On a recent visit to the newly opened Picturehouse Central in the Trocadero Centre, I was delighted to discover this captivating Arthurian themed frieze. After the film I took a few photos, which wasn’t easy, as I was on a moving escalator, but I managed to capture all ten panels.
The art nouveau styled frieze depicts scenes from the Arthurian legend in a colourful plaster bas relief, where the figures are raised from a flat background to create a 3D effect. It was originally located in the Trocodero Restaurant's opulent, double storey, marble entrance hall with its impressive staircase. The luxury restaurant was owned by J Lyons and Co, who is best known for their Lyons Corner Houses. The frieze was made by Gerald Moira and F Lynn Jenkins in 1896. This was Moira's first commission and later on he did work for the Central Criminal Courts (Old Bailey) and the boardroom of Lloyds Register of Shipping. The frieze, which in total measures 6 feet deep and 90 feet long, was extensively restored and mounted in its current location in 1991.
The Boar Hunt - top escalator, left
I've sequenced the photos so the panels start at the top escalator and the position refers to the view as one is descending. There is an information plaque at the top of the escalator and based on that I have labeled the panels. However the plaque only refers to 8 panels while there are 10 on display and also states that there is an illustration of Elaine, but I'm not sure which one it refers to. If anyone can assist to identifying the unnamed panels I would very much appriciate it.
Hawking scene - top escalator, centre
Three panels - top escalator, right
The Coming of Guinevere - lower escalator, left
Enid bringing food, Queen of Tournay and Enid carrying wine - lower escalator, centre, left to right
Kind Arthur's Round Table - lower escalator, right
Address: Picturehouse Central, 20-24 Shaftesbury Ave, Piccadilly, London W1D 7DH
Nearest Tube Station: Piccadily Circus or Leicester Square, both are in Travelcard Zone 1. It is then 2 - 3 minute easy walk.
The frieze is located by the escalators between the first and second floor and in an area of the cinema where an admission ticket is required.
If you liked this blog you might enjoy reading about the Alfred Hitchcock mosaics in Leytonstone.
The author of this blog is a qualified City of London and City of Westminster Tour Guide who leads guided walks combining world famous landmarks with hidden treasures often missed by the crowds.