“Vertical slatted windows scatter slivers of light across the white-washed walls”
Designed in 1958, this exemplary mid-century house on Hillside Gardens forms part of Highgate’s notable Southwood House Estate. The current owners have paid homage to the architect’s mid-century ethos with a carefully chosen tapestry of materials that respond to the house’s original composition. A stepped garden at the rear has been thoughtfully planted to evolve throughout the seasons: cherry blossom and Japanese acer erupt with colour in spring, while a mature fig emits a sweet fragrance in summer. For more of the great outdoors, Hampstead Heath is only a short walk away – as is Highgate Station for connections across London.
We’ve written about life in this house in more depth.
The Southwood House Estate was the first major work of the firm Andrews, Emerson, Sherlock & Keable, who went on to design public housing for Islington. Developed between 1958 and 1962, it occupies the site of the former Southwood House (c.1745), which burned down in 1953. Its triangular plot determines the layout of three separate terraces on Jackson’s Lane, Southwood Lane and Hillside Gardens, where this house is, with central gardens shared by all residents.
The house occupies a sought-after corner position on Hillside Gardens, a handsome street predominantly lined with red-brick Edwardian houses. Bordered by mature bushes, a private driveway with space for one car guides to the house’s entrance.
The front door opens to a long corridor, with a clear line of sight towards the rear garden through a large single-pane interior window. To the left is an office, previously converted from a garage, with floor-to-ceiling bespoke shelving. The kitchen lies on the opposite side, separated by sliding pocket doors. Characterised by warm wooden cabinetry and topped with smooth honed granite, the space is only subtly demarcated from the reception area by overhead shelving, ensuring a sense of flow between the two.
The rear living spaces are nothing short of masterful. Vertical slatted windows within the dining room’s soaring ceilings scatter slivers of light across the white-washed walls. Original parquet flooring flows underfoot, its deep patina testifying to the passage of time. A teak staircase, arguably the most striking feature in the house, has open treads and ascends in a zig-zag formation towards the upper level.
There are three well-proportioned bedrooms, each with a unique window arrangement. Set beneath a dramatic mono-pitch roof, the main bedroom has a tremendous sense of volume and overlooks the garden below. Minimalist joinery introduces clean architectural lines, an aesthetic continued in the smart en suite shower room. A family bathroom serves the other bedrooms and has a generous walk-in shower.
Glazed sliding doors in the living area open to the secluded and private garden. A patio on the upper level is surrounded by mature trees and bushes, a perfectly shady spot to entertain or sit and read during the summer months. Filled with evergreen plants and perennials alike, the garden is a peaceful oasis amid the bustle of the city.
Beyond are the community gardens. Expansive stretches of lawn are dotted with trees, tables and benches, fostering a rare sense of community between residents. At one time, the central patio was nicknamed ‘the castle’ by the estate’s children.
Hillside Gardens occupies a sought-after location just a short walk from some of London’s most celebrated green spaces, including Hampstead Heath and Waterlow Park, as well as the ancient Highgate Wood and Queen’s Wood. A short walk east is Parkland Walk, a disused railway line that has been transformed into a green pedestrian thoroughfare that runs from Highgate to Finsbury Park.
Highgate Village has a wide variety of shops, cafés, pubs and restaurants including The Flask and grocery Greens of Highgate. There is also The Grocery Post on Archway Road, which serves good coffee and even better provisions.
There are excellent schools in the area, including Highgate School, Highgate Primary School, St Michael’s Primary School and Channing.
The house is a short walk from Highgate Underground Station (Northern Line). The Number 43 bus runs from a nearby stop and journeys towards Moorgate, Bank and London Bridge, the 134 bus runs to Camden Town and Tottenham Court Road, and there are also bus routes which go to Kenwood House, Hampstead, Parliament Hill as well as Finsbury Park.
Council Tax Band: F
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.