This delicately composed two-bedroom home is laid out over three half-levels. Measuring over 800 sq ft and set in a Victorian former coach house, it lies within the Victoria Park conservation area and is brilliantly close to Victoria Park itself. The original structure has been respected and beautifully preserved, with the internal spaces reconfigured and reconceived by architects Matheson Whitely in collaboration with the current owner to a sympathetic design, true to the building’s original 19th-century light-industrial intent.
Setting the Scene
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.
The Coach House lies at the end of Queen Anne Road, set discreetly behind a simple stock brick façade; tall original double plank doors offer few clues that a private residence lies within. The spaces inside are peaceful and contemplative, with rooms stripped back to their bare essence and the most honest of materials: untreated and repurposed floorboards, exposed joists, reclaimed cast-iron radiators and chalky-patinaed walls with butt & bead panelling featuring intermittently. A series of niches carved high into the walls lend an almost monastic air to some rooms. Louis H. Sullivan’s famed axiom of ‘form follows function’ has perhaps never been more applicable than in this home.
The Grand Tour
Entry is through double doors at street level and immediately to a private hallway with generous storage cupboards on either side. A wide-set half-glazed door leads to the main living space, where barely plastered walls painted in ‘Lamp Room Grey’ by Farrow & Ball ensure the soft silhouette of the original set bricks adds depth to the room. The tall boarded ceiling is punctuated by an electric skylight, which allows a sublime quality of light to enter. There is a separate WC on the ground floor with a wide reclaimed ceramic sink and taps, with a space for a washer/dryer discreetly set underneath.
Wooden stairs ascend to the dining room, clad in butt & bead panelling and painted in chalky ‘Lime White’ by Farrow & Ball. This room is also lit from above through a glass aperture set into the bare ceiling joists. Symmetrical paned glass dividing screens conveniently separate the kitchen and food preparation area from the dining room, yet allow an easy flow between the two; this is resolutely a sociable space. The kitchen is lit by two east-facing sash windows overlooking the exterior terrace, and decorated with planes of oak resting atop hand-built cabinetry painted in Little Greene’s ‘Olive Colour’. A repurposed large ceramic sink acts as a centre piece, with antique brass bibcock taps set behind. A warming cream Esse two-plate cooker is positioned to one side and is for sale by separate negotiation.
The bedrooms and bathroom lie on the lower ground floor. The bathroom acts as an antechamber of sorts to the bedchambers beyond but is also a beautiful space within its own right. It is lit from high-set triplicate wooden casement windows, designed in the weaver’s style and inset with large panes of etched glass. Antique brassware is from specialists Stiffkey Bathrooms and incorporates a mixer spout and handheld shower. These are positioned to complement a freestanding bath (not included in the sale).
Beyond a further four-panel door lies the larger of the two bedrooms, which has a wall of built-in wardrobes. An off-centre shuttered window welcomes light to the space while maintaining the sense of intimacy felt throughout the house. Butt & bead panelled walls are painted in the soothing ‘Penoir’ by Farrow & Ball.
The Great Outdoors
The choice of local parks is exceptional; the borough of Hackney has the most park acreage in the whole of London. Well Street Common lies at the end of Queen Anne Road, a wonderful open space surrounded by London plane trees and Victorian villas.
The common leads immediately to Victoria Park, east London’s largest park encompassing 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.
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 and 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 closest train stations are Cambridge Heath or London Fields, both 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 10-minute cycle ride away.
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