Castlebar Hill
London W5

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“A design-led renovation that makes masterful use of clean-lined, bespoke joinery and cabinetry”

Perched on Castlebar Hill, Ealing, this former groundskeeper’s cottage-turned-two-bedroom detached house has been sensitively transformed by its current interior architect and architectural historian owners. Outside, there is a courtyard garden, an entrance courtyard and an astonishingly bright 45 ft-long annexe, currently used as an office and art studio. Within easy reach are Pitshanger Park, a haven for wildlife, dogs and amateur athletes alike, and Pitshanger Lane, an award-winning high street with a wonderful village feel and independent shops and restaurants.

The Tour

Behind a bespoke oak gate within an original eight-foot wall is an entrance courtyard laid with slender brick pavers. Evergreen jasmine, clematis and climbing roses cover the dark grey-painted trellis system that surrounds the house, fostering a private and serene feel away from the bustle of the city.

A timber-framed glass door opens into a beautifully executed and handmade kitchen, set beneath four Velux roof lights. On entry, the house’s cohesive material palette becomes immediately apparent: calming bamboo flooring begins here and flows across the ground floor, complemented by a repeating vocabulary of birch-faced ply joinery. Ceiling-set glazing is used across the plan to draw in natural light and provide uplifting views of the skies above.

In the kitchen, three butcherblock countertops provide plenty of preparation space and house integrated appliances, including a separate griddle and wok burner, four side-by-side gas burners, a Smeg oven and a dishwasher, microwave and fridge, all by Fisher & Paykel. A smart WC lies just off the kitchen.

Within an adjacent dining room is a radiator enclosed within gently curving, almost sculptural, birch-faced ply strips, with a plywood sash window above. Light is drawn in through double-aspect windows and there is a bank of deep stores for tidying away everyday accoutrement. Through a double open doorway is a living room, where two walls of bespoke bookshelves provide plenty of display space. There are double-aspect windows here too, as well as neat storage cleverly placed within a former chimney breast.

The first floor is reached via a bespoke birch-faced ply encased staircase in the dining room, flanked on each side by birch-faced ply handrails. A frosted window at the top of the stairs works in tandem with an oversized mirror to cast light over the stairwell below. The two double bedrooms on the first floor are grounded with original floorboards and have elevated sleeping platforms accessed by handbuilt spiral staircases.

Set beneath a sloping part of the ceiling and a Velux skylight, the main bedroom has a voluminous feel. A timber sash frames courtyard garden views on one side, while a second window looks to Castlebar Hill on the opposite aspect. A brick chimney breast with a polished black slate hearth provides a focal point and stands as a reminder of the house’s history. There is abundant storage here and in the second bedroom, which is flooded with light from a large Velux window, the brightness from the glazing is reflected around by a floor-to-ceiling mirrored wall.

A family bathroom completes the plan and has a bath enclosed by a frameless glass folding screen. Seating has been provided in the form of an ingenious storage bench across the front of the bath. The palette is similar to that used in the WC downstairs, with slate floor tiles, birch-faced ply storage and a dark grey stone sink. A skylight above creates a wonderful feeling of tranquillity.

Outside, just across the main courtyard garden, is a separate new building currently configured as an office/creative space, with a façade designed to sit harmoniously with the main house and tall, narrow windows that take their cue from historic barn architecture. Inside, the 45 ft-long space is illuminated by six roof lights; there are inbuilt desks and convenient open shelving. A handy pull-down bed, finished in the house’s signature birch-faced ply, provides additional sleeping space.

Outdoor Space

Between the main house and the annexe is an elegant courtyard garden, where clematis and jasmine climb across trellises, and slender brick pavers run underfoot. This space is ideal for parties, outdoor dining and children’s games.

A trellis-enclosed bin store is easily accessed adjoining the house. Corten-steel planters teem with mature pampas grasses, while reclaimed sleepers at the far end step up to a raised section where there is extensive useful garden storage. Covering these separate storage spaces and the annexe, an insulating green roof garden has been planted with wildflowers.

The Area

The house is a 10-minute walk from Pitshanger Lane. Known simply as ‘The Lane’, it has a lovely village atmosphere with an excellent range of independent retailers, including a quality butcher, bakery and delis. The Lane is bookended by two neighbourhood pubs, The Village Inn and The Duke of Kent, that serve up quality food.

Nearby Ealing Broadway is home to award-winning pizzeria Santa Maria and Ealing Project, a combined underground cinema, bar and art space. The Broadway shopping and retail centre is close by, as are the famous Ealing Studios, where legendary films like ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’ among others were filmed in the 1940s. Atari Ya and Yoyo Kitchen are popular Japanese fresh fish shops and supermarkets in the area.

There are several walks in and around the area, mostly threading their way through the local allotments and golf courses towards open parkland such as Horsenden Hill and Northala Fields, an open space of 65 acres with panoramic views from the top. The house is also perfectly located for keen cyclists, with Richmond Park a short ride south, the Surrey heaths a little further south, and the Chiltern Hills, among other challenging routes, to the west.

The River Brent snakes its way through Pitshanger Park There is a weekend-long festival every summer called ‘Party in the Park’, as well as ‘Light up the Lane’ at Christmas time. The park also features a popular tennis club with bookable playing courts, and several football pitches run and managed by Pitshanger FC. There is an active allotment community, a lawn bowling club, a playground and a toddlers’ play centre. The park also backs onto The Brentham Club at its eastern edge, with lawn tennis courts and a clubhouse with a private members’ bar and function rooms that hosts a busy programme of gigs, comedy, street food stalls and vintage sales year-round.

The area is well served by exemplary schools; the house sits in the catchment area for the Ofsted “Good”-rated North Ealing Primary, a 10-minute walk away. Other local schools include St Benedict’s, St Augustine’s, Twyford, Montpelier, Christ the Saviour and St Gregory’s. There are numerous well-regarded private schools locally, including Notting Hill and Ealing High School just across Castlebar Hill, with The Japanese School in London also close by.

Stations at Ealing Broadway and West Ealing are a 15 and 20-minute walk away respectively; both run Great Western services. Ealing Broadway also runs the Central Line, the District Line and the Elizabeth Line, which reaches central London in 15 minutes, the City in 23, and Heathrow Airport in 17. The Piccadilly Line also runs from Ealing Common.  There are also excellent road connections, with easy access to the A40, M40, North Circular and M1.

Council Tax Band: E

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.

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