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Historic Houses

Living in a house with history is both a joy and a privilege. And, whether you are looking to rent or to buy, there are architectural gems aplenty in the capital.

From St Paul’s Cathedral, a City landmark since the 17th Century, to Kensington’s Royal Albert Hall which was erected during the Victorian era, London is blessed with beautiful buildings. Of course, we can all admire the public buildings but, for the lucky few, the chance to reside in a historic home is a reality.

Homage to History

If you hanker for high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling sash windows and reception rooms large enough for a Bridgerton ball, you may find your perfect property in the garden squares of Belgravia and Fitzrovia or the sweeping terraces that abut Regent’s Park. Living in such a home may have architectural advantages but these properties do come at a premium especially if someone famous once resided there.

Guy Thornton, Sales Director at Dexters says, “A bit of prestige is always welcome; if you can walk around your home and imagine that someone influential or famous has lived there, it’s obviously going to have appeal.”

Heritgae Homes

London’s famous blue plaque scheme links the people of the past with the buildings of the present. Now run by English Heritage, the scheme originated in 1866. Across the capital, there are over 950 plaques that honour the notable men and women who have lived or worked in them. In 2021, a new plaque was unveiled at Coleherne Court in Kensington, the place Lady Diana Spencer called home before she became the Princess of Wales. For those interested in the celebrities of yesteryear, the new blue plaque app can take you from Sylvia Pankhurst's home in Chelsea to Jimi Hendrix's Mayfair flat, for example.

If you are lucky enough to buy a property with a plaque it may be wise to find out if there are any restrictions on what you can do with the building both externally and internally. Guy says, “There is always an element of caution with a listed property. I remember selling a Grade II property which belonged to a famous English novelist and poet, because of this it wasn’t just the exterior of the property that was listed, it was also the library, the internal panelling and the staircase.”

Guy finds that while people may love the character and charm that comes with a traditional style they still want all the luxuries and conveniences of contemporary living. He says, “At the front, you’ll have a beautiful period home but often, at the back, you’ll have a glass rear extension with a big open plan space with double doors that either concertina or slide open onto the garden. The ideal property has period features but is a modern, warm, minimalist home internally.”

Dream Properties

In the capital there is a grand design to suit every taste. If the Victorian era is to your liking, there are some wonderful properties in east London. On Jesus Green, not far from Columbia Road flower market, you can find early Victorian homes with the traditional London or ‘butterfly’ roof which has an internal gulley.

For those who favour the Georgian period, there are stunning stucco fronted homes around Notting Hill and in north London. “There are some incredible Georgian homes on De Beauvoir Road,” says Guy, adding, “North London has become a real hot spot amongst the rich and famous, drawn in by its leafy green suburban charm whilst sitting firmly in the heart of London.”

That said, for those lucky enough to live within the walls of such fine architecture, being a responsible custodian of a piece of history is surely part of the appeal.

Dexters Historic Houses

Historic houses come in various styles, here we take a look at a collection of London's best Victorian, Georgian and Edwardian homes currently on the market.

Buckingham Place, SW1E


Situated in a quiet enclave close to Buckingham Palace and Green Park, an impressive double fronted house with seven bedrooms across five floors and flexible living space.

Craven Street, WC2N

£4,500 pw

Arranged over six floors, this Grade II Listed Georgian house has five bedrooms and five reception rooms. Close to the River Thames, this property would make a superb family home.

Wilton Mews
Lancaster Gate, W2


An exciting opportunity to acquire a magnificent freehold. The property is made up of two adjoining white stucco fronted, seven storey Grade II Listed buildings in need of complete modernisation.

Other Articles (Dexters Magazine Winter 2022)