Architect: Austin Vernon & Partners

Tarleton Gardens
London SE23



Representing a fine example of the Dulwich Estate’s mid-century architecture, this three / four-bedroom townhouse with private garden forms part of an attractive terrace of houses designed by Austin Vernon in the 1960s.

Approached along a quiet close, the house is positioned towards the end of the terrace, furthest from the road. As with many designs of the era, the main living space is on the first floor, a double-aspect room containing the open kitchen and sitting room. Impressive windows at the front and back run the full width of the house.

There are three bedrooms and a family bathroom on the top floor. The integrated garage and store room on the ground floor have been converted into further living space that serves as an excellent separate sitting room or guest bedroom with en-suite wet room. Part of the original garage remains as useful storage space.

Outside, there is a private rear garden that extends into a wonderful communal woodland shared by the residents of Tarleton Gardens. The front garden has space for a single car. The exterior of the house has very recently been repainted.

The house is very well located near the centre of Forest Hill, an area in south-east London which has become very popular recently with the help of the London Overground extension. As a result, there are plenty of very good independent cafes, restaurants and pubs nearby. The Horniman Museum and Gardens is a very popular destination for young families, with a child-friendly café, anthropological museum and farmers’ market every Saturday morning. The centres of Dulwich and Peckham are within easy walking distance.

There are a number of ‘outstanding’ primary schools around Forest Hill, including Fairlawn Primary and Eliot Bank Primary.

The nearest station is Forest Hill, running London Overground services to Highbury & Islington via Shoreditch High Street and Canada Water (for connections to the Jubilee Line). Southern Trains runs direct services to London Bridge with a journey time of around 20 minutes.

An area well-known for its exceptional Modern architecture, the Dulwich Estate occupies approximately 1,500 acres, with numerous private roads that are managed by the Estate. It is noted for its concentration of outstanding 1950s and 60s design, much of it by Austin Vernon & Partners. The mix of houses and thoughtful landscaping make for an appealing and unique place to live.

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.


Tarleton Gardens 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 tower 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 Tarleton Gardens, 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 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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