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The lavish chancel decoration of St Mary’s Church, Balham High Road, includes a series of large Powell’s opus sectile panels added during 1897-8.
The name of the Old Imperial Laundry, a late Victorian building now functioning as offices and galleries at 71-3 Warriner Gardens, is shown on its exterior in terracotta lettering. There is much terracotta ornament straight from the manufacturer’s catalogue as well as a series of small panels showing a washerwoman.
The mostly red brick Church of St Andrew (1889-90, architect E. W. Mountford), on Garratt Lane at Waynflete Street, originally had a Minton tile pavement. Its Doulton terracotta font includes several reliefs modelled by George Tinworth and depicting biblical scenes relating to children.
The Elliott School (1955-6), Pullman Gardens, a comprehensive school designed by London County Council’s in-house architects, has much decorative detailing including a large external tile mural beside an entrance. The design shows stylised sunflowers and birds on a pale ground.
Holy Trinity Church, Ponsonby Road, near the south end of Roehampton Lane in the old village of Roehampton, was designed by the architect George Fellowes Prynne (1853-1927) and built in 1896-8. Inside is polychrome brickwork and an unusual encaustic tile pavement with nine-tile groups depicting symbols of the Passion Cycle. The opus sectile Stations of the Cross are by the architect’s brother, the artist Edward Fellowes Prynne (1854-1921), who also painted three panels in the oak altar.
The jolly facade of the former Frame Food confectionery works (1903-4, architects C. E. Dawson & W. T. Walker, now flats), 59 Standen Road, includes blue, green and white glazed bricks and a Doulton faience frieze. The architectural style of the factory has been described as arts and crafts, art nouveau and art deco.
Jubilee Villa (1887), 156 Longley Road, is something of a showpiece for Maw & Co’s products with seven tile panels on its facade including transfer-printed pictorial tiles by Owen Gibbons, who had worked on the decoration of the South Kensington Museum during the 1870s and produced many designs for Maw’s during the 1880s.2
About a quarter mile north of Longley Road is Mitcham Road and Tooting Library (1902, William Hunt), with its elaborate Doulton terracotta porch. Also on Mitcham Road is the overbearing Shaws of Darwen faience facade of the Granada Cinema (now Gala Bingo), built in 1930-1 with an outer shell designed by the architect Cecil Masey and a spectacular interior by Theodore Komisarjevsky.
There is extensive wall tiling, although no pictorial panels, inside the King’s Head (1896), 84 Upper Tooting Road, which was designed by the specialist pub architect W. M. Brutton. He was also responsible for the St James’s Tavern (1896), Shaftesbury Avenue, Westminster, with its Doulton picture panels.
The polychrome terracotta relief of the River God (1988) at Elm Quay Court, off Nine Elms Lane, is by the sculptor and poet Stephen Duncan.
A Doulton buff terracotta panel of the Last Supper, modelled by John Broad and shown at the Royal Academy in 1896, was soon afterwards built into the newly constructed apsidal east end of St Anne’s Church, St Ann’s Hill. The panel is a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper fresco.
To the east on Trinity Road, Wandsworth Common, is the Church of St Mary Magdalene (1887-8), where a Tinworth-designed Doulton terracotta relief of the Ascension formed part of the original aisle decoration; it was intended to be the first of a series.
1.^ Dennis W. Hadley, James Powell & Sons: A listing of opus sectile, 1847-1973, (2001).
2.^ Kathryn Huggins, 'Owen Gibbons - London to Ironbridge', Glazed Expressions, (1985) 9, pp1-2.
3.^ Paul Atterbury and Louise Irvine, The Doulton Story (Royal Doulton Tableware, Stoke on Trent, 1979).
4.^ The Builder, vol 55, 15th December 1888, p441.
The Tile Gazetteer is Copyright © 2005 Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society and Lynn Pearson, Richard Dennis.