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Almeida Street
Sold Subject To Contract
London N1£3,650,000 Freehold

Almeida Street

Lovingly retained period features are set against a background of limewashed walls and hand-blocked wallpapers designed by contemporary artisanal makers

This elegant, late-Georgian townhouse lies on Almeida Street, one of the finest streets in Islington’s Barnsbury Conservation Area. Beautifully designed and recently renovated to an exceptionally high standard, the four-bedroom house is set over 2,500 sq ft across five light-filled levels and has a magical south-facing private walled garden. The restoration encompasses countless historic and complementary details, including wonderful bespoke cabinetry, exquisite decorative finishes and newer architectural elements including a handsome custom-built kitchen and further chic bathrooms; striking original plasterwork features throughout.

Setting the Scene

Set upon the south side of Almeida Street, some distance from the bustling Upper Street, the house was built in the late 1820s in the neoclassical style from yellow brick set in Flemish bond, with channelled stucco to the ground floor. Stucco dressings frame the entire façade’s apertures with a further stucco parapet wall set above. Box sash windows define the upper and lower storeys, while the piano nobile has tall casement windows set behind original decorative cast-iron balconettes. The house is set behind spearhead iron railings with a cast-iron cage set over the lower-ground floor for additional security, adding to the alarmed security system already in place. For more information, see the History section below.

The Grand Tour

Entry is through a panelled front door, set into a round-arched doorcase with pilaster jambs; a roundhead fan light is set above. Opening to the home’s hallway, sisal carpeting extends underfoot, leading to the winding staircase directly ahead with a clear vista guiding towards the glazed garden door beyond. Elevations in the hallway are framed by one of several beautiful plaster cornicing motifs in the house; here, in a shell and scallop motif.

Walls in all the home’s spaces are painted in Bauwerk limewash paint in varying subtle shades, except where hand-blocked wallpaper by various artisan manufacturers has been employed. Cast-iron radiators are also used throughout, complemented by Jim Lawrence brass electric plates. There is a video intercom system positioned on the bottom three floors of the house for convenience.

On the ground floor, there is a bipartite reception room, currently configured as a sitting room with an elegant painted Regency chimneypiece to the front. A study area is arranged to the rear, with French windows opening to a cast-iron balcony featuring a decorative iron balustrade leading to steps down to the garden below. Limed oak parquet flooring connects both these spaces through a wide set architrave, with the rear area papered in grass cloth from Phillip Jeffries and bespoke fitted bookcases in the alcoves.

The lower-ground floor is home to the kitchen and dining area, a separate utility room set in a large vault to the front of the plan, and a bathroom to the rear. The open-plan kitchen is a generously-sized room almost 30 ft deep, with further limed oak parquet flooring underfoot and custom-built cabinetry clad in a beautiful patinated verdigris finish. A large island is positioned centrally, with thick-cast polished concrete in an ivory colour above. Open shelves line one wall with Rose Uniacke spotlights positioned above; ironmongery is by Beata Heuman and Jim Lawrence, a recurring theme throughout the house. Integrated appliances are Fisher and Paykel and a brass Quooker tap is positioned at the sink beside the window looking out to the front lightwell. The dining area to the rear looks through French windows that open to a small lower-ground terrace.

Ascending to the first floor, there is a further bipartite reception room, currently configured as a spacious drawing room. Each space could be separated, if required, to create an additional fourth bedroom to the rear, though a wide set architrave connects both currently. Here, original Georgian pine floorboards connect the spaces, and tall shuttered casement windows open to the street below. Plasterwork in this room is particularly beautiful and a slate chimneypiece with tiled slips grounds the space. The rear of the room is currently used as an additional study area and is papered in a striking design by Ottoline de Vries.

The principal bedroom suite is positioned across the entire second floor, with sleeping quarters to the front of the plan. A partition wall divides it from the en suite bathroom to the rear. Further reclaimed pine floorboards unify the spaces, and a wall of bespoke floor-to-ceiling wardrobing some 20 ft in length runs almost the entire length of the floor. The doors are handpainted by decorative artist Tess Newall with bamboo and hummingbirds and have Joseph Giles handles, while the interiors showcase oak shelves, integrated lighting and soft-close drawers with Beata Heuman handles.

The en suite bathroom is a beautiful space, with walls encased in rose-hued waterproof Tadelakt, thoughtfully colour-matched to the ‘Marrakesh’ Bauwerk walls in the bedroom. A white resin bateau bathtub rests beside the window, and the spacious open shower area has a rainfall shower head and marble shower tray; the vanity unit with double sinks uses the same marble atop. Brassware is unlacquered and from Aston Matthews, while a WC is discreetly set in its own closet behind a mirrored glass door. Underfloor heating is conveniently incorporated into the bathroom area and the dividing wall is adorned with wallpaper from Maison C.

