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E M Lander's Stonemasons Showroom

A Grade II Listed Building in Dalgarno, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5279 / 51°31'40"N

Longitude: -0.2164 / 0°12'58"W

OS Eastings: 523825

OS Northings: 182507

OS Grid: TQ238825

Mapcode National: GBR BD.J3K

Mapcode Global: VHGQR.6VGL

Entry Name: E M Lander's Stonemasons Showroom

Listing Date: 18 February 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1423418

Location: Kensington and Chelsea, London, W10

County: London

District: Kensington and Chelsea

Electoral Ward/Division: Dalgarno

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Kensington and Chelsea

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St John Kensal Green

Church of England Diocese: London

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Summary

Monumental mason's showroom. Designed in 1927 by John Farrar & Sons for E M Lander Ltd. As indicated on the List entry map, associated structures around the building, such as the metal entrance gates, timber boundary fencing, yard crane and all outbuildings, do not form part of this listed building.

Description

Monumental mason's showroom. 1927, by John Farrer and Sons for E M Lander Ltd.

MATERIALS: yellow stock brick laid in Flemish bond, with a hipped clay-tile roof. The shop front is clad in cream-coloured faience.

PLAN: located on the south side of Harrow Road, just to the east of the main entrance to Kensal Green Cemetery, the showroom is single-storey and rectangular in plan.

EXTERIOR: the shop front has a central entrance set back in a broad splayed lobby. The lobby floor is of grey terrazzo with a cream border and lettering bearing the company name E M LANDER Ltd and the number of the building. The entrance is flanked by engaged Doric columns with grey polished granite bases and capitals and brown marble shafts, supporting a timber entablature. The glazed timber door has a pilastered surround. The shop front consists of large panes with timber mullions and transoms set in a staggered pattern; faience stallrisers to the lobby and grey granite stallrisers to the front, framed by pilasters with granite bases. The faience fascia has raised bronze lettering bearing the name of the company flanked by ‘MONUMENTAL’ and ‘SCULPTORS’ in Gothic script and the number of the building; above is a deep moulded cornice. The hanging sign is modern and not of special interest. The side elevations have similar glazing, each with an entrance and a fascia bearing the company name.

The plain brick (largely white painted) rear elevations have timber windows with concrete sills and lintels. The rear (south) elevation has a later outshut with a flat concrete roof at the western end and one window has been blocked with concrete blocks. Rainwater goods are cast-iron.

INTERIOR: the building is divided into a front showroom with an office, consultation room and storeroom (shown as a private office on the original plans) at the rear. The showroom is divided from the office and waiting room by a glazed timber screen with panelling, a cornice, and pilasters dividing the window and door openings. The windows have margin glazing and opaque glass and the three doorways have transoms. The main entrance to the showroom mirrors its external appearance with the classical timber surround flanked by the internal face of the Doric columns. The waiting room has a moulded cornice and full-height panelling. The doors to the waiting room and storeroom from the office have leaded glazing. The office has fitted cupboards below the external window. There are modern suspended ceilings throughout.

ANCILLARY BUILDINGS: the yard surrounding the showroom has single-storey storage sheds on the east and south sides. The original blocks on the east side, contemporary with the showroom, are of brick with the northern block having a shed roof and the larger southern block a pitched roof, both with corrugated metal covering. The blocks along the southern boundary, adjoining the Grade II listed cemetery wall, are later additions of concrete block-work with flat felted roofs. There is a simple steel crane for lifting stone at the rear of the yard. None of the above ancillary structures are of special interest and they are not included in the listing.

History

The Lander family, originally from Dorset, were amongst a number of monumental masons who set up businesses in London in the mid-C19 to take advantage of the increased demand for funerary monuments in the metropolis. The Landers were closely associated with Kensal Green Cemetery, opened in 1834, the earliest of the large privately run cemeteries established on the fringes of London to relieve pressure on overcrowded urban churchyards. George Lander (1797-1861) worked on the Anglican Chapel at Kensal Green. His brother, Manuel Lander (1814-1885), who probably later added the name Edward was also a mason. The family tradition was continued by George Lander's grandson, also called Edward Manuel Lander (1836-1910). London Post Office directories show a number of businesses and properties around Kensal Green connected to the family. E M Lander (junior) was succeeded by his son, Rowland Stanley Lander and E M Lander Ltd was incorporated in 1916, eventually becoming the sole appointed mason to the Kensal Green Cemetery Company. The business still (January 2015) trades as E M Lander Ltd but ceased to have a connection to the family around the time of the Second World War.

The various members of the Lander family are responsible for a large number of monuments within Kensal Green Cemetery. These include the Grade II listed memorials to Baron John Frederick Andrew Huth (1841), Major General Sir William Casement (1844), and Charles Babbage, the mathematician (1871).

The showroom at 605-609 Harrow Road was built to designs dated May 1927 by John Farrer and Sons of Coleman Street, London EC2. An earlier proposed design, dated May 1926, shows a twin-gabled frontage. The site had been occupied by a row of three houses, set back from Harrow Road and shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1870. An undated drainage plan, ascribed to 1879, shows a showroom with canted corners added to the west side of the houses. This is shown on the 1895 OS map while another drainage plan of 1908 marks the showroom as a monumental mason's. According to the 1901 edition of the London Post Office Directory, this original showroom was occupied by Lander & Co, but the property may have been associated with the family, who appear to have had various businesses in the area, since the 1870s.

John Farrer (1843-1930) was a prolific local architect. A self-made man from humble origins, Farrer set up his practice in 1877 and over the course of his long career designed numerous buildings, mainly in North London, in the popular styles of the day. As well as many commercial buildings, he was responsible for a number of substantial housing developments in Hornsey, Muswell Hill and Fortis Green including Weston and Cecile Parks built in the late 1880s and early 1890s.

Reasons for Listing

E M Lander Ltd’s showroom, 605-609 Harrow Road, Kensal Green, London, a purpose-built monumental mason’s showroom in a revivalist style, built in 1927 to the designs of John Farrer and Sons, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: for its deliberately eclectic revivalist style, designed by a prominent local architect, providing a suitably dignified and reassuring business setting;
* Historic interest: for its association with the Lander family of monumental masons who had close links to Kensal Green Cemetery, London’s earliest private cemetery:
* Survival: for the largely unaltered shop front and interior;
* Rarity: as a rare survival of an inter-war, purpose-built, monumental masons showroom with its original external signage;
* Group value: for its contribution to the setting of the Grade I registered Kensal Green Cemetery.

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