Architect: Nathaniel Martin

Westow Hill
London SE19


This bright two-bedroom Art Deco maisonette sits in a favourable position on the Crystal Palace ‘Triangle’ with impressive views towards central London. Built in 1938, the apartment measures almost 1,000 sq ft internally.

Accommodation is entered on the first floor from the rear of the building. The main living space is largely open plan with typically generous 1930s proportions. Two large windows at the front of the room let in lots of natural light. The kitchen, a labour of love for the current owners, has bespoke oak parquet worktops and cupboards. Upstairs there are two double bedrooms and a bathroom.

The apartment has been completely renovated by the current owners. The original Hope windows have been double glazed, stripped back and repainted, and the original wooden floorboards run throughout. The flat roof has been fully repaired, new insulation added, and the ceiling height in the bedrooms raised. The boiler has also been replaced.

The maisonette has private use of the large south-facing roof terrace at the back of the building, although the terrace is not officially recognised in the lease.

The building was originally designed as a Burton menswear store in the 1930s. Foundation stones were often placed by one of Montague Burton’s four children: Barbara, Stanley, Arnold and Raymond. The foundation stone of this building bears the name ‘Stanley Howard Burton’.

Crystal Palace occupies a privileged position in the topography of London, one of the highest points in the city, at 367 feet. The hub of the community is the central triangle formed by the one-way system of Church Road, Westow Hill and Westow Street, lined with pubs, restaurants like Joanna’s and Exhibition Rooms, and independent shops. Crystal Palace is well known for its vintage furniture and antiques shops.

There are a number of well-regarded schools in the area. The Gipsy Hill Federation runs three primary schools in Crystal Palace and Gipsy Hill, all of which are highly sought after. There are a range of independent schools in nearby Dulwich.

Crystal Palace and Gipsy Hill stations run services to Victoria and London Bridge up to six times an hour. Canary Wharf is around 24 minutes away (via the Jubilee line from Canada Water).

Tenure: Leasehold
Lease length: approx. 89 years remaining

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. The Modern House 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.


In the early 1920s, Burton, the menswear retailer, began to acquire freehold sites in order to build its own custom-designed stores. Prominent town-centre corner sites, like the example on Westow Hill, were preferred. The building design was the responsibility of Leeds-based architect Harry Wilson, who developed the house style. In 1931 Burton took over Wilson’s practice to make it the in-house architecture department. Wilson was replaced as chief architect by Nathaniel Martin in 1937.

This Burton in-house architecture was Art Deco in style. Individual stores varied from the more restrained red-brick with neoclassical scroll-headed columns to fully fledged Art Deco design with glazed white faience tiles, geometric patterns and stylised elephant heads.

Foundation stones were often placed by Montague Burton’s four children: Barabara, Stanley, Arnold and Raymond. Each store typically had one or several foundation stones, each bearing one name and the year. For example: “This stone laid by Stanley Howard Burton 1938”.

Whilst some of these Burton buildings have been destroyed over the years, many are still standing. Some are still occupied by Burton stores (often a combined Burton and Dorothy Perkins store) but many have changed used. The first three McDonald’s restaurants in the UK were opened in former Burton stores in 1974 and 1975, as the company sold off some of its property.

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