Ladymere House, Kensington, London

Sir Reginald Blomfield
Date Built
24 - 40 Kensington High Street
The history of this building on the north side of Kensington High Street is revealed by its proximity to the prominent art deco building not far away on the opposite side of the road.  That building displays the name Barkers prominently on its stair-tower and for a period of time this building at 24-40 Kensington High Street was home to Barker's furniture department.  John Barker & Co Limited was something of a retail giant.  It was incorporated in 1894 and in the early years of the 20th century it owned thirty-three shops, including sixteen fronting Kensington High Street.  The store itself comprised sixty-four departments, selling goods of all kinds including clothes, books, stationery, fancy goods, furniture, carpets, china and glass, groceries, wine and spirits and cigars. The store also had departments for drug-dispensing, building, plumbing and refreshment catering. The business suffered damaging fires on more than one occasion and after one of the sought temporary premises on the north side of the street.  In 1924 work started on this building. know as the Ladymere Store, to accommodate their furniture department.

The north side of Kensington High Street at this point is Crown land with Kensington Palace nearby.  It is suggested that it may have been Royal influence that led to the appointment of Sir Reginald Blomfield as the architect to dress up the original design and envelope it in the "solemnity of Portland Stone."