Pimlico Wasn’t Built in a Day: Thomas Cubitt and the history of Pimlico.
Pimlico hasn’t always been the elegant neighbourhood it is today. In fact in the early 19th century, Village Living SW1 would have looked very different indeed, with little more than marshland, a steel works, a distillery and a white lead works to entertain the residents.
Gradually, throughout the mid 1800s, the area which was to become home to Dolphin Square, was transformed under the watch of Thomas Cubitt – widely renowned to have done ‘more to change the face of London than any other man’.
Cubitt’s legacy is the infrastructure of a meticulously planned residential community that continues to provide a backdrop to the lives of thousands of Londoners and visitors.
At the heart of Cubitt’s vision of the neighbourhood was the humble public house, which in Victorian times, was so much more than a place of entertainment. Often the pub itself was built first so the workers would have a ‘base camp’, and a place to cook their meals, while building the rest of the street or square.
While many of these establishments are still serving customers to this day – although thankfully you no longer have to bring your own dinner.
Thomas Cubitt’s contribution to our neighbourhood is widely celebrated from blue plaques and statues to a place in the history book and, perhaps most fittingly, in his very own public house.