July 28 2014 Latest news:
By Amie Keeley
Thursday, April 17, 2014
What offers panoramic views of London, has 80 stairs and can guarantee peace and quiet all day long?
Tucked away behind Upper Street, Islington’s little-known Victorian water tower is available to rent at a mere £4,000 a month.
Built at the turn of the last century to store water for the old Royal Free Hospital, the six-storey building was bought by property lawyer Henry Pinchbeck and his wife, Jayne, in 2011.
The couple turned the tower into a luxury three-bedroom home but, with the arrival of their son, have had to find somewhere more practical to live.
“It was curiosity really,” said Henry. “My wife and I were looking for places to buy and couldn’t afford anything in Islington, then this came up. We thought that’s a crazy place, not many people would want to buy that, so we put in a bid.”
Mr Pinchbeck and his wife then went travelling for six months and while they were in Peru, found out their offer had been accepted.
They moved in and have spent the past three years turning it into their dream home.
“It was in a really bad state when we bought it. It had been empty for 10 years, but we moved in and I started to install the basics before my friend began the full conversion in October,” said Henry.
The property is located between Upper Street and Liverpool Road and comes with two bathrooms, a kitchen/dining room, a living room with a balcony and a walled garden.
From the roof space, which is yet to be converted, you can see Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Canary Wharf and St Paul’s.
Not much is known about the use of the building during the middle of the 20th century, but it was converted into small flats for nurses during the 1980s before falling into disrepair and being used by squatters.
Mr Pinchbeck bought it from a housing association.
He said: “Hardly anyone has heard about it or knows where it is.
“It’s hidden away and is a really quiet, calm and peaceful place to live.
“I’d love to stay there but it’s just not suitable with a 16-month-old baby.
“I’d like to move back in when he’s older.”
The water tower is available to rent at £850 a week through Currell estate agents.
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