This handsome five-bedroom house lies on leafy Burma Road, in Stoke Newington. Currently arranged with the upper portion as a four-bedroom home and lower-ground floor as a self-contained flat, the interiors span some 3,065 sq ft and unfold across five floors. Two tranquil private terraces overlook the garden to the rear and the City skyline to the front. The bucolic, west-facing garden is awash with fragrant salvias, dahlias and jasmine, and has a timber workshop at the end. Positioned just off historic Clissold Park and a short walk from much-loved Newington Green, Burma Road is wonderfully positioned. Canonbury, a 15-minute walk away, runs overground trains to Highbury & Islington, Shoreditch High Street and Stratford, as well as Camden and Hampstead. Dalston Kingsland and Dalston Junction overground stations are also within easy reach.
Setting the Scene
Previously a sizeable estate on the outskirts of London, the area surrounding Burma Road was developed towards the end of the 19th century. A sale document in 1891 describes a 10-acre site with a sizeable residence and various surrounding dwellings; after the death of the then-owner, a Mr. Alexander, the land was sold and developed shortly afterwards. It illustrates the great change that came over Stoke Newington towards the turn of the century; originally called Grange Road, this was later changed to Burma Road. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
A flight of stone steps leads to the main entrance; the stooped porch is surmounted by stuccoed columns, hailing back to the house’s construction in the late 19th century. Ahead lies an elegant hallway which has been finished in ‘Calke Green’ by Farrow and Ball, while reclaimed teak floorboards run underfoot. To the right of the hall is an open plan kitchen and reception room; the voluminous space is filled with light from a vast bay window, which overlooks quiet Burma Road, to the front. An open fireplace has a wood-burning stove for cooler months.
To the rear is a large kitchen diner, with views over the garden. Designed by Roundhouse, the kitchen units are finished in an inky shade of blue, topped with stainless steel counters which are backed by slate subway tiles. The glazed French doors of the kitchen lead onto a sunny terrace with stairs to the lower patio and garden beyond. A WC and handy utility room complete the floor.
On the first floor, a large bedroom is currently used as a study and studio space, and has original stripped flooring. The sash windows run nearly the whole height of the wall. Adjacent is a handsome rear-facing bedroom with a 19th-century stove fireplace. The room leads out onto a terrace, which has reclaimed Moroccan cement floor tiles and a wooden canopy above. There is a bathroom on the half landing with bath, basin and WC.
The second floor is home to the primary bedroom suite, an expansive space comprising the bedroom, a walk-in wardrobe and a large en suite. The bedroom has been finished in a soothing olive green by Atelier Ellis and has painted timber flooring. The space is lit by two large sash windows, and an original fireplace provides a focal point to the room. To the rear of the bedroom is a large walk-in wardrobe and en suite bathroom. The en suite, with separate vanity and WC, is painted in plum brown, and Emery & Cie Moroccan cement tiles frame a bath.
On the top floor, a fourth bedroom is currently used as a studio space. With a wall of sliding glazing, the room leads on to a large private terrace, with a high vantage point that provides exceptional views over London. The room has been finished in clean white paint, with floorboards in ‘Shaded White’ by Farrow & Ball. There is a separate en suite with pale slate flooring, shower and WC.
The lower ground floor is home to a self-contained annexe flat. Accessed via a separate entrance to the front of the house, the annexe occupies the whole of the basement and comprises a kitchen diner, bedroom, study and bathroom. The kitchen diner, to the front of the house, is awash with natural light from an expansive bay window, which overlooks the small front garden. A bank of red kitchen units line one wall and the room has been finished in cool, neutral tones. A large bedroom overlooks the rear garden of the house, and a handy study or studio sits adjacent, with shower room between. The annexe has direct access to the rear garden.
The Great Outdoors
To the rear, a 60 sq ft, wonderfully private garden unfolds from the house. A Yorkstone patio, perfect for summer entertaining and al fresco dining, leads to the mature garden beyond. Partially shaded by a large olive tree, beds have been planted with poppies, hellebores and wallflowers for colour over the seasons. Brick-laid pathways lead around the flower beds to a large oak-framed workshop and potting shed at the rear, which has a tranquil secondary patio area.
