This prominent red brick Edwardian house lies at the upper end of Frognal, within the Hampstead Conservation Area; peaceful, yet moments from Hampstead High Street. Built in 1906 by Amyan Champneys, the detached home is an excellent example of the then avant-garde Arts and Crafts style. The house has four bedrooms, is set over three characterful levels and measures over 2,400 sq ft internally; there is parquet flooring in most rooms and beautiful original windows throughout. The double garage is crowned with a capacious conservatory and there is a private driveway, with wonderfully mature and private south-facing gardens to the rear. Additionally, coveted planning permission has been secured to extend the current plan, and for general improvements and alterations to the existing structure.
Setting the Scene
When it was first built, the house was named Frognal Cottage. It is a fine example of vernacular architecture, with a pleasingly symmetrical façade, and is mentioned in many architectural books (though not listed). The integrity of the building has not been compromised over time, and its true scale, form and architectural features have been wonderfully preserved.
The upper end of Frognal, from Frognal Lane to Frognal Rise, was a distinct hamlet in the 17th and 18th century; the earliest settlement of the area was probably found near the junction of Frognal and Frognal Lane. Several 18th-century houses remain. Frognal was extended southwards in the 1880s and much of Frognal today is characterized by late 19th-century and early 20th-century houses set in spacious and well-treed gardens.
The Grand Tour
The house is set back from the road behind iron railings, with the front elevation dominated by two large oriel windows and a paired tile-hung gable arrangement. The predominately red brickwork, which has sections of fine decorative details, contrasts beautifully with areas of white painted render and tiling. Behind a paved private driveway is a sympathetic double garage extension built in the 1960s, surmounted by a spacious first-floor glazed conservatory with a curved hipped end.
There are two separate symmetrical entrances to the house. The informal entrance opens immediately to the kitchen, while the primary entrance is to the hallway, where oak parquet flooring runs underfoot. Two beautiful oculus windows allow light to flow through the hall and over the fine central staircase. The hallway leads to the dining room, which overlooks a peaceful courtyard garden. Expansive nine/nine sash windows in the dining room are inset with a glazed door that opens to the exterior terrace, while a handsome bolection chimneypiece acts as a focal point.
The kitchen lies to the front of the plan. The wood-panelled kitchen, handmade by Smallbone, has clay tiles underfoot and white Corian worksurfaces atop the white-painted cabinetry. Pretty pale blue hand-glazed tiles are inset to the hearth and a corresponding dresser lines one wall. A separate service hallway leads to the utility-cum-boot area and WC to the rear.
The entirely unique sitting room is positioned on the first floor and encompasses the complete width of the plan. The room is surrounded with varying fenestration, including two deep oriel windows with inset window seats; these have an almost treehouse-like quality when seated, looking out to the greenery of the mature oak tree directly outside. An exceptional stone chimney piece with working fire is original to the house, and in the classic Arts and Crafts style. The capacious conservatory has a pitched roof and overlooks the gardens to the rear. Marble floor tiles extend from here to the outdoor terrace, which has a pretty iron balustrade and decorative balusters.
The main bedroom lies at the rear of the first floor and has sole use of the main bathroom, which is clad in pale pink Rosa Portogallo marble. There are three further bedrooms at the apex of the house on the second floor, with a separate bathroom serving all three rooms.
The Great Outdoors
The York stone-paved terrace and seating area is accessible from both the ground floor dining room and boot room. East-facing, it catches the morning light and is perfect for morning coffee alfresco.
An arched gateway strewn in climbing roses leads to an expansive south-facing walled garden, lawned and well stocked with flowers and shrubs. Hornbeams afford privacy and seclusion; there is also a spectacular wisteria tree, a mature magnolia tree and several laurel bushes. There is rear access to the garden from the garage, as well as from the first-floor conservatory via the beautiful wrought-iron spiral staircase with its complementary balcony.
Out and About
The house is within just a few minutes’ walk of the delights that make Hampstead one of the most sought-after locations in London. Hampstead High Street offer a plethora of boutiques, cafes and eateries, including Jin Kichi, Oddono’s gelateria, Ginger & White, Gail’s and the famous Hampstead Crêperie. There are several charming pubs nearby including The Horseshoe, The Flask and The Hollybush, while the open expanse of Hampstead Heath is just minutes away. Some of London’s best independent schools can be reached on foot.
Hampstead underground station (Northern Line) is just a four-minute walk from the house.
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