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Vanbrugh Terrace
London SE3£6,250,000 Freehold

Vanbrugh Terrace

Set in a uniquely wide corner plot, the gardens envelope the house, with incredible views extending across to Blackheath and Greenwich Park

This exceptional, Grade II-listed detached Victorian house lies within the Blackheath Conservation Area in south-east London. The green expanses of Blackheath and Greenwich Park surround the house, with the delights of Greenwich Old Town and Blackheath Village also nearby. Meticulously renovated and restored in recent years, the stucco-fronted home is set in a third-acre plot and unfolds across almost 5,400 sq ft of accommodation, with six bedrooms and a separate ancillary building set in the exquisite 130 ft long rear walled gardens. Countless original architectural features have been restored throughout, with beautiful, complementary elements introduced in conjunction with the latest in audiovisual and security systems. There is space for secure parking for up to five cars along the expansive driveway, and trains from nearby Blackheath Station reach London Bridge in just 12 minutes.

Setting the Scene

Positioned in what is arguably one of Blackheath’s best locations, the house is set in a spacious corner plot at the junction of St John’s Park, directly facing the Heath and Greenwich Park beyond. Built in around 1852, this is only the second time this imposing home has been available on the open market in almost 80 years.

As part of the exhaustive works to restore the house by renowned interior designer Charles Leon of Leon Black, the original elements – including box sash windows, panelled shutters, fine plasterwork, and deep skirting boards – were carefully renewed. Materials sympathetic to the house’s Victorian bones were introduced; French oak floorboards, riven flagstones and marble chimneypieces are paired with Venetian and polished plaster finishes on wall surfaces throughout.

In addition to the main works, a Crestron audiovisual control system has been installed in all the interior spaces as part of the utilities overhaul, controlling lighting, sound, heating and security systems. Built-in high-quality speakers, air conditioning and underfloor heating feature in most rooms; these are complimented by Forbes and Lomax invisible electric plates throughout. For more information, please see the History section.

The Grand Tour

Set back from the road behind a low stone wall with spearhead railings and clipped yew hedging is the house’s grand, white stucco façade. A sliding electric gate opens to a spacious driveway and parking area, with space for multiple vehicles. The front garden has been immaculately planted with mature shrubs and trees, and newly instated Portland stone steps lead to the main raised entrance porch. The main façade has been exceptionally well preserved and restored, with banded stucco to the ground floor and pedimented stucco dressings to the windows on the piano nobile.

The front door is four-panelled and inset with a specially commissioned stained-glass design by Edgar Phillips; it opens to the entrance hall laid with encaustic tiles. There is a bolection stone chimneypiece with a cast-iron grate, and a plaster cornice in an egg and dart design frames the elevations. It guides towards the main hallway at the centre of this floor, with polished French oak floorboards leading to the main staircase and three spacious reception rooms. Further extraordinary stained-glass windows lie on each floor of the staircase, all also created by Edgar Phillips especially for the home.

The morning room is set to the front of the plan, overlooking the Heath. A voluminous space, the room basks in a beautiful easterly morning light and has a Carrara chimneypiece with a gas fire. To the rear is the dining room, with French windows opening to a jasmine-entwined iron balcony and staircase that leads down to the garden. Adjacent is the library, with beautiful fitted bespoke bookcases in a neoclassical design and statuary marble chimneypiece with a second gas fire. A sofa with a fitted burl wood base has been thoughtfully positioned in the canted bay window to enjoy the views of the garden.

The lower-ground floor is mainly laid with antique riven flagstones, and a spacious central hallway bisects the plan with further side access to the driveway.

A series of bespoke Mark Wilkinson cabinets with granite worksurfaces were commissioned for the kitchen, with an island unit and integrated appliances including two ovens and two dishwashers, each by Miele and Fisher and Paykel. There is a main sink set into the island unit with a waste disposal facility; a further prep sink with a Quooker tap is positioned in a side cabinet. There is a vast walk-in fridge by Colsec and a separate utility room, with space for freestanding washers and dryers and further cabinetry complementing that of the kitchen.

A guest/staff bedroom or home gym has an en suite shower room on this floor. An informal sitting room lies adjacent, also used as a TV room, with French windows that open to the garden. A series of artfully designed polished plaster illuminated shelves and cabinets line the walls in this room, and there is a contemporary fireplace set into the main wall.

The drawing room is set on the first floor to enjoy the very best views of the Heath through a trio of tall box sash windows. The room is some 30 ft deep, with French oak floors laid in a decorative pattern and with a honed limestone border. Statuary marble chimneypieces with pewter baskets featuring gas fires lie at either end of this astonishing room.

The principal bedroom suite encompasses the entire rear of the first floor, with brilliant views of the garden. There is a cream, deep-pile wool carpet in the sleeping quarters and French windows open to a private balcony. There is a wall of bespoke wardrobing, with further doors opening to a deep dressing room with additional clothes storage. The en suite bathroom is encased in polished limestone, with a large steam room and shower enclosure positioned to enjoy garden views. An oval bath has been thoughtfully placed beside the window. Separate sinks lie on either side of the shower and chrome-plated brassware is in a traditional design, a brilliant juxtaposition to the simplistic, contemporary stone used throughout.

