Tel: +44 (0)20 7636 3199
Fax: +44 (0)20 7323 4373
Jesmond Hotel, 63 Gower Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1E 6HJ
The Beynon family
The Jesmond Hotel has been run by the Beynon family for 30 years and the family-run atmosphere is what we hope will make you feel so welcome.
Acquired by Terry and Nest Beynon in 1979, both of whom left management jobs at Marks and Spencer to purchase the Hotel, the Jesmond doubled as a family home in the early years where they raised their two sons Glyn and James from the ages of 5 and 3. Along with the family’s Old English sheepdog Ben, many happy years were spent here building up the reputation of the business as well as raising two young boys.
Through the years both sons worked as part-time cleaners (once they were old enough!), helped to cook and serve breakfast and worked on reception. James was the first to leave and acquire a University degree from Brighton University in Business Management, whilst Glyn remained at the Jesmond. James, who returns periodically, on one occasion to design and construct our beautiful garden, has a thirst for travel and other cultures, and now divides his time between the UK and travelling abroad. Glyn, now managing the hotel, has studied part-time and gained a degree in Film, and is also currently studying for a Masters Degree in Building Surveying.
Nest and Terry still maintain an interest in the Hotel, and often work at the Jesmond over weekends. However due to Glyn’s wife giving birth to their Grandson in 2007, and Grandaughter in 2009, they now have a welcome distraction away from the Jesmond.
On the 1st August 1786, an industrious time for house building in the middle of an era now referred to as the Georgian period, a builder of the time, Mr Alexander Hendy was given a contract by Gertrude Duchess of Bedford to build 13 houses on a vacant plot of land. This contract was the contract that contained the building of 63 Gower Street within the terrace now seen today. To the north, Francis Street, now renamed as Torrington Place, and to the west, Chenies Mews, now renamed as Ridgemount Gardens were also constructed.
Details of the building style were largely pre-determined by the already existing buildings in the near surrounding areas, and more closely those already built at the north end of Gower Street. The old English language used in the building contract now held at Woburn Abbey home to the Duke of Bedford, describes the requirements put upon the builder by the freeholder selling the land;
“Thirteen other uniform houses to front Gower Street aforesaid the said several houses and the front thereof with the windows therin to range in a line and be regular in all respects and correspond with the houses already built in Gower Street.”
The reference to the “regular” style of the building, and the fact that these new buildings should “correspond with the houses already built in Gower Street”, gives an indication into the demands of architecture and construction at that time.
The façade of the Jesmond Hotel is a key identifier for the Georgian style in many ways, including the six paneled main front door, sash windows, parapet wall concealing the majority of the roof from street level (Georgian architects and builders considered roofs to by ugly and functional), and Flemish bond brickwork. The bricks used were London stock brick. The original colour of these bricks can be seen at the rear of the property from the garden. The black colour of the bricks now seen at the front of the building is as a result of many years of pollution, at its peak in London during the Victorian period and not as many would assume in recent years.
The property also represents a typical proportioning building style adopted by the Georgians at the end of the 18th Century. The narrow band at the bottom of the first floor windows divides the ground floor from the rest of the property. Above the second floor windows, and below the parapet wall is the large section of stucco decoration.
It is in that way the property complies with a uniformity that is the hallmark of Georgian architecture and building techniques from that period.