Glynn Boyd Harte (1948 – 2003) was a celebrated artist and contemporary of David Hockney – their styles are in some instances quite similar. In the early 1970s he moved with his wife Caroline, herself an artist, into a dilapidated house at 28 Cloudesley Square (on the West corner with Stonefield Street) which they then renovated in Regency style. The paintings below show a view of Holy Trinity Church through the first floor window of this house, and the house itself with the artists on the roof!

Harte Interior

Carrie Harte House 28CS



















Judging from the extracts below, "GBH" was a colourful character and the Boyd Hartes were entertaining if somewhat eccentric hosts during their time in Cloudesley Square.  The stories and images perhaps give a flavour of what life must have been like in this part of Islington as the process of "gentrification" was just starting.



Glynn Boyd Harte

Thanks once again to Jenny Tatton of Cloudesley Road for alerting us to the Glynn Boyd Harte connection with Cloudesley Square.  This cutting she found from the late 1970s/80s shows the interior of the Boyd Harte's first floor Regency parlour, with the North side of Holy Trinity Church seen through the window.


Extract from Guardian obituary:

Glynn Boyd Harte, who has died of leukaemia aged 55, was one of the most brilliant and influential illustrators and painters to emerge in the post-pop world of London in the early 1970s. Reacting against the predominant fashion for abstraction and brutality, he developed an instantly recognisable - and often copied - style. His work had a delightful mixture of humour, firmness of line and, above all, extravagant colour. The dullest room, in Glynn's vision, might be transformed into a riot of mauves, pinks and yellows. ...

Earlier, while at St Martin's, Glynn had met the historian and painter Caroline Bullock, and, in 1971, they married. Living at first in a tall house in Cloudesley Square, Islington, they were the most congenial hosts, with a wide-ranging group of friends of all ages and artistic persuasions.


Extract from Independent obituary:

The Lennon-ish long hair and glasses gave way to a more 1930s look, usually involving waistcoats and checks, although the co- respondent shoes remained a constant of his personal style for ever after. In 1972 he married Caroline Bullock, herself an artist and historian, and they restored a corner house in Cloudesley Square, Islington. ...

Gavin Stamp [architectural historian]: “My memories are of what was surely Glynn's happiest phase, when living in that so cleverly decorated and furnished Regency corner house in Cloudesley Square, where Glynn and Carrie held court, giving what now seems an endless succession of dinners and parties characterised, I fear, by much screaming and silliness but also by wit and music - often with Glynn himself performing on the grand piano while Carrie, ever loyal and sensible, quietly made everything work.

Glynn's style and tastes were calculated to infuriate the proto-Blairite Islington of that time, but there was more to him than affectation modelled on such predictable favourites as Ronald Firbank and Denton Welch. He had developed a knowledgable passion for Neoclassicism, before it was debased by The World of Interiors. He was certainly a dandy and was indeed posturing, camp, arch, brittle, waspish and opinionated, but he was also kind, generous and funny, in addition to being so talented and original in many different ways.”


Extracts from The Bible of British Taste (see )

Glynn Boyd Harte, painter, author, post-Pop young-fogey-bohemian and genius,1948-2003.

Harte at CS

GBH at Cloudesley Square, Islington, the Boyd Harte’s first marital home in the 1970s . The architectural historian John Martin Robinson described meeting Glynn and Carrie for the first time, being asked to supper and then  arriving at an ‘uninhabitable Georgian wreck’ where they removed a bit of rusty corrugated iron, climbed in and then ate a picnic together off the floor.  Its finished interiors featured period decorative treatments and especially wood-graining, about which the GBH’s were evangelical in an age of universally stripped pine. They had often rushed into a junk dealer’s workshop to rescue some sweetly grained bedroom chest of drawers from the stripper’s chemical tank.


Harte Cartoon

The Boyd Harte’s as ‘Mr. and Mrs. Soanie’, described by Alexandra Artley and John Martin Robinson in Harpers and Queen’s  New Georgian Handbook published in 1985. ‘Like all British thinkers, they run for months on ginger nuts and tea.’ A tiny Ravilious Alphabet mug is in everyday use on the floorboards. The GBH’s were part of the Young Fogey gang of coevals who moved into and restored derelict eighteenth century housing stock in formerly slummy parts of London, that included the architectural historian Gavin Stamp, his first wife Alexandra Artley and Dan Cruikshank among others.


Glynn and Caroline Harte

Glynn Boyd Harte was born in Rochdale in 1948. He met his wife Caroline Bullock (herself an artist and historian) in the foyer of  the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 1968, when he was a 21 year old student at St. Martin’s: she was wearing a crinoline, he fell in love with her at first sight. They married in 1971 (and later had two sons, Lucian and Caspar); after this they were very good at everything they turned their hands to, and didn’t bother at all with anything they did not care about. Above all, Glynn’s object was always to have fun, to amuse and to be amused, and in this he generally excelled.


Harte Asparagus Watercolour