This exquisitely composed Victorian townhouse lies in the Victoria Park conservation area on Lauriston Road, in the heart of east London’s Victoria Park Village. Built in the 1860s, it is set over four light-filled levels measuring some 2,150 sq ft internally. The home is brilliantly close to Victoria Park and the countless provisors and amenities on its doorstep. Contemporary interventions blend beautifully with the original plan and echo the many architectural elements of the past. Additionally, there is a beautiful west-facing courtyard garden to the rear.
Setting the Scene
This house is situated in the much-coveted quadrangle at the centre of Lauriston Road, made of a series of 16 townhouses arranged in terraces of four, facing one another on a diagonal plan. Built from London stock brick with stucco dressings, the houses on each end, including this one, have large box sash windows on three elevations. These allow for triple aspects with wonderful views of the village and companion houses opposite and an exceptional quality of light throughout the house. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
The house is set back from the road behind a low brick wall and evergreen shrubs. Reinstated Portland stone steps ascend to the main entrance porch, set to the side of the raised ground floor; a further separate entry, useful as a service entrance, is on the lower-ground floor. The main entrance door is panelled, inset with etched glass, and features Banham security locks in polished chrome; a tall transom light is set above.
The entrance hall has tall ceilings and, as with all the raised ground floor rooms, is framed by beautiful plaster cornicing. Cast-iron radiators feature here and throughout the house. Original pitch pine floorboards have been stained a rich deep brown, leading to the tripartite living room. The primary part of this room is arranged at the front of the plan as a sitting room. It is set around a Carrara marble chimneypiece with Welsh slate slips and a cast-iron grate, allowing for an open fire in colder months. Walls are painted in the chalky ‘Slipper Satin’ by Farrow and Ball, and large box sash windows with shutters frame elevations to the east and south, allowing for a wonderful quality of light. The central part of this triadic space is set out as an additional contemplative seating area. The back of the room overlooks the garden and is used as a library and study. There is also a family bathroom at the back of this floor.
The lower-ground floor rooms have been cleverly opened up to create a spacious open-plan kitchen and dining room, with a separate utility space and boot area. Poured concrete runs underfoot, here, and throughout the entire floor. The dining area is positioned at the front of the plan, where a beautiful decorative statuary marble chimneypiece has an inset cast-iron grate; a window seat has been built in the canted bay window, and the original shutters have been retained.
A wide set architrave inlaid with mahogany leads to the kitchen. This space is centred around an island unit topped with Calacatta Oro marble, with space for two bar stools underneath. Oak cupboards and shelves are custom-made for the room in a simple panelled design with delicate unlacquered brass ironmongery and inlays; appliances are integrated. The same cabinets also run along one wall, topped with concrete in the same shade as the floors. The walls here are encased in matt white Victorian subway tiles, and the extractor, positioned above the cream Rangemaster stove, is beautifully clad in polished brass. The double sink is bespoke; cast in the same hued concrete as the worktops and the floor in a contemporary deep butler design, it rests upon a low steel frame and has a wall-mounted brass tap. Oak-framed tripartite doors open from the kitchen to the garden terrace.
The ancillary utility area has been brilliantly conceived to mirror the design of the kitchen, with the same cupboards and marble work surfaces. A ceramic butler sink is positioned to one side with open oak shelves inlaid with the same brass above; a full-height picture window looks out to the garden.
The first floor is home to the principal bedroom suite, punctuated by three large box sash windows flanked by shutters. An especially beautiful plasterwork design crowns the space. Antique wedding doors are set in a wide architrave open to the en suite bathroom and dressing area, where a wall of contemporary oak cupboards extend along one wall. Opposite is an oak vanity with double sinks and storage underneath; Calacatta Bianco marble rests atop, mirroring the floor tiles of the same stone. The double-ended bath is positioned beside the window, similarly encased in matching marble, with a mixer tap and handheld shower. Nickle-plated brassware throughout is by Aston Matthews.
The uppermost floor has two further bedrooms. The bedroom at the front of the plan has wonderful views down to the village in the distance, while the rear bedroom is papered in a Colefax and Fowler design with paddle steps leading up to the ancillary loft space.
The Great Outdoors
The house’s position on a corner plot means it has wraparound gardens featuring mature shrubs and trees at the front, culminating in a wonderfully charming west-facing garden at the rear. A set of wide steps lead from the ground floor rooms to the elevated main terrace, elegantly laid with red bricks in a parquet design. Climbing roses wind their way around the rear elevation, with a wonderful scent in the high summer months, while a beautiful blossom tree is positioned at the rear of the garden. Further mature trees, shrubs and flowers surround the garden, creating a special and intimate outdoor space.
Out and About
Victoria Park Village is one of east London’s most desirable neighbourhoods. There is a wonderful array of organic cafes, shops and delis, including Ginger Pig butchers, The Deli Downstairs, Jonathan Norris fishmongers, Bottle Apostle wine merchants, Pophams café and the eponymous Gail’s bakery. In addition, there are numerous excellent pubs, including the Lauriston, the Empress and the Royal Inn on the Park. In the warmer months, the village comes alive, attracting residents from across east London to the park’s green open spaces and the vast array of picnic provisions.
The choice of local parks is exceptional; the borough of Hackney has the most park acreage in London. Victoria Park, east London’s largest park, encompasses over 200 acres of green space. Designed by John Nash’s pupil Sir James Pennethorne, it was laid out in the 1840s and is now a Grade II*-listed public space. Attractions include the vast boating lake, several activity spaces, tennis courts and the ever-popular Pavilion café at the heart of the park.
A short cycle away lies London Fields and its famed, recently renovated outdoor swimming pool. The nearby Regent’s Canal towpath is a popular destination for flaneurs and makes a quick route by foot or bicycle to Islington or Limehouse.
The house is brilliantly located for schools, including Lauriston Primary School, Orchard Primary School and Mossbourne Academy, while the independent Gatehouse School is just across from Victoria Park on foot.
The closest train stations are Cambridge Heath and London Fields, running London Overground services to Liverpool Street in under 10 minutes. Numerous bus routes run citywide from Victoria Park Road and Mare Street, while the Central Line operates from Bethnal Green station, a 5-minute cycle ride away.
Council Tax Band: F
When Queen Victoria ascended the throne in 1837, Hackney was still merely a series of small villages. However, with the coming of the train line and the exceptional growth of London’s population, east London rapidly expanded and developed; this area of south Hackney was predominantly built up in the 1860s.
Victoria Park Village is undoubtedly the most desirable part of this area, and within the parish of the Gothic revival design St John of Jerusalem church, just north of Lauriston Road. The surrounding streetscape, shops and houses are wonderfully preserved and largely unchanged in appearance since first being built at the height of the Victorian era.