The uppermost storey has four further bedrooms. One of the rooms, currently used as a pretty guest suite, has its own en suite shower room, bespoke floral carpeting and a built-in mahogany wardrobe. The spacious bathroom that serves the remaining three bedrooms is brilliantly designed, with an especially generous shower enclosure set behind a cast-iron bateau bathtub. The elongated limestone vanity has two sinks and mirrored cupboards underneath. Chrome-plated brassware is in a contemporary design and both limestone and mosaics are used as wall and floor surfaces.

The attic space above is fully boarded and has an electronically operated loft hatch with a folding ladder providing access to the loft and the storage eaves. It also has power and light installed.

The Great Outdoors

Set within a uniquely wide corner plot, the garden envelopes the house. It can be accessed from both the ground-floor dining room and the lower-ground floor’s TV room, with further access to both sides of the house for convenience from the front garden.

The rear walled gardens extend to over 130 ft in length and are some 72 ft wide and were designed by acclaimed garden designer Terry Williams to create a wonderfully diverse series of exterior spaces, with a Rain Bird irrigation system integrated throughout for convenience.

Nearest the house, a sunken flagstone terrace is laid in an oval shape and features a rockery, fountain, and an incredible mature olive tree. This intimate space has an Asian garden-inspired quality to the design and there are climbing roses along the home’s rear elevation. From here, steps through the rockery ascend to the main garden’s lawn, surrounded by deep beds with wonderful seasonal planting and many specimen trees.

Nearest the house there is a contemporary gazebo. Pathways lead through the lawn and enchanting flowerbeds to a further rear path laid with replica fossils. Here, there is rear access to the peaceful, no-through Angerstein Lane; running along the rear of the homes on Vanbrugh Terrace, it was originally used for coaches and tradesmen. This area outside the garden wall has additional hard standing, offering further off-street parking for several vehicles and outside access to the former stable block and separate electric garage.

This ancillary building has a pitched glass roof and two sets of triple-pane folding glass doors that face inward to the garden. Subject to planning permissions consent, this could make an excellent ancillary accommodation, studio, office space or leisure complex. All mains utilities are already in place. A separate bike store is positioned on the side of the house, nearest the main driveway.

Out and About

Vanbrugh Terrace is on the leafy periphery of Blackheath Common. The Heath is one of the largest parcels of common land in London, and its relatively flat ground lends it as a perfect spot for running or a game of tennis. The 5,000-acre strong Greenwich Park is less than a minute’s walk away, where a stroll through the Queen’s Orchard or the Herb Garden is particularly lovely on a sunny day – as is a trip to the 17th-century Greenwich Observatory.

The delights of Blackheath Village are a 15-minute walk from house via the Heath. A myriad of independent restaurants, cafés and bars line the high street, including Le Bar a Vin, which serves a selection of cheese and charcuterie boards alongside its excellent cellar offerings. Blackheath farmers’ market runs every Sunday, offering an array of vegetables, fruits and freshly baked pastries.

Just across Greenwich Park to the east on Royal Hill, there is a plethora of high-end local artisanal shops, including Creaky Shed greengrocers, Drings butchers, the self-explanatory Cheeseboard, Royal Teas café, Greenwich Natural Health, Maritime Books and two excellent pubs in the Richard the First and Prince of Greenwich.

Greenwich’s Old Town, famous for its maritime history, has an excellent selection of restaurants, pubs and shops, as well as a Picturehouse cinema and a theatre. The Old Royal Naval College, designed by Sir Christopher Wren in the 18th century, hosts a popular programme of events in the gardens, including concerts, an open-air theatre and a jazz festival. A walk along the nearby banks of the Thames passes by much-loved riverside pubs The Trafalgar and The Cutty Sark.

Blackheath Standard is also just around the corner from Vanbrugh Terrace, where there are several further independent shops and cafes including Boulangerie and Jade, a library, and a Marks and Spencer food hall.

There is an excellent range of local schools, including The Pointer School, Blackheath Prep School, Blackheath High School for Girls and Thomas Tallis. There are also shuttle buses for Eltham College, Sevenoaks School and Dulwich College, while public transport affords access to the remainder of central London’s superb independent schools, from Blackheath Station.

Blackheath Station is just over a 15-minute walk away across Blackheath common, running rail services to London Bridge and London Cannon Street (taking 12 minutes and 16 minutes respectively), with London Victoria 26 minutes away. Greenwich Station is a lovely 25-minute walk through Greenwich Park, with further services to Canary Wharf and Bank on the DLR as well as to Blackfriars and London St Pancras on the Thameslink. The Thames Clipper boat service also runs from Greenwich Pier, with services to Canary Wharf and central London.

Council Tax Band: H

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.


Blackheath has been known as such since at least the 12th century. Its proximity to the City of London and to the roads and the Channel ports lent it as a place where citizens of London could turn out to greet kings, foreign monarchs and nobility. When such celebrations were not taking place, grazing animals inhabited the Heath, and the land was exploited for its turf, sand, gravel and chalk to provide raw materials for a boom in city construction in the 18th century.

Urban encroachment of the heath began in the 17th century at the western edge of the common, continuing throughout the 20th century. The diverse collection of architecture that fringe the green space defines its character today and includes Georgian rows on Grotes Place and Eliot Place, Edwardian villas on The Orchard and these fine early Victorian stuccoed houses on Vanbrugh Terrace.

The late local historian Neil Rhind, an expert on Blackheath’s built environment and history, comments in one of his three eponymous books on Blackheath that this house is “one of only two complete houses, set at the end of the terrace on a plot that is approximately a third of an acre with delightful, landscaped gardens”.

Vanbrugh Terrace — London SE3
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