Credit for the naming of Dolphin Square can be attributed to an uncle of Sir Albert Costain, Director of the company responsible for the construction and early management of Dolphin Square.
A J Costain, headmaster of a school in Colwyn Bay, was staying with the Costains in London when he mentioned that his school magazine was called ‘The Dolphin’. He suggested Dolphin Court, but the layout of the buildings prompted the Costains to settle on Dolphin Square.
Continuing the nautical theme, it was decided that each of the thirteen houses should be named after Admirals and other well-known figures from the United Kingdom’s distinguished maritime history. Some, such as Nelson, Drake and Raleigh, are instantly recognisable, whilst others will be less familiar. Nevertheless, they have all played a significant role in the UK’s proud history of maritime achievement and endeavour.
South - Facing the River Thames
Here is some further information on the historical figures whose names adorn the houses of Dolphin Square.
South - Facing the River Thames
- Sir Richard Grenville (1542-1591)
- Vice Admiral under Lord High Admiral William Howard, and a cousin of both Raleigh and Drake. Though predominantly known as a mariner, he also tried his hand at a military career, fighting the Turks in Hungary.
- Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596)
- Vice Admiral, privateer, navigator, pioneer, raider, politician and civil engineer, Drake was the first captain to circumnavigate the earth (Magellan died on his voyage). He was Second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588.
- Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618)
- Raleigh famously led several expeditions to the New World, establishing settlements on Roanoke Island off the North Carolina coast and although he was, in his time, a famous courtier, poet and writer, he is better known today for introducing tobacco and potatoes to the British Isles.
- Sir John Hawkins (1532-1595)
- A renowned shipbuilder, merchant, navigator, and slave trader, Hawkins was a confidant of Henry VIII and one of the principal sea captains of England. As Rear Admiral he was one of three chief commanders of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada.
- Lord Horatio Nelson (1758-1805)
- The greatest naval hero in the history of the United Kingdom, Admiral Nelson is perhaps best known for his involvement in the Napoleonic Wars and his remarkable victories at the Battle of the Nile and then at the Battle of Trafalgar, during which he lost his life.
- William Howard (1510-1573)
- The Lord High Admiral and 1st Baron Howard of Effingham was particularly close to his King, Henry VIII, and was even honoured with the role of Earl Marshal at the Coronation of Anne Boleyn.
- Adam Duncan, 1st Viscount Duncan of Camperdown (1731-1804)
- Scottish Admiral who, in 1797, famously defeated the Dutch fleet at Camperdown off the coast of Haarlem, a victory that is to this day widely regarded as one of the most significant actions in naval history.
- David Beatty (1871-1936)
- A decorated Admiral of the Royal Navy, Beatty gained recognition in the capture of Sudan (1897-1899) and was second in command to Lord Kitchener during the Khartoum expedition. He received further recognition as a member of the British naval brigade during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900.
- George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney (1718-1792)
- Highly decorated Naval officer who gained recognition while serving in the Mediterranean. As captain of the 60-gun HMS Eagle, he took part in Hawke’s victory over the French at Ushant in 1747.
- Roger John Brownlow Keyes, 1st Baron Keyes (1872-1945)
- Admiral of the Fleet, MP, and a noted British hero, Keyes enjoyed a life of adventure that stretched from 19th-century African anti-slavery patrols, through the Boxer Rebellion and the First World War, to the Allied landings in Leyte in 1945.
- Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood (1724-1816)
- A British Admiral who, as captain of the Vestal in 1759, captured the French 32-gun ship Bellona. That same year he was engaged under Rodney, destroying vessels collected by the French to serve as transports for the proposed invasion of England.
- Cuthbert Collingwood, 1st Baron Collingwood (1750-1810)
- Collingwood was a distinguished Admiral of the Royal Navy, who served alongside Nelson and participated in many key battles during the Napoleonic Wars. He was promoted to the post of Vice Admiral in 1799 and fought at the Battle of Trafalgar where, following the death of Nelson, he became Supreme Commander.
- Sir Martin Frobisher (1535-1594)
- Made three voyages to the New World in order to find the Northwest Passage, a trade route to India and China (then known as Cathay). He was Knighted for his service in repelling the Spanish Armada in 1588.