Church conversions are pretty rare on the property market, which makes this property in Crystal Palace one in a million – an extended church tower with four bedrooms and killer views across the capital, its not something you’re likely to come across on the London property market again anytime soon…
The original church, Christ Church, was built by John Giles in 1861-2, but destroyed by fire in 1985, leaving only the 125 ft Grade II-listed tower. The current owner, John Rubinow, redeveloped it over two years in the late 1990s to live in. Highland Tower, as it’s now called, sits at the corner of Gipsy Hill and Highland Road, and is said to have been once owned by the Queen. He extended it to the side to with two smaller towers to create a four bedroom, three-bathroom home with a lift.
The ground floor entrance hall retains the original arched wooden door, leading to the imposing reception room in the belfry with 40 ft ceilings and a top-floor roof terrace with some of the most far-reaching views of any property in London. The wall of the original tower are some 3 ft thick, the original church clock has been restored to full working order, there’s a full fire alarm and security system, a rear terrace and also parking for two cars. All in all, the property offers approximately 3,337 sq ft of living space.
Mr Rubinow put Highland Tower on the rental market a few years ago so that he could begin work on his next project, a converted water tower in St Albans, but it’s now time to sell up. ‘We really enjoyed living in the tower,’ he told the Evening Standard, ‘it’s like nothing else. Once you’re inside, it’s so quiet you forget you’re in London.’
We really enjoyed living in the tower, it’s like nothing else
On the ground floor is a split-level reception room and kitchen/breakfast room. There are three bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor, a master bedroom with en suite to the second floor, a huge reception room on the third floor and a smaller reception plus spacious roof terrace on the fourth floor. A narrow spiral staircase leads all the way up, or you could just hop in the lift. there’s also a lower ground floor plant room and basement cellar.
Gipsy Hill train station which connects to London Bridge is a few minutes’ walk away (down hill – handy for the morning rush hour), and the Crystal Palace Triangle, with bustling shops and restaurants, is just a few hundred meters away at the top of the hill.