BELGRAVE HOUSE, LEICESTER..

On the west side of Church Road, and built diagonally to Belgrave Hall to ensure an uninterrupted view from the Hall across 'The Gravel' to its original garden, Belgrave House was built about 70 years later than Belgrave Hall in the fashionable Queen Anne style. Its red brick facade has a different proportion of solid to void compared with Belgrave Hall and the centre portion is slightly recessed to emphasise the main entrance. Decoration is restrained, consisting of paired horizontal stucco bands, a simple eaves cornice with modillions and flat window arches picked out with contrasting mortar. Visual interest is concentrated around the centrally placed doorcase which has half-columns, a fanlight and open pediment, and the 19th century side wings with their painted balustrades, urns and window traceries.

Along the frontage to Church Road, slender decorative railings that are contemporary with the house afford an unrestricted view of the front of the house. The frontage to the west side of Church Road is completed by the Grade II listed gateway and railings of Belgrave Gardens. The gate piers add extra visual interest with cornices and ball finials and the curved flanking railings terminate in tall stucco piers topped with urns and torches. On the south side of the house, and forming one edge of the public footpath that leads to Vicarage Lane, is a pair of two storey stable blocks. These are also built in the simple Queen Anne style but the design of each is subtly different so that there is as much visual interest at the back as there is at the front. The pedimented gable on the front elevation of the stable block closest to the house is found on the back elevation of the smaller block.

The projecting centre section of the former is transposed into a recessed central feature in the latter. A flat arched window becomes a quatrefoil and so on. Round arched doorways and 'blind' windows, however, are common to both. The backs of both Belgrave House and its stables are open to Belgrave Gardens and all are important features in the landscape of the park. From a distance they appear to be part of the park, an illusion further fostered by the position of the brightly planted island flower beds in the lawn and the flower bed curving round the house. The boundary with the stables is marked by some slender contemporary railings..



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