A well presented home in vibrant Stoke Newington, a short walk from the shops and cafes of Church Street, this property is ideally suited to a young couple looking for a nest in which to start a family. Of classic Victorian housing stock, the property benefits from some delightful period features. Aside from the fireplace, the mirror in the attic, and the still-operational (if faulty) servants’ bell, visitors are mostly drawn to the child’s bedroom. Here, a century of papering has recently been scraped away to reveal an incredibly bright, colourful 19th Century wallpaper design, displaying a scene of birds in trees which is of truly transportive qualities. Viewings are a must.
The property is a good example of a solid Victorian house, built of brick elevations beneath a pitched Welsh slate tiled roof. Two main areas of concern relate to the interior:
1. Timber trusses, as visible in the ceiling of the attic room, exhibit a rare condition by which the long-dead wood is sprouting green-leaved branches. If this growth is allowed to develop unimpeded it could, in my opinion, seriously compromise the integrity of the overall structure.
2. There is historical use of arsenical wallpapers in the small bedroom. As far as I can see, nothing has been done to remedy the legacy of this poison – once widely used as a fixing agent – which has seeped into the walls themselves, resulting in levels of chemical residue that would be unacceptable in a newly-built property.
Bella Hawthorne, 96: “I was born in this house in 1922 and lived here most of my life. When the time came, I raised my own children here. It has been a very happy place. We always knew we weren’t alone in the house – the fluttering sounds from the attic, the scratching behind the walls. And we knew of the sad story attached to the property, the little girl who lived here in Victorian times. Some say she still lives here, though I’m not sure that’s right. Anyway, we always felt looked after. My childhood bedroom was her bedroom, I believe. It would not have been to everyone’s tastes. I admit that sometimes the dreams could be… suffocating. Later, my own daughter had them, too. And there was nothing wrong with her when she finally flew the coop.
Martyn Wichelm, medium: “I’m getting very mixed messages from the child’s bedroom. There was a girl here, a little girl, she wasn’t happy. But then she was happy – very happy. A release. Escape. From the sadness of her childhood. She welcomed strange visitors into the room. I see flight. There is a strong suggestion of movement. A change. This bedroom is suddenly far, far away from the house. The girl is rising now, from the room, she is bursting with happiness. Shapes, wings beating, in the air all around. A sudden burst of light and – darkness. Now darkness. Oh. This room is in mourning”.