This exceptional two-bedroom apartment is located in the heart of Copse Hill, on a peaceful, tree-lined road close to Wimbledon Common. Unfolding laterally across the first floor of an imposing Grade II-listed building, the interior spaces have recently undergone a sympathetic restoration that celebrates the building’s period features, including voluminous ceiling heights and parquet flooring, while introducing an earthy material and colour palette. The apartment has private allotted parking and a landscaped communal resident’s garden to the rear.
Setting the Scene
Birch Lodge was constructed in the mid-19th-century in the Italianate style and is one of the few remaining buildings of the period on Copse Hill. Faced in yellow brick, it has been finished with intricate stone architraves, banding and corbelled eaves. Widely developed in the 1850s, it is one of a handful of villas erected on what was named the Cottenham Park estate. Copse Hill was widened in 1925, and much of the area’s present housing dates from this time. The few grand villas remaining are listed for their architectural significance, saving them for future generations. For more information, please see the History section below.
The Grand Tour
Stairs ascend from the grand communal entrance stairwell to the first floor, where the apartment is accessed via a bright, airy reception hall. This leads to the remarkable kitchen, living and dining room, which has been conceived as a vast, open-plan entertaining space. Finished in Farrow and Ball paint and with hardwood parquet flooring, the room is complemented by antique French folding doors from c.1800. Two large sash windows are flanked by bespoke shutters and cast light across the immaculately executed interiors.
A bespoke Beeck kitchen by Arlington Design has integrated Siemens appliances and a copper sink. The kitchen walls have been treated in a plaster finish by Craig and Rose, blending with the bespoke cabinetry. A floating island divides the cooking space from the living and dining areas, which both have more than enough space for entertaining on a large scale.
A set of double doors leads from the reception room to the primary bedroom suite, which is bathed in natural light welcomed in by a triple sash window and maximised by a palette of earthy colours. One wall is lined with Cole and Son‘s ‘Fornasetti’ wallpaper, and a bank of fitted wardrobes has been finished in a vibrant shade of orange. Sliding doors lead to an en suite bathroom, finished entirely in a striking gold and white scheme. The bottom half of the walls are wrapped in brass, which will develop an incredible patina over time; the exterior of the bath, the light fittings and all of the fixtures are finished in the same shade, creating an incredibly striking room.
An additional bedroom suite lies at the far end of the entrance hall. The room has been finished in a beautiful deep blue by Farrow and Ball, creating a tranquil space for sleeping; a further sash window overlooks the front garden, and bespoke cabinetry is built in. An en suite bathroom is finished in stormy grey Venetian plaster, with terracotta tiles on the floor and narrow grey tiles lining the shower.
The Great Outdoors
Externally, a sweeping gravelled driveway leads to the front of the home, where there is a large front lawn and allocated private parking. To the rear, an exceptionally manicured lawn is a secluded respite for residents. There are calm and shaded spots beneath mature trees and beautiful, well-tended flower beds dotted across the garden.
Out and About
Birch Lodge is a 15-minute walk from Wimbledon Village, and the immediate local area has an exceptional choice of both independent and large-scale shops and restaurants. Bayley and Sage and Table @ Vallebona are local favourite grocers, while Wimbledon Village Farmers Market is a popular choice for small-scale provisors. The Ivy Café and Fire Stables are the preferred immediate choices for drinks and dining. A large branch of Waitrose is a five-minute drive away. Barham Road gives access to Fishponds Wood and Beverley Meads nature reserve, which has coppiced hazel and oak woodland.
Local state schools are excellent, with Ursuline High School, Wimbledon College and Rutlish School being of particular note. Independent schools include King’s College School, Wimbledon High School, Hall School Wimbledon and Donhead Preparatory.
The area is well-served by Raynes Park (South Western Railway) and Wimbledon Station (District Line, South Western and Thameslink). There is also easy access to and from Wimbledon by car, as it borders the A3 and A24, linking the southwest with Central London.
Tenure: Share of Freehold
Lease Length: approx. 87 years remaining
Service Charge: approx. £2,450 pa
Ground Rent: approx. £50 pa
Council Tax Band: E
Deriving its name from the extensive woodland which covered the area from ancient times, Copse Hill was once awash with Victorian and Edwardian villas of significant architectural importance.
The first mansion to appear in the area was Prospect Place, built in the 18th century by a London goldsmith. It had extensive grounds that famous landscape architect Humphry Repton later improved. The estate went on to be sold to developers, and in 1850 several villas were erected in the area (later named the Cottenham Park estate); Birch Lodge was one such villa.
Prospect Place was demolished in the 1860s and the area saw slow expansion into the late 19th century and during the First and Second World Wars. Copse Hill is now known for its remaining grand residential houses, wide tree-lined roads and significant historical merit.
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