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Rare, historic ‘shipbuilder’s mansion’ in Rotherhithe listed for sale for £4.7 million

·3-min read
Nelson Dock House in Rotherhithe is for sale  (Savills)
Nelson Dock House in Rotherhithe is for sale (Savills)

A Grade II* listed Georgian mansion built for a shipbuilder on the banks of the Thames has been put on the market at a guide price of £4.7 million.

Nelson Dock House, in Rotherhithe, was previously used as offices but has now been sensitively restored to a grand six-bedroom home with a roof terrace overlooking the river.

Steeped in maritime history, the house on Rotherhithe Street was built in 1743 for shipbuilder John Randall and was named after Admiral Lord Nelson following his victory at Trafalgar in 1805.

The interiors of Nelson Dock House in Rotherhithe. Guide price of £4.7 million (Savills) (Savills)
The interiors of Nelson Dock House in Rotherhithe. Guide price of £4.7 million (Savills) (Savills)

The house is located close to Nelson Dock, a dry dock used to build warships and clippers from the 17th Century until it closed in 1968.

The current owner of Nelson Dock House, Keith Day, is a designer behind the restoration of Grade I Wolterton Hall in Norfolk, and other period properties.

When he bought the house in 2016, it was set up as a conference centre as the previous owner had rented the building to the hotel next door.

Day said: “It had horrible woodchip wallpaper and a ghastly blue carpet. There was lots of asbestos too which I stripped out at vast expense. I’ve repaired the shutters and the cornices, and we’ve put in Georgian grates in the fire places.”

Day managed to get planning permission from the local council to turn the building from offfices to residential, and into what he describes as a “country house in town”.

“It’s the prettiest house I’ve ever seen in London. I’m hoping it will be bought by someone who works in Canary Wharf and doesn’t want to commute in from Chelsea or Fulham, because the back door leads directly to the river, and there is a direct ferry.”

The grand residence has original period features including a front facade with Doric columns and a large Venetian-style window. It also boasts a roof terrace with a glazed rooftop cupola looking out over the Thames and Canary Wharf.

The kitchen inside the Grade II* listed house in Rotherhithe. Guide price of £4.7 million (Savills) (Savills)
The kitchen inside the Grade II* listed house in Rotherhithe. Guide price of £4.7 million (Savills) (Savills)

According to agent Savills, the current owner has upgraded the interiors in “whimsical” Georgian style, installing a kitchen inspired by the Sir John Soane’s museum on the ground floor, with a double Wolf cooker and Sub-Zero fridges.

The agent said: “The stunning wide and shallow staircase leads to a first floor where entertaining on a grand scale can take place in the superb saloon which has five bay windows overlooking the river.

“Above the bedroom accommodation on the third floor is the most striking octagonal cupola that allows the party to continue onto a panoramic roof terrace which has outstanding views over to Canary Wharf to the east and over Stave Park and London to the west.”

The house is also near Nelson Dock pier, meaning future residents could arrive home by riverboat. Best approached from Canary Wharf, Nelson Dock House is easily accessible to the city and West End along with City Airport.

The Thames Clipper runs a regular service to the pier at Westminster (30 mins) and the short ferry service and walk to Canary Wharf Underground Station makes for another easy way of getting around.

Nelson Dock House was given listed status by Historic England in 1949.

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