Park Village, Camden
A delightful pair of Georgian streets on the south-western edge of Camden Town
Park Village was created in the 1820s by John Nash as part of his master plan for Regent’s Park. Park Village West – which survives intact as “a perfect example of rus-in-urbe”† – is a compact crescent located just north of Regent’s Park barracks, off Albany Street. It’s marked with a big pink pin on the map below.
Park Village East extends much farther afield, meandering gently south as an extension of Prince Albert Road.
Nash and his protégé James Pennethorne combined stuccoed villas and terraces of sharply differing proportions and styles, including Gothic, Italianate and Tudor, on either side of an arm of the Regent’s Canal that was later filled in.
Among the early residents was Dr James Johnson, physician to William IV. Johnson lived at 12 Park Village West, possibly the most impressive villa in the whole development.
A few doors away at No.17, Dr EB Pusey founded the Anglican Church’s first sisterhood in 1845, which was soon followed by others in England and North America.
Just a generation after the project’s completion, most of the houses on the east side of Park Village East were torn down to make way for the London and Birmingham railway.
The village was a model for subsequent Victorian estates and has even been identified as the first modern suburb, albeit in miniature – but there are many other contenders for a title that is so hard to define, from Clapham, south London, to Cambridge, Massachusetts.