Saturday, October 31, 2009

London mews

"Mews" is chiefly an English term describing a row of stables, usually with carriage houses below and living quarters above, built around a paved yard or court, or along a street, behind large London houses of the 17th and 18th centuries. The word may also refer to the lane, alley or back street onto which such stables open. It is sometimes applied to rows or groups of garages or, more broadly, to a narrow passage or a confined place. Today most mews stables have been converted into dwellings, some greatly modernized and considered highly desirable residences.

Mews tend to be located in the very best parts of London because their original purpose was to serve as stabling and staff quarters for the grand town houses. The main concentrations of mews houses are to be found in the areas surrounding Hyde Park, Regents Park and Holland Park but wonderful mews streets are also to be found all over London.

Often tucked away from the urban hustle and bustle, the community spirit in mews streets is unbeatable. The diversity of mews houses never ceases to amaze. Very few mews streets in London are listed so the changes that have been made over the years means that very few are even remotely similar. "Unique" is a word that seems to be used very freely these days, but many of London's mews houses seem to define the word!

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