At the northern end of Windmill Hill, bordering Hampstead Heath and a short walk from Hampstead Village, lies the enchanting Capo di Monte. Dating to the late 18th Century and Grade II-listed, the house has been sensitively modernised in recent years and now provides six bedrooms across almost 3,800 sq ft of largely lateral space. It is positioned at the end of a quiet, coveted, no-through road, with off-street parking, and private front and back gardens, the latter with a gate onto the Heath itself.
Setting The Scene
The house, which is thought to have been in existence since 1762, began life as two cottages, later combined. It was once home to the 18th-century Shakespearean actress Sarah Siddons, whose residence at the house between 1804-1805 was commemorated with an ‘S’ above the main entrance, and for whom the house became known as Siddons Cottage. Later custodians were the art historian and administrator Kenneth Clark, and more recently the journalist and novelist Marghanita Laski.
The Grand Tour
Beyond a substantial and very private, walled front garden, the white stucco façade of the house lies partially obscured behind a mass of foliage from trees both within and outside the curtilage. The rear is a combination of red brick and white-painted weatherboard; a later addition. Parking is to the left, in front of the former garage space, now a plant room and utility. There are entrances to the south and north of the building. The formal entrance is to the right, covered by a bracketed hood, and leads through the front garden to the entrance hall. An alternative entrance to the left leads through to the kitchen and is covered by a twentieth-century portico.
The entrance hall, with a working fireplace, lies within a triple-window canted bay and leads ahead to a light-filled family room, which opens in turn to the rear garden through French windows. Oak floors in the hall extend left into a drawing room, where a log-burning stove occupies the original fire surround. The room flows into another through an open doorway. This is currently used as the dining room, lit by two large six-over-six sash windows and with a gas fire against the southern wall.
The dining room is open in plan from the drawing room through to the reading room where bespoke joinery and panelling provides shelving, bench seating and storage. Beyond is the kitchen; a massive, open, roof-lit space centred around a stone-topped timber island. From drawing room to kitchen, the oak floors transition to limestone tiles. Shaker-style cabinets are arranged around the perimeter of the kitchen space and green marble worktops are paired with soft, celeste green tiles. There is an Aga, a separate oven and gas hobs. Large bi-fold doors spanning the northern façade open fully to the exquisite walled garden at the rear.
Steps from the western corridor lead down to the utility and plant room. A guest WC is situated in the corridor that links the entrance hall and reading room. This corridor also offers another route to the rear garden.
Two staircases at either end of the house provide an ascent to the upper level where there are five bedrooms, two with gas fires, and one is currently used as a dressing room. Two bathrooms are positioned at opposing ends. The bedroom in the north-west corner lies within the bay section and is a wonderful combination of panelled walls, parquet flooring and foliage-filled views.
The two staircases also offer routes to the lower ground floor, which was more recently added by a previous owner. Though consented for more area (as shown in the plans and which remains in perpetuity), this currently includes three rooms; a large study/gym space, a bedroom suite with a sitting room and en suite shower room, plus a guest WC. There is a separate entrance door to the front of the house from the sitting room to an external staircase.
The Great Outdoors
Both the front and back gardens are delightful and have the effect of transporting one to more exotic locations. The front garden spans the length of the house; over seventeen metres. The central section is laid in gravel and, given the quietude of the street and walled perimeter, provides a very useable outside space with a seating area in the paved northern section.
The rear garden has been designed with a Japanese aesthetic; rustic paving culminating in a raised, fern-filled rockery in the western corner. A gate within the northern perimeter wall leads out onto Judges Walk and to the Heath beyond.
Capo di Monte is positioned within the Conservation Area at the northernmost end of Windmill Hill, the last house on the road at the edge of Hampstead Heath, at the corner of Judges Walk. Some nearby delights of the expansive Heath, which stretches over 720 acres, include the Hill Garden and Pergola, and the bathing ponds.
The house offers quiet enjoyment and contact with nature whilst being within a few minutes walk to Hampstead Village and all that makes Hampstead one of the most sought-after locations in London. Hampstead High Street offers a plethora of boutiques, cafés and eateries, including Jin Kichi, Oddono’s gelateria, Ginger & White, Gail’s and the famous Hampstead Crêperie. There are several charming pubs nearby including The Horseshoe, The Flask and The Holly Bush. Some of London’s best independent schools can be reached on foot.
Hampstead station (Northern Line) is a short walk away. Hampstead Heath Overground station is also within reach on foot.
Council Tax Band: H
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