Canonbury new builds contrast with the area’s literary past

PUBLISHED: 16:48 18 August 2016 | UPDATED: 16:48 18 August 2016

Townhouses at Canonbury Cross

Townhouses at Canonbury Cross


George Orwell may be one of Islington’s best known historical residents, but the developers of Canonbury Cross will be hoping that their properties bear little resemblance to the writer’s home in the borough.

Author Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen-name, Author Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen-name, "George Orwell", wrote parts of Nineteen Eighty-Four while living in Canonbury

With prices for the 11 houses starting from £1.84million buyers will be hoping the same.

Orwell’s flat at 27b Canonbury Square, moments away from the new properties, in what was then a very down at heel part of London was described by friends as “bleak”.

But it is unlikely that the Animal Farm author, who left London for Scotland in 1947, would recognise either the flat, which sold for just under £900,000 in 2014, or the area now.

Canonbury is one of the most sought-after parts of Islington with its grand Georgian architecture and pretty city squares a short stroll from Upper Street.

A reception room at the new Canonbury Cross developmentA reception room at the new Canonbury Cross development

New building is rare in the leafy enclave, however, and efforts have been made to ensure this new boutique development fits the aesthetic of the area.

Built on the site of a former car showroom the contemporary townhouses and low rise flat blocks have London Stock-style brick facades in keeping with the nearby period buildings.

The houses will be finished with an eye to luxury in a mode more appealing to that other illustrious literary light of Canonbury Square, who lived at number 17 during the 1920s.

Thermostatic zone-controlled underfloor heating and touch-screen AV heat, light and music controls and a residents’ concierge will all contribute to the upmarket feel of the houses.

Author Evelyn Waugh lived in Canonbury during his disastrous first marriage in the late 1920sAuthor Evelyn Waugh lived in Canonbury during his disastrous first marriage in the late 1920s

A collection of studio, one and two-bedroom flats are also being marketed as shared ownership properties, with prices for a 25 per cent share of a two-bedroom home starting at £201,250.

Simon Neary from Notting Hill Sales said: “Finding a prestigious home within this location, which provides space style and comfort, is not as easy as some may think.

“Privacy and security become vital along with an unprecedented level of quality, and we are delighted that our homes at Canonbury Cross offer all that and more.”

What would the famously socialist journalist make of that?

The interior of one of the townhouses at Canonbury CrossThe interior of one of the townhouses at Canonbury Cross

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