Country houses for sale

Thomas Hardy’s former home in south-west London — yes, London, not Dorset — is up for sale

This apartment on Trinity Road has been expertly updated to create a superb home on the doorstep of Wandsworth Common.

Buyers leaving London to escape to the country remains at an all-time high thanks to continued flexible working options, which is seeing buyers seeking — and achieving — a better work-life balance away from the city; one which offers more space for your money — both inside and out and little to no commuting times.

There is a direct correlation between the surge of people leaving the capital for more rural abodes as a result of the pandemic. Besides takeaway cocktails from the local pub and food delivery services, it could be heavily argued that the country out-trumps London when lockdown looms.

However, escaping to the country isn’t a new notion. It’s an age-old trope that people travelled to London to make their name and money, just like English novelist and poet Thomas Hardy, (not to be confused with another Tom Hardy — better known for his acting rather than poetry) whose former house we look at today.

Hardy had originally moved to London in 1862 and studied at King’s College, although it is said he never felt settled here. Having been born and brought up in Dorset, the city class divide appeared ever-apparent to him and he returned west.

Not forever, though. In 1874 he made his name publishing Far From the Madding Crowd to huge success, achieving the financial stability that allowed him to marry his wife, Emma, against the wishes of their families.

The pair moved to London together, at first in various different houses but then, in 1878, moving to this property on Trinity Road in Wandsworth — currently on the market via Knight Frank at a guide price of £995,000.

Thomas and Emma lived lived in the house for three years — a blue plaque confirms the dates — before returning to live in Dorset again, though they regularly returned to London during the summer season.

Was Hardy the original escapee to the country? It’s hard to say. But if the 1870s clip-clopping of hooves was as bad as the 2020s rush-hour traffic on this route between Tooting and Wandsworth, we can fully sympathise with his decision to split his time between town and country.

Inside the house is a  blend of the original architecture and some more modern touches, having recently been fully refurbished and updated by the current owners.

Two of the three double bedrooms are located on the second floor alongside a private, sunny terrace which is the perfect spot for a morning coffee.

The remaining bedroom is located upstairs on the third floor with eaves storage, and could be used as a home office. Perfect for bashing out a novel, perhaps?

Downstairs is a large reception room, a well-fitted kitchen/dining room plus further outdoor space in the shape of a contained garden with a terraced area for dining.

The apartment on Trinity Road is currently on the market via Knight Frank at a guide price of £995,000 — see more pictures, or enquire with the agents for further details. 

Wandsworth: What you need to know

Location: Southwest London, in-between Putney and Battersea. Wandsworth Common station, Tooting Bec Underground and Balham Underground are all less than a mile away.

Atmosphere: The lively district is dotted with plenty of brunch spots, coffee shops, eclectic boutiques and parks to enjoy.

Things to do: The apartment is only a short walk from Wandsworth Common, Bellevue Road and Northcote Road, known for their independent shops, cafes and restaurants. The areas great transport links make access into the city and central London quick and easy.

Schools: Finton House, Broomwood Hall and Northcote Lodge are all local to the area.

See more property for sale in the area.