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Monday, 26 June 2017

Doors and Windows (3): Balham, London

The last post in this series was five years ago so I can say  that it's fairly infrequent!
This photo is borrowed, with permission, from Philip Wilkinson's excellent
I am a big fan of English brickwork and the Edwardian and late Victorian suburban streets of London are a bountiful place to see it on display. The beautifully ornate porch and windows are also typical of the period. Many of the houses have black and white or terracotta tiled paths as well. Philip points out in his post that Balham seems to have plenty of houses using Suffolk white bricks as well as the more usual red, brown and yellow.
Many of these house have glorious stained-glass windows in the doors and porches. Sadly many of these are being replaced with modern double-glazed, clear replacements. This includes the one that I featured here.
Modern houses seem to be all about utility which is fair enough but I think we have lost something by not celebrating both the skills of the craftsmen and the aesthetic appeal of recent bygone times.
Other examples of tiled paths of the same era
I'm listening to Kirsty MacColl singing
Billy Bragg's A New England


Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Those are wonderful looking houses. As a fan of beautifully crafted older homes, I totally agree with you. I always wanted to live in one and fifteen years ago had full intensions of doing so. Instead we moved into a newer modern house that looks like so many others. The reason being the cost and work and strict regulations from historical societies on any renovations we wished to do on these older gems. I am very happy where I live, but I often wished we had taken the chance to live in something crafted years ago and not mass produced.

Parnassus said...

Hello Bazza, Vintage pavements are among the rarest of survivals, so it is nice to see the ones you feature. It seems that the word 'elegant' has passed out of builders' vocabularies, so it is triply important to preserve examples like this house in Baltham.

bazza said...

Arleen: I am in complete agreement with you! In the UK we have 'Conservation Areas' within which you cannot make changes to the appearance of your property without permission. There are also 'listings'; Grade II prevents any major appearance of a building for either architectural or historic reasons. Grade I listings would cover the interior as well.

bazza said...

Jim: It's quite remarkable how many of this type of property still remain in London. Give me an Edwardian house over a modern one one anytime! My own house is mock Tudor - another very common English style; maybe too common.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bazza - love your tiling ... and oh yes if only it was kept ... some will be - but a front path is a delight to see ... I've not noticed any - so now I must keep my eyes more open. Architecture is a delight to see in some places ... cheers Hilary

bazza said...

Hilary: I wish it was MY tiling, but sadly not. Many front gardens around here have been paved over for parking. Very few leave room for any greenery so the water table is in danger of flooding. Fortunately we are a bit higher up!

Hels said...

I lived in a Victorian home for years and loved the glorious stained-glass windows in the doors and front windows. In summer the light is spectacular.. in winter, or if trees grow in front of the windows, the light is duller.

bazza said...

Hels: I recognise those effects. Our 1930s front door has a lovely stained-glass window. I have photographed it in case it gets damaged; there is a company in Highgate that can make reproductions. We get the sunlight from mid-afternoons.

Sherry Ellis said...

That is some fancy tiling! I'd be almost afraid to walk on it for fear of messing it up. I like your new profile picture. Very fun!

bazza said...

Sherry: I know exactly what you mean. I feel the same way. When the tiles start to break or work loose they are difficult to repair or maintain.
I was fed up with the old picture so I had some fun. I don't even smoke!