Numbers 23-24 Leinster Gardens in London are fake – they’re just a front facade with no house behind them. So why?

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Half-Asleep Chris
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this is Leinster Gardens an upmarket residential road near Hyde Park in central London but though it may seem like an ordinary London Street it's hiding a rather unusual secret these new houses buy me numbers 23 and 24 they're fake they're not real buildings they're just a facade but with no actual house behind them but someone's gone to extraordinary lengths to make them look real they perfectly match their neighbours to the extent that you most likely wouldn't even notice if you were to walk past the only telltale signs are the lack of door handles or litter boxes it's not ordered that's what's on and the 18 windows are all simply painted on without any glass so why exactly are there apparent fake houses right in the middle of this seemingly normal London Road it's a story that begins over 150 years ago in 1863 when the world's first underground line opened the Metropolitan Railway its tunnels were built using a method known as cutting cover where rather than pouring a tunnel through the ground instead a massive trench is dug the railway built and then the trench roofed over again and as can only be expected when taking an enormous Lee long trench right through the middle of central London some buildings needed to be demolished and five years later when the line was extended to include a section between Paddington and Bayswater Leinster Gardens family self directly in the path of destruction numbers 23 in 24 were torn to the ground and the earth beneath them excavated to make way for the quickly growing london underground and if you gone to the street behind you can see the trench where the houses used to be so why the fake fronts while this particular stretch wouldn't be recovered back then they didn't use the modern tubes we use today but steam trains pulling wooden carriages and as you can imagine all that steam had to go somewhere the trains were fitted with a device called a condenser which essentially held onto that steam when the train was traveling through a tunnel and then released it once outside it was therefore necessary to have sections of the line that wanting closed out in the open air to allow for proper ventilation but Leinster Gardens was a very affluent and prestigious London Road and now there was this very unsightly style right down the middle of it the perfect terrace of elegant Victorian houses had been starkly broken and the posh residents weren't happy about it and so a rather unique agreement was made the railway company would rebuild just two fronts of the two houses they demolished it was win-win the Metropolitan Railway got what it wanted an open-air section for their trains to let off steam and the residents no longer had to look at it and had their pristine and uninterrupted row of ornate houses restored to its original glory and today these fronts remain in place one of the lesser-known oddities of London's weird and wonderful history

20 thoughts on “London's Fake Houses

  1. In Melbourne we are building the underground metro system, instead using concrete they just covered the damaged building with cardboard painted like a building, it should be on eastern flinders street if anyone wish to check it out

  2. Interesting video! Before viewing it I thought perhaps those two homes were destroyed during WWII bombing and due to the high cost of replacing the complete homes exactly as first built only the facades were rebuilt to keep the row of homes looking unscathed.

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