10 June 2013

Robinson Crusoe and Friday in Tooting

Norfolk House, Trevelyan Road, Tooting.
I noted this some weeks ago, and just had to see it for myself. The blog Faded London, in a post which was also picked up by London Remembers, finds a fascinating 'ghost door' in Trevelyan Road, Tooting, with two faces on the capitals that surely must represent Robinson Crusoe and Friday. Why are they there though, and why 'Norfolk House'? Clive Yelf of Faded London then did some research and found out not only that Daniel Defoe's A Tour Through the Whole Island of  Great Britain mentions that the author was impressed by King's Lynn, but that St Nicholas Chapel in Kings Lynn actually has a tombstone of a Robinson Cruso.* Of course, whatever this tells us it still doesn't tell us what the figures are doing in Tooting, although in a comment to the post a Divine Mrs M says that there's long been a rumour that Defoe once lived in Tooting, and she also reveals that there's a Selkirk Road in Tooting. That of course may be a coincidence, but...
*Tour was published between 1724 and 1727: several years after Robinson Crusoe (1719), but then I don't know how long the research took him.
Faded London

No comments: