Architect: Austin Vernon & Partners

Giles Coppice
London SE19



Designed by Malcolm Pringle of Austin Vernon & Partners in the mid-1960s, this house offers excellent accommodation (including three bedrooms, large living space and a garage) in a fantastic location. Giles Coppice is a small group of townhouses tucked away on a no-through road on the prestigious Dulwich Estate. All houses have off-street parking, as well as there being ample space for visitor parking. There are also well-maintained areas of landscaped green space on Giles Coppice.

Accommodation is spread over three floors, with a large open-plan living / dining area (with access to a balcony) and a WC on the ground floor, three bedrooms and a family bathroom on the first floor, and a utility room and garage on the lower ground floor.

The houses on Giles Coppice rarely become available and are some of the most admired on the Dulwich Estate, an area well known for its exceptional Modern architecture.

Crystal Palace, which is a 5-minute walk away, is a vibrant area with award-winning restaurants and bars as well as having a thriving arts and music scene. It was named as number 5 on Lonely Planet’s “Greatest little-known neighbourhoods in the world”. Features of the local area include Dulwich and Sydenham Golf Course, Crystal Palace International Sports Centre (with swimming pool) and numerous excellent parks and local woodland. Dulwich Village is a 15-minute walk from the house and the street is well placed for OFSTED ‘outstanding’ primary and secondary state schools as well as some of the best private schools in London.

Giles Coppice is ideally situated between two mainline stations (each approximately a 5-minute walk away) that offer fast and convenient travel to the centre of London. Sydenham Hill runs services to London Victoria (15 minutes), Blackfriars (20 minutes) and City Thameslink/Farringdon (22 minutes), and Gipsy Hill Station has direct rail links to London Bridge (23 minutes) and Clapham Junction (15 minutes). Crystal Palace station is also within walking distance (approximately 20 minutes). Connecting trains (via Sydenham) will take you to Canada Water in 20 minutes and Shoreditch High Street in 30 minutes. There are also excellent bus links to Central London.

Tenure: Leasehold
Lease: approx. 140 years
Service charge: approx. £500 per annum

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.


Giles Coppice is situated in part of a large area of land in South East London that has been maintained for over 400 years by the Dulwich Estate. In the 1950s the estate ran into difficulty. The area had been badly damaged during the Second World War, and lease lengths were running so short that banks were no longer happy to lend on the houses and selling was becoming more and more difficult. People were leaving the area and renting their houses out.

In 1954, Austin Vernon & Partners were called on to design a scheme that would rejuvenate the Dulwich Estate. Vernon himself had formerly been a pupil at Dulwich College from 1898 -1901 and so knew this area well, whilst his uncle Frederick Austin Vernon (1882-1972) had already been the surveyor and architect to the Dulwich Estate.

By 1957 Vernon’s first scheme of building was completed. The blocks on Farquhar Road were the first to be built and they proved to be such a success that a second scheme began, encompassing the nearby Lymer Road and beyond. Over the next 20 years more than 2,000 new homes were designed by Austin Vernon & Partners, including those of Giles Coppice, resulting in a remarkable area of 1950s and 60s-era architecture.

The houses and flats were designed to a high standard, with use of large expanses of glass, open rooms and central heating. Also quite remarkable was the landscaping that was planned for the estate. The roads were separated from pedestrian areas and large areas were given over to communal gardens and spinneys. The result was an estate which was and remains beautifully designed, verdant and peaceful.

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Austin Vernon & Partners

Austin Vernon & Partners was established in 1948 when Russell Vernon (1916-2009) became a partner in the architecture practice of his uncle, Frederick Austin Vernon (1882-1972), who was the surveyor and architect to the Dulwich Estate. For several family generations, the practice had already been a successful commercial enterprise. Its architectural output, however, was rather traditional. Russell, who had studied at the Regent Street Polytechnic and worked for his great uncle, George Vernon (1870-1942), transformed it into a modern studio that over time has been appreciated for producing some of the highest-quality 1950s and 1960s housing in the country, as well as for the restoration of Dulwich Picture Gallery after bomb damage. Austin Vernon & Partners designed many different types of building in many different locations around the country, including the headquarters of Otis Elevators; a church and training centre for the Church Army; and an office for Lufthansa. Their greatest passion, however, was the Dulwich Estate, where they designed over 2,000 homes. Great care was taken to respond to the natural contours of site, surrounding tree heights and placement of existing trees.

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