Fake Houses on Leinster Gardens


When you first walk down this street, near Hyde Park, you might wonder what all the fuss is about but look more closely at numbers 23 and 24 as they are not what they seem.

These two houses were demolished in the early 1860s when The Metropolitan Railway – the world’s first underground railway – was being constructed. This street is on the route between Paddington and Bayswater and the line now has the Circle Line, Hammersmith & City Line, and the Metropolitan Line London Underground trains pass by.

But why can’t you see the train line? This is because these fake facades were built so this nice neighborhood still has its rows of Regency terraced houses. These facades are 5 feet thick (1.5m) and the windows and doors are painted concrete.

Walk around the back of the buildings on Porchester Terrace and the fake houses are easy to see. There’s a gap behind for when the old steam trains needed to ‘vent off’. The original locomotives on the line were powered by steam, and although they were fitted with condensers, engines still needed open air stretches of track to disperse the fumes.

In January 2014, the buildings were featured in an episode of BBC TV’s Sherlock Holmes series.

According to the article in http://golondon.about.com

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