If you fancy yourself as a bit of an arty bohemian type, but also conveniently have oodles of cash, there’s a property in north London that might suit you. This grade II-listed five-bedroom townhouse in St John’s Wood, north London, has a proud heritage as the home of creatives, boasting not one but two blue plaques.
English composer George Alexander Macfarren, who wrote the (tbf, completely forgotten) operas ‘Robin Hood’ and ‘Helvellyn’, owned the grand abode at Hamilton Terrace, NW8 until his death in 1887. Later, painter and etcher William Strang, who famously illustrated works by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Bunyan and Rudyard Kipling, lived there from 1900 to 1921. The house was also home to Scottish sculptor William McMillan. In fact, the whole street has a really extraordinary who’s who of former residents: novelist Thomas Hardy, singer Kathleen Ferrier, artists Michael Ayrton, Henry Stacy Marks, John Minton and Keith Vaughan, composer Gerald Finzi, dramatist Arthur Wing Pinero, as well as actor Honor Blackman and legendary London sewage engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette. Their WhatsApp group must have been mainly boasting.
The house has retained its original stately proportions. The lavish interiors will make you feel like a true nineteenth century bohemian, just about to rustle up an opera while wearing a velvet smoking jacket and puffing on an Egyptian cigarette. There are grand sash windows, intricate floral wallpapers and even a chandelier made of feathers. There’s also a spa room with a plunge pool, although we’re not sure they had those back in the day.
The real pièce de résistance of the 6,172 sq ft house is a double-height artist’s studio with a vaulted ceiling. ‘Many creatives were drawn to the houses of St. John’s Wood, where double-height studio rooms were built in the early to mid-1800s. Few of these remain in their original form,’ selling agent Marc Schneiderman said. ‘The fabulous barrel-vaulted room has since been ingeniously incorporated into the house providing a large living space, open with the kitchen which forms the central hub of the house.’
When’s all’s said and done, £11.75 million seems a small price to pay to reveal the creative genius that is undoubtedly lurking within you.
Arlington Residential is managing the sale.