Monday 12 November 2018 6:25 pm

Don't like new build homes in glass towers? We round up the best conversion homes in characterful period buildings

You want to buy a new house, but you don’t want to live in a soulless shell. There’s good news: the historic conversion market is continuing to boom, with London’s ancient buildings being scaffolded as we speak.

Hampstead Manor, at the heart of which is white-stucco mansion Kidderpore Hall, is one such development. It’s being done up by developers Mount Anvil, and houses 156 properties across its 12 buildings, ranging from contemporary studios to a five-bedroom property in the old chapel.

The development, in the middle of Hampstead village – West Hampstead, Finchley Road and Hampstead stations are less than a mile away – has all the benefits of a new build with it too. There’s underground parking, a gym and swimming pool, and residents’ spa on site, as well as a 24-hour concierge for those Deliveroo/Amazon/ Net-a-Porter deliveries. Prices for studio properties start at £740,000.


If you look across the river in Richmond you’ll see a towering building, with more than 20 windows across. This is the Star and Garter, once a home for retired servicemen, now, a sumptuous luxury residence. After three years, the restoration of the building’s East Wing is complete, forming a 6,500 sq ft home over two levels.

There’s a roof terrace, too, with a view over the Thames – and not just any view, but the only one protected by an Act of Parliament. The rest of the development in the landmark building (which has been completed by London Square) comprises 86 properties, with two-bedroom apartments starting from £2.65m. The chapel has been newly renovated, while the King’s Room, where a portrait of George V hangs, is now a spa.

In Crouch End, it’s Hornsey Town Hall that has been getting a new look. But this is no ordinary makeover. As well as 146 units of residential accommodation, the development will include a hotel, which will retain the original ironmongery and timber panelling in rooms such as the old Borough Treasurer’s room, and, in addition, open a co-working hub for local freelancers.


Hornsey Town Hall's rooftop bar

Plus, developers Far East Consortium are opening access to the refurbished town hall itself too. This, built in 1935, has been out of use for more than two decades. Now, it will be finished as part of the £30m project. When complete, the main performance space will seat 400, with cafes, bars and a cinema on site.

There’s a roof terrace, too, with a view over the Thames – and not just any view, but the only one protected by an Act of Parliament.

Down the hill in King’s Cross, Gasholders London is hidden inside a trio of interlocking gasholders, an industrial structure built near St Pancras station in the 1860s. The 123 iron columns of the grade II-listed structures have been painstakingly restored, and now enclose three cylinders of apartments. Prices start from £810,000 for a studio flat. Each of the new 145 properties by developer Argent will benefit from access to a spa, gym, concierge, and private dining room, as well as communal roof gardens looking out over the newly-trendy neighbourhood of N1C.

And in Wandsworth, the Ram Quarter, by Shanghai developer Greenland Group is more than a match for heritage lovers’ shopping lists. The setting is the old Young’s Brewery, where beer has been brewed since 1533. Now, the brewery’s listed buildings are being repurposed, at a cost of £600m – and will come with a new micro-brewery and museum of brewing history to boot.


The scheme will comprise 713 properties, ranging from studios to four-bedroom duplexes, across several buildings. Wandle Gardens and Shoreham Gardens will be home to studios, and one-four bedroom apartments, while in Coopers Lofts, there are 14 lofts residences. In Draper’s Yard, the properties are one-three bedroom, and in Langridge House, they are one- and two-bedroom, offering something for all price points – if your budget starts at £521,000.

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