I came across this City of London website showing old photographs of Garden Lodge exterior and interior in 1978. This was what it looked like before Freddie had lots of changes made.
Heres the link: link
From comparing photos that Mary had in a magazine after Freddies death a lot of work was done to the interior see this website: link
I hope someone finds this of interest.
Interesting. Thanks for that. I wonder if the home has historical significance beyond Freddie's ownership or if they just catalogue any photos made available. The house was architecturally beautiful though I always found Fred's taste very ornate, impeccable as that taste may have been.
This is fantastic! I've always wanted to do more research on Garden Lodge as historic homes as a side interest of mine. Are there any other places with facts such as the year it was built, sq. footage, etc? Thanks for posting this!
Very nice and of great interest!
I remember a few facts about Garden Lodge I read on Selim Rauer's biography of Freddie.
He bought the house in 1979 for the sum of 500 thousand pounds. It was built in the end
of the Victorian period (end of the 19th century) and was originally owned by an aristocratic family
whose mother was a painter and a sculpturist. Her studio in the house turned to be Freddie's master room.
When Freddie bought it (he only saw pictures of the house, he did not visited before buying), the building
was in bad condition. In the previous years it was being splited in various apartments to accomodate different families.
Heres a bit more history about Garden Lodge especially about when it was built...
Garden Lodge, an irregularly shaped neo-Georgian house standing behind a high brick wall to the west of Logan Mews, was built in 1908–9 for the painter Cecil Rea and his wife, the sculptress Constance Halford. It is an imposing building in which a tall pedimented studio wing with a large bay window on the ground floor has been grafted on to a conventional two-storey neo-Georgian house. Among the features of its grounds is an open loggia on the inside of the wall to Logan Place. Rea's architect was the obscure Ernest William Marshall (1868–1937) who designed No. 20 South End, a maternity hospital in Commercial Road and several small houses, chiefly in Surrey. The builders were M. Calnan and Son of Commercial Road. Rea lived at Garden Lodge until his death in 1935, and his widow continued to reside there until 1938. Latterly the house was occupied by Peter Wilson, the Chairman of Sotheby's (He rented it from Tomas Harris)
It has a fascinating history..it appears Tomas Harris owned it until his untimely death in 1964 in a car accident. Tomas Harris was a 2nd World War spy who worked with Garbo..and if you know your history Garbo was an incredibly important spy, especially important on D-Day. (lots of info here: link
In the book A need to know: The Clandestine History of a CIA Family by H.Lloyd Goodall jr he writes that Tomas Harris and his wife Anita were entertaining fellow spies such as Guy Burgess, Kim Philby, Anthony Blunt, Dick Brooman-White, Phillip Knightley...
Maybe others can fill in the gaps as to the ownership after this time..Wow who would have thought it had such a colourful history, Freddie even if by accident picked himself a beauty there...