There are a few things we all have on our list when trying to pin down a dream property – high ceilings, exposed brickwork, large windows. And if you’re a design addict you’ve probably dreamt of a home with architecture which stands out from the crowd. So if you meet all of these criteria, a converted church might be your perfect pad.
London is filled with thousands of churches, with many of the older buildings falling into disrepair as more traditional forms of worship decline in the city. As a churchgoer myself the repurposing of old church buildings is a subject I’ve considered a number of times, and to me they remain important historical sites – but which are better served providing much-needed accommodation to a growing city with sympathetic refurbishment, rather than demolition, or being left derelict.
Top of my dream list is the Sanctuary development in St John’s Hill, Battersea. This set of four apartments (and one separate new build house) boats a long list of luxurious fittings like bespoke staircases and chandeliers, Carrera marble showers and even a ‘bean to cup’ coffee machine. But I know what you’re really asking. Two of the flats come with access to the tower/spire, complete with lookout point. Starting from £1.65 million.
A criticism of living in converted churches is that they don’t feel warm or homely. This is completely challenged by this five-bedroom property in Tufnell Park, covering 2,298 square feet plus a private garden.
Obviously you pay a price for such distinctive and spacious surroundings. But the value of the finished products is one of the reasons why church conversions are often undertaken with such care and sympathy, and they produce stunning and unique results.
This Knightsbridge property costs £50 million, and has 7 bedrooms, cinema room, an underground swimming pool, spa with treatment room and sauna, a home gym and a custom bronze and glass lift, cased within the stone staircase. Wow.
With church conversions being undertaken at such an ambitious scale, I’m sure I could get over any idea of spookiness or potential hauntings rather quickly. Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without a shout out to The Old Church Wimbledon, a.k.a Decorum Media HQ.