This imposing Victorian townhouse lies on Clapham’s Larkhall Rise, to the north of Clapham High Street and close to its much-coveted Old Town. Set over four light-filled storeys, internal accommodation extends to almost 2,800 sq ft, with four bedrooms and a separate self-contained one-bedroom apartment on the lower-ground floor, designed so that it could also be incorporated into the main house if required. Countless historic details have been preserved throughout, including chimneypieces, pitch pine floorboards, plasterwork, joinery and fenestration. The house also has coveted off-street parking and an exterior studio building in the wonderful 100 ft long southeast-facing garden.
Setting the Scene
Larkhall Rise forms a gentle sweep, connecting St Paul’s Church and Rectory Grove to the west and Larkhall Lane and Larkhall Park to the east. A peaceful road, it has a sylvan character care of the many oak and plane trees planted in the generous front gardens along the route.
The houses along the road have a variety of architectural styles; this home is positioned towards the end of its terrace, with private parking set at the front of the house. There is a pea gravel driveway and a brick wall with entrance piers demarcates the plot from the road. Banks of laurel hedges afford privacy from neighbouring homes and a mature London plane tree is planted close to the road, away from the house.
Four storeys high with a grand appearance, the Victorian brickwork is painted a stone colour, with stucco sills and exterior joinery painted a contrasting lead colour. The lower- and raised-ground floors feature proud canted bay windows; the lower ground floor apartment has separate access via a set of steps that descend to the lower lightwell. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
This house’s tall roundhead entrance porch is inset with a four-panel front door and transom light above. Opening to the spacious hallway, restored pitch pine floorboards run underfoot and are finished in a limewash-effect varnish by Mylands. Paints used throughout the house are by Farrow & Ball, and subtly differentiate each room. Joinery in the hallway and on the staircase and landings are painted in ‘Chinese Blue’, offering a wonderful contrast to lighter ‘Matchstick’ walls. Plaster cornicing in the hall and all principal rooms is exceptional, and polished brass ironmongery and electric plates recur throughout the house.
The sitting room is to the front of the plan, and is a large square set room with an expansive canted bay window; the room is painted in rich ‘Hague Blue’ throughout. A Carrara marble chimneypiece with corbels grounds the room and is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling bookcases, set in the alcoves.
The kitchen is set to the rear of the raised-ground floor, overlooking the garden through a large sash window, and has plentiful space for a large dining table. Kitchen cabinetry is by Neptune in a traditional panelled design with brass door furniture, and is painted in ‘Cork Green’. Worktops set above are Carrara marble and there is a double butler sink with a Perrin and Rowe brass crosshead mixer tap. Appliances are mainly integrated, and a large double-oven Rangemaster steel range cooker is set below a handsome painted timber hood, which conceals an extractor fan. Walls above all the cabinets are tiled in bevelled bottle-green subway tiles, offsetting the ‘Cork Green’ colour of the cabinetry.
To the rear of the raised-ground hallway is a study area and separate WC, concealed behind etched glass French doors. A desk can be set to overlook the garden through the large window, and an exterior staircase descends from here to the garden terrace.
The lower-ground floor has been cleverly designed as a spacious one-bedroom apartment. In a versatile touch, this floor is connected to the main house through an interior staircase from the hallway, but it also has independent access from the front of the house. The rooms on this floor can be used as overflow bedrooms and/or living spaces, with a separate shower room. The galley kitchen also functions as a generous utility room for the main house. Ceiling heights are very generous, with the main room to the front of the plan acting as a bedroom. The room to the rear is currently used as a sitting room, with French windows opening to the garden.
The first floor is home to two bedrooms and a bathroom, with the principal bedroom overlooking the mature tree to the front of the house through its two roundhead sash windows. A wall of panelled wardrobes run along the west wall, offering plentiful storage. The rear bedroom features a cast iron fireplace with further panelled cupboards set in the alcoves. The bathroom is to the rear of this floor, with a claw-foot roll-top bath positioned beside the window. Smart patterned mosaic tiles, in black and ivory, run underfoot, with marble tiles in the separate shower enclosure. Double sinks are set into panelled floor cupboards with marble above. Brassware is in a similarly traditional design, and is chrome-plated.
The uppermost storey has two further bedrooms and an additional bathroom, with an exterior terrace set off the staircase, acting as something of a suntrap in warmer months. Both bedrooms feature original cast iron fireplaces, with the front bedroom overlooking the top of the mature plane tree. There is a generous loft space above this storey and a precedent has been set by neighbouring houses for conversion into additional rooms if required, subject to local planning permission.
The Great Outdoors
The wonderfully expansive garden is southeast-facing and some 100 ft long, culminating in a brick garden studio at the very end. A spacious seating terrace sits adjacent to the house; there is a further terrace outside the garden studio, next to a brick barbecue set to the side.
The garden is mainly laid to lawn with a wonderful array of planting, including white roses. Trees include bay, lilac, fig, plum and cherry, with a mature sycamore positioned centrally in the lawn.
The garden can be accessed from both the raised-ground floor study area, via an iron staircase, and the lower-ground floor living spaces.
Out and About
Larkhall Rise is brilliantly positioned, close to both Clapham High Street and Clapham Old Town; the open green spaces of Larkhall Park, Clapham Common and Battersea Park are also nearby. Also reachable by foot are Battersea Rise and Lavender Hill. The Nine Elms development is five minutes’ drive away, as well as the incredible Battersea Power Station complex, recently opened and home to an excellent array of high-end shops, restaurants and a cinema.
There is a wide range of independent shops, galleries, cafés and restaurants within walking distance of Larkhall Rise. Noted favourites include the Michelin-starred restaurant Trinity, The Pig’s Head, The Little Orange Door, Minnow, Sorella, The Bobbin and the much loved Clapham Picturehouse cinema on Venn Street.
There is an excellent selection of local state and independent schools nearby, including Eaton House, Parkgate School, Thomas’s and L’école de Wix Lycée Français.
Clapham North (Northern line) and Wandsworth Road overground are a few minutes’ walk from Larkhall Rise, offering direct services to the City and West End. Clapham Junction station is just five minutes’ drive away, with excellent mainline national rail links, including a journey time to Gatwick Airport of just 25 minutes. Larkhall Rise is also part of the Quietway cycle network.
Council Tax Band: H
The medieval village of Clapham was first recorded in the 9th century and was centred around St Paul’s Church, where Larkhall Rise meets Rectory Grove.
In the 12th century, the church and a less formal incarnation of Larkhall Rise were constructed. The road was built as the main route to the parish church, rectory and manor house. The church was demolished in the late 18th century, and the present church was erected in 1815.
In the early 1800s, the area was fast becoming a desirable suburban village. Still strong with rural hinterland separating it from London four miles to the north, it attracted wealthy merchants and the well-to-do middle classes who could travel to London by coach (before the trains arrived later that same century).
Clapham became increasingly connected to London at beginning of the 19th century, and the village steadily expanded to meet the new High Street. The houses on Larkhall Rise were mainly built in the latter half of the 19th century.
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