Carlton Crescent runs in a gentle curve from London Road north west to Bedford Place. It was built piecemeal over the period 1825 to 1842 in a variety of types of buildings, all of which are now Grade II listed. There are a series of attractive large detached three-storey villas, e.g. nos. 5, 6 and 7 (image 4)on the north eastern curve of the street, and some terraces, e.g. nos. 17-22 at the Bedford Place end of the street (image 1). There are also some attractive individual buildings, including Carlton Lodge situated on the south corner with Bedford Place, Avondale House (image 2), situated at the apex of the junction between Carlton Crescent and Carlton Place, and no. 29, sometimes known as Lampugh House, situated on the south west side of the street. The original no. 1 situated on the north corner with London Road is now styled 77 London Road.
In 1961 a three-storey extension to St Anne’s School was built near the junction with Bedford Place. Nos. 11 and 12 Carlton Crescent have been incorporated into the school.
In spite of the variety of types, the consistency of style and materials gives the street an attractively unified appearance. It was described by David Lloyd (Building of England: Hampshire and the I.O.W.) as “the most spectacular piece of Regency development in Southampton”. A number of architects were responsible for the design of the buildings, but only one, Samuel Toomer, can be identified.
The crescent, which established itself as the “genteel upper part of the town”, was developed at the end of the spa period when Southampton was still regarded as a fashionable resort. The houses were planned for gracious 19th century living and were favoured by army and navy officers, professional men and successful businessmen, looking to move up the social order. In the 20th century most of the buildings were converted to office use. The street, however, retains much of its original character. It was designated a conservation area in 1972.
- James Henry Hurdis (number 20, 1852-1857).
Southampton Occasional Notes,, 2nd Series, by ‘Townsman’, p73. (HS/h)
Building of England: Hampshire and the I.O.W., by Nikolaus Pevsner and David Lloyd, p559-60. (H/i)
Southampton’s Historic Buildings, by R. J. Coles, p18-21. (HS/k)
‘Carlton Crescent: Southampton’s most spectacular Regency development’, by A. G. K. Leonard, in Southampton Local History Forum Journal, no17, Autumn 2010, p33-44. (HS/h)
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