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The Watch Shop
Crystal Palace Road, London SE22£1,100,000 Freehold

The Watch Shop

The Victorian façade remains, original plaster walls have been exposed, and a mature apple tree in the garden was planted by the previous owner

This former Victorian watch repair shop in East Dulwich is now a beautiful three-bedroom house with its original glazed façade intact. Expertly restored with a focus on sustainable and non-toxic materials, with great care for the integrity of the original structure, the house has been carefully reinvented into a wonderfully charming and utterly cosy home. A series of perfectly curated spaces unfold over three lovely double bedrooms, and a large private garden, which bursts with flowers in the summer, sits at the rear. The house is a short walk from the green spaces of Dulwich Park, Peckham Rye and Nunhead Cemetery.

Setting the Scene

The current owners of the house bought it from the daughter of the man who ran it as a watch shop; it had been in her family for 95 years. While restoring it, they tried to retain as much of the building’s history as possible – the Victorian façade remains, original plaster walls have been exposed, and a mature apple tree planted by the previous owner continues to blossom. For more information, please see the History section below or read our Almanac article.

The Grand Tour

With its custom green-painted shop front and original glazing, the house makes a striking impression on the street. Entry is to the kitchen and dining area, which is flooded with light because of the huge restored original shop windows with decorative woodwork. In this bright, open space, dark green oak cabinets by Naked Doors echo the colour on the shop front, creating a clever sense of cohesion. These are topped by beautiful Foresso worksurfaces, complemented by brass splashbacks.

Adjacent to the kitchen area is an open-plan living space painted in ‘Dusty’ Bauwerk limewash paint, which creates a cosy and undone feel. It is warmed by a wood-burning stove set in an open fireplace, and a glazed door frames charming views over the garden.

At the rear of the ground floor is a further comfortable living space, perfect for watching TV or curling up with a book. From here, there are views over the garden patio through wide French doors. Behind is a lovely guest bedroom, where walls and the ceiling are clad in reclaimed timber, creating a log cabin feel. Sisal carpet adds warmth to the room, and from a small low window, it is possible to see the leafy garden from the bed.

Upstairs, the large main bedroom overlooks Crystal Palace Road. The current owners have stripped back the walls to expose sections of original Victorian plaster, framed in ‘Raw White’ by Bauwerk. An original fireplace and built-in cupboards complement the space. To the rear of the plan, a wonderfully light third bedroom has been painted in the same Bauwerk limewash paint, this time in ‘Lotus’. An original fireplace creates a focal point, and a large double-glazed sash window overlooks the garden.

On this floor, a large family bathroom has been finished in Moroccan Tadelakt plaster, known for its textured finish and waterproof qualities. It has an open shower, a Japanese bath, a vanity and a WC. The shou-sugi-ban wall adds warmth and conceals a cleverly designed utility area outside the door.

Cast-iron radiators run throughout the house, and paint, glue, and building materials are non-toxic.

The Great Outdoors

A wonderful private courtyard is at the front of the house, adding extra privacy around the original exterior glazing. To the rear, a large garden is the perfect entertaining space with a stretch of lawn, established flowerbeds of hydrangea, ferns and roses and a cobbled stone patio for outdoor furniture. A pretty apple tree sits at the end of the garden, creating dappled shade in sunnier months.

Out and About

Crystal Palace Road is perfectly positioned for the broad selection of weekend markets, cafes, bars and restaurants of East Dulwich. Nearby Lordship Lane is home to a vast number of independent shops, including Mons CheesemongersMoxon’s Fishmongers, William Rose Butchers, Terroirs wine bar, Bon Cafe and an excellent deli, Jones of Brockley. The East Dulwich Picturehouse is a 5-minute walk away. The green spaces of Peckham Rye Park and Dulwich Park are within easy reach, and the nearby Dulwich Leisure Centre has a public swimming pool and gym.

The nearest stations to the house are East Dulwich, Peckham Rye, Honour Oak, Forest Hill, and Denmark Hill, which run Southern Rail services and citywide London Overground services. The trains to London Bridge take approximately 13 minutes, and Victoria from Denmark Hill takes eight minutes. There are also excellent bus connections within the area.

Council Tax Band: D

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. Inigo has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.


Known for its fine Victorian architecture, green open spaces and exceptional schooling, Dulwich has a fascinating history. First documented as a hamlet outside of London in 967 AD, the name of Dulwich has been spelt in various ways (Dylways and Dullag, to name a couple). Thought to have originated from two old English words, Dill, meaning white flower, and wihs, meaning damp meadow, the name Dulwich means, therefore, ‘the meadow where dill grows’.

The Manor of Dulwich and its surrounding land passed through several sets of hands (including many a royal) before they were purchased in 1605 by Elizabethan actor and entrepreneur Edward Alleyn. He set up a local charitable institution, The College of God’s Gift, in 1619. In 1882, the charity was reorganised, with three surviving sections operating as schools today.

Court painter to George III Francis Bourgeois endowed the College of God’s Gift with an extensive collection of paintings in 1811, originally intended to form the nucleus of the collection of the last king of Poland, Stanisław August Poniatowski. Following Poland’s partitions, the paintings were left to the college, which set up the Dulwich Picture Gallery under trusteeship in a building designed by Sir John Soane, which became Britain’s first public art gallery. Since 1995 the Gallery has been an independent registered charity.

The Gallery opened to students of the Royal Academy of Ars in 1815 (two years before officially opening to the public) and was an immediate success. Over the next century, its collection was frequented by many famed artists, including John Constable, William Turner and later Vincent van Gogh. Charles Dickens mentions Dulwich Picture Gallery in his novel The Pickwick Papers, as the novel’s protagonist Samuel Pickwick, visits the Gallery in retirement.

Dulwich today retains a quiet air and historical monuments in the form of its several collages; the area is a leafy enclave of London within easy reach of nearby Peckham, the city and green spaces of south-east London.

The Watch Shop — Crystal Palace Road, London SE22
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