This smart one-bedroom apartment occupies the first floor of an elegant Regency townhouse in the heart of Whitechapel. Set in the Ford Square Conservation Area, the building is characterised by its high ceilings, cornicing and large sash windows that look onto the eponymous square. Recently redecorated, a pared-back colour palette accented by bold colours enhances the apartment’s grand proportions. The apartment’s setting in Whitechapel means there are excellent public transport connections across London via the Elizabeth Line, and to Canary Wharf by DLR.
Setting the Scene
Ford Square, and the neighbouring Sidney Square, were developed in the 1820s on the site of former fields owned by John Sidney Hawkins. The squares were built because of the incredible growth of the London Docks at the time; the connecting Ashfield Street was constructed by 1839. Ford Square is an elegant setting, surrounded by mature chestnut trees. Ford House is located at the end of the terrace on the eastern side of the square.
The symmetrical red-brick façade is decorated with geometric Regency flourishes. Each of the three floors is punctuated by four large sash windows with keystones above the fenestrations and a French window at the centre. A wrought-iron balcony runs the length of the first floor, and a smart black door with a curved pediment marks the entrance to the house. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
The apartment is set on the first floor, capturing natural light throughout the day. An open-plan living and dining room overlooks the park through two large sash windows. Here, pale wooden floorboards and a high ceiling, highlighted by beautiful cornicing, accentuate its airy feel. A wrought-iron fireplace is accented by dark green gloss tiles, complemented by a clever lick of deep green paint above the mantlepiece; full-height wooden bookshelves have been built into the alcoves on either side. An adjoining kitchen has recently been refitted with streamlined units, white marble countertops, and pale oak shelving.
The bedroom is at the back of the plan, where wide sash windows frame views towards Canary Wharf. It is a quiet, calming space defined by high ceilings and an uncluttered design. The bathroom has a bath with an overhead shower surrounded by small white tiles. A utility room adjoins the bathroom, and a further storage cupboard is just outside the apartment.
The Great Outdoors
The apartment looks onto Ford Square, one of the largest public green spaces in the neighbourhood. It has recently been updated by the local council with new paving and lawn. The surrounding mature trees and shrubbery cast a dappled light over the square, making it an idyllic spot to take a stroll, read or mingle with friends and neighbours.
Out and About
The apartment is exceptionally well-positioned in Whitechapel with ready access to Shadwell, Wapping and the River Thames. Favoured local amenities and attractions include Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane, riverside walks along the Thames, the Curzon cinema at Goodman’s Field and Wilton’s – London’s oldest surviving music hall – for drinks and special events. The Prospect of Whitby and Captain Kidd pubs in Wapping are recommended for waterside drinks – both with outdoor terraces – and the Turks Head serves a wonderful breakfast, perfect for lazy weekend mornings.
St Katherine’s Dock offers a further selection of good restaurants and bars, including local favourite coffee shop White Mulberries, plus a large branch of Waitrose. Wonderful parks are also located nearby, with the ancient Wapping Woods and King Edward IV Park (with outdoor tennis courts) both a short walk away.
Transport links are excellent. Whitechapel station is a 10-minute walk from the apartment, where the Elizabeth Line connects to Bond Street in 10 minutes and Heathrow Airport in 38 minutes. From Shadwell, there are convenient links via the East London Line, connecting southeast and north London. Additionally, the DLR from Shadwell has fast connections to Canary Wharf to the east and the City to the west. Additionally, Cycle Superhighway 3 runs directly along Cable Street, connecting central London and Canary Wharf via a segregated cycle-only pathway along its entire length.
Tenure: Share of Freehold
Lease Length: approx. 87 years remaining
Service Charge: approx. £1282.78 per annum
Ground Rent: approx. £50 per annum
Council Tax Band: B
Until the beginning of the 19th century, most of the East End was arable land and nurseries. Owned by John Sidney Hawkins, Sidney Square and Ford Square were developed in the 1820s on the site of the former fields, with Ashfield Street connecting the two; Ford Square was initially known as Bedford Square. These streets, completed by 1839, were built for the growing number of professionals working at the London Docks.
The basin in the neighbouring area of Shadwell formed part of the London Docks, alongside those at Wapping and Limehouse, amalgamating in 1864 with St Katharine Docks. Despite efforts in the mid-19th century to accommodate the growing liners, by the early 20th century, significant advances in maritime technology coloured the London Docks unfit for purpose. The complex was no longer large enough for modern steam-powered ships. Instead, cargoes were unloaded downriver and ferried to Wapping by barge, a system that made little economic or logistical sense; this ultimately drove the London Dock’s closure to shipping in 1969.
The immediate area is steeped in history, best known for the siege of the adjacent Sidney Street in 1911. It was a gunfight between two Latvian revolutionaries and the army, led by a young Winston Churchill, Home Secretary at the time.
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