The uppermost storey has two further bedrooms, sharing a Jack-and-Jill bathroom. The ceilings have been opened up to reveal the roof’s pitch, creating a further sense of space with the valley roof exposed. Both the bedrooms are carpeted, with further fitted wardrobing. The front bedroom is papered in a design from Antoinette Poisson and the rear bedroom is in a beautiful floral-patterned paper from Pierre Frey. The connecting bathroom also has underfloor heating, with a boxed bath, Bert and May patterned tiles set in a separate shower area, and chrome brassware in a traditional design. The walls are papered in a classical illustration by Kate Hawkins for CommonRoom.

The Great Outdoors

The south-facing walled garden has recently been thoughtfully relandscaped to create a duo of brilliant outdoor living spaces – a sitting and dining area, respectively.

A brick-paved terrace forms most of this outdoor living space, laid in a circular pattern in the centre of the garden, where custom benches with curved backs mirror the floor pattern, and are surrounded by plentiful flowers and shrubs. A dining area to the rear of the garden is set beneath a pergola, festooned with climbing roses during high summer.

Above the walls is further crisscrossed wooden fencing, for an additional sense of privacy, through which scented clematis winds its way around.

Out and About

Almeida Street is moments away from the boutiques, cafes, and eateries of Upper Street, home to an abundance of amenities, from Ottolenghi to Gails, the neighbouring Almeida Theatre and to The Old Red Lion Theatre & Pub. The charming Compton Arms and the fantastic Union Chapel are a few minutes’ walk from the house.

Islington High Street and the excellent Camden Passage are also close by. The area has very good gastropubs, including The Drapers Arms and The Albion. The Wolseley group’s Bellanger is nearby on Islington Green.

The much-admired shops and restaurants of Highbury Barn are just to the north, through the green open space of Highbury Fields – which has tennis courts, a playground, and a swimming pool. King’s Cross and Coal Drops Yard are also within easy reach.

Several quality schools are within easy reach of Gibson Square, including the Ofsted-rated “Outstanding” William Tyndale Primary School, the independent Dallington School, St Paul’s Cathedral School and North Bridge House School. London’s best independent secondary schools are a short bus or tube ride away and include the City of London School and the City of London School for Girls.

The area enjoys excellent access to public transport, including several main bus routes to the City and central London. The Victoria Line at Highbury & Islington is 10 minutes’ walk from the house to the north, and the Northern Line is five minutes’ walk away at Angel to the south. The Eurostar at King’s Cross St Pancras is also easily accessible, as are London’s airports.

Council Tax Band: G

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. Inigo has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.

History

The village of Islington was originally comprised of Upper Street and Lower Street, now known as Essex Road. Upper Street served as a route for cattle drovers heading to Smithfield Market in the City of London. These two streets met at Islington Green and have been in existence since at least the 12th century.

The fields surrounding Upper Street were once farmland, as they were conveniently close to the expanding City of London. However, in the 18th century, Upper Street began its transformation from an agricultural area to a residential one. Initially, it saw the construction of a sprinkling of gentlemen’s houses and tradesmen’s cottages. By 1735, Upper Street was almost entirely developed.

The land on which Almeida Street was built was held by the Milner-Gibson family, who came from Theberton in Suffolk, hence the name of Theberton Street which was the first street to be built in the area to the west of Upper Street and to the south of the soon-to-be parallel Almeida Street. Almeida Street is immediately adjacent to the east of both Gibson and Milner Squares, both composed of similarly elegant, stuccoed townhouses. Almeida Street and connected Almeida Passage are named after the Portuguese town of Almeida, which lies close to the border with Spain, though the reason for the use of the name or any possible connection to the Milner-Gibson’s is unknown.

In 1823 Thomas Milner-Gibson leased the land from local landowner William Tufnell, and his estate surveyor and architect Francis Edwards laid out an estate between 1828 and 1846, with this house and its terrace built between 1828 – 1830. The majority of the surrounding squares and streets were completed by 1839; Milner Square and Gibson Square were also built in a similarly neoclassical style. The squares and surrounding streets were built for and occupied by prosperous middle-class tradesmen and professionals of the time.

Aside from being a landowner and developer, Thomas Milner-Gibson was a member of parliament, President of the Board of Trade, supporter of the free-trade movement and a leading anti-Corn Laws orator.

Almeida Street — London N1
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