This wonderful four-bedroom townhouse on the tranquil tree-lined Urlwin Street unfolds over four floors. The current owners have overseen a complete restoration of the Grade II-listed building, retaining its Georgian grandeur and carefully restoring its character. A sage green and cream colour scheme prevails throughout, echoing the spacious garden seen through large sash windows at the back of the house. Positioned in the Grosvenor Park Conservation Area, it is equidistant to the neighbourhoods of Walworth and Camberwell and excellently located for access to central London.
Setting the Scene
The house is the end of a terrace of three built in 1820 as part of a project to develop the land south of the Thames following the opening of Blackfriars Bridge in 1769. Constructed from London stock brick arranged in a Flemish bond with gauged brick lintels, a slate roof and stucco accents, it is nestled in the Grosvenor Park Conservation Area, an area west of Camberwell Road. Although houses vary in size and style, they are all defined by their typically Georgian architectural motifs. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
A flight of stone steps leads to the front door, decorated with a fanlight and flanked by columns set into a flush stucco aedicule. The smart black gloss door has brass accents and opens to an impressive hallway. Setting the tone for the rest of the house, panelling is finished in ‘Treron’, with the walls painted in ‘Joa’s White’, both by Farrow & Ball, accentuating the high ceiling with a pretty cornice. A monochrome tiled floor leads the eye through the space towards the staircase that leads to both the basement and the upper floors.
A doorway immediately on the right of the hallway opens to the dining room. Here, an 8×8 sash window with margin panels and white shutters allows natural light to pour through while creating symmetry. Restored panelling is painted in a gentle cream, lending a tranquil air. An open double doorway provides a seamless transition to the kitchen. Cabinets are painted in the same shade as the panelling in the hallway, creating a clever cohesion; they are topped by a hardy white marble work surface. Practical elements include a Lofra range cooker, a Butler’s sink with striking brass taps, ample storage space and a built-in window seat with under-bench storage. A 6×6 sash window looks directly onto the garden and captures the sun throughout the day.
A half-level down, a large glass door opens from the stairs to the garden. The reception room, situated on the lower-ground floor, also opens directly onto the garden creating a seamless transition between the interior and exterior spaces. Adjacent, at the front of the plan, is a large bedroom. This floor has a pared-back palette of cream walls and wooden floorboards, adding an air of calm. There is also a handy shower room, where brass accents complement dark green tiling. This separate space means this floor could be easily used as an independent guest suite.
Two lovely bedrooms are situated on the first floor. The room at the back of the plan is a warm space with a southerly orientation and wide sash windows. The room to the front is currently used as a study and has ample built-in shelving; a further 6×6 sash window overlooks Urlwin Street. A third bedroom is tucked away in the eaves. A secluded room, it has been painted in a soft pink, with a flat dormer window and a Velux skylight. Cabinetry has been built along one wall with a desk in the middle that would make the perfect dressing table. Further storage space comes in the form of a generous walk-in wardrobe.
The main bathroom is on the first floor. Smartly dressed in white with marble veined floor tiles, the room has underfloor heating, a glass-fronted shower and a deep bath below a full-length window with plantation shutters.
The Great Outdoors
A spacious south-facing garden captures the sun throughout the day. The area closest to the house has been repaved with a brick and timber surround, creating a wraparound seating area perfect for socialising and soaking up the sun on summer days. A winding pathway leads across a verdant lawn to a raised area underlaid in concrete and connected to electricity for future development.
Out and About
Urlwin Street is excellently positioned within south London and is perfectly placed in the local community, yet it has swift access to central London. It is a short distance to Kennington and Oval, which is home to the Surrey Cricket Club and where there is a weekly Saturday farmers market. Just north are Walworth and Elephant & Castle. Set in a former paper factory, the open food market Mercato Metropolitano has emerged as a hub of activity, while Pullens Yards is home to a number of artists’ studios that host biannual open studios.
To the south is Camberwell, which has a distinct village feel. On Grove Lane is the local favourite, Theo’s Pizzeria and the newly opened Grove Lane Deli, which is hugely popular for provisions. Just around the corner, on Camberwell Church Street, further options include Veraison Wines for natural wines and light snacks in an elegant setting, while The Camberwell Arms is of particular note for its excellent cuisine. There is also a weekly farmer’s market on Camberwell Green.
Transport links in the area are excellent. Camberwell Road leads directly to Elephant & Castle, where the tube station – a 20-minute walk from Urlwin Road – connects to both the Bakerloo and Northern lines. Kennington tube station is also near the house and links with the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line. As such, the major train stations of London Bridge, Waterloo, and Charing Cross can all be swiftly accessed and provide rail links across the southeast of England.
Council Tax Band: F
This area of south London was relatively late to undergo development, being left as open fields in the early 1800s even when Camberwell to the south had been constructed upon.
Historic maps of 1847 show that the land was formerly adjacent to an area known as Montpelier Gardens before it was developed into a residential street. A map dated to the 1860s show that the street was previously known as Grosvenor Street before it was renamed as Urlwin Street in the mid-1900s.
- Five Good Things: what to see, read, visit and buy this OctoberPursuits
- At the Table: an evening of fun and feasting with Olympia and Ariadne IrvingLeisure
- Northern Lights: five homes in the north that have us in awe
- A Maker’s Story: Roddy Maude-Roxby, the man behind the maskInteriors
- Inspiration of the Week: more is more at this timber-framed house in Suffolk