On Maida Vale’s grand eponymous avenue, a wonderful opportunity exists to breathe new life into this elegant Grade II-listed Regency home. It was built in 1822 as one of a pair and is set far back from the street between substantial private gardens at the front and rear. Approximately 3,600 sq ft of internal space unfolds over four storeys with a current arrangement of seven bedrooms, and there is a further 280 sq ft of garage space beyond a driveway for off-street parking.
Setting the Scene
The terraces of houses in this coveted section of Maida Vale primarily line the northeastern side of the street and vary in their architectural styles, with many built in pairs. The house differs from its sister in its stuccoed finish, but both share a symmetry of three windows at the first-floor level and a central projecting portico with fluted Doric pillars at the raised ground. It was once the home of Mary Lewis, who, under the nom-de-plume Christianna Brand, wrote many romance and crime novels, as well as a number of children’s books, such as the Nurse Matilda books, which later became the Nanny McPhee films.
The Grand Tour
The house is entered through an enormous, secure front garden which rises to raised-ground level alongside the driveway at the ground. A jovial yellow painted front door opens to a light-filled central hallway, which leads to a double reception on the right and an open-plan kitchen, dining room and reception on the left. Many original details remain intact, including some intricate cornicing, ornate ceiling and wall details, and a graceful woven pattern of hardwood parquet across the level. Between the reception spaces are pilastered bays, and above one, a transom window spans the threshold, its latticing a pattern of irregular, elegant swirls. Fireplaces retain their original surroundings though some show evidence of Victorian intervention.
Light pours in from dual aspects in both expanses; through towering nine over nine shuttered sash windows in the double reception and French windows in the dining room that open between a pair of arched bookshelves to one of the two rear conservatories.
The original staircase turns beneath the light of a stained glass sash window to reach the first floor. Four bedrooms are arranged around the central landing, with two bedrooms between them. The fifth bedroom occupies the loft and is flanked by masses of eaves storage.
The lower-ground level has long been used as an independent two-bedroom apartment with its own kitchen, reception and glazed dining room.
The Great Outdoors
The house is rare in its approach, with the high-set front garden entered via a pillared doorway, offering the sense of a secret garden within. The front garden is some 40 ft in length and is dominated by a glorious magnolia tree and a lawn that fills with blue hyacinthoides in early spring. Beneath the garden are vaults for storage.
The garden at the rear, to which so many views from the house are dedicated, is unusually large for a London garden, extending almost 150 ft in length and bordered by a variety of mature trees and shrubs. It contains a large greenhouse and an original folly at its farthest point.
Out And About
The centre of Maida Vale is a few minutes’ walk away, where there are plenty of excellent shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as an Everyman cinema. Clifton Road is close by and has a number of independent boutiques and delis, while there is an excellent weekly farmers’ market on Sunday at nearby Queen’s Park. The Regent’s Canal and the waterfront restaurants of Little Venice are also close at hand. The green open space of Paddington Recreation Ground is a three-minute walk away, and Westbourne Park and Notting Hill are a short distance to the south across the canal. Golborne Road and Portobello Road are also easily accessible.
There are plenty of transport options locally. The nearest Underground stations are Maida Vale and Warwick Avenue (Bakerloo Line), which are a three-minute walk away, and St. Johns Wood (Jubilee Line) is within easy walking distance to the northeast. The Westway provides access out of London and towards Heathrow Airport.
Council Tax Band: H
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