Country houses for sale

From Hay Wain to Hampstead: Constable’s London house comes up for sale

This three-bedroom home in the heart of Hampstead boasts easy access to the village and the Heath, as well as a special Blue Plaque.

There are many surprises that come with living in London. Some are pleasant. For example, walking around the streets of this famous city, it’s important to keep an eye out for the Little Blue Plaques that can be found on the façades of many of the terraced homes here.

Who lived their lives behind these walls? How did these bricks and mortar inspire them?

One such instance can be found on Well Walk in Hampstead Village.

Behind this traditional Georgian façade, greatness once lived. Credit: Marcus Parfitt

It’s here that John Constable, that painter that you may have heard of (erm, definitely have heard of — Ed.) lived from 1827 to his death in 1837.  A pleasant surprise indeed that a painter so well known for his depictions of rural England spent so much time here, in London, in this three-bedroom house.

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But then again, back in the 19th century, Hampstead was far more rural than it is now. Indeed, Constable first spent time there to avoid the heat and smell of the city in the summer — that, of course being one of London’s less pleasant surprises.

Another less pleasant surprise might also be that a three-bedroom house in Hampstead now costs £4.995 million. That and all the cars. But that’s a column for another time.

The homes has been modernised, but plenty of period charm remains. Credit: Marcus Parfitt

To be fair to Constable’s old home, it is in supremely good condition and in a terrific location. Listed Grade II*, the home is located in the heart of the village, right between the high street and Hampstead Heath itself, and boasts some 2,200sq ft of living space set over five floors. As well as three bedrooms, two of which occupy the top two floors, providing sensational views over London, the property also comes with a ‘Shaker’ style ktichen/breakfast room and three traditionally appointed reception rooms. It also includes a very pleasant garden extending to some 40ft.

Built in the 18th century, the house retains plenty of period charm, such as high ceilings, fireplaces and beautiful full-height windows. Indeed, when the current owners bought the house six years ago, the undertook a ‘back to brick’ restoration according to agent Marcus Parfitt, which involved re-wiring and re-plumbing, as well as modernising the kitchen and bathroom.

The first-floor reception room with its Georgian cast-iron fireplace. Credit: Marcus Parfitt

Constable himself first moved to Hampstead Heath in 1819, when he and his wife Maria rented a home named Albion Cottage. He soon rented other properties around the Heath before settling at Well Walk.

During his time at Hampstead, the Heath and its scenery became a favourite subject of his, leading to many paintings as well as his constant studies of the fir trees. Perhaps the new owners of this property may find inspiration in its walls, much like he did.

Well Walk is for sale with Marcus Parfitt for £4.995 million. For more pictures and information, click here

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