Set on the first floor of a handsome Victorian mansion block in the middle of Bethnal Green is this south-facing light-filled one-bedroom flat. Located on a quiet street and wonderfully peaceful as a result, the building is set around a shared courtyard, close to many of east London’s green areas, from Victoria Park to neighbouring Bethnal Green park.
Setting the Scene
Mendip Houses is one of a few blocks built by the East End Dwellings Company in the latter part of the 19th century. The company was a Victorian philanthropic model dwellings company set up to improve housing conditions while realising some profit. Designed in a baroque style, with striking red-brick gables punctuating the façade, Mendip Houses opened its five storeys to new residents in 1900. The apartment retains many Victorian features, including large sash windows, characterful floorboards, and an open fire. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
Entry into the block is across the shared courtyard and up the communal staircase, flanked by wrought-iron railings. The front door opens into a wide hallway decorated with pretty floral wallpaper, with an open shelf running its length, adding extra storage.
Due to its south-facing orientation and generous windows, the whole apartment is bathed in incredible light throughout the day. In the centre of the plan sits the sunny sitting room, a lovely space with original floorboards and fireplace. A wall of bookshelves and additional shelving in an alcove has been installed by the current owner, who has cleverly capitalised on space in the apartment, meaning not an inch is wasted.
To one side is the kitchen, comprising light-painted cabinetry, and white worktops, set against a white square-tiled splashback maximising light. Windows frame a view down a cobbled street, while clerestory windows crown the room, drawing light from the kitchen into the hallway behind.
The bedroom is at the end of the apartment, another bright room with more open shelves and ample space for further freestanding furniture. A bathroom, which lies at the other end of the hallway, would originally have been located outside the flat before being bought within its curtilage. To denote this change, the owner has kept the bathroom’s original concrete floor. It has both a bath and its own window to the outside.
The Great Outdoors
A communal courtyard with potted plants and places to sit can be used by all residents in Mendip Houses. In the summer, residents have barbeques together, and there is plenty of space for sun worshippers to bask in Vitamin D or book worms to curl up with a book. The block is also close to many parks and green spaces.
Out and About
Bethnal Green is one of the most established east London neighbourhoods. The area has an exciting mix of traditional pubs and cafes, such as E. Pellicci, The Approach Tavern, and The Camel (a restored Victorian pub). The lauded pub The Marksman is also within walking distance.
A new wave of bars and restaurants includes Bistrotheque, Brawn, Redchurch Brewery, the Michelin-starred restaurants at Town Hall Hotel, Satan’s Whiskers and Sager and Wilde. The area is home to many design and architecture practices and many commercial galleries, including Maureen Paley, Modern Art, The Approach, and Herald St. Around the corner from this flat is also Claire de Rouen books, a specialist in photography and fashion, as well as East London Cloth, on Vyner Street.
Broadway Market and Columbia Road Flower Market are within easy walking distance, while slightly further afield are Brick Lane and Shoreditch. Victoria Park – as well as the canal – is closeby, with its popular café, The Pavilion and weekly farmers market, as well as hosting All Points East music festival in the summer. There are numerous other local parks, including Museum Gardens and Bethnal Green Gardens. The V and A Museum of Childhood is a short walk, as is York Hall Leisure Centre.
Mendip Houses are less than a 5-minute walk from Bethnal Green Underground Station (Central Line). Cambridge Heath overground is ten minutes from the flat, connecting to Liverpool Street station via London Fields. The Elizabeth Line is also a short walk away, at Whitechapel Station, along with the overground, which connects south London to Highbury & Islington. There are also excellent bus links to Hackney, Canary Wharf and central London.
Tenure: Leasehold, in the process of purchasing the Share of Freehold
Lease Length: Approx. 170 years remaining
Service Charge: Approx. £1,200 per annum
Ground Rent: Approx. £100 per annum
Council Tax Band: B
In 1883, the north side of Green Street between Victoria Park Square and Globe Road was cleared under the Metropolitan Street Improvements Act.
The East End Dwellings Company leased a plot, opening Museum House in 1888, creating homes for 166 people. Over the years, more blocks were completed; Meadows Dwellings on Mansford Street in 1894, Ravenscroft in 1897 and Mendip Houses later in 1900, to name a few.
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