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Butler & Stag

De Beauvoir | N1

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De Beauvoir Area Info

De Beauvoir Area Info

De Beauvoir Town (pronounced De bow-vwar) is a very popular location in East London and is in the London Borough of Hackney. Families who move here tend to stay and grow roots, or start businesses – or both, so the turnover of housing stock is low by comparison. What that means for prospective purchasers is that when properties come on to the market they are highly sought after, snapped up very quickly and priced accordingly. Occasionally, you will find a flat on the market for between £400,000 to £750,000 but don’t expect a great deal of space for that price, if you’re considering buying it for a family home then look elsewhere.

Throughout East London, housing stock is a mixture of both original and mock- Georgian and Victorian styles, extensive new build developments and social housing estates. De Beauvoir is no exception but add to that a beautiful example of Jacobean style houses around De Beauvoir Square and the desirability of the area goes through the roof.

De Beauvoir is bordered by Shoreditch, Dalston, Canonbury and Shackwell and although there’s plenty to draw you out to these areas, De Beauvoir itself has plenty to offer. To see it at its best, leave your car keys at home, grab your bike or your walking shoes and explore. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Commute-ability is, of course, excellent; Haggerston and Hoxton Overground stations are close by, both offering step-free access, Angel station on the northern underground line is slightly further to the west and if you’re feeling energetic, there’s a cycle docking station on Hertford Road, at the junction of De Beauvoir Crescent. Or to switch off and enjoy the journey, take one of the seven bus routes that serve the area.

Average journey times to the City are 30 mins max. by car, 15 mins by bike or half an hour by public transport. Canary Wharf will take you just over half an hour by car, and public transport or cycling isn’t much different, at 30 mins or 25 mins respectively. Westminster? Don’t bother. Anything up to an hour by car, 45 minutes by public transport or, if you want to take your life in your hands and cycle it, you’ll do it in about half an hour.

Things To Do In De Beauvoir

Let’s start with De Beauvoir Square. As we’ve already mentioned, De Beauvoir Square is bordered by beautiful Jacobean style houses but that’s not all. The square itself is protected under the London Squares Preservation Act, 1931. A walk though this breath-taking classically laid out square reveals beautiful lawns, rose and flower beds and a children’s play area. The square regularly hosts neighbourhood events.

De Beauvoir is a place of two halves. Along the main streets is the usual cheap low-rent outlets, chicken shops and off licenses, but then you come across the fantastic De Beauvoir Deli Company opened in 2009 by life-long local, Harry Davies. His mission was to bring together the best range of local produce and artisanry to create a Mecca for fine food in the heart of the community. Originally a café, it soon evolved into what is now The De Beauvoir Deli.

The Rosemary Branch advertises itself as a ‘Theatre, Pub, Kitchen’ and is located on the corner of Shepperton Road. Once a Victorian music hall, it’s remained true to its thespian roots and now puts on an eclectic mix of entertainment as well as supporting and nurturing new and emerging talent. Rumour has it that The Rosie as it’s known once had the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Marie Lloyd treading the boards, but as with many urban legends, this has yet to be confirmed.

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History of De Beauvoir

Named after the family that purchased land and subsequently built houses in the area back in 1640, De Beauvoir came into being around the area of the Regent’s Canal after its opening in 1820. Peter De Beauvoir later agreed a 150 acre lease with developer William Rhodes to build houses in the area near the canal. Plans were drawn up and interest was secured. Subsequently however, it was discovered that Rhodes had obtained the lease fraudulently and so the scheme was scrapped. A lengthy court case ensued and some 20 years later in 1824, the land reverted back to the De Beauvoir family. The delays meant that many of Rhodes’ investors had deserted him and the area.

Eventually it was agreed that a much more modest scheme would be undertaken. Of Rhodes’ original plans – four residential squares meeting on diagonally intersecting roads to form an octagon - the most south-easterly of the squares would be built along with some other elements of Rhodes’ original ideas. What still remains today are Enfield Road, Stamford Road and Ardleigh Road and the only square that was built of the four, De Beauvoir Square.

De Beauvoir survived the war years with minimal damage. Due to its location away from the Thames the area wasn’t targeted as greatly as its riverside neighbours and so much of the original fabric remained undamaged. That said, council town planners weren’t so sympathetic and the northern part of De Beauvoir Town was demolished in the 1960’s to make way for the Kingsgate Council Estate. Further demolition took place with the Lockner Road estate being built to the east of De Beauvoir Square prompting the formation of the De Beauvoir Association. Their sole purpose was to go head to head with Hackney Council to prevent them from causing further destruction of the area for the erection of faceless council estates.

The Association successfully halted any further construction and by 1969 the rest of the Square had become a conservation area. This area would be extended later to encompass most of De Beauvoir Town, joining up with the Kingsland conservation area at the eastern edge.

De Beauvoir Square - London
De Beauvoir Square - London

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