Like houses with tons of history and heaps of character but don’t care for drafty old rooms and fussy traditional fittings? Well, take a look at this modern-minded historic home in London’s ritzy Regent’s Park area.
Commissioned by the Prince Regent in the 1810s (the Regent took over after his father George III was declared insane), 410-acre Regent’s Park is one of the Royal Parks of London. Houses by the park are some of the most sought-after in the capital, including the huge mansions owned by members of the royal families of Saudi Arabia, Brunei, and Oman. So yup, talking big money here.
On the prestigious Outer Circle of Regent’s Park, St. Katharine’s Precinct was originally built in 1826-8. It was designed by Sir Ambrose Poynter, a founding director of the Institute of British Architects and an associate of John Nash, the architect of Regent’s Park. The Precinct was originally part of the Royal Foundation of St. Katharine, a religious order and college, dating back to 1148.
This Grade II listed structure, in an exclusive cul-de-sac, neighbors the iconic Danish Church of St. Katharine, built in 1825. The Gothic exterior of the mansion mirrors the neo-Gothicism of the church.
During the first World War, the building was bought by William Salomon (of Salomon Brothers), who donated it to the Red Cross to help with the war effort. St. Katharine’s Hospital, as it was known, was used to treat wounded officers. Other buildings in the cul-de-sac were used as staff accommodation.
The houses along the cul-de-sac have returned to private ownership and command high prices. To wit: one of them, a townhouse-style residence, is currently listed for roughly $13.3 million with DDRE Global.
The sturdy building’s arched doorway, grey stonework and fantastic chimneys were restored after bombing in World War II and today, the elegant neo-Gothic exterior contrasts beautifully with a simple, elegant contemporary interior, perfect for art collectors. Two unique and coveted features of the property include off-street parking for two cars — so desirable in London! — as well as a 50-foot-long southwest facing private garden. Only a few homes in Regent’s Park have private gardens.
Inside, sleekly appointed 4,800 square feet of interior space includes four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two reception rooms, an elevator, a home theater, as well as a study and a wine cellar. The combined kitchen and dining room are housed in a subterranean space beneath the rear garden. Marble and parquet floors add rich natural luxury to the home, which is cleverly filled with light through large windows, a glass extension/conservatory, and several strategically placed skylights.
The mansion’s retained Gothic features reflect the interesting history of St. Katharine’s Precinct, while the interiors are prepped for another century of genteel living. As well, the shops, cafés and restaurants of Marylebone High Street, possibly the most chic in London, are but a few minutes’ walk away.