Situated off Cedars Road on a private gated mews between Clapham Common and Battersea Park, in the Wandsworth Road conservation area is Turnchapel Mews – a charming Victorian gated and cobbled courtyard, once home to both the acclaimed author Roald Dahl and British artist Euan Uglow. Measuring over 4,000 sq ft internally, this exceptional five-bedroom home spans the first floor of four houses and the ground floor of one, where a separate self contained studio apartment is situated. A series of lofty lateral living spaces have been beautifully designed and painted in chalky whites, with exposed beams and box sash windows throughout. The home also has three privately allocated parking spaces and a wonderful 90 ft garden terrace spanning the width of the entire first floor.
Setting the Scene
Situated slightly set back from Cedars Road, the entrance to Turnchapel Mews is flanked by imposing tall iron double gates that can be electronically operated remotely. These gates are set in an archway, seamlessly integrated into the original brick wall that encloses the mews. The exterior brickwork outside the mews bears traces of a faded ghost sign, which once advertised services such as ‘Horses bought and sold’ and ‘Horses and carriages jobbed for any period’.
The homes on the mews have plain brickwork façades with elegant roundhead doorways topped with Welsh slate roofs. The mews is arranged with two rows of homes on either side of a blind courtyard, laid with cobblestones and is entirely residential. Originally, the mews provided stabling and coach house accommodation for the main houses on the surrounding streets. However, in the mid-20th century, they were converted into residential dwellings.
In 1982, the renowned author Roald Dahl purchased a house on the street and affectionately referred to the mews as his ‘little piece of London’. He lived here until his passing in 1990, during which time he completed two of his seminal novels, ‘The Witches’ and ‘Matilda’. Esteemed painter Euan Uglow made it his home in 1958 and praised the mews for its seclusion, privacy, and ability to inspire great artistic work.
The Grand Tour
The house is positioned at the very end of the mews on its southern row. The ground floor entrance hall opens through double doors to a wideset hallway, defined by classical plasterwork. The floor is laid with oak floorboards, while a sisal-carpeted dog-leg staircase lies directly ahead, with wide treads and pronounced balusters. A large roof light is set above, casting natural light into the hall. A guest WC is positioned behind the staircase.
Ascending to the first floor, the primary part of the home extends over four original mews houses. Multiple roof lights are set into the open pitches, flooding the airy rooms with light, while exposed beams are painted in a subtle chalky white. The sleeping quarters are positioned in the east and west ranges, while the living spaces are centrally located. The dining room, living room, and kitchen connect effortlessly on a circular plan.
The dining room has two sets of French windows that open up to the garden terrace. It is clad in horizontal planks painted in a crisp white hue. From here, elegant wedding doors lead to the capacious living room, which spans a generous 30 feet in depth. The living room is flooded with light with windows on both aspects, including additional French windows that open to the garden terrace. A wall of handsome cabinetry lines one wall, featuring bookcases and cupboards. A stone fireplace with an open hearth and working fire grounds the room.
Another set of wedding doors lead into the kitchen, where a trio of sash windows overlook the courtyard at the front of the home. Bespoke handmade cabinetry defines the space, with off-white painted cupboards and a centrally positioned island unit topped with Calacatta marble worksurfaces. Integrated appliances include two Siemens ovens, a stainless steel fridge freezer, and a dishwasher.
The principal bedroom suite is set in the east range of the first floor, behind the staircase. Wedding doors open to a generously sized walk-in wardrobe at the rear of the bedroom. A beautiful statuary marble chimneypiece, styled in the French manner, is positioned centrally. A glass door opens to a Juliet balcony overlooking the courtyard at the front.
The spacious en suite bathroom is finished with horizontal plank wainscoting. It has a large shower area, a cast-iron claw foot roll-top bath, and traditional chrome-plated brassware. A porcelain sink is elegantly positioned on turned legs.
The remaining bedrooms are located in the west range of the first floor. A second hallway, accessed from the living room, serves as a landing area for the bedrooms, and a secondary staircase is positioned centrally. Two of the bedrooms face the garden terrace at the rear of the house and share a bathroom equipped with traditional-design sanitary fittings and brassware. Adjacent to these bedrooms is another room currently configured as a functional study.
The staircase continues upward and leads to an additional bedroom tucked into the eaves of the house. Opposite this bedroom is a bathroom.
Additionally, the ground floor of the house has a separate living area consisting of an independent studio apartment. This apartment can be accessed from the main hallway as well as directly from the courtyard through French windows and comprises a spacious main studio room some 21 ft deep. Behind cleverly concealed jib doors set into a bookcase lie a shower room and a kitchen. This versatile space is perfect for overflow accommodation or as a separate living area for staff, an elderly relative, an older child, or for rental purposes.
The Great Outdoors
The exterior terrace opens from both the principal living spaces through sets of French windows. Laid with bleached planking to resemble antique floorboards, it is some 90 ft long. It offers ample space for arranging potted flowers, shrubs, and trees, creating a charming and lush outdoor oasis.
Out and About
Turnchapel Mews is brilliantly positioned, close to both Clapham High Street and Clapham Old Town; the open green spaces of Clapham Common and Battersea Park are also nearby. Also reachable by foot are Battersea Rise, Lavender Hill and Northcote Road, with its excellent selection of the best purveyors. The development of Nine Elms is five minutes’ drive away, as well as the incredible Battersea Power Station, 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, cafes, and restaurants, all within walking distance. Noted favourites include the Michelin-starred restaurant Trinity, The Pig’s Head, The Little Orange Door, Minnow, Sorella, The Bobbin, and Clapham Picture House.
There is an excellent selection of local state and private schools, including nearby Eaton House, Parkgate School, Emmanuel School, Thomas’s and L’école de Wix Lycée Français.
Clapham Common (Northern Line) and Wandsworth Road Overground are each ten minutes’ walk from Turnchapel Mews, offering direct services to the City and West End. Clapham Junction station is just five minutes’ drive away, with excellent links, including a journey time to Gatwick Airport of just 25 minutes.
Council Tax Band: G
Tenure: Share of Freehold
Underlying Lease Length: 999 years
Service Charge: Approx. £250 per annum
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