London’s Rare Views No.1 – Holly Lodge Estate
As the city homogenises, we’re gradually losing the mysterious nooks and corners that made each London street so fascinating. Here’s one I lived near for years without ever exploring. I knew that one of the houses was lived in by the seventies singer Lynsey De Paul, but no-one ever seemed to stay very long in them. They’re tiny, listed, and apparently let in very little light. But now, of course, they’re insanely valued.
Still, it’s hard to believe they’re in the middle of London, so rural do they appear, but even the surrounding roads have changed little and are often used for filming (parts of the excellent ‘An Education’ were shot there). The Holly Village was erected by Baroness Burdett-Coutts, the benefactor of the East End poor who built Bethnal Green’s original Columbia Road. There are eight twee, overdecorated buildings clustered around a village green; they’re eccentric fun but unvisitable.