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Universal Providers, 86 Golborne Road

A Grade II Listed Building in Golborne, Kensington and Chelsea

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Latitude: 51.5218 / 51°31'18"N

Longitude: -0.209 / 0°12'32"W

OS Eastings: 524356

OS Northings: 181842

OS Grid: TQ243818

Mapcode National: GBR C7.S07

Mapcode Global: VHGQY.B0DP

Plus Code: 9C3XGQCR+PC

Entry Name: Universal Providers, 86 Golborne Road

Listing Date: 18 April 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1439349

Location: Golborne, Kensington and Chelsea, London, W10

County: Kensington and Chelsea

Electoral Ward/Division: Golborne

Built-Up Area: Kensington and Chelsea

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Michaell and All Angels Ladbroke Grove

Church of England Diocese: London

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A late-C19 shop front and ground floor interior, fitted out for the David Greig chain of grocery stores. The upper floors were not inspected (2016).


A late-C19 shop front and ground floor interior, fitted out for the David Greig chain of grocery stores.

MATERIALS: tiled front with mahogany frame, plate glass, and iron fittings. Decorative tiled interior with marble work-tops.

PLAN: the shop front faces S on to Golborne Road, and forms the ground floor of a three-storey property. It has a long serving-counter to the E side, and at the rear there is a payment booth, with the remains of a former cold-store behind.

EXTERIOR: the symmetrical shop is double-fronted, with a recessed entrance to the centre. The stall-risers and supporting sections of the front elevation are finished in deep-brown gloss ceramic tiles. The stall-risers are surmounted by pink granite coping. To the right of the entrance there is a large one-over-one pane sash window, and to the left the window is fixed and of a single pane. Above the fenestration a fascia displays the words 'Universal Providers' and the street number '86', in gold leaf lettering behind brown painted glass. An iron canopy frame and security shutter are inset to the soffit of the fascia and there are also horizontal iron display rods. The entrance has a tiled mosaic floor with a large central thistle motif. The mosaic has been repaired in places using brightly coloured filler. The entrance to the shop front has mahogany pilasters framing the plate-glass side-windows. The hardwood front door has two solid panels below, with plate glass above either side of a horizontal transom. The external door handles and letter-box are reclaimed replacements, but the internal bell is original to the shop

INTERIOR: there are display areas at the base of each front window, which are delineated by light-grey marble slabs. The main shop has a tiled counter with a light-grey marbled work-top, which runs the length of the store from front to back on the E side. The walls throughout are covered in cream gloss ceramic tiles, interspersed with thistle detailing, and a deep frieze of green thistle motifs running around the top. The W wall has some damaged tiles where a shelf has been removed. At the rear of the shop the wall is again panelled in ceramic tiles, but here they are the same deep-brown of the exterior. Inset into this wall there is a central payment booth which is surmounted by a tiled round arch with projecting keystone, and counter section below. The booth has some C19 timber fittings. To the W side of the booth there is a vestibule with C20 fittings. To the E there is open access past the booth entrance to a back office area which retains a cold-store door. The floor of the main shop area is made up of mosaic tiles, with Greek key detailing. The ceiling is plain, and fitted with C20 recessed lighting.


The shop is situated on the ground floor of a building which dates from the late C19. Prior to construction, this area of London was part of the Porto Bello House estate which is shown on the Ordnance Survey (OS) 1-inch map of 1805-22. The first larger scale OS map of 1867, shows the run of shops along Golborne Street, including number 86. The shop is fitted out for the David Greig brand of grocery shops, and the fascia sign carries the advertisement 'Universal Providers'. Some fittings have been removed from the western internal wall, and in the late C20 the upper floors were converted to residential use. The upper floors were not inspected and do not form part of the listing.

The Greig brand was founded by the Greig family of Hornsey, London, and the first shop was opened at 54-58 Atlantic Road, Brixton in 1870. It was a rival to the Sainsbury's family chain, who opened their first grocery shop in Holborn one year earlier. Although initially friends, rivalry developed between the two families, because of disagreements over the selection of sites for the respective brands.

The format of the store was designed to bring together the majority of staple requirements into one single place, therefore saving time for customers in the burgeoning metropolis. The stores were finished in gloss ceramic tiles featuring thistle motifs, which were made by H&R Johnson of Stoke-on-Trent. By the late 1960s there were more than 220 Greig shops across the south of the country, all trading under the David Greig brand. However, the company was sold in 1972 after crippling death duties were incurred when several of the men in the family died in quick succession. David Greig was a notable philanthropist, leaving trusts for the benefit of Hornsey and the community, including the Greig City Academy school.

Reasons for Listing

86 Golborne Road, a former shop front and ground floor interior fitted out for the David Greig chain in the late C19, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

* Rarity: once a common high-street shop, examples of late-C19 food chain-stores are becoming increasingly rare survivals;
* Architectural interest: a good-quality shop front and interior typical of the building type, and which retains the principal characteristic features of the type;
* Decorative scheme: the rich gloss tiling to the interior of the shop displays the branded decorative tiles of the David Greig brand of chain-stores;

* Degree of survival: a shop dating from the late C19 that retains an original frontage and much of its decorative scheme is an unusual survival, and despite some change to the interior the plan-form of the former food business remains clearly legible.

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