This large two-bedroom duplex unfolds over the top two floors of a charming Grade II-listed building built in c1774. Located on the coveted Highbury Place, the home rolls onto Highbury Fields and has ardent leafy views to the front and far-reaching city-scape views from its rooftop terrace at the rear. Thoughtfully reimagined under the current ownership, the apartment celebrates its Georgian past, while creating comfortable spaces suitable for contemporary living.
Setting the Scene
One of Islington’s finest addresses, Highbury Place is distinguished by rows of highly desirable Georgian and Victorian townhouses overlooking Highbury Fields, the largest open space in the borough. Originally, the row was a development of 39 houses built by John Spiller during the period between 1774 to 1779.
Characterised by its leafy meandering walks, distinguished architecture and village atmosphere, over the years, the area has been home to many prominent figures. Now a conservation area, Highbury is celebrated for its historic integrity and rich past, with residents like Walter Sickert (of No. 1 Highbury Place). He is recognised as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century and a prominent figure in the transition from Impressionism to Modernism. For more information, please see the History section below.
The Grand Tour
The apartment is situated on the top two floors of a brick and stucco Georgian townhouse. Entrance is via a spacious turned staircase, with a beautiful stained-glass arched window casting light over the main landing.
Accessed via a spiral staircase, the living/kitchen/dining area has been finished in a palette of calming tones by Farrow & Ball. It is bathed in light from twin skylights and dual-aspect windows with far-reaching views over both Highbury fields and the surrounding cityscape. A later Victorian fireplace has been added as a focal point for the room, and a large contemporary kitchen, with stone worktops, sits adjacent to the spacious terrace area. There is room for a dining table and chairs making it the perfect space for entertaining.
At the front of the plan, on the lower floor, sits the main bedroom, with views over bucolic Highbury Fields (new windows have been installed throughout). The space has been finished in Farrow & Ball ‘Stiffkey Blue’ and has built-in wardrobes and a spacious en suite bathroom. Adjacent sits a large second bedroom, with original floorboards and a large picture window. On this floor, there is an abundance of fitted storage space for life’s necessities.
A main bathroom has been finished in pretty blue and white tiles and has a matching rolltop bathtub.
The Great Outdoors
A large outdoor terrace provides an ardent oasis in Highbury’s central location and offers extensive views over the chimney pots of neighbouring houses and beyond. Perfect for morning coffee or alfresco dining, the space allows light to flood into the surrounding rooms. There is room for planters and a small table and chairs.
Out and About
The apartment offers a small village atmosphere thanks to nearby Highbury Barn, where Godfrey’s butcher, Bourne’s Fishmongers and the excellent, original branch of La Fromagerie are all within easy reach. The Maison Bleue cafe is just around the corner and especially popular for weekend coffee or brunch before a walk around Highbury Fields. Food lovers are spoilt for choice with award-winning restaurants Trullo, Westerns Laundry and Farang all within walking distance, and excellent gastro pubs such as The Pig and Butcher and Smokehouse. Upper Street is moments away and home to an abundance of amenities from Ottolenghi to the Superette deli, Sampler wine shop and Udderlicious for ice cream.
Entertainment can be found in many forms, thanks to the Almeida Theatre, Everyman Screen on the Green, Union Chapel and Sadler’s Wells. Upper Street has recently benefited from the Islington Square development, where the arrival of Third Space provides health club facilities equal to any in the city.
Highbury Fields presents ample opportunities to enjoy the outdoors with tennis and netball courts, five-a-side football pitches and as a regular meeting point for the Islington Cycle Club. There is also Highbury Fields parkrun every Saturday morning with the start line just outside the front door. King’s Cross and recently developed Coal Drops Yard are one stop away by Tube and home to excellent restaurants like Barrafina, Granger & Co. and Dishoom as well as the cultural hub at King’s Place. Dalston is also one stop away by Overground with all manner of vibrant bars, eateries and live music venues.
Highbury Place has excellent access to public transport with Highbury & Islington Station, only a few minutes’ walk from the front door, on the Victoria Line, London Overground and Northern City Line. There are plenty of bus routes into and out of the city, and with King’s Cross only one stop away on the Victoria Line, it’s possible to be at St Pancras International and the Eurostar in under 15 minutes.
Tenure: Share of Freehold
Lease Length: approx. 92 years remaining
Service Charge: N/A
Ground Rent: N/A
Council Tax Band: E
Highbury takes its name from the original building Manor House situated on the hill, built in c1271. Named Highbury Manor for the greater portion of its history, a Roman garrison possibly used the site as a summer camp. Later in its history, Highbury Fields was used as overflow accommodation for those made homeless during the Great Fire of London.
In 1770 a stockbroker, John Dawes, bought a portion of the surrounding land and the construction of New Highbury House began in 1781. During this period, tiles were said to have been found that could have been Roman or Norman (none of which survive today). Dawes and designer John Spiller set out constructing houses in the area, and, by the end of the 18th century, their elegant terraces surrounded Highbury Fields.
In 1869, the current 27.5-acre Highbury Fields was saved for public use and the surrounding area developed in two phases. Until the 1870s, predominantly large Italianate villas were built (mainly in the southern part of Highbury).
The Highbury Fields Conservation Area was designated in 1968 and aimed to conserve the area’s historic integrity, preserving its rich tapestry of architectural importance.