This exceptional Grade II*-listed home sits in the centre of a handsome and historic terrace in the Enfield Town Conservation Area. Nestled amongst a network of river, footpaths and quiet roads, the house extends to almost 3,000 sq ft. A 16th century timber-framed hall house at its core, it was extended in both the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, it was home to English essayists siblings Charles and Mary Lamb. The house, like the rest of the terrace, is bookended by a wonderful garden filled with old English roses and lavender to the front, and a generous garden to the rear complete with formal pond. Recently and sensitively restored by the current owners using traditional construction methods and Herefordshire Green Oak to restore its timber frame, the significant historic detailing throughout the home – including original Georgian fireplaces and panelling – has been preserved. Bold paint colours by Edward Bulmer have been used throughout to great effect. Enfield Chase and Enfield Town stations, both with 35 minute direct services to the City, are less than half a mile away.
Setting the Scene
The 16th century home was extended to the rear in the early-18th century, adding two storeys, each with elegant panelled rooms. The northern end of the façade was likely re-fronted in brick in the late-17th century, whilst the Georgian sash windows would have been added in the 18th century. Those on the ground floor still have their smart external shutters. To the rear, a double-height extension was added; a former school room, it is now a voluminous kitchen with French doors opening onto a terrace. The house bears a plaque in Charles and Mary Lamb’s memory. In fact Charles would often write to Wordsworth and Coleridge extolling the area: “I shall do very well… Enfield is beautiful” (1828). For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
Entry is straight into the heart of the home – a hallway immediately gives a sense of the house’s character, with characterful beams overhead and a panelled wall at its end. Limestone tiles are found underfoot. It leads to the rear of the house, where there is a generous dining room. The room has been painted a gentle Jonquil by Edward Bulmer, including the tongue and groove wainscoting which lines two of its walls. From here doors lead into the garden and kitchen. Located in an old schoolroom, the kitchen has wonderfully high ceilings and is bright and airy as a result. Decorated with borders from Fine & Dandy Co and with a cork floor, the kitchen comprises freestanding furniture set against an unlacquered copper splashback and a navy blue Aga crowned with blue-green Zellige tiles. This room is also home to a Forest of Dean stone fireplace, the same stone as the room’s steps into the garden, as well as a useful pantry area. French doors open from the kitchen onto a sunny terrace.
There are numerous brilliant living spaces on this floor. At the front of the house sits a library featuring walls lined with red-painted bookshelves, a shuttered sash window, ancient roof beams, and a large stone fireplace – now home to a wood burning stove – this room is complete with many original features. Beyond is a reception room rich with Georgian elegance: two large sash windows bathe the room in light; the room’s panelling has been painted a rich jade. Large alcoves sit either side of the elegant fireplace with its ornate surround. Another sitting room lies at the rear of the house, again with recently-restored Georgian panelling painted Edward Bulmer Sea Green and an early Georgian marble fireplace surround. From here, a door opens into the garden. There is also a useful back kitchen, as well as a gym area and guest WC and shower.
Upstairs, there are four generous bedrooms over two floors, as well as another which could also be used as a dressing room or a twin or child’s room. These bedrooms are serviced by a bathroom and an additional shower room. Each bedroom has a different character and a different colour scheme, but all share picturesque views over Enfield’s conservation area or the expansive gardens.
The Great Outdoors
The house enjoys two charming gardens. Beyond the white picket fence and yew hedge, the house is approached via a lavender path bordered by old English roses. Wisteria grows up the front and back of the house, including an ancient specimen framing the kitchen French windows. Numerous doors open from the house to its rear garden, providing tangible connections to the outdoors. The back garden comprises a stone terrace and areas of lawn, and is framed by raised beds bursting with flowers and two espalier fruit trees. In the middle sits a pond, whilst the owners have installed a summer house to the rear. There is also off-street parking for two cars and residents’ on-street parking in the immediate vicinity.
Out and About
Gentleman’s Row is excellently located adjacent to the New River and the ancient Enfield Chase. Close by are a number of green spaces including the former royal hunting grounds of Trent Park, the winding paths along the New River and Forty Hall, the Grade I-listed estate and farm. All are wonderful spots for walking, cycling and picnicking and Forty Hall has a terrific farm shop and holds a very popular monthly farmer’s market.
Artisan bakery and deli Holtwhites, a neighbourhood favourite, sells delicious pastries and sourdough loaves and is only a five-minute walk away. The commercial centre of Enfield – just round the corner – has a much-favoured department store, Pearsons, and an excellent range of shops, restaurants and cafés. There are many local pubs, including The Cricketers and Crown & Horseshoes – the latter a favourite of Charles Lamb.
The property benefits from being very close to expansive green belt areas whilst having excellent links into London. Enfield Chase station is less than a quarter of a mile away, with trains running to Moorgate via Highbury and Islington in approximately 35 minutes, and Enfield Town is a 10 minute walk, with regular trains into Liverpool Street and a journey time of, again, 35 minutes. The Piccadilly Line is also a short bus ride away. The A10, A406 and M25 are all within five miles.
Council Tax Band: G
In 1827 the siblings moved to Enfield, after having spent their summer holidays in this house – Mrs Leishmann’s boarding house at the time – for two years before. Charles had hoped that the rural fresh air, and quiet, would be better for Mary who had always suffered from mental illness. In his letters to friends he described the places that he knew and loved there, and many of these can still be seen from walks around the town and further south, along Church Street in Edmonton. Charles enjoyed visiting the various inns locally, writing in 1828 that “We are known at the Horseshoe (the early 19th century Crown and Horseshoes) and the Rising Sun” (an early 18th century inn in Church Street, Enfield, demolished in 1933).
The railway arrived in Enfield in the 1840s, but the area had always enjoyed good connection with the centre of London, with three coaches a day taking residents between the town to the City.
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