Clarence Crescent was built in 1829 by James Bedborough and named after the Duke of Clarence (later William IV). It has its own communal garden, and there remains a crater (now grassed over), caused by a bomb that dropped there on 24 October 1940 at 5.30am, but causing only slight damage. From 1865 until 1896, the novelist, Margaret Oliphant (1928-1897), author of some 120 works, lived in Clarence Crescent, first at number 6, and then at number 9 (Oliphant House). She was one of Queen Victoria’s favourite authors, but is out of fashion today.Nearby in Clarence Road, the Clarence Villas properties were bought by Princess Christian and she built the Princess Christian Nursing Home there (now 12 Clarence Road) in memory of her son, Prince Christian Victor, who died in Pertoria in 1900. The nursing home, opened in 1904, survived for 100 years, before being closed. After a somewhat checkered phase, it has now been converted into luxury flats and is called The Residence. Princess Christian’s cypher can still be seen above the main door.
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