Church Garth, Pemberton Gardens N19
Mid-century apartment block
Architect: Unknown to me
Year built: 1960s
I have been intrigued by this 1960s apartment block in Archway ever since I saw it featured in an episode of Location, Location, Location a couple of years ago. The episode featured a nice thirty-something, creative couple seeking a 2 bedroom flat in London for about £300k (this must have been more than five years ago because that figure seems ridiculous now). The flat they ended up buying was really attractive with a good, logical layout (a nice big hall with decently proportioned rooms branching off it), parquet flooring, a balcony and lots of natural light.
Five or so years down the line, a 2 bedroom flat came in the block came onto the market at £485k. Given the state of the ridiculously inflated market, I actually thought this was a very reasonable price for the area and went to have a look.
The exterior of the building, the garden and thecommunal areas were exactly how I remembered them from the programme: 1960s-looking but not overly stylised. The location was also very good: about two minutes’ walk from the tube and on an attractive residential street opposite a church (probably how it got its name).
Unfortunately, the flat itself was not great. While it was very bright, with light coming in from two sides, it had a different layout to the one featured on Location, Location, Location, with an L-shaped corridor as a hall, a long narrow kitchen and a small second bedroom. The kitchen and bathroom needed replacing, everything needed repainting (and possibly replastering in places) and it was stuffed to the gills with the current tenants’ belongings (the living room was being used as a third bedroom).
I didn’t take any photos because it would have been too intrusive to do so but I did find some photos online of a recently renovated version of the same flat which sold for £515k:
Looking at these photos, it’s difficult to believe it’s basically the same flat as the one I saw today – given the choice between the two, I think I would pay an extra 30k for all of that work to have been done by the time I moved in.
I’m going to continue to keep an eye on the block to see if something slightly less decrepit than the one I saw comes onto the market.