Strand and Mall —I.: Old Houses and New Houses: Strand-on-the Green

Old Houses and New Houses: Strand-on-the Green by A. H. Henley. Signed lower left. Source: the 1884-85 Magazine of Art. Click on image to enlarge it.

Commentary from the 1884-85 Magazine of Art

On the Chiswick bank, is Strand-on-the-Green, the oddest surely of the far western malls. Here there are the same alternations of substantial old houses and humble cottages as on the Hammersmith malls; but they have nothing else in common. Decay has lightly touched the quaint, forgotten old strand. The large houses are gay with flowers and creepers and brilliantly-striped sun-blinds; the cottages are gaudily painted and ambitiously named. They also have floral attractions: marigolds, virginia-stock, and a rose or two. Everything here is wondrrously clean and bright, and squalor finds no place. The strand is really a miniature dock, and is indeed a port in a small way. Most of the barges which lie hauled up here on a Sunday are the property of amphibious Chiswickians in blue jerseys and sou'-westers, who drink beer brewed in the parish out of shining pewter pots, in river-side hostelries with aquatic names — the "Ship," the "Steam Packet," and the "City Barge," not to mention the poetically named "Indian Queen." The "City Barge" was so named, I think, in honour of the state barge of the London Corporation, which is brought up to Strand-on-the-Green early every summer to be overhauled. These bargemen affect the airs of those who go down to the sea in ships; some even wear rings in their ears. But most of them are natives and land-lubbers. The strand indeed makes a brave effort to look nautical. There is a litter of cables and ropes, and more mysterious seafaring gear of which the uninitiated cannot safely discourse. During the spring tides the residents along the strand have a damp time. A tide a very few inches higher than usual floods the forecourts of the houses, and stilts and pattens become prime domestic necessities. Zoffany, the painter, had a great affection for the straggling strand. [458-59]

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Penderell-Brodhurst, J. “Strand and Mall.” Magazine of Art. 7 (1883-84): 392-459. Internet Archive version of a copy in the University of Toronto Library. Web. 2 January 2015.

Created 2 January 2015