The Wabe, a stunningly beautiful house designed in 1903 by William Garnett, celebrated mathematician and educationalist, for his own family, is built in a unique mixture of styles - everything from Arts and Crafts to Art Nouveau to Scottish Baronial.
The asymmetrical layout is as idiosyncratic as the name, inspired by the poem Jabberwocky in tribute to Lewis Carroll, and Garnett’s love of the poem.
In 1913 he sold the house to a Yorkshire industrialist, Harold Ellis, and his wife Mina Hubbard, a fearless Canadian explorer, famous for her successful expedition to map Northern Labrador by canoe. The couple entertained in style throughout the first War. Mina espoused the cause of Women's Suffrage and Emmeline Pankhurst was a frequent guest for tea. Mina invited Isadora Duncan to dance at the house to raise funds for the cause. Other guests over the years included H.G.Wells, George Bernard Shaw and Rudyard Kipling.
Converted into flats in the 1950’s, in 1985 the house was bought by a film actor and his wife who restored the house to a single dwelling and its former glory. Over the ensuing thirty years the house has proved its value as a resoundingly happy family space together with a magical hall for entertaining. Guests from the arts world have included Rod Steiger, David Bowie, Arthur Miller and Sir George Solti and countless theatrical events have been staged in the ballroom for charity.
With its magnificent double height stone mullioned window, the ballroom on the ground floor is perfect for entertaining. Throughout its history it has been the venue for dances and plays and more recently the current owners staging charity concerts for seated audiences of 75.
A minstrels’ gallery overlooks this elegant room which is the centre piece of the house, and a space so very rare to find in prime Central London.
Upstairs is another double volume room, designed for ‘games and dancing’ for the Garnett children. Throughout the house there is a series of delightful rooms and areas together with attractive period detailing. The house is filled with light as there are windows everywhere, each one unique, with different designs in the leaded lights.
A large roof terrace offers a view south, over the gardens, across Hampstead and on, as far as the Surrey Hills.
The gardens cover approximately 0.6 of an acre, of wild woodland with ancient oaks, large lawned areas and carpets of bluebells.
Situated on one of Hampstead’s premier roads, the house sits in an oversized plot with a large front courtyard with parking for several cars, separate annex, numerous outbuildings and generous garage.
Hampstead is an iconic London village, famous for its “literati” residents. Flanked by the open spaces of Hampstead Heath it is full of shops, deli’s, cafes and restaurants, famous theatre and is extremely well served by public transport and road and rail links.
A Hampstead mansion of the Edwardian age, The Wabe is without doubt one of the most significant houses in London.