Out and About
The house is wonderfully positioned just off historic Clissold Park and a short walk from Stoke Newington’s much-loved Church Street. Church Street is home to The Spence Bakery, Escocesa, Rubedo, AUN and The Good Egg, as well as many other independent businesses. Whole Foods Market and Newington Green Fruit and Vegetables are close by for a variety of fresh produce. The house is also within easy reach of the numerous independent shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs around Newington Green; The Clarence Tavern, Esters, Mangal 1, Jolene, Perilla and Cadet are particular neighbourhood favourites. A short walk away is Primeur; recently described as “the perfect neighbourhood restaurant,” it serves modern European cuisine and natural wine on nearby Petherton Road. On Saturday mornings, a farmers’ market takes place in St Paul’s churchyard on Stoke Newington High Street.
The house is also near several popular green spaces. Clissold Park – a compact park that packs a punch – is just off the house’s doorstep. It’s home to an aviary, beautiful lakes, a café, tennis courts, a skate park, a children’s playground and paddling pool – as well as a few resident deer. Within the park is the Grade II-listed colonnaded Clissold Mansion, built in the 1790s for a local Quaker. Abney Park & Cemetery is about a 20-minute walk, and is one of the ‘Magnificent Seven’, an unofficial designation given to 19th-century private cemeteries in London. It is also a private nature reserve, with more than 2,500 varieties of plants.
For further adventures in nature, visit the Woodberry Wetlands, a 12-hectare conservation site, formerly a working reservoir, which is now a thriving habitat for migratory birds. Opened by Sir David Attenborough in 2016, you can see waterfowl, grey heron, tufted duck and kingfisher, among others, from the boardwalk around the East Reservoir, and enjoy spectacular views from the Coal House Café’s roof terrace. The West Reservoir of the wetlands has been converted into an outdoor swimming spot and sports centre, with year-round open-water swimming, sailing and kayaking.
Transport connections are excellent. Canonbury, a 15-minute walk away, runs overground trains to Highbury & Islington, Shoreditch High Street, Stratford, Camden and Hampstead. Dalston Kingsland and Dalston Junction overground are also within easy reach, while nearby Stoke Newington and Rectory Road stations are close by; both run overground services to Liverpool Street in around 10 minutes or Seven Sisters, for connections to the Underground, in around four minutes. There are plenty of good bus connections to the centre of the city, including to London Bridge, Victoria, Waterloo and Kings Cross.
Council Tax Band: G
Stoke Newington (affectionately referred to as ‘Stokey’ by its residents) and Newington Green occupy the northwest corner of Hackney. Both neighbourhoods are veritably steeped in history – with Stoke Newington long belonging to St Paul’s diocese and the west side of Newington Green home to London’s oldest brick terrace (numbers 52-55), dating back to 1658.
Artefacts discovered in Stoke Newington Common and Abney Park & Cemetery date the earliest habitation in the area to the Neolithic period. Stoke Newington is believed to mean “new town in the wood” and was lightly settled for several centuries, close to larger neighbouring Saxon settlements along the River Lea. In the Middle Ages and Tudor times, it was a very small village a few miles from the city of London, frequently visited by travellers journeying north. The Manor of Stoke Newington is recorded as ‘Neutone’ in the Domesday Book of 1086, and is described as belonging to St Paul’s diocese both before and after the Norman Conquest, with the Manor providing an income for the work of the cathedral.
In the 18th century the manor passed to Lady Mary Abney, of the eponymous park and cemetery, who first drew up detailed plans of the area and began laying out designated parkland. During this period, a number of Quaker and nonconformist families settled in the area, laying the groundwork for the area’s reputation as being anti-establishment. By the end of the 19th century, however, much of the land had been sold off in parcels and gradually, the village was absorbed into the city.
In the 1960s, Stoke Newington became the stomping ground for political radicals and bohemians; while Newington Green’s Unitarian Church was a centre for revolutionary thinking and social reform. Notably, the church is where early feminist philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft had her political awakening. Today, both areas retain a village-like feel – especially around Stoke Newington’s Church Street and Newington Green itself – in part because they are not on the tube map (they are instead serviced by the Overground network).
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