A Cultural Walk along Ealing Broadway

Ealing Broadway Station is on the Central and District tube lines, and is thus easily accessible from Marble Arch/Oxford Street and South Kensington respectively. 10 minutes walk away is Ealing Common Station, which gives access to the Piccadilly line.

Ealing Broadway gives some typical examples of Victorian and later architecture - nothing spectacular, but all within a very small area. As well there are a couple of noteworthy modern statues.

Turning left out of the station leads to the Broadway, and we describe the buildings going right from here, to the centre and ending at Pitshanger Manor. (If coming from Ealing Common Station, you come along Uxbridge Road to the same starting point.)

Just on the left entering on to the Broadway is the former Town Hall (now Nat West Bank), modestly Gothic, with a stubby tower, built 1874 by Charles Jones. The nice pale stone is Kentish Ragstone. Almost opposite, Windsor Road has a pointy church, also by Charles Jones (and John Tarring), dated 1867. Typical rows of three-storey-plus-basement late Victorian semis (about 1870s), now flats, but still nicely stucco for the most part, repetitive but appealing.

Returning to the Mall and proceeding towards the centre, almost immediately on the left a pedestrianised alley (Oak Road), with a good modern bronze horse, called Small Workhorse. Naturalistic and primitive-looking, it dates from 1985 and is by Judith Bluck. Further, on the same side, is a modern shopping mall, Town Square and the Ealing Broadway Centre. The whole development went up 1989-85 and is considered one of the more sensitive of the period. Another good sculptural work is in the centre of the square - a bronze family on a bench, lively and spirited, with unfortunately no indication of the artist.

Back in the Broadway, slightly further is a big Gothic church - the main church of Ealing. It is by G. G. Scott and dates from 1852. Now Broadway becomes New Broadway. Opposite the church, one Victorian building remains above two Building Society offices - brick and stone, with two portrait heads and grotesque decoration in the centre. Most of the rest of the block is a terrace of 1905, followed by a block which is one large range of the late 1920s/30s, and then the big format cinema, classically 1930s, with large black pillars. The chronology continues with a further 1930s block, and then 1960s and later. Opposite this is the large Town Hall of 1887 by Charles Jones, built rather soon after his first one. A good Gothic building, with studied irregular skyline profile, with spire, small turrets, little cupolas etc. First floor windows with some decor, e.g. west end tower with two carved beasts. Various other decorations are there on close inspection, including rather ornate terracotta leaf and flower panels on the rear. Returning towards the church, take Bond Street to the right (opposite side to Town Hall etc), which is a complete range of red and white late Victorian terraces, two levels above shops with dormers, and spiked domes on pillars at each end. This leads one out onto Ealing Green, where to the left is a beamed range of shop terraces dating from 1902, and to the right is Pitshanger Manor.

Further exploration down Ealing Green past the Ealing Studios (1931) leads to St Mary's Road, with variously sized Georgian houses, and Victorian additions there and in the side roads. The Park, a road leading off St Mary's Road, was laid out by Sidney Smirke, and contains big posh Italianate houses from the late 1840s.

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