Dating back to the early 16th-century, West End Lane is a rare surviving example of a post-medieval hall. With sensitive interventions over the years, the home now spans some 4,100 sq ft and is awash with original vernacular features and a finely executed exposed timber frame. Internally, there are five bedrooms and a flow of reception rooms, while externally manicured grounds and a private gated entrance surround the hall. Pinner is an exceptionally well-connected suburb, with a bustling high street and excellent transport links. Pinner station is on the Metropolitan Line and is a mere 9-minute walk from the house, while the Overground service is available at Hatch End station, a little further afield.
Setting the Scene
The Grade II*-listed hall is a distinctive post-medieval asymmetrical lobby-entry house. With a history as a yeoman’s house, the hall once formed part of the Manor of Harrow and its surrounding curtilage. West End Lane is unique in that it retains an original smoke bay, a timber structure that would have been used to prevent smoke from an internal open hearth reaching every corner of the building’s interior. A precursor to what we now know as an inglenook fireplace, smoke bays were sealed off from the rest of the house to allow smoke to escape. These later evolved into smoke hoods, and then the modern chimney we know today. There are few remaining examples of post-medieval smoke bays, as they were only constructed during a short period in the early 16th century. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
Accessed via a stooped timber porch, the entrance hall is a handsome space with characterful checkerboard flags. Leading from here, the expansive main reception room unfolds. Chamfered oak beams still bear the builders marks from circa 1540, with crisp white lime-plastered panels interspaced among the woodwork. A vast space with dual aspect windows, the room has a large, open brick fireplace which is perfect for use in cooler months and deep pile carpets underfoot.
Adjacent the main reception room is a secondary drawing room. Finished in neutral shades of white, the room is flooded with natural light from an expansive window spanning the length of the rear wall; a timber window seat runs beneath, the perfect spot for reading a book on a sunny afternoon. The room has a wide inglenook with a unique brick fireplace lying at its centre.
Overlooking the quiet front gardens and private gravelled drive is the kitchen and dining room. An open-plan space with glazing on three sides, the room is partially laid with terracotta tiles underfoot and features original beam work. A bank of simple cabinets lines the walls of the kitchen, with a central island overlooking the dining room; these are topped with hardy slate. From the kitchen, there is a large utility room which leads to the garages.
Ascending one of two staircases, the upper floor of the house unfolds with five bedrooms, four bathrooms and a separate study. At the far end of the plan is the primary bedroom, with soaring ceiling heights and original exposed timber. Nearly twenty feet high, the space has a steep pitch to the roof, which draws the eye upwards and adds emphasis to the volume of the space. A brick-built open fireplace sits in the corner and the room has dual-aspect views over the front and rear of the home.
Adjacent to the primary bedroom is a secondary bedroom of similar size. The space has a broad window overlooking the front gardens and a later-Victorian fireplace in the centre of one wall. Underfoot, spectacular wide floorboards run throughout the room; made from elm, their quality and width is incomparable with modern-day timber. Leading on from the bedroom is a large Jack and Jill bathroom with a separate entrance from the main hallway; the space has a freestanding bath, shower, vanity and WC.
The other end of the plan is home to three bedrooms, all of which overlook the rear and side gardens. Exposed beams and lime plaster provide continuity throughout. A further three bathrooms intersect the rooms.
The Great Outdoors
A gravelled driveway unfolds via a wide lych gate, leading to the house and its 0.66 acre plot, while a second set of gates allows for in-out access. Encircled with well established trees, the front and rear gardens are an oasis of privacy. To the rear, there is a heated kidney-shaped pool encompassed by patios and seating areas overlooking a rolling lawn. The current owners have implemented an array of well-established planting, including clipped topiary, box edgings, numerous bushes and shrubs and a small olive grove..
Externally, there is a potting shed, pool house and handsome garden room. Adjoining the house there is also a large garage complex with space for up to six cars, as well as a studio or workshop.
Out and About
Pinner’s high street has maintained many of its 18th-century buildings which now house a wide variety of independent and larger retailers. As well as an M&S, there are several cafes and restaurants providing options for international cuisine. The Queen’s Head pub, with its marvellous terrace, is the perfect spot for sundowners and Beer Asylum has, unsurprisingly, a fantastic selection of brews only a 7-minute walk away.
The area is awash with activities for all ages. A 2-minute walk north of the Hall is Pinner Recreation Ground, London’s first wood meadow; south leads to Pinner Memorial Park, a popular destination with both adults and children for its picturesque lake, bowls club, play area, and café. The Heath Robinson Museum is located on its western edge where the public can view the oeuvre of work from the renowned landscape artist, cartoonist, illustrator, and social historian. Adjacent to the park is Pinner’s own lawn tennis club.
Further afield, Ruislip Park Stables is a 5-minute drive, with the common providing an excellent location for those who ride or would like to do so. The common is also home to a beautiful Lido and Duck Pond Market, a farmers market famed for its delicious organic produce.
Pinner has great access to the M1, M40, and M25 motorways, all of which are within 10 miles. Pinner station is on the Metropolitan Line and is a mere 9-minute walk. The Overground service is available at Hatch End Station, reachable by car in 6 minutes.
Council Tax Band: H
Pinner was largely an agricultural area until the mid-19th century, with country houses constructed for thriving London merchants in search of pastoral retreats outside the city.
Though the current building on West End Lane dates back to the 16th century, an architectural historian, has traced the original ownership of the site to the late 14th century, meaning the house likely stands on the foundations of an earlier domestic building. The hamlet itself was erected in medieval times and the 14th century parish church remains intact in the centre of the village.
During the early years of the 19th century the Hall was let out, which explains how it changed very little during this time. However, since then the house has been carefully and thoughtfully refurbished when necessary. The most recent restoration was so exceptional that it was granted an award from the Harrow Architectural Society.
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