Cecil Sharp House

Cecil Sharp House

Cecil Court House and its massive Hitchins mural.

Location: Regents Park Road, NW1

Description: This is where an age-old tradition is alive and well and living in London!

The 'London Pride Morris Men' are a friendly morris club specialising in the Cotswold traditions, and based in central London. Founded in the 1930s as part of the London Pride Country Dance club, they have been a member club of the Morris Ring since 1937.

Dancing mainly at pubs in London, from April through to September, and practicing in the Winter. London Pride have a wide repertoire of Cotswold traditions: Adderbury, Bampton, Bledington, Bucknell, Fieldtown, Lichfield, Longborough, Sherborne; plus a few odd dances from other traditions.

The Morris is the traditional English ritual dance for men. There are several variants of Morris, each from a different region of England. The dances we perform come mainly from villages in the Cotswolds and surrounding areas.

Cecil Sharp House was built in 1929 and designed by architect Henry Martineau Fletcher officially opening on the 7th June 1930 as the headquarters for the English Folk Dance Society.

It is named after its founder and former Organising Director Cecil Sharp (1859–1924). In 1932 the English Folk Dance Society merged with the Folk Song Society forming The English Folk Dance and Song Society.

In September 1940 it was badly damaged by four bombs, destroying the front entrance, stairwell and a musicians’ gallery in the main hall. The historic collections were safely in storage elsewhere in England. On the 5th June 1951, Cecil Sharp House was reopened (including an extra floor) by the president HRH The Princess Margaret.

The musicians’ gallery features an extraordinary 1954 Ivon Hitchens mural depicting key English folk dances and traditions. Hitchens worked on the mural for three years before it was finally completed in 1954. Measuring 69 by 20 feet, the mural was the largest in the country at the time.

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Cecil Sharp House

Cecil Court House and its massive Hitchins mural.

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