Yes, this is the Albert Hall - NW5 style.
I went on a Lockdown cycle ride this morning - a jaunt round a corner of Kentish Town which, shamefully, was new to me. This is the area east of Malden Road and south of Queen's Crescent. And wheeling along Bassett Street, I came along this extraordinary building in the middle of a row of three-storey mid-Victorian villas.
This is Kentish Town Evangelical Church, a 'Bible-believing 'congregation according to its website which has been based here for approaching fifty years. The building is of course much older, and with a bit (well, a lot) of help from the Camden History Society's Streets of Gospel Oak and West Kentish Town, I've been able to piece together some of its history.
So, Bassett Street was built in the 1860s and was initially known as Winchester Street. What is now the evangelical church was built by 1865 as a temperance hall, taking the name of the Albert Hall (Albert of course was Queen Victoria's consort and died in Deceber 1861) a few years before that other place with the same name.
Within a few years, the building had become a 'Strict' Baptist church - and it was used by several varieties of Baptist down to 1930. It subsequently became a children's mission.
The moniker of the Albert Hall didn't last for too long - but perhaps it's time for this rather grand title to be resumed!
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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