This refined, semi-detached Victorian townhouse is found on a quiet and green, residential terraced street that runs parallel to the Parkland Walk and borders sought after Crouch End. Built in c1880, the house extends to over 2,500 sq ft and comprises five/six bedrooms, including a space that could be used as a separate annexe.
Setting the Scene
The current owners have done much to transform the house from its previous life as a popular guesthouse, to a brilliant family home, using various reclaimed materials set against a smart choice of Farrow & Ball colours. They have restored and retained any original details which were still present, including the stained glass front door and many of the fireplace surrounds. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
Entry is through a small garden, with a herringbone brick floor and a seat made from old paving stones. A wide hallway lies behind the original front door and has a floor lined with original, colourful tiles. It is a voluminous space, with a grand staircase rising the full height of the house.
The hallway leads to a bright, pink-painted, open-plan kitchen and dining room. It runs the length of the house, bookended by windows, and is bathed in light throughout the day as a result. The kitchen, handmade and bespoke for the space, is composed of American white oak worktops and white-painted cabinetry, with a splashback of limestone tiles reclaimed from the floor of Heathrow Terminal 2. Floating shelves run the length of one wall, perfect for displaying spices and crockery, while underneath kick drawers provide clever, hidden additional storage.
Engineered oak floors run underfoot and lead into the sitting room beyond, separated only by a bookshelf where the owners keep their many cookbooks. The room is wonderfully snug in the winter; a working gas fire provides a warming focal point for the room. A floor-to-ceiling glazed door leads onto a terrace, perfect for a morning coffee.
The hallway also leads to a useful larder with stainless steel shelving and a guest WC painted a sunny yellow.
The floor below is home to an annexe, which can also be accessed via the garden. Currently used as a studio space, it would also make for a separate flat, with its en suite bathroom and kitchen, both with Brazilian wood surfaces. French doors lead from the kitchen into the garden. There is also a cellar that is currently used as a workshop space. On the way down, overhead is a delightful handmade wine and marmalade store covered in rose decorated paper.
Ascending to the first floor is a formal sitting room, painted in Railings by Farrow & Ball, set against white floorboards. Next door is another living space which, like the sitting room, could be a generous double bedroom. This lovely room is made even brighter by its yellow paint and verdant view. There is also a large walk-in wet room on this floor, with polished zinc walls and fittings by Aston Matthews.
On the half-floor above is a study, with a big sash window lowered to take advantage of the leafy views towards the Parkland Walk and Crouch End. Another original fireplace adorns one wall. Leading off the main staircase is a clever shoe cupboard, winkled out of previously unused space by the current owners and lined with Liberty wallpaper.
With new handmade wooden floorboards, the principal bedroom sits at the top of the house. Painted a purple-grey, it is a tranquil room and has two large skylights with expansive views over nearby rooftops and gardens. Adjacent is a luxuriously large bathroom with a built-in wardrobe and a standalone bath in the middle of the room. Behind a new half-wall – under the eaves – is space for meditation.
The Great Outdoors
The garden is very pretty, comprising a raised terrace and a paved area with ample space for a table and chairs. Filled with plants and fruit trees, the garden is complete with an established plum tree, rosemary, peonies and eucalyptus. An outdoor plug makes it possible to work from underneath a wooden gazebo. A low brick wall preserves an unusually green view over their neighbour’s well-kept and abundant garden filled with flowers and veg.
Out and About
The house is located on Hornsey Rise Gardens, a short walk from The Shaftsbury Tavern and shops such as Urban Native and Butler’s, an independent wine shop and delicatessen. Crouch End is within easy reach with its excellent selection of shops, restaurants, pubs and cinemas. Alongside Arthouse, a local arts centre and independent cinema, there is also a Picturehouse cinema.
There are many excellent parks within close reach in this part of north London. The aforementioned Parkland Walk is much-loved trail on a disused railway line that connects Finsbury Park up to Highgate. To the west is Waterlow Park and Hampstead Heath, and beyond Crouch End to the north is Alexandra Palace.
Archway Underground station is a 15-minute walk, for the Northern Line, while Finsbury Park is a little further and easily accessible by bus for the Victoria & Piccadilly Lines and mainline trains. Crouch Hill Overground station is just a five-minute walk away.
Council Tax Band: G
For the eleven years before the current owners moved in, the house was home to the Parkland Walk Guesthouse. The previous owner Penny Solomon wrote a how-to guide from the house called Running an Urban Guesthouse. She wrote: “We are both really proud of the Parkland Guesthouse.
“We made lots of friends in Crouch End and throughout the world
“One guest wrote to a national glossy magazine – entirely without our knowledge – saying what a beautiful house it was and how she had enjoyed her stay…
“Many things about the life are lovely. For a start, you work in your own house and you are your own boss.
“Working from home involves absolutely no commuting, and on filthy January mornings this is something you really appreciate.
“It’s your own business so you can make your own rules and run it the way you want.”
The house sits proudly in Crouch End, an area with lots of history because of its position on a junction of several ancient routes. The name ‘Crouche End’ first appeared in records in 1465, and at the time, the area was dominated by farmsteads. From the 17th century, it was frequented by wealthy city workers, many of whom owned weekend homes there. It remained relatively rural until the mid-19th century, when two stations were built, providing a better connection to the centre of London.
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