This map plots the settings and references in Cold Comfort Farm

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London Borough of Lambeth
GNU Free Documentation LicenseLondon Borough of Lambeth - Credit: en:User: Morwen, Wikimedia Commons

Before Flora Poste heads to Sussex to stay with the Starkadders, she spends some time with Mrs. Smiling at her house in Lambeth in London.  There are references to them going to the cinema in Westminster, and to Mrs. Smiling going in search of a brassière in the 'slums of Mayfair'; the 'tide of fashion' (in residential living) is moving away from Mayfair to the 'other side of the river' (i.e. to Lambeth).

Stella Gibbons is having some fun with her futuristic London: in reality, Mayfair has always been a wealthy area beloved by embassies and exclusive members' clubs, while Lambeth, for much of its history, was an area of great deprivation.


Lambeth Bridge over the Thames
Creative Commons AttributionLambeth Bridge over the Thames - Credit: Elliott Brown, Wikimedia Commons

LAMBETH  lies south of the River Thames, and is home to Waterloo Station, the Oval cricket ground and the South Bank's Royal Festival Hall and National Theatre.  Lambeth Palace is the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The borough is now considerably more prosperous than at the time of Gibbons' writing.

Lambeth is referred to in the song The Lambeth Walk from the 1937 musical, Me and My Girl.  The Lambeth Walk is also the name of a Cockney dance which became popular in 1937.



Old Bond Street, Mayfair, London W.1
GNU Free Documentation LicenseOld Bond Street, Mayfair, London W.1 - Credit: Michel wal, Wikimedia Commons

MAYFAIR  lies north of the Thames, within the City of Westminster. It is one of the smartest and most expensive parts of London, home to many exclusive shops and up-market hotels, such as Claridge's and The Dorchester.

For many, Mayfair has been immortalised as the most expensive property in the board-game, Monopoly.