Belsize Park Information
Background to the origins of Belsize Village
Belsize Village is focused on the junction of Belsize Lane and Belsize Crescent with the upper pedestrianised area of Belsize Terrace, built on the site of of what was once Belsize Farm that originally served Belsize House.
The name Belsize Village was an invention of mid-Victorian developers. Daniel Tidey was the builder who constructed the large stucco villas in Belsize Park that gave the area its distinctive character. Sadly Daniel Tidey overstretched himself and had to declare bankruptcy in 1869 and died in the Belsize Tavern a few years later.
William Willett snr moved in and took up the project. He built the first shops, originally called Belsize Park Terraces, in a style that has been described as ‘standard speculator’s Italianate’. Willett gave up some of his land in 1876 to widen Upper Belsize Terrace (now Belsize Terrace) and create a village green.
Belsize Village later evolved into a service zone for the grander homes in neighbouring streets, with a set of mews for horses, carriages and servants.
The wider area of Belsize enjoys a wonderful amalgamation of architectural styles, some of which are unique in London, created by architects who incorporated beauty into their designs. Belsize Park has been home to numerous famous people over the years, ranging from Robert Stevenson, (developer of the steam locomotive) to John Logie Baird (Television pioneer). Then there's Agatha Christie, Sigmund Freud, Barbara Hepworth, Sir Henry Moore, Piet Mondrian and Sir George Solti – not to mention rock stars and countless celebrities.
The Belsize Story
To learn more of where it all began and to discover more about this very special part of London please see the story of Belsize. Combining its fascinating historical background with a present-day architectural tour, The Belsize Story is a film documentary that records the evolution of Belsize right up to the present day, featuring the buildings, the beautiful settings and most importantly, its people.
The areas of central and greater Belsize are captured in high definition and include close-up architectural details as well as recording conversations with local residents and other expert contributors.
The films are directed and photographed by the award-winning filmmaker David S Percy (who lived as a child in Manor Mansions, on the corner of Belsize Grove and Belsize Park Gardens). To learn more about this record of Belsize Park please see The Belsize Story where there is more information and you can view the film trailer.