Memorial to Jonathan Carr
On the exterior of St Michael and All Angels, Turnham Green, London W4
Jonathan Carr was the speculator who developed the country's first garden suburb, Bedford Park. He noted the potential of the land around his father-in-law's home, Bedford House, which was close to the recently opened Turnham Green Station, and bought more land from two neighbouring houses. He then adopted a layout which preserved the fine old trees growing in their grounds, and engaged top architects to provide the house designs. The general character of the development was established by his second estate architect, Richard Norman Shaw, who also built St Michael and All Angels itself. In 1881, Carr formed the Bedford Park Company, probably to raise money for new speculative ventures, but in 1886 the company collapsed and the remainder of the Bedford Park land was sold off to other developers. In the end, for Carr as for so many others, property speculation proved a risky business.
Photograph and text by Jacqueline Banerjee
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