Skip to content

grandeur

Imperial Pharmacy

Imperial Pharmacy, 4 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 2014 • Grand drugstore in an 1804 Georgian bath house; a niche housing the chalybeate (iron-rich) spring that gave the town its […]
Imperial Pharmacy

HSBC (Hexham)

HSBC, Fore Street, Hexham, Northumberland, 2016 • Curious 1896 Italianate bank by George Dale Oliver, then county architect for Cumberland. The ornate red sandstone frieze (artist unknown) shows 16 putti holding swags […]
HSBC (Hexham)

White Stuff (Hexham)

20 Fore Street, Hexham, Northumberland, 2016 • Incredibly ornate ex-pharmacy repurposed as fashion outlet. The early 20th century fascia is listed for its magnificent carved woodwork by the Belgian refugee M. Cullmans. Amazingly, it was […]
White Stuff (Hexham)

Roomes

Roomes, 41-49 Station Road, Upminster, Borough of Havering, London RM14, 2016 • Immense deco-tiled store still in operation. The homeware firm Roomes was founded in 1888 this is their 1927 branch […]
Roomes

Towers

Towers, 31 High Street, Hornchurch, Borough of Havering, London RM11, 2016 • Hard to believe, but this stunning 1935 ex-cinema is due for demolition. Lidl, who plan to replace it […]
Towers

Oakville Care Centre

Oakville Care Centre, 3 Badcox, Frome, Somerset, 2015 • Beautiful old stone heads decorating a boring shop. Titles include Summer, Mirth, Peace, Plenty, and one that’s unreadable. It’s part of Badcox […]
Oakville Care Centre

Denhams

Denhams, 1 High Street, Loughborough, Leicestershire, 2016 • High street jeweller with grand golden mosaic (which is repeated round the corner). Denhams was there for 50 years, but recently taken over […]
Denhams

Fashion House Ltd

Fashion House Ltd, Wakerley Centre, Margaret Road (off Gwendolen Road), Leicester LE5, 2016 • Bonkers mini-castle in a fascinating and unusual suburb developed by Leicester philanthropist/architect Arthur Wakerley, who pioneered council […]
Fashion House Ltd

Hamidiye Camii

Hamidiye Camii, 16 Great Central Street, Leicester LE1 , 2016 • Attractive Victorian commercial building with later top floor, now housing a Turkish mosque. It’s near to grand ex-Central Street […]
Hamidiye Camii

Odeon Arcade

Odeon Arcade, Market Place, Leicester LE1, 2016 • As the name suggests, a former fleapit. First opened in 1924 as the City Cinema, by 1964 it was an Odeon, and – […]
Odeon Arcade

Blunts Shoes

Blunts Shoes, 128-132 Granby Street, Leicester LE1, 2016 • Immense deco bunker built in 1932 to house the Harris furniture store, and still with period fittings inside. Blunts (whose giant Shropshire signage […]
Blunts Shoes

John Lewis

John Lewis, Showcase Cinema, Highcross Shopping Centre, Vaughan Way (seen from All Saints, Highcross Street), Leicester LE1 • Leicester’s newest chunk of retail bling, by architects Foreign Office. It’s seen […]
John Lewis

Nicholas

Nicholas, 147 Friar Street, Reading RG1, 2016 • Grand premises for an estate agent founded in 1882, but no longer resident. Note beautiful teak 1960s door handles in Profil font […]
Nicholas

Poundland (Reading)

Poundland (Reading), 118-119 Friar Street, Reading, Berrkshire, 2015 • Unusual arts and crafts-cum-brutalist building, an incongruous setting for a Poundland (apart from the weeds). It has an ecclesiastical look – […]
Poundland (Reading)

The Porthole

The Porthole, 11 New Quay, Duke Street, North Shields, 2013 • Striking listed real ale pub, once called The Golden Fleece. The venue later closed for good was turned into an architects’ office (article […]
The Porthole

City Motors

City Motors, 7 Wadsworth Road, Perivale, Borough of Ealing, London UB6, 2006 • Classical portal for car wreck specialist. The door is still there, but the sign has gone, and […]
City Motors

Floorcraft

Floorcraft, 20a Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, 2002 • DIY sign-painting meets mini-grandeur. Now houses Oxford Street Books.
Floorcraft

Jacobean Corsetry

Jacobean Corsetry, 53 Virginia Street, Merchant City, Glasgow G1, Scotland, 2010 • Giant golden ghost sign from a corsetry firm founded in 1946, whose wares have featured in Jack Vettriano paintings. Sales […]
Jacobean Corsetry

The Love Shack

The Love Shack, corner of Old Hall Street and Goodson Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, 2010 • A touch of gaudy grandeur amidst modernist monoliths in much-maligned Stoke, currently bidding to be the […]
The Love Shack

Pizza King

Pizza King, 115 Sandgate Road, Folkestone, Kent, 2008 • Incongruous in its grand portal despite the regal name. Now called Master Kebab.
Pizza King

Sew Fantastic!, Tintype

Sew Fantastic!, Tintype, 107 Essex Road, Islington, Borough of Islington, London N1, 2012 and 2016 • Grubby but grand Sew Fantastic (top pic) is now scrubbed clean as Tintype art gallery (second pic). The punters […]
Sew Fantastic!, Tintype

New Happy Swan

New Happy Swan, 120 Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill, Borough of Haringey, London N10, 2016 • Old happy paint job in Muswell Hill’s distinctive St James’s Parade, by Edwardian developer James […]
New Happy Swan

The Regent

The Regent, 331 Regents Park Road, Finchley Central, Borough of Barnet, London N3, 2016 • Grand doorway somewhat let down by plastic canopy. Aptly, it’s flanked by a door shop. […]
The Regent

Roletta Ltd

Roletta Ltd, King Edward Hall, 335-337 Regents Park Road, Finchley Central, Borough of Barnet, London N3, 2016 • Rosy Art Nouveau transom lights in a rather Charles Rennie Mackintosh style, […]
Roletta Ltd

HSBC (Hockley)

HSBC (Hockley), 168 Warstone Lane, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham B18, 2005 • Lovely little bank with Victorian sculpture above the door, which is still the same now. One source says it dates from 1892 […]
HSBC (Hockley)

Jedediah Strutt

Jedediah Strutt shop, corner of Exchange Street and St Peters Street, Derby, Derbyshire, 2010 • Empty Grade II listed former Boots building (info here) with statues of four notable locals. […]
Jedediah Strutt

Gray and Lowe

Gray and Lowe, 91 Uxbridge Road, Shepherd’s Bush, Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London W12, 2016 • Amazing giant sign with random letter spacing. Their “blog-site” says they’ve been going […]
Gray and Lowe

Nameless 1882 shop

Nameless 1882 shop, 15 Cleveland Square, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Completing the Cleveland Square triumvirate of Rober L’Pool Ltd and Hollinshead & Walker, this handsomely dilapidated Victorian building was in […]
Nameless 1882 shop

Open

Open, 48-56 Church Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 • Tiny Elvis impersonator in front of grand clothes shop building, now a Primark.
Open

Lewis’s

Lewis’s, 40 Ranelagh Street, Liverpool, 2003 and 2010 • Grubby city centre monolith, slated to become a Lidl, featuring an imposing male nude statue (apparently known locally as Dickie Lewis) by […]
Lewis’s

Futurist

Futurist, Lime Street, Liverpool L1, 2003 and 2010 • Famous Liverpool cinema from 1912 that’s been decaying since it closed in 1982 and is now in danger of destruction. Shown […]
Futurist

Trayman Solicitors

Trayman Solicitors, 247 Bethnal Green Road, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2, 2005 • Rather beautiful in an understated, random way: Doric portal, bathroom tiles, bottleglass windows, vintage street number […]
Trayman Solicitors

David Greig

David Greig, 232 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, Borough of Lambeth, London SW9, 2015 • More beautiful, if less useful than when it was open – it used to be a Futon […]
David Greig

Nameless works

Nameless works, Unit 1a, Bordesley Street, Birmingham, 2014 • Curious neoclassical portal leading to a lowly industrial unit. A while back, it housed an Auto Valet Centre.
Nameless works

Weisfelds (Goldbergs)

Weisfelds (Goldbergs), Trongate, Glasgow, Scotland, 2008 • A portion of the once-beloved department store Goldbergs, which closed in 1991 and re-opened as cheapo clothes outlet Weisfelds in 1994. The Weisfelds […]
Weisfelds (Goldbergs)

Waywest Cafe

Waywest Cafe, A1 Southbound, Darrington, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, 2015 • How strange, a crumbling neoclassical cafe at a bleak service station. Looks more like Italy than Yorkshire (apart from the weather).
Waywest Cafe

Purbeck Pottery

Purbeck Pottery, The Quay, Poole, Dorset, 2004 • Fantastical quayside roofline for this 1966-founded pottery, which makes stoneware using clay from the nearby Purbeck Hills.
Purbeck Pottery

Dougal & Co

Dougal & Co, 260 Southwark Park Road, Borough of Southwark, London SE16, 2002 • Incongruous in a dull suburban street, a pointy oriental-style facade of a type more familiar on seaside parades. It later […]
Dougal & Co

Railway Bell Hotel

Railway Bell Hotel, Comberton Hill, Kidderminster, Worcsestershire, 2014 • Imposing pub opposite the Severn Valley Railway’s puffing locos and atmospheric rail museum in Kidderminster.
Railway Bell Hotel

Fair City Cars

Fair City Cars, 125 Digbeth Road, Birmingham, 2005 • Poignant name and home-made chauffeur logo tacked onto a handsome premises which has since been demolished, along with the adjoining Hennessey’s Bar (which […]
Fair City Cars

Burton (Abergavenny)

Burton, 16-17 High Street, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales, 2014 • A classic Burton that’s still in use, albeit somewhat grimy and with inferior modern logo tacked on. The company’s founder Montague […]
Burton (Abergavenny)

Keys

Keys, 42 Theobalds Road, Borough of Camden, London WC1, 2008 • Not a key shop but a cafe, next to an ornate doorway. Became a badly-reviewed Ethiopian restaurant called, no less surreally, […]
Keys

Bridge Hotel

Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2013 • Forbidding but fantastic pub built into Newcastle’s old town walls and perched high above the river Tyne, bracketed by two of the city’s spectacular bridges. […]
Bridge Hotel

Samiez Leathers

Samiez Leathers, 140 Trongate, Townhead, Glasgow G1, 2008 • I just like this because it’s colourful, 1970s-looking, and in a decaying old building. Under new management, says a note in […]
Samiez Leathers

Thornton & Co Ltd

Thornton & Co Ltd, 50-51 Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Next door to M&S is this re-purposed HQ of an India rubber manufacturer. Moral: cast your name in stone if you […]
Thornton & Co Ltd

Market News

Market News, 14 Market Hall, Kirkgate Market, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • Semi-circular hole-in-wall bracketing the entrance to Leeds’ wonderful Kirkgate Market.  
Market News

Jeeves & Jericho

Jeeves & Jericho, Corn Exchange, Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, 2014 • 1920s flat-cap geezer meets 1990s Mancs baggy in cartoon collision of two tea-pouring Northern stereotypes. And […]
Jeeves & Jericho

Ball Hotel

Ball Hotel, Castle Terrace (back of 30-31 East Castle Street), Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 2014 • Ghost-lettering on the back entrance of one of Bridgnorth’s oldest pubs, licenced in 1750. It latterly […]
Ball Hotel

Costa (Bridgnorth)

Costa, 1 Postern Gate, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, 2014 • Costa occupies the bonkers Italianate New Market Hall which looms over narrow Bridgnorth. It was built in the 1855 but the market traders never […]
Costa (Bridgnorth)

Morris Lubricants

Morris Lubricants, circa 68 Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 2014 • Beautiful Victorian HQ for this long-lived business, founded in 1869 and still speeding the plough (there’s a history on their website here). […]
Morris Lubricants