This is Tower Lodge on Parkhill Road, NW3 - at the Belsize Park end of the road. A curious solitary tower amid a street of substantial Victorian houses. It looks a little like a folly - and according to the guy who lives there, who I met as I was taking these photos, that's exactly what it was.
My attention was caught by the coat of arms on display above the uppermost window. That, the current occupant says, has given the building its colloquial name: Three Bears Lodge. If you are wondering why, then look at the photo below.
There is a certain dilapidated charm to the building (formally known, it seems, as Tower Cottage)- which is, I was told, about to face renovation. There's some connection, apparently, with an old dairy on Hampstead hill, but I'm not clear what.
The coat of arms is altogether curious. The legend means, I take it, 'Strength and Patience'. There are three bears, and above, amid some bulrushes, a goose, or perhaps a heron or swan. Horizontal between the bears are a couple of birds, pigeons to my untrained eye, and a fleur-de-lys. You can see a close up of the emblem here.
There's nothing that I can find on the internet which gives much more of a clue. Over to you!
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