Architect: Austin Vernon & Partners

Lings Coppice
London SE21


Under offer

Representing one of the rarest and more adventurous of the Dulwich Estate house types, this four-bedroom split-level terraced house, with private rear garden and off-street parking, was designed by Austin Vernon and Partners and completed around 1968.

Positioned on a private road and approached across a hard standing with space for a car, entrance is to a wide hallway. To the left is a door to the integral garage, and to the right, a shower room. The space opens out dramatically to a double-height dining room with high-level windows and an upper-floor gallery. The main living space, which includes a kitchen and reception area, opens onto the south-facing rear garden and communal grounds beyond.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms, two at the front and two larger bedrooms at the back, and a family bathroom with bath and shower.

The house has been well-renovated and maintained over the years, with appropriate work carried out to the flat roof.

The houses on Lings Coppice represent some of the Dulwich Estate’s most interesting architecture. Defined as a Radburn layout, after a town in the US where this type of layout was first used, the houses of Lings Coppice are arranged in U-shaped terraces with gardens that open onto communal landscaped amenity areas. The routes for pedestrians and cars are kept separate. Internally, the houses have a unique form over two levels, with atrium-style dining areas that act as the main circulation space. The individual designer was Manfred Bresgaens, a German architect working for Austin Vernon and Partners at the time.

The area is renowned for the quality of its schools, with both Dulwich College and Dulwich College Preparatory School within easy reach. The property is close to local restaurants, a delicatessen and a Tesco metro, and is conveniently located for access to Dulwich Village, with its Picture Gallery and golf course. Rail links to London Victoria and London Bridge are from West Dulwich station. The number 3 bus is also around the corner, with its service via Brixton (Victoria Line) to Regent Street.

Service Charge: approx. £840 per annum (payable in monthly instalments of approx. £70)

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.


Lings 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 Lings Coppice, resulting in a remarkable area of 1950s and 60s-era architecture.

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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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