Located on a quiet cul-de-sac in the Hampstead Garden Suburb, this handsome three-bedroom cottage embodies the character of its conservation area and the arts and crafts movement of its 1909 construction. Spanning some 942 sq ft internally, the home retains its original interior layout and a wealth of original features, while well-established English cottage gardens unfold to the front and rear. Dove Cottage is a short bus ride from Golders Green Underground station, with the Northern Line servicing wider London and Kings Cross less than 20 minutes by tube.
Setting the Scene
Hampstead Garden Suburb was founded by Henrietta Barnett in 1906 to coincide with the extension of the Underground network to Golders Green. Her intention was to create a mixed community and to prevent swathes of identical middle-class houses from being built that had neither design nor community in mind. She commissioned a masterplan from Sir Raymond Unwin, later overseen by Sir Edwin Lutyens, to include communal squares, streets of varying widths lined with flowering trees and picturesque groupings of houses with a civic square at its centre. These are still incredibly well-maintained, and the overall character of the conservation area is preserved by a governing trust. For more information, please see the History section below.
The Grand Tour
Entry to the home is via an original, glazed timber door, through which light filters into a charming entrance hall. To the left of the hall sits a handsome drawing room with oak parquet flooring. A picture rail trims the room, and ‘Brer Rabbit’ William Morris wallpaper makes a statement on one wall. The space has been finished in a soothing shade of taupe, with a pop of cobalt blue on the chimney breast. The original fireplace remains, with a working gas fire.
At the rear of the plan sits a country kitchen. Here, cream and blue cabinetry from the ‘Artisan’ range by John Lewis of Hungerford is topped by a tiled worksurface with solid cherry edging. Ample shelving lines the walls, and built-in appliances give a streamlined finish. Robust Welsh quarry tiles run underfoot, adding colour and character to the space. The kitchen has a glazed door leading to the southwest-facing garden and a large window overlooking the side of the house.
Beneath the staircase is a handy guest WC. There is also a large pantry and utility room, screened by a charming hand-painted glazed door with doves clutching vines (a wonderful homage to the cottage’s name).
Upstairs, and overlooking the front garden, is the primary bedroom. The room has been finished in warm, earthy tones and has white-washed wooden floorboards. A bank of fitted wardrobes lines one wall, and light filters through a large front-facing window. Adjacent sits a sunny second bedroom overlooking the private rear garden, painted with a feature wall in Prussian blue; it has a built-in double wardrobe and shelves.
The main bathroom is finished in a rich shade of terracotta. A copper sink tops a vanity with useful built-in storage clad in pearlescent mosaic tiles. A WC and bath with overhead shower are screened by windows with privacy glazing, overlooking the quiet rear garden.
The top floor of the house is home to a guest bedroom suite tucked into the eaves. The space is clad in handsome tongue and groove panelling complemented by vibrant, painted blue floorboards. It is lit by two conservation-grade skylights, and there is extensive built-in storage in the eaves; an arched door leads to a small WC area.
The Great Outdoors
The front entrance is via a hardwood gate with a path made of reclaimed Victorian stable pavers leading to the front door. There are flowering shrubs and a mature apple tree, with cottage garden flowers bordering the lawn. The front garden is enclosed by a high privet hedge, creating a wonderful sense of privacy.
To the rear, well-established cottage garden perennials and herbs border a narrow brick path leading to a seating area at the rear and a shed with power. At the rear of the house, a charming limestone patio has a built-in bench and a small pond. There is an abundance of productive fruit trees in the rear garden, and two rose arbours over the path leading to the rear gate.
A side gate connects to the front garden. The street also has unrestricted parking.
Out and About
Wordsworth Walk is a quiet cul-de-sac part of the “Artisans Quarter”, the earliest part of the area to be built. Hampstead Garden Suburb is a unique community, and Wordsworth Walk has a special charm, with seasonal street parties and annual events. Nearby are ancient woodlands Little Wood and Big Wood, and a little further is the Hampstead Heath extension with its playing fields and wild spaces. This leads to Hampstead Heath, Kenwood House and Golders Hill Park, with its wonderful pergola and zoo. From the house, it is a short walk to the high street, with Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Gail’s, as well as independent shops, bakeries and restaurants.
There are good primary schools nearby: Garden Suburb School and Brooklands Junior School are a short and leafy walk away. The Henrietta Barnett School, a prestigious girls’ grammar school, is a 10-minute walk away at Central Square. Secondary schools in East Finchley, Hampstead and Highgate are readily accessible by public transport.
The cottage is a short journey from Golders Green Underground Station (Northern Line).
Council Tax Band: F
Described by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner as “the most nearly perfect example of that English invention and speciality, the garden suburb”, the group of houses, community buildings and squares that compromise Hampstead Garden Suburb are of significant note in British architectural history.
Hampstead Garden suburb was founded by Henrietta Barnett in 1906, to coincide with the extension of the Underground system to Golders Green. As the wife of Cannon Samuel Barnett, vicar of St Jude’s Whitechapel, her architectural and social experiment was inspired by personal experiences of poverty and poor living conditions in her husband’s inner city parish. Barnett was concerned that the extension of the underground would bring swathes of identical middle-class houses to the area, that had neither design nor community in mind.
Barnett’s vision was to create a mixed community and the master plan included allotments, playing spaces, and community buildings which all continue to exist today. Retained also in the master plan were two ancient woods and the field boundaries with mature trees from the farm that was there until the 20th century. In the old Suburb, housing ranged from the cottages in the Artisans Quarter to grander homes around Central Square, all designed by notable Arts and Crafts architects. The community spirit continues today with Proms at St Jude’s (an annual literary and music festival raising money for charity), an active Horticultural Society, drama society, residents’ association and seasonal events. It is a bucolic oasis that is not far from central London.
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