Nestled down a cobbled street just off Brick Lane, Padbury Court is a handsome Georgian end-of-terrace house, built in 1760. Arranged over four light-filled floors, with three bedrooms, the house has a well-proportioned internal courtyard garden and retains a plethora of historical features. It forms part of a delightful terrace of mid-18th-century working dwellings and extends to over 1,500 ft internally. The original fabric of the house has been sympathetically preserved and restored by the current owners, using a palette of pale tones to create a warm, welcoming home.
Setting the Scene
Originally named Princes Street, Padbury Court has been a melting pot of craftsmen from the mid-18th to late-19th centuries. While Spitalfields is known for its grand merchant’s houses, Padbury Court and the immediate area are of historical importance due to their few remaining workshops and dwellings where weavers pursued their trade.
The renowned Dan Cruickshank carefully advised the restoration of the building. The architectural historian has helped conserve several 18th-century buildings in Spitalfields, alongside Spencer House in St James’ and Heveningham Hall in Suffolk. For more information, please see the History section below.
The Grand Tour
Flanked by wrought-iron railings, a flight of stone steps leads to an elegantly proportioned entrance. The exterior façade retains its original brick frontage and has 6×6 windows; there is a beautiful classically proportioned door casing and pediment.
Inside, the hallway has been opened into the adjoining drawing room by the current owners and is painted in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Schoolhouse White’. The home retains a significant portion of its original panelling, and recent restoration works have included reinstating period-appropriate fireplaces with white marble inserts to the main rooms. Original floorboards underfoot have been stripped and whitewashed, adding a sense of openness and light throughout. There is underfloor heating fitted on each floor for the cooler months.
A glazed corridor leads past an internal courtyard garden to a sympathetically executed rear kitchen extension. Finished in limewash paint from Bauwerk Colour, the kitchen/dining room has been designed and fitted by DeVol and features a beautiful sheet-copper worktop, which will develop a fantastic patina as it ages. The backsplash is made from charming handmade tiles from local maker Mosaic Factory on Columbia Road, and there is ample storage space with fitted units. Flagstone flooring runs underfoot, and the room is large enough to arrange the space with separate dining and seating areas.
The well-designed lower-ground floor, which has been fully tanked to create a warm and useful space, has a third bedroom with a street-level window to the front; an additional room offers utility and storage space. An adjacent tiled corridor leads to a well-proportioned bathroom with handmade tiles and a blue crack-glazed Thomas Crapper sink basin.
The original internal staircase ascends from the basement to the second bedroom. The room has been finished in ‘Wilbourne White’ by Farrow & Ball, has dual-aspect windows and retains much of its original panelling. To the right of the bedroom is a good-sized family bathroom with handmade tiles and Thomas Crapper fittings.
The top floor of the house is home to the large, tranquil main bedroom. Dual-aspect windows ensure the space is bathed in light and has beautiful views of the surrounding area. Fitted wardrobes are carefully disguised among the original panelling, and there is space to add a freestanding bath.
The Great Outdoors
A central courtyard is the focal point of the main entertaining floor. An incredibly private space, it was once a rear yard and now divides the front reception room and rear kitchen extension. The courtyard opens naturally from the main drawing room; floor-to-ceiling glazing on two sides also makes the area feel connected to the other rooms on this floor. The space acts an additional outdoor room for alfresco dining and entertaining in the warmer months.
Out and About
Positioned within the Redchurch Street Conservation Area, Padbury Court and the surrounding area is of particularly special architectural and historical interest. In marked contrast to the openness and larger scale of the nearby Boundary Estate, the conservation area’s character is marked by its low scale and small plots of narrow, red-brick buildings. Many exciting and historic structures remain in the area; The Owl & Pussy Cat Public House (formerly The Crown) has 17th-century origins, and the late-Victorian Knave of Hearts (now Les Trois Garcons) is nearby. There is also an arc of locally listed buildings on Padbury Court.
The small and narrow scale of the street gives the Redchurch Street Conservation Area a unique feel. A stone’s throw away from Columbia Road, Hoxton Square and the City, this vibrant and ever-evolving area is within walking distance of Shoreditch House, Rochelle Canteen, Lyle’s, Sager & Wilde and Morito.
The ever-popular Columbia Road flower market is recommended for a Sunday morning stroll, followed by the green open spaces of Weavers Fields, which are also close by. Spitalfields and Shoreditch offer further dining, entertainment, and shopping opportunities, with restaurants including Ottolenghi, Cecconi’s, and St. John Bread & Wine.
Transport links are excellent; the house is equidistant to Shoreditch High Street station (London Overground) and Bethnal Green station (Central Line), and approximately a mile from Liverpool Street station (Central, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines) and the City.
Council Tax Band: F
Previously an extramural suburb of the City of London, Shoreditch has played its part as a cultural hub for entertainment since the Elizabethan era (with some of William Shakespeare’s earliest plays being performed locally). More importantly, it was a hub for craft and manufacturing up until as late as the early 20th century.
Largely rural until the 18th century, wealthy traders and French Huguenot silk weavers moved to the area, settling in newly built Georgian terraces and establishing a renowned textile industry to the south of Spitalfields. Raw materials were easily transported and exported from Bethnal Green because of the area’s close proximity to canals and docks. This, coupled with waves of immigration and a ready supply of labour, meant silk weaving prospered in the area.
Today, Shoreditch is once again an area of creativity and innovation. Vestiges of the area’s past are found in the remaining early-Georgian to late-Victorian dwellings and workshops and are commemorated in spaces like the Geffrye Museum on Kingsland Road.
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