Mega Mansions: Luxury Victorian-style London villa a cricket ball's throw from Lord's

Six-bedroom super-prime property in trendy St John's Wood is on the market for £15 million

Inside the £15 million Victorian villa by Lords cricket ground

Inside the £15 million Victorian villa by Lords cricket ground
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A six-bedroom Victorian-style villa has come on to the London market in an area famous for both celebrities and cricket.

Built only 23 years ago, the 8,635-square-foot house is in keeping with the style and look of others along Cavendish Avenue in St John's Wood, a street that has long been a draw for the world's top pop stars, actors and business figures.

Rihanna rented on Cavendish Avenue and Sir Paul McCartney wrote some of the Beatles' hits in his mansion at the end of the road. With Abbey Road Studios and the famous Beatles zebra crossing a few minutes’ stroll away, St John's Wood has been the area of choice for a number of other celebrities, including Kate Moss, Bill Nighy and Damian Lewis.

But while it may be surrounded by glitz and glamour, from the street, the super-prime villa seems discreet, almost humble, compared to what lies within.

“The house has been very well designed and in quite a visionary way,” Mark Pollack, director at the estate agents Aston Chase, told The National.

“That was the objective of the planners – to ensure it fitted in well with the streetscape.

“And in recent times, where wealth whispers a little more, a lot of people actually appreciate the fact that it's got a lower profile externally.”

On entering the house, you appreciate the clever use of space, which gives the impression that it is much larger than it actually is. Not that over 8,500 square feet is exactly small, but on first encounter, the house feels palatial.

The 3.5-metre-high ceilings work together with the villa's natural flow and the curving staircase that connects all three floors to maximise the use of space.

The entrance hall creates a look of splendour as it stretches from the vestibule almost to the back of the villa.

“Ordinarily with a house of this nature, sometimes you might have one or two particularly impressive rooms, and everything else becomes a bit more secondary, but here there's real consistency,” Mr Pollack said.

“All the rooms have excellent proportions and floor-to-ceiling doors which give a sense of grandeur and impact when you enter the rooms. So, it works very, very well.”

However, the generous proportions and clever use of space in all the rooms, including the four en-suite bedrooms on the first floor, does not diminish the cosy and homely feel of what is at heart a family home.

“It has fantastic entertaining space, which will appeal to international clients who want to entertain in a grand fashion, but similar it works as a family house.

“The space is quite indulgently arranged – you don't feel there's a lot of wasted space here.”

The villa, from which you might even be able to hear the crack of leather on willow at nearby Lord's Cricket Ground, has exceptional entertaining and leisure spaces, including a below-ground wellness suite that incorporates a swimming pool and adjoining steam, gym, shower and changing rooms, as well as a cinema room and an en-suite guest bedroom.

Let there be light

The use of numerous skylights, large French doors and strategically placed mirrors means that the house, even on the lower ground floor, is awash with natural light.

“The principal accommodation is all arranged around a central courtyard, which is really beautiful,” Mr Pollack said.

“There's lots of light and multiple sets of French doors on the ground floor, giving access to that courtyard.

“In that regard it is extremely well designed and you don't have any feeling that you're cheated of natural light.”

The modern kitchen at the rear of the villa is easily accessible from a second side entrance at the front of the property. A staircase off the kitchen also descends to the lower ground, where an en-suite bedroom would allow for ideal staff accommodation.

'The bones are really good'

When it was built, the design was so state of the art that the villa, even though it could use an upgrade, could avoid a massive and costly total refurbishment.

Not many prime properties built 23 years ago have this level of ingenious use of space and light hard-wired into the architecture. Still fewer have not only secure off-street parking for two cars, but a car lift providing access to another concealed parking space – perfect for the Aston Martin or the Ferrari.

“Fundamentally, the bones of the house are really good, and I think it's quite easy to play around with the accommodation to suit somebody's requirements,” Mr Pollack said.

“Someone could come in and obviously undertake a major refurbishment if they were inclined to do so, but a makeover here would work equally as well.”

Potential bargain

At £15 million, the value per square foot is about £1,750 – almost unheard in this street and similar houses in the St John's Wood area, which means that the buyer is actually in line for what could be quite a bargain

“The house actually represents really good value for money,” Mr Pollack said.

There's an opportunity to purchase a house for under £2,000 a square foot in one of the prime streets in St John's Wood, which actually represents really good value compared to other transactions in surrounding streets.”

Mr Pollack believes the most likely buyer will be an international purchaser and, in fact, the two serious contenders for the villa at the moment are a Chinese family and a family from India.

“Although it's a big house, it's actually a very compact house and something that you can lock up and leave quite easily,” he said.

“So, I can see it as a fantastic London residence for a very affluent family who have homes in several countries around the world.”

Updated: September 26, 2023, 4:56 PM