Ashley Gardens, Block 2
23 Ashley Gardens occupies the south half of the third floor of Block 2, one of the original five mansion blocks in Ashley Gardens. The blocks were built beginning in 1890, to offer large homes on a single level as an attractive alternative to older town houses built on small floorprints stacked in many vertical stories. Additional blocks of Ashley Gardens were later built behind these, in Thirleby Road and Emory Hill Street. Each flat has separate individual connections to the outside for utilities. The balconies of Block 2 look out over Westminster Cathedral and its Piazza from the reception rooms.
Views from all rooms
To the front, windows and baconies from the reception rooms look out to the Byzantine glory of Westminster Cathedral and its Piazza, lighted at night (including the bell tower); to the rear, the bedrooms look out over Ashley Gardens, with tall trees growing up around all the windows, populated by birds (and hawks). Every single room in the flat has large windows providing natural light. Flat extends betwen two streets, not backed up to another building.
Block 2 of Ashley Gardens is in Ambrosden Avenue, across from Westminster Cathedral which was built at the same time. The area had been sold to Cardinal Manning in 1883, part intended for the Cathedral and related institutions, and the remainder used to build Ashley Gardens and the Army & Navy stores. Today Ambrosden Avenue is also the home of the Cardinal Archbishop, at the far end of the street.
The back of Block 2 is visible from Thirleby Road, which runs behind the flat and along the gardens of Ashley Gardens. From this side, several tall trees at the edge of the gardens screen the bedroom windows of No. 23, on the third floor. (The bell tower of Westminster Cathedral is visible over the top of Block 2.)
Entry to Block 2
The entry to Block 2 is the second portico along Ambrosden Avenue. A mosaic floor in the marble entry announces the numbers of the flats (fourteen flats on seven floors).