A perfectly preserved Georgian house in Whitechapel packed to the rafters with original features is on sale for the first time in more than two decades.
Publican Peter Clarke, who now runs The Haggerston pub in east London, bought the three-bedroom townhouse in the Nineties after his father died and left him some money.
The Grade II-listed house is one of a handful on New Road that haven’t been carved up into flats, according to his wife Katy Harris, who works as a yoga teacher.
The period features, which date to circa 1795, are rarer still.
“We’ve got all the Georgian panelling, floorboards and shutters, some lovely fireplaces. I think only a couple of houses have any old features.
“A friend who’s really into Georgian architecture said the kitchen would have been downstairs – it’s now on the first floor – but apart from that, nothing’s been ripped out. It’s in its raw state, so to speak.
The unusual arched entrance, studded with Coade stone bricks and a sculptural facade dated 1766, appears in Dan Cruikshank and Peter Wyld’s ‘London: The Art of Georgian Building’, a 1975 title that meticulously documented the best of the capital’s Georgian construction.
Coade stone is a type of fired ceramic that gained traction in the 18th century for its malleable qualities and resistance to weathering – ideal for statues, sculptures and architectural flourishes.
Landmarks with Coade stone features include Buckingham Palace, Brighton Pavilion and Kew Gardens, where Coade stone lions and unicorns preside over the gates.
But admirers of the house should look further up the façade to spot a tell-tale anomaly in this otherwise uniform terrace.
Larger windows at the top of the house, a reversal of typical Georgian proportions, indicate an upper floor that was comprehensively rebuilt – almost definitely after wartime bomb damage, says Harris.
With two children and little need for extra bedrooms, the owners now use the atrium-like space as a double-height library, with a ladder to access an upper gallery.
“It’s got a glass roof on the top so it gets loads of light. You can see the whole of the London skyline from the big window at the back. The sunsets are amazing.
“We haven’t been up there for a while but you can get out onto the flat roof. Someone could put a barrier in and make a roof garden”.
Though Harris says previous owners won permission to extend into the “secluded” garden, the light-filled library with its distinctive roof would have little chance in front of the planners today – making the four-storey home’s crowning glory an incredible rarity.
Though the 1,650 square foot house has largely been frozen in time for 230 years, “the area has changed massively in twenty years,” says Harris. “When Peter moved down here there were still lots of tailors around, but they’ve slowly gone.
“There’s always lots going on in Whitechapel. We've got two city farms really close by and I love that we can walk everywhere so easily. The rail connections are also brilliant, especially as we've got the Elizabeth line as well.”
The couple are now in furniture-selling mode – their sensational Victorian reproduction of an opium bed has just been snapped up – with a move to Forest Gate on the horizon.
“We’ve got two children and want to be nearer Wanstead Flats and Epping Forest. We just need a bit more green.”
They’ve put the family home on the market with Easthaus for £1.25 million, though Peter took some persuading. “My husband doesn’t want to leave the house! It’s got such a special feeling”.
Records suggest it’s been ten years since one of the few intact Georgian houses on the street changed hands.