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GES018 - French Embassy, Knightsbridge

I had originally intended to check out another target, which during the day i'd found a suitable access point for. However as I turned up at night, it was a different scenario. Endless delivery vans pulled up, and the access point turned into piccadilly circus. So I looked at another target not too far away. I thought originally it was the South Korean Embassy, not sure why. It wasn't until I got home that I realised it wasn't.

Built by Thomas Cubitt in 1845 on the site of the Cannon Brewery for George Hudson MP the 'Railway King', in the Italianate style with fully stuccoed façades. A stone bridge was removed that crossed the River Westbourne out front, and the river covered over. In 1853 Hudson (facing fraud claims) sub-let to the French Embassador, wherein it became the F Embassy.

Wrapped (French) and unwrapped (Kuwaiti) Cubitt mansions. The River Westbourne flows below the ground from Hyde Park between the mansions and under where i'm stood taking the photo.

I set about finding a way up, and looking for things that might impede my progress. I thought I had it cracked, but nope, this was a different kettle of fish. This was probably the hardest scaff climb i've ever done. Every layer had things I didn't want to disturb. Getting halfway up, I thought about calling it quits, as it didn't seem worth the effort. Then I figured sod it, I now wanted to conquer this beast.I continued up and finally reached the top, only to find things weren't so easy there either. I managed to get onto a ledge that went around the windows into the attic offices. When spotting a french newspaper through a window on someone's desk, I thought the wiley Koreans were keeping tabs on the French. D'oh!

I set about capturing some shots. I had originally wanted some views of Hyde Park, but the trees rose so high, there was no real view at all. I managed to get some nice light trails down Knightsbridge to the West.

Looking South across Belgravia to Battersea

Hyde Park Hilton, Hyde Park (covered in tall trees, grrr!) and London Eye looking East.

Sheraton Park Tower and Harvey Nichols.

After carefully circling the building, I dropped down to the lower roof of the 1898 extension. I was rather taken by the fire escape and red brick of the building next along Knightsbridge from the embassy.

A final look over Knightsbridge, and it was time to descend. Which with my new found knowledge, a bit easier than the ascent.

As I walked away, I was rather amazed not to be greeted with screeching Police cars, but then I always try to take care not to bring about such situations. It's a waste of everyone's time.


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