Mad About . . .

The Househunter Room by Room: Original Victorian Butcher and Flat

22nd May 2020
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I swear I don’t do it deliberately (would that I were actually that organised) but time again and again the, often accidental, theme of Monday’s post comes back round for Friday’s househunter. Last week it was white post-pandemic design and a slightly shabby chic white flat for sale. This week, well, we started with the spirit-lifting emerald green and we end with this wonderful beautifully restored two bedroom Victorian butcher’s shopwhich is now a two bedroom live work maisonette on the market with The Modern House for £700,000.

And yes I’m sure that having written about a subject on Monday, my brain is subconsciously drawn to similar things during the week so it’s probably not that surprising, but this green is still quite unusual and it’s such a fabulous place. What’s more it’s quite close to where I live and I have driven past it so many times without having a clue as to the fabulous interiors. If I was pondering dumping my love of ochre kitchens for a shade of deep green, this may have just helped me along a little.

The other point to note is that last week the estate agents were allowed to open again and a report in The Times said 906 homes were sold on the first day with a further 1,883 listed for sale. According to View My Chain, this was double the number of homes sold during the lockdown (the average in normal times is 4,000 a day) with a reported surge in mortgage applications.

Which means there’s a good chance this won’t even be available any more by the time you come to look round. The building dates back to 1890, when it was the home of A. Hancock Butchers, the original hand-painted sign is still displayed above the shop front. Entry is at ground level to what was formerly the shop floor, now a large kitchen and dining room with light from the glazed frontage.

Now you need to note that much of the kitchen is Grade II-listed which means there’s no point buying this if you don’t love it as it is as you won’t be allowed to change it. Historic England make particular mention of the tiles on the walls and floors, the latter a gorgeous green and white mosaic.

At ceiling height there is a glazed frieze composed of Art Nouveau tiles. Two marble-topped counters are positioned on either side of the room, one with hand-painted scenes of rural landscapes which are thought to be illustrations of Hampstead Heath from the period. At the rear, there is an original wooden payment kiosk, its shelves and fitted desk creating a brilliant study. I mean I’m sold!

Beyond this is a sitting room, with original wooden floorboards and fireplace and views over the courtyard garden. There is also a workshop which could be used as another study or spare bedroom. The old staircase, which would have provided access upstairs, is now redundant but has been repurposed as a stepped storage space instead.

The two bedrooms and bathroom are on the lower ground floor and there is plumbing in the larger one to allow for the installation of an ensuite. Or you could create a walk in wardrobe – or possibly both if you were clever with the space. Remember the more you take out of the bedroom  – in terms of storage and clothes etc – the less space you actually need for the bedroom itself as it’s then mostly about a bed for sleeping.

The bedroom also has a lightwell to bring the light down into it so you can see it’s not underground or dark at all. Who’s in? I love it. This is giving me serious inspiration for a new kitchen design.


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  • Karen Ann 5th June 2020 at 6:43 pm

    Well, I love animals so the butcher and meat hooks part makes me absolutely cringe. However, that green and white tile decor is absolutely beautiful. So that without all the butchery business I would love to have in my kitchen.

  • yoga malin 27th May 2020 at 6:52 am


  • Isabelle 25th May 2020 at 7:12 am

    Now that is stunning. When we moved to the Marches in ‘93 there was a butchers shop in OSwestry decorated in green and cream art nouveau tiles. Tis now a hairdressers and all internal tiles gone, but external ones still there. I remember as a young teen, I had a bedroom attic with sloping roof and Mucha’s four season posters and art nouveau/Morris style wallpaper, I adored that room.

  • Monika Gil 22nd May 2020 at 7:45 pm

    There is something about this house that’s so gorgeous I could stare at it all day! I’m in love 😍

  • Marie Bunworth 22nd May 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Yes! If I win Euromillions tonight… I’m there. It’s just fabulous and the workmanship in literally every part the kitchen is so beautiful. I hate sounding as old as I am…. but they don’t make them like that any more.

  • Elaine Fraser 22nd May 2020 at 2:18 pm

    My son works part time in a butchers on our high street.It is also a listed building and the tiles were made by a famous Victorian tiler who specialised in tiles depicting the local area.My sons place of work is mentioned in one of the many books written on the subject of Victorian shop interiors – they really don’t make them like that anymore. The tourists come into the shop just to see the tiles.
    I love the detail and can’t imagine getting bored of this in the way I often quickly do with modern trends. Can look fussy so you would need to edit your other stuff but it just has something you can’t buy anymore. Special.

  • Jodie x 22nd May 2020 at 11:33 am

    Stunning example of art nouveau and just amazing to think…how decadent it would have been shop there. Cleverly made into a beautiful home! Our old house used to have a stone butchers block in the cellar with meat hooks in the joists….I’ll take this instead thank you very much 😂

  • Jean 22nd May 2020 at 11:13 am


  • Jade 22nd May 2020 at 10:58 am

    Wow! Never seen anything like it. Absolutely beautiful. I can’t believe that even a butcher’s shop would have been so decorative in the past.

  • Melanie 22nd May 2020 at 8:09 am


  • Linda 22nd May 2020 at 8:09 am

    Absolutely gorgeous, not many of those still around.

  • Louisa 22nd May 2020 at 8:03 am

    Wow! I love it! All of it!

  • Jenny 22nd May 2020 at 7:18 am

    This is simply divine and I want to move in to that kitchen immediately.

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