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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Just £350K for a Grade 2 quirky 1820 cottage in Wood Green

The Roundhouse or Mushroom House, now on Wood Green High Road in Woodside Park, was built as the gate house to Chitts Hill House by owner John Overend, of the Overend and Gurney banking firm.

The lease of the house with its 100 foot garden went on the market at the beginning of the week for just £350K. It only has two bedrooms and it's right on the High Road, but still, it's pretty unique and that 100 foot garden...... For someone struggling to get on the property ladder..

Full details at www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/86181201.

All Images © Unique Property Company

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Well, 4 live work units on my private estate were in 2019 subject to changed use from live/work to residential despite dissent from some of the neighbours, the 2 actual live/work tenants who along with the other 2 were only there under a guardianship tenancy, & even some of the planning advisors at the council. We all wonder what exactly formed the benefit to the council; it could only have been to the properties' sole freeholder.

The Overend & Gurney connection will ring bells with anyone who’s ever studied economic history. The bank went spectacularly bust in 1866, owing an astronomical (for the time) £11 million and precipitating runs on other banks and a financial crisis quite possibly similar to the 2008 meltdown in its ramifications in the UK. At a subsequent fraud trial, the O & G directors nonetheless managed to wriggle out of responsibility, as they were deemed guilty of “error”, not criminal behaviour (shades of 2008 again). John Overend, one of the bank’s founders, seems not to have been so involved by that time, with the Gurneys by then more in control.

After a claim made by antiquarian John Lloyd in his late 19th century history of Highgate and Hornsey, it became an “established fact“ that Edward Chapman, the second owner of Harringay House, was a director of Overend and Gurney at the time of its catastrophic failure. However, when I looked into his involvement last year, including consulting the Bank of England archives and archivist, I established that there is absolutely no evidence to show that Chapman was involved as a director. One of his relatives probably was. Lloyd provided no source for his claim. Whilst absence of evidence is not in itself, evidence, until I find evidence, I am assuming that Chapman wasn’t involved, other than perhaps as a shareholder.

See the full story here.

Thank you for clarifying that, Hugh.

Hugh — Is there, then, an established link between John Overend and Edward Chapman, since they both seem to have had houses in the area, or is it just John Lloyd’s speculation on both being involved in O & G?

None that I’m aware of, but I should think they knew each other, at least as acquaintances.

Elizabeth writes:

I was most interested to read the Agent's description of the 'Mushroom House' because it has not always been a 'fairytale cottage'. Far from it! In 2013, I was instrumental, along with the Friends of Woodside Park, in persuading the Council to evict a tenant who was disobeying the Terms & Conditions of his lease by sub-letting and allowing the property to fall into a terrible state. 

By the end of that year the house was on the market for £235K plus a ground rent of £2,000 a year to the Council, but after a period 'Under Offer' it was back on the market in late 2014 with an increased rent of £3,900 (now £12,500!)

There was a lot of confusion at the time as to whether the property was residential or commercial, because it had been a cafe in the 1990s and one of the tenants was granted permission to change their status to residential.

I wish the new buyer the best of luck and can only hope that they maintain the property to its current high standards.

Here's the story of 'The Mushroom House' in Woodside Park from the current occupants: 




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