This wonderful three-bedroom lateral apartment is positioned on the uppermost floor of Biddulph Mansions. Built in 1907, the handsome five-storey Edwardian red-brick mansion block is on the south side of Elgin Avenue, in the heart of Maida Vale’s conservation area. Internal accommodation extends to over 1000 sq ft, with a wonderfully designed plan. Bedrooms and bathrooms overlook the proud gables of the companion mansion opposite, and the voluminous south-facing living space overlooks the communal gardens. The apartment has recently undergone extensive renovations; rooms are painted in beautifully light chalky colours, with all services, utilities and bathrooms overhauled, yet it retains countless original features, including beautiful historic cornicing, mouldings, joinery, and fenestration.
Setting the Scene
Set back from the road behind a low wall and Buxus hedging, the mansion is built from red brick with stucco dressings at its fenestration and has a spacious roundhead entrance porch. French doors lead from each apartment to decorative wrought iron balconies, while a set of raised steps lead to the main entrance’s wedding doors.
The apartments were built to the classical principles advocated by John Ruskin, noted aesthete and artist of the earlier Victorian age. A wide set road, mature plane trees span Elgin Avenue’s entire length, offering an exceptional vista come late Spring. For more information about the building, please see the History section below.
The Grand Tour
Entry to the apartment is via stairs ascending to the third floor and immediately to the private hallway, which bisects the entire length of the plan, with a wonderful vista along its north-south axis.
At the southern range of the plan lies the living room and kitchen, with large sash windows to the rear flooding the space with light. The pitch of the roof above is revealed and lends an additional sense of light and volume to the room. Rafters have been exposed and a mezzanine platform is set below an original glass skylight. A wall of blue cupboards conceals storage and the apartment’s laundry facilities.
The kitchen is discreetly positioned to the rear of the space, featuring chalk-white panelled cupboards and white mosaic tiled work surfaces. A window opens to a lightwell here, and a French door leads from the living space to a small balcony and a secondary internal lightwell. The living quarters are beautifully designed, with the open roof lending great originality and a sense of contemporariness to the apartment’s, otherwise formal, Edwardian plan.
Two bedrooms are set to the front of the apartment, overlooking the avenue. One has a large tripartite casement window set into an arched opening; the second has two French windows leading to the exterior balcony. A third bedroom is positioned to the rear and has an en suite bathroom, with a claw foot roll top bath, traditional-design sanitaryware and corresponding chrome-plated brassware. All three could easily accommodate a double bed and can be used either as bedrooms or space for home study; a separate shower room lies off the hallway.
The Great Outdoors
The communal lawn and gardens to the rear of the apartment are neatly manicured and beautifully maintained by the building’s gardeners. There are several seating areas beneath the mature trees, including a lovely centrally-positioned pergola and a separate paved terrace.
Additionally, the wide-open space of Paddington Recreation Ground is less than a minutes walk away, with its tennis courts, cricket pitch, bowling green and pavilion with café. This parkland is the largest area of open green space in the whole of the City of Westminster, and was created in 1888 for the people of the borough.
Out and About
Elgin Avenue is brilliantly located in the heart of Maida Vale and close to Little Venice and St John’s Wood. There are plenty of excellent shops, cafes and restaurants nearby, and an Everyman cinema. Clifton Road is close by and has a number of independent boutiques and delis, while there is an excellent weekly farmers’ market on Sunday at nearby Queen’s Park. The Regent’s Canal and the waterfront restaurants of Little Venice are also close at hand. Westbourne Park and Notting Hill are a short distance to the west, while Golborne Road and Portobello Road are easily accessible.
There are plenty of transport options locally. The nearest Underground station is Maida Vale (Bakerloo Line), a one-minute walk away, and St Johns Wood (Jubilee Line) is within easy walking distance to the east. Paddington Station is less than a 10-minute drive away for westward trains and the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail). The Westway provides road access out of London and towards Heathrow Airport.
Lease Length: 999 years from 29 September 1977
Service Charge: Approx. £6000 per annum
Ground Rent: £50 per annum
Council Tax Band: E
Maida Vale was originally woodland and pasture owned by the Bishop of London after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century. The land was leased to Sir John Frederick in 1742, with the area later beginning to be developed at the start of the 19th century as a smart London suburb.
The streets surrounding the mansion block were laid out in the 1890s, and Biddulph Mansions was built for the middle classes in 1907 by the architects Boehmer & Gibbs, and named after Queen Victoria’s private secretary Sir Thomas Biddulph.
The mansion was built to the classical principles advocated by John Ruskin; Elgin Avenue and the surrounding streets all lie within the Maida Vale Conservation Area and continue to be beautifully preserved and protected.