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Spotlight on West London

Ealing Common

Ealing Common preserves a large area of open space with fine avenues of horse chestnut trees, most of which were planted in the late Victorian period, following the purchase of the common land by the Ealing Local Board. The northern part of the common has a large English oak tree at its centre, and London plane trees are also found with the horse chestnuts around the perimeter of the common. Charles Jones was the borough surveyor responsible for the layout.  In the south-west corner of Ealing Common there is a small enclosed park, called Warwick Dene, with rose beds at its centre.  There is a local Conservation Area which includes streets around the common.  Ealing Common is also the name of the area in the London Borough of Ealing surrounding Ealing Common station, which is named after the common; however, it is officially part of the Ealing district.

Ealing Studios

Ealing Studios is the oldest continuously working studio facility for film and television production in the world, opening in 1902, with the current stages opened for the use of sound in 1931. It is best known for a series of classic films produced in the post-WWII years, including Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), Passport to Pimlico (1949), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), and The Ladykillers (1955).  The BBC owned and filmed at the Studios for forty years from 1955 until 1995. Since 2000, Ealing Studios has resumed releasing films under its own name, including the revived St Trinian’s franchise. In more recent times, films shot here include The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) and Shaun of the Dead (2004). The Met Film School London operates on the site.

Shepherd's Bush

Shepherd’s Bush is an area of west London in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Although it is primarily residential in character, its focus is the shopping area of Shepherd’s Bush Green, with the Westfield shopping centre lying a short distance to the north. The main thoroughfares are Uxbridge Road, Goldhawk Road and Askew Road, all containing a large number of small and mostly independent shops, pubs and restaurants. The Loftus Road football stadium in Shepherd’s Bush is home to Queens Park Rangers F.C.  The district is bounded by Hammersmith to the south, Holland Park and Notting Hill to the east, Harlesden to the north and by Acton and Chiswick to the west. Check out our Spotlight Tour of Shepherd’s Bush here.

Pitzhanger Manor

Pitzhanger Manor House, in Ealing (west London), was owned from 1800 to 1810 by the architect John Soane, who radically rebuilt it. Soane intended it as a country villa for entertaining and eventually for passing to his elder son. He demolished most of the existing building except the two-storey south wing built in 1768 by George Dance, who had been his first employer. In the late twentieth century, an extensive restoration returned much of the building back to Soane’s design. It is now a showcase of Soane’s design and also hosts exhibitions and events for visitors.The building is in Walpole Park, Mattock Lane, Ealing, London W5 5EQ. A large house has stood on the site at least since the late seventeenth century, at which time the smaller Pitzhanger Manor stood a mile or so to its north.