This meticulously restored early Victorian house built in c1850 is positioned a short walk from London Fields, parallel to café-filled Wilton Way. Extending over 1,500 sq ft, with two bedrooms and a glorious south-facing garden, the house has been thoughtfully renovated to create a brilliant home with a combination of original features and modern additions.
Setting the Scene
The current owners united a house which had been divided into separate flats. During a thoughtful renovation, any original features that were missing were replaced. Employing craftspeople like North Kent Joiners – who have worked frequently with the Spitalfields Trust to restore East London’s Huguenot houses – to replace the existing windows with beautifully crafted, new wooden ones. They installed reclaimed wooden floorboards from Lassco throughout the house, ensuring they were the same age as the house before laying them. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
With entry set back from the road behind restored cast-iron railings, the front door is raised from street level at the top of a set of stone steps. The sitting room extends the length of the house, bringing light in through the generous sash windows. The room has been made open-plan, creating a larger space with two new marble fireplace surrounds, cast-iron radiators and a warming wood-burning stove. The owners have replaced the internal doors throughout the house to reinstate the original joinery. Positioned on the ground floor is also a bathroom with a separate WC. Both rooms have been lined with carefully chosen New York subway tiles from Heritage Tile. The bathroom is complete with a Crittall window that frames views over the garden, and both spaces have intricate mosaic floors.
An original staircase, complete with its original panelling, leads downstairs to an open-plan kitchen and dining room. This room feels wonderfully cottage-like with old terracotta tiles saved from a farmhouse in rural France, a tongue-and-groove ceiling, and a warming wood-burning stove. A built-in cupboard under the stairs is home to a brilliant larder set behind glazed doors. The kitchen, composed of cabinetry and open shelves by Plain English, a Carrara marble worktop and a La Canche stove, has glazed French doors which open straight into the garden.
A generous blue-painted double bedroom, which could also double as a fantastic study, is located at the front of the house. A large sash window opens onto the house’s front garden. At the end of the corridor, painted a bright mustard yellow, there is a clever utility space that extends under the front steps.
The top floor is home to a light-filled principal bedroom, with another reclaimed fireplace surround and new column radiators. The owners have installed a wall of fitted cabinetry and have painted the room a calming sage green. Adjacent is a luxurious bathroom; pleasing patterned William Morris Willow wallpaper has been applied to the walls, set against smart blue-painted window frames and skirting. A reclaimed Thomas Crapper WC is joined by a salvaged sculptural sink and a freestanding bath, which sits in the centre of the room, enjoying the views of the outside.
The Great Outdoors
The south-facing garden is wonderfully private, with a paved area next to the house perfect for alfresco dining. An attractive old brick wall runs the length of the garden, and the owners have created a bench that runs along it, now bursting with pretty fleabane. A path winds through the middle of beautifully planted beds to the rear of the garden, where they gather around a fire in the evenings. A National Trust shed, handmade in Norfolk, stores their wood stack and other garden tools.
Out and About
The house is located in central Hackney, just east of Dalston, west of bustling Mare Street, and close to the green spaces of Victoria Park and the Regent’s Canal path. There are many fantastic restaurants locally, notably Lardo on Richmond Road, the recently opened Angelina’s on Dalston Lane, and Pidgin and Violet on Wilton Way. Weekly markets take place at Victoria Park and Well Street, and Broadway Market has a reputation for excellent places to eat and drink and hosts a food market on Saturdays. The E5 Bakehouse, on the edge of London Fields, is excellent for freshly baked artisan bread and grains.
Hackney Central runs direct services to Stratford and Highbury & Islington on the London Overground, whilst London Fields also offers direct trains to Liverpool Street. Bethnal Green Underground station, easily accessible by bus, has excellent links to central London via the Central Line.
Council Tax Band: E
In 1275, the area now known as London Fields was recorded as common pastureland adjoining Cambridge Heath. The park was first recorded by name in 1540; in the singular as ‘London Field’. Still common ground, it was used by drovers to pasture their livestock before taking them to market in London. By the late 19th century, the name had become pluralised to ‘London Fields’ and parts of the Fields were being lost to piecemeal development. There was a threat of comprehensive development of the park in 1860 but this threat was averted.
In WWII the park hosted an anti-aircraft battery in the south-west corner (the tarmac is still visible under the grass) and a bomb shelter in the vicinity of the tennis courts.
The area was heavily bombed during the Blitz and houses along the northern and eastern edges of the park were among those destroyed. These houses had been built on land that was originally part of London Fields and the land was subsequently restored to the park. The previous boundary is marked by a wide arc of Plane trees.