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22 July 2014

The Tottenham Court Road emporiums

More proof that you should be looking rather than just bowling along when you pop out for that sandwich at lunchtime.
These pics are from a short middle section of TCR near Goodge Street Station. I have yet to find out the original purposes of the buildings in this top collection of pics. All help welcome.

Top row: The large green dome on the top of the building on the south corner of Chenies Street is topped with a fabulous gold weather vane featuring a lion. Art Deco Glenn House opposite Goodge Street Station is solidly built and features a a ornate clock.
Middle row: First two pics above the Scientologists shop (shop? what is it? a lure? a trap?) – Goddards sign and an ornate frieze. The building that now houses Paperchase sports some colourful gold and blue faux capitals. 
Bottom row: The first image shows the corner of Goodge Street in 2008. The corner building has recently been demolished, as shown in the second pic. Pics 3 and 4 show some of the details on the gothic building which at the time of writing houses EAT sandwich shop.

On the northern corner of Goodge Street, sits a building that is absolutely festooned with ornamentation – friezes of fruit, birds, mythological beasts, windows in all shapes and sizes, and two green conical spires both topped with identical golden spheres and weathervanes of what look like mer-boys. 
Only the a large letter 'C' on the bowled corner window hints at the original owner although this seems a bit of a contradiction seeing how much of a show-off he seems to be in other respects. The 'C' stands for Catesby's Furniture Store and was 'the home of cork lino'. Edward Catesby looks to have been doing rather well for himself. I am told he was a descendant of the gunpowder plotters who tried to blow up James I's parliament.
The architects' initials HAW (Henry A. Whitburn) and the date (1904) can be made out either side of the dragon at the very top. 

Look up, see more!


  1. I worked in this area for years and didn't ever spot all of those embellishments! You have a great eye for these details. I love the facade of Heals, just a bit further towards Warren Street - it's covered in similar details echoing the shop's early departments.

  2. Yes, thanks. The Heals and Habitat buildings have some lovely things on them, but I figured people had already noticed those, being as they are still stores today.

  3. It's good advice to look around and particularly up during your travels but it is also good to look back, both physically and metaphorically. A lot of beautiful buildings have been lost in Tottenham Court Rd. The sad thing is that nothing in this photograph still exists,

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  5. Thanks for the fab Catesby family history Sharon. I so love it when people chip in with personal stories like this.
    I googled images for Anstice New Zealand but can't find anything. What cities are the Sophias buildings in?

    1. S Anstice and Sons, Nelson, New Zealand, here is a short biography for her. Her building is now protected by the Historic Society in Nelson which still stands

    2. Sorry for such a late reply .. please look under Nelson, noteable women of Nelson, Sophia Catesby Anstice, the building is called the Anstice Building. If you search the

  6. What was the statue outside the building and is there a picture of it. Apparently if you were particularly smart you would be asked" do you think you are the man from Catesby's" referring to this statue.

    1. ooh, intriguing... I am not aware of that. if I find reference I will post it here


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Thanks, Jane