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Inspiration of the Week: heaps of history on a historic terrace in Enfield

That a house as elegantly restored as this one can be found on a street named Gentleman’s Row seems only fitting. Inigo delights in its most distinguished details

Lalia Saidy Khan
Inspiration of the Week: heaps of history on a historic terrace in Enfield

When it comes to historic homes, you might struggle to choose between the virtues of Victorian architecture over Edwardian. Should you go Queen Anne or Tudor? But at this one in Enfield, you don’t have to pick. Presenting pieces from all these periods, this Grade II*-listed home, now on the market, began its life as a hall house in the 1500s. Over the following centuries, those lucky enough to live in it made various additions – and, most recently, the current owners of this local landmark have carefully considered ways to bring their own colourful touch to this remarkable building.

The beauty of this place (and of all heritage structures, for that matter) lies largely in its imperfections – not least the charmingly crooked façade. A late 17th-century addition, its brick is prettily punctuated by sash windows painted a mellow blue. Inside, the exposed timber and sloping ceilings are giveaways to the history that hangs here – and we’re glad to see that the present occupants have taken great care to look after these features so they can be enjoyed for many years to come.

But let’s give you a proper tour. Enter past a row of roses on this quiet terrace and you’ll reach the expansive hall, where you’ll be ushered in by the rich red library nearby. While the books lining the shelves may grab your attention, the original beams overhead will compete for it. Also downstairs, a formal reception room in a terrific shade of turquoise leads to a baby-blue living room. Here, you’ll be introduced to the leafy wonders of the back garden, framed by large Georgian sash windows.

Turquoise returns in full force in the kitchen. Bursting with texture and colour, this cork-floored room has been fitted with contrasting splashbacks, one of copper, another of blue zellige tiles. An exercise in opulence, the space is bestowed further grandeur by its double-height ceilings, a reminder of its past life as a schoolroom.

It’s not hard to see why the Georgian writers (and siblings) Charles and Mary Lamb were so inspired by this house’s intrinsic beauty. These days, it’s a feeling only underscored by the glorious garden. Here, wisteria winds its way round the French doors, a pond sits peacefully in the centre flanked by lawns, and a summer house – borrowing the bluish theme from the interiors – beckons. This remarkable home is a palimpsest of the people who have loved it and lived in it. And you could be next.

Gentleman’s Row, Enfield EN2

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