The Doors of Bloomsbury

When we are in London, several times a year, our home from home is Bloomsbury. It’s the central area around the British Museum and University College London. It’s not far in one direction from the new monumental British Library (for research purposes) and the stunningly preserved Victorian St Pancras station (for travel north or to the continent) or in the other direction to Covent Garden (for shopping or opera) and John Soane Museum (for a cultural fix from an eclectic Regency collector). An ideal location, I would say.

The area is also known for its lovely Regency buildings, and of course, its doors. Back in 2007, London’s Camden Council conducted a survey of these historic doors. Loads of pictures of these doors can be found on their Flickr account: Doors of Bloomsbury

Camden Council concentrated on the preserved Regency doors, most with distinctive fan-lights above.


Or like these:


However, there are simple examples of historic doors without those fan-lights like this one on the appropriately named Bloomsbury House just opposite Bloomsbury Square.


There are, in addition, different periods and styles of doors that catch your attention, such as this one with an elaborate surround not far from the British Museum in a series of terrace houses appropriately named Museum Chambers.


With its Victorian interpretation of a Celtic king in the centre above the door.


Another elaborate door surround, is highlighted by a bright purple door. I love the capital columns.


Nearby the purple door is the Bloomsbury Kitchen & Bar with its distinct surround set in the corner of the building. Admittedly it has an incredibly ugly modern door.


Or a elegant surround (also with a modern door) in the Sicilian Avenue opposite Bloomsbury Square.


Last, but not least, monumental bronze doors of Victoria House that takes up one side of the Square. It’s an art-deco building that once housed the Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society, a mutual or benevolent society formed for the purposes of insuring burials, income and investments. It is now retail space.


Not far away, on my route to the British Library are more metal doors. These are cutwork.


Technically not Bloomsbury as they are the crypt doors of the church of St Pancras, but they always give me a thrill and remind me of my Athens home.


For yet more doors, worldwide, check out Norm’s Thursday Doors.


  1. Quite an elegant collection, Debi. I really like the tile in front of some of them as well. I always laugh inside when I see St. Pancras, as Pancreas always comes to mind. Silly me!



    • The saint has an odd name, but an old one. He was martyred at 14 and (according to Wikipedia) is the patron saint of children, jobs and health. His name is invoked against cramps, false witnesses, headaches and perjury. I would say, a very useful saint against Fake News! 😉

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  2. Wow, some mighty fine looking choices in this collection. I have to say that the ones with the patterned tiled landings in front of the doors (1st and 2nd shots) really caught my eye.


    • They are, indeed, fine looking doors. The tiles – called Encaustic tiles – were probably a later Victorian addition. There are some really lovely examples in old Victorian houses, black & white, but also some muted earthy colours.

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    • Thanks Sandra. We usually stay in the neighbourhood for 3-4 days every 4 months, so it is becoming very familiar. I do like exploring the area, plus getting in some research time in the library and (of course) museum viewing and shopping.


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