DescriptionOffers in excess of £575,000 for this beautifully presented 70 Sqm two bedroom 1840's built semi-detached cottage in Iconic and sought-after Halifax Street, just off Kirkdale in Sydenham. Beautifully restored by the current owners, rekindling much of the original character charm from the Victorian era.
Halifax Street is a rare gem in a largely modernised London. It offers a feel of 'historic London' and the property itself emits a good energy when you're inside. It's strangely calming from the outside world. If you are seeking a property which offers a real insight into 'period living', this is it!
The house also benefits from a garage which is accessed via an adjacent street and this could potentially be turned into a large office/work space as well as providing additional storage options.
The garden is a beautiful space and offers a very private, idyllic and tranquil space to enjoy warmer evenings eating and having drinks in front of the fire-pit, with your family or friends. Bliss!
It's a 10 minute walk from either Sydenham or Forest Hill train stations. Forest Hill is roughly 14 minutes from London, and you can also catch the Overground to Canada Water (12 minutes) meaning it's one change to get on the Jubilee Line for a short ride to Canary Wharf, or towards Bond Street and Westminster in the other direction.
There's plenty to do locally. The much loved Horniman Museum is a short walk away, and you've several prominent parks nearby with Dulwich Park being a hop on a bus away. Crystal Palace Park and National Sports Centre are within walking distance. There's a good mix of local 'gastro pubs' serving good food, and in Forest Hill Town Centre there's a popular Thai Restaurant, several notable coffee shops and an independent Butchers specialising in free range meats, along with a Sainsburys for weekly shop needs.
From the owners:
We brought our house because we loved Halifax Street. We loved the special sense of place, its beauty and uniqueness and most of all how quiet it is (we have 2 cats, so a safe quiet street was a must for us). We loved the history of the house, but sadly this had been hidden under brutal modernisations by a series of previous owners.
As soon as we moved in we set about restoring as much of the historic character of the house as we could, both internally and externally. In some cases the original features had been lost completely - or damaged beyond saving. Fortunately in other places they had just been hidden under sheets of hardboard. Our aim was to reveal the history of the building, but also to allow it to have gently changed and evolved over time - while also making a comfortable home.
Inside, we started by removing what felt like acres of hardboard off all the walls, ceilings and doors. This instantly revealed the surviving original panelling, ceiling heights and other original features of the cottage for the first time in about 50 years.
We got to know the neighbours in the street very quickly, and they kindly allowed us to see inside their houses and record the details our house was still missing. This helped us to source original items like door handles and ironmongery that restore much of the vintage feel of the house.
We wanted a cottage garden look, but the garden we had inherited felt soulless and was almost entirely covered in wooden decking. We re-planned it using some flagstones to give a softer and more traditional feel. Throwing away the decking felt wasteful, as it was still relatively new, so we recycled it into planters and raised beds, in which we planted clematis and other climbers.
The exterior of the cottage had been coated in a thick layer of very rough concrete, and the windows and doors were modern plastic. We agreed with the conservation officer to allow us to replace the concrete with traditional lime render and restore the house's original windows and doors. We accurately reproduced all the missing window designs including traditional box sashes with reclaimed cast iron weights, and these were done for us by a local joinery Company. For the ground floor rooms we also sourced original period shutters, long lost from our house, but still present in a neighbour's house. We love "putting the house to bed" with the shutters each night, and shutting out the world.
About the street:
Halifax Street dates from shortly after the enclosure of Sydenham common in 1819. The houses were built in small groups at different times over next few years, and our part of Halifax street first appears on historic maps in the 1840's.
The street has been a conservation area since 1972. It is protected as a rare survivor, a well preserved and tight knit, semi-rural street, from before the Victorian expansion of the industrial city.
Perhaps because of its strong sense of identity, Halifax Street is a tightly knit community and very friendly. We know all our neighbours and we all look out for each other. There is a very active street WhatsApp group covering everything from swapping recipes to reporting problems with rubbish collection. There is a nice mix of people in the street, young and old, from artists and architects to city workers with young families.
We love living in Sydenham, and have lived here since moving from East Dulwich in 2003. The local shops on Kirkdale are 2 minutes away, good quality and amazingly diverse - with nice cafes, arts and crafts and antique shops, along with a useful little Tesco and some good takeaways. We are a short walk away from Sydenham High Street and The shops of Dartmouth Road, both of which are packed full of nice shops and great pubs, cafes, and bars.
We particularly like to walk to the local parks. Wells Park is a beautifully kept local Victorian park about 5 minutes walk away. Crystal Palace Park is fabulous and about 15 minutes walk away. We try to walk there most days to help towards our 10,000 steps.