Posts Tagged ‘doorways’

Belsize Park Hampstead 1988

Saturday, January 8th, 2022

Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-02-positive_2400
Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-02

Belsize Park Hampstead 1988
Belsize is a confusing area for the casual wanderer and many of the streets have ‘Belsize’ in their name, including Belsize Avenue, Belsize Court, Belsize Crescent, Belsize Gardens, Belsize Grove, Belsize Lane, Belsize Mews, Belsize Park, Belsize Park Gardens, Belsize Place, Belsize Square, and Belsize Terrace.

Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-04-positive_2400
Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-04

I’m not entirely sure whether my captions place all of the houses that are featured in exactly the correct Belsize street, though I’ve tried hard to get them correct. But many of these streets are lined with very similar houses by the same developer – or rather they fall into two groups, the stucco and the later red-brick.

Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-61-positive_2400
Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-61

As my previous post Hampstead & Belsize 1988 stated, the older houses in the area from the 1860s which feature in this post were stucco, built by Daniel Tidey who went bust in 1870, when development in the 1870s was largely in red brick by William Willett.

Belsize Square, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-63-positive_2400
Belsize Square, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-63

I liked the Ladies bicycle parked at the bottom of the stairs, its wheels contrasting with the rectangular columns at the gate and base of the steps. It seemed a suitably old-fashioned steed, with caliper brakes and a wicked basket, held by a rather flimsy looking lock to the rail at the bottom of the steps. It was also a tonal contrast, although actually a rather rusty red colour. I also took a colour picture from an almost identical viewpoint which works well, with the green of the vegetation and some attractive muted colours on some of the doors.

Belsize Square, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-65-positive_2400
Belsize Square, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-65

The backs of these houses have an unusual rounded bay extending from basement to roof.

Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-53-positive_2400
Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-53

A grand set of steps up to the front door, now with three bells – most of these large properties have now been converted to flats. The tiles here are breaking up and a small area at right is now filled with flowers. There are bootscrapers at both side, probably rather more necessary in the days of horse-drawn traffic than now.

Belsize Park Gdns, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-56
Belsize Park Gdns, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-56

Two different framings of the same profusely growing plant – I think a false castor oil plant – and I can’t decide which I prefer. The leaves were beautifully lustrous dark green.

Belsize Park Gdns, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-32-positive_2400
Belsize Park Gdns, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-32

It is a beautiful plant, and has flowers and produces black seeds, but unlike the true castor oil plant it vaguely resembles, the seeds of Fatsia japonica are I think not particularly toxic.

Belsize Grove, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-33-positive_2400
Belsize Grove, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-33

The iron-work on this house is perhaps a little too much for my taste, both over-intricate and somehow too fat looking. I think it may now be rather more hidden by vegetation than when I made this picture around 33 years ago.

This was the last picture I made on this walk, probably as I made my way to Belsize Park Underground station on my way home.


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Marylebone Doors

Friday, August 7th, 2020
Duchess St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3j-65-positive_2400
Duchess St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

This gem of a building is just around a corner from the BBC on a few yards down Duchess St, on the opposite side of Portland Place was built to the plans of Robert Adam in 1769-71 as the stable-coach house to Chandos House, Queen Anne Street, and was altered – according to its Grade II listing text “quite sympathetically” around 1924 by Arthur Bolton. The text states it is now part of the British Medical Association.

The lean of the lamp post emphasises the rectangular formality and symmetry of the building as does the man walking past. I’m not sure if I would have preferred not to have a taxi speeding into the picture. The 35mm shift lens enabled me to keep the verticals upright and get the whole building in frame from the opposite side of a fairly narrow street.

Mansfield St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3j-56-positive_2400
Mansfield St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

Just around the corner from the previous picture is this magnificent fence with its baskets of flowers. I felt the out of focus bush made a suitable contrast between natural vegetation and its representation.

I think this is the garden screen mentioned in the listing text and probably like the house behind dates from 1914.

Hinde St,  Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3j-22-positive_2400
Hinde St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

Doorways are one of the most important architectural features of buildings, and this one very clearly gives an impression of the luxury of the flats inside Hinde House.

Hinde St,  Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3j-21-positive_2400
Hinde St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

A similar doorway next door (London streets sometime number in odd ways) is a little plainer, perhaps suggesting that inside are flats for less important people. Though it is certainly not a ‘poor door’ leading to any social housing in the block.

The Royal Society of Medicine, Henrietta Place, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3i-52-positive_2400
The Royal Society of Medicine, Henrietta Place, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

My theme of doors continues with the grand entrance for The Royal Society of Medicine in Henrietta Place.

Marylebone Lane, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3i-42-positive_2400

And another door is a prominent feature in this building with its series of semi-circles on Marylebone Lane. It’s a building with the window at the centre of the picture set a little lower, so it seems to be winking at us.

Again a taxi has crept in. There are far too many of them, often simply cruising around empty in the centre of London, a significant cause of both pollution and congestion. They are slowly changing from diesel to electric which will help with the pollution, but wont ease the congestion. Ridiculously they are exempted from the congestion charge while minicabs have to pay it. We don’t need ‘ply for hire’ when cabs can be summoned by smartphone and its time for change.

Rimmel, Wigmore St, Marylebone,, Westminster, 1987 87-3i-25-positive_2400
Rimmel, Wigmore St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

There are a few more pictures of doors in the area in this section of my 1987 London Photos, but this at Bessborough House on the corner of Cavendish Square is perhaps the most impressive. According to the Grade II listing the house dates from 1770s with c.1800 and early C20 alterations. About this entrance it states “Blind return to Wigmore Street has neo-Adam style pilaster treatment to ground floor with shallow relief modelled “graces” between pairs of pilasters under entablature – all in stucco.”

When I took this picture it had the circular message at left that it was the premises of Rimmel, the cosmetics house founded in 1834 by French-born perfume chemist Eugène Rimmel and often known as Rimmel London. He put on sale a product for darkening eyelashes using the newly invented petroleum jelly and black pigment, marketed under the name mascara which was hugely successful both in the UK and internationally – and mascara is still called ‘Rimmel’ in a number of languages.

More pictures on page 3 of 1987 London Photos.


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