Sunday, 25 March 2018

On the trail of the Hellraiser house

In 1987’s Hellraiser, Clive Barker sets his story (based on his novella The Hellbound Heart) in 55 Lodovico Street, a three-storey property somewhere in London. We know this, because shortly before visiting the property, Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) is seen by the old cranes on the docks at the Thames.

That property still exists in 2018, though in a more up-together condition than the run-down house that Larry Cotton (Andrew Robinson) and wife Julia (Clare Higgins) inherited from brother Frank, who has mysteriously disappeared… or so it seems!

Its actual location is 187 Dollis Hill Lane, NW2 6EY, in Dollis Hill, an area in North West London in the Borough of Brent, close to Willesden Green and Cricklewood. The area is mainly residential Edwardian terraced and 1920s/30s semi-detached houses. The house has been substantially improved since autumn 1986 when Barker shot the movie – the front wall was then shown to be collapsing.

In an article in Time Out it’s revealed that the house has been modernised and divided into five flats. “Landlord Michael Fisher, whose mother owns 187 Dollis Hill Lane, says ‘It’s something fun to associate the house with’ – adding that starring as a portal to hell hasn’t had any effect on the property’s value.”

Barker shot both interiors and exteriors at the property, with only the special effects in the attic being created in the nearby Cricklewood Studios (now a health club). As this is a private, gated property, it is not possible to go inside the house, but you can still get a good view of it from the public main road outside.

I wouldn’t suggest buzzing any of the residents and asking them to let you in as I would imagine it looks very different inside. The distinctive stained windows appear to have been replaced, apart from the ‘Hillcrest’ window above the front door. Even in October 2015 Google Street View shows the stained glass panels on the front door which have since been replaced.

You can get an idea of what one of the flats looks like from these rental agent details.

Nearest train station: Cricklewood (Thameslink) 1.1 miles (22-minute walk)

Nearest Tube station: Dollis Hill (Jubilee Line) 1.1 miles (23-minute walk)

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