“*The Way Through the Woods” (1910), by Rudyard Kipling

Image: at ninety degrees to the left of this street sign, viewed from Brooke Street, is a vehicle entrance to the infilling new building of Holborn Bars. If you cross the back of the site via Beauchamp Street, then turn right, along the Leather Lane frontage, you come to the junction with Greville Street. The Argyle pub, on the corner, is now No.1 Greville Street.


*Closing stanza:

“…Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate,
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few.)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods…
But there is no road through the woods.”

From the website of The Skyscraper News:

“Holborn Bars was renovated again, this time in 1993 by EPR Architects whose overhaul of the building led to an increase of internal space from 34,931 square metres to 39,948 square metres. Although not occupied by the Prudential today (they left in 1999), they retain ownership of it over one hundred years on.”

From the website of EPR (Elsom Pack & Roberts) Architects:

“The brief was to refurbish the existing building to provide approximately 170,000 square feet of high quality speculative office accommodation and achieve a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating. … the refurbished entrance hall provides a transitional reception room between the historical square and the modern spaces, ideal for informal meetings. The specialist lighting scheme aides to draw the visitor through the entrance hall with its unique original faience columns, to the main atrium and reception desk at its base.”

From: Old and New London: Volume 2. Originally published by Cassell, Petter & Galpin, London (1878):

“…Greville Street, running off Brooke Street, as well as Brooke Street itself, derives its name from Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke, “servant to Queen Elizabeth, counsellor to King James, and friend to Sir Philip Sidney.” Brooke House was subsequently known as Warwick House, and stood, according to Mr. Cunningham, where Greville Street now stands.

It was in Brooke House that, on the 1st of September, 1628, Lord Brooke met with his tragical fate. He had been attended for many years by one Ralph Haywood, a gentleman by birth, who thought that the least his master could do for him would be to reward his long services by bequeathing him a handsome legacy. It fell out, however, that Lord Brooke not only omitted Haywood’s name from his will, but unfortunately allowed him to become cognisant of the fact. Irritated at this, and, besides, at having been sharply reprimanded for some real or imaginary offence, Haywood determined to have his revenge. He entered Lord Brooke’s chamber, had a violent dispute with him, and ended by stabbing him in the back. The assassin then retreated to his own apartment, locked himself in, and committed suicide, killing himself by the same weapon with which he had stabbed his master. Lord Brooke survived only a few days…”

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