The Grade II* listed Pond House is one of Hackney’s finest late Georgian houses. The architect