Step inside Malplaquet House in London’s East End, and you’re transported to a different time.
Built in 1741, the four-storey brick property was first owned by a wealthy heiress before it was bought – and radically altered – by brewer Harry Charrington in the late 18th century.
Expanding the house to the rear, Charrington also installed a fashionable new front doorcase. But following his death in 1833, the house slid into disrepair. Malplaquet House’s upper floors were divided into lodgings, while shops were installed on the ground floor and eventually the building became semi-derelict.
It might have survived the Blitz but the building was in a sorry state by the time it was acquired by the Spitalfields Trust in 1997. Most of the restoration work, however, was done by subsequent owners Tim Knox, director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, and landscape architect Todd Longstaffe-Gowan. They drew on old photographs of the Grade II-listed property and fragments they unearthed inside its rooms.
Malplaquet House – as it stands today – is spread over 4,460 sq ft and has seven reception rooms and five bedrooms. Many of its original details have been restored, including plaster moulded ceilings dating back to 1795, and a mahogany handrail staircase from the same period.
‘Our philosophy was to try to keep the atmosphere and get it back to about 1800, its heyday under Harry Charrington,’ Knox told The Telegraph.
The dining room – once converted into a printer’s workshop – has been reinstated, even down to its original arsenic green walls (albeit toxin free). Elsewhere two 19th-century marble chimney pieces, original floorboards, windows and shutters have all been retained.
Walls are covered in collected taxidermy, religious iconography and trinkets belonging to the property’s owners. But a lasting addition to the house is a Baroque-style chimney piece by artist Christopher Hobbs, commissioned by the owners in 2003.
Read next: rent a travel writer’s home in Mexico