This handsome five-bedroom house, with a private garden, occupies a most excellent and central position on Albion Square, northeast London. The house is arranged over four characterful levels with internal accommodation of over 2,700 sq ft; the largest home on what is arguably Hackney’s finest residential garden square. The highly coveted and exquisite enclave of mid-19th century, Grade II-listed villas was designed in pairs around beautifully maintained communal gardens. This house has retained almost all of its original architectural features, which lie waiting to be revealed and celebrated. There is great potential to improve the home further, and as such, it will require some updating.
Setting the Scene
Albion Square was laid out in the 1840s by the brick-maker Islip Odell, with the houses presenting a pleasing stateliness and a sense of municipal improvement. They were arranged around a central drinking fountain and public garden. Prior to this, the surrounding area was mainly market gardens that supplied the markets in the City of London, as well as open pastures.
Each ‘pair’ of houses on the 30-house square is unique, together presenting a multifarious union of grand, stucco-fronted homes. This house was built in 1846 in the neoclassical style, three bays wide, with a Welsh slate mansard roof inset with dormer windows. There are elegant stucco dressings to the larger six/six sash windows, and a stucco cornice rests below the roofline.
The Grand Tour
Entry is via a cast-iron-gated front garden, where steps ascend to a raised-ground floor prostyle porch with square columns; there is also separate side access to the rear garden. The original arched-panel main entrance door opens to the hallway, in turn leading to the bipartite reception room.
An exceptionally voluminous room, the south-facing drawing room is some 33ft deep and has wonderfully tall ceilings painted a sunny yellow; light floods the space between large, double sash windows at the front, and a single large window to the rear, both with surrounding shutters. There is fine plasterwork, deep skirting boards and an original Carrara marble fireplace with a cast-iron grate. Original panelled wedding doors conveniently allow each section to be partitioned, if required. At the rear of the hallway is a guest WC, and external access for steps to the garden.
The lower ground floor is currently configured as two separate rooms, with the dining room set at the front, and the spacious kitchen to the rear. The dining room has pretty handblocked wallpaper by GP & J Baker in a rose design, while the kitchen is home to fitted cupboards and a red enamel Aga range cooker. This room is large enough to sit in; however, subject to local planning and listed buildings consent, these two rooms could be opened up if required, as many of the homes on the square have been already.
The first floor is home to two bedrooms, with the principal bedroom set to the front of the plan, overlooking the garden square. Walls are painted a deep pink, and there is a separate dressing room with en suite facilities. The second bedroom overlooks the rear garden and is papered in a lovely floral design. This room has sole use of the bathroom located off the hallway. Three further well-sized bedrooms and an additional bathroom are positioned on the second floor, at the apex of the house.
Although the home will benefit from updating internally, the current owners have carefully maintained the building itself. In recent years, the house has had a full renovation of the roof, as well as regular guttering maintenance, and all the original windows have been overhauled with the acclaimed Ventrolla draughtproofing brush system.
The Great Outdoors
To the front of the house is a pretty garden, planted with an array of shrubs and flowers, while the rear garden has a brick paved terrace closest to the house, with a lawn surrounded by mature shrubs leading to a second rear terrace. There is also a charming Victorian-style greenhouse positioned here.
Out and About
Albion Square is situated within the eponymous conservation area and is a short eastward walk from London Fields and Broadway Market, with its weekly organic farmers’ market, gastro pubs, restaurants and shops, and to the west, De Beauvoir town and the Regent’s Canal. There are a number of excellent pubs and restaurants in the area, notably the De Beauvoir Arms; the popular De Beauvoir Deli is close by. The independent shops and cafes of Columbia Road, known for its flower market on Sundays, are within easy reach to the south, as are both Shoreditch and Spitalfields.
Queensbridge Primary School is a two-minute walk away and is rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, as is the senior Mossbourne Community Academy on Hackney Downs, a 20-minute walk away. Further independent schools are a short train ride away on the North London line from Dalston Kingsland station, including Northbridge House’s Senior Canonbury school, while both City of London School for Boys and City of London School for Girls are a bus ride from Hackney Road.
Haggerston station (London Overground) and London Fields Overground provide convenient access to the City, West End and Canary Wharf. Dalston Junction has also been proposed as a station on the Crossrail II route.
Council Tax Band: G
- 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