Queen’s Head Street, N1

Place Name

A former coaching inn, the Queen’s Head stood at the corner of Queen’s Head Lane until it was pulled down, to the regret of all antiquaries, in 1829. Samuel Lewis, described it as “a strong wood and plaister building of three lofty storeys, projecting over each other in front, and forming bay windows, supported by brackets and carved figures.” He added: “The centre, which projected several feet beyond the other part of the building, and formed a commodious porch, to which there was a descent of several steps, was supported in front by caryatides of carved oak, standing on either side of the entrance, and crowned with Ionic scrolls. The house is said to have been once entered by an ascent of several steps, but, at the time it was pulled down, the floor of its front parlour was four feet below the level of the highway; and this alteration is easily accounted for, when the antiquity of the building, the vast accumulation of matter upon the road, in the course of many centuries, and the fact of an arch having been thrown over the New River, in front of the house, are considered. The interior of the house was constructed in a similar manner to that of most of the old buildings in the parish, having oak-panelled wainscots and stuccoed ceilings. The principal room was the parlour already alluded to, the ceiling of which was ornamented with dolphins, cherubs, acorns, &c., surrounded by a wreathed border of fruit and foliage, and had, near the centre, a medallion, of a character apparently Roman, crowned with bays, and a small shield containing the initials ‘I. M.’ surrounded by cherubim and glory. The chimneypiece was supported by two figures carved in stone, hung with festoons, &c., and the stone slab, immediately over the fireplace, exhibited the stories of Danae and Actæon in relief, with mutilated figures of Venus, Bacchus, and Plenty.”


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