street onto which such stables open. It is sometimes applied to rows or groups of garages or, more broadly, to a narrow passage or a confined place. Today most mews stables have been converted into dwellings, some greatly modernized and considered highly desirable residences.
The term mews is plural in form but singular in construction. It arose from "mews" in the sense of a building where birds used for falconry are kept, which in turn comes from birds' cyclical loss of feathers known as 'mewing' or moulting.
From 1377 onwards the king's falconry birds were kept in the King's Mews at Charing Cross. The name remained when it became the royal stables starting in 1537 during the reign of King Henry VIII. It was demolished in the early 19th century and Trafalgar Square was built on the site. The present Royal Mews was then built in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. The stables of St James's Palace, which occupied the site where Lancaster House was later built, were also referred to as the "Royal Mews" on occasion, including on John Rocque's 1740s map of London.
YouTube Photos are courtesy of E/L Studio