CAST yourself back to London in 1985 at the height of Thatcher’s reign, ill-judged perms and Dead or Alive’s music career.
Partying away in a two bedroom flat around the corner from Clapham Junction and the Battersea Arts Centre was a 26-year-old Sarah Ferguson, living the single life before she met – and eventually married – Prince Andrew.
The flat, in Lavender Gardens, Battersea, is described by its estate agent Hamptons International as “perfect for entertaining”, with its high ceilings, original ornate cornicing and period fireplace with adjacent dining room.
In fact, Ferguson was renowned for holding society soirees there and Lavender Gardens even gets a mention in Andrew Morton’s Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words: “At one of Sarah’s cocktail parties at her home in Lavender Gardens, Diana met Paddy McNally, a motor racing entrepreneur who enjoyed an uneven and untimely romance with Fergie.”
If this image doesn’t convey just how much has changed since the 80s, then the dramatic increase in the flat’s value will. The research team at Hamptons Interntional used Nationwide figures to calculate that Ferguson’s flat would have been worth £185,000 in 1985 – meaning the value of the property has shot up by 533.5 per cent since she moved in.
The wide, tree-lined, one-way street has grown in popularity to become one of the most desirable roads in the area due to the lack of post war “infill” properties, leaving a series of matching period houses.
The flat covers the entire ground floor of a double-fronted Victorian building and, unusually for a property of its size, it comes with a wide, 37ft garden. Lavender Gardens is also a few minutes’ walk from the eateries, cafés, pop-up markets and general hustle and bustle of Northcote Road and St John’s Road.
Branded “South Chelsea” in the 80s, Battersea is set to see even more dramatic change as it’s home to the highly ambitious Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station regeneration projects and it’s also set to benefit from the extension of the Northern Line. Hamish Scott from Hamptons International, Battersea, says: “It’s extremely rare for a period flat of around 1,500sqft to come to the market in SW11.
“It’s likely that the potential purchaser will either be a downsizer or someone looking for a spacious pied-à-terre.
“With its own front door, large garden and a fabulous entertaining space, this home is certainly one of a kind.”
To make a viewing appointment for Lavender Gardens, call Hamptons International Battersea on 020 7924 2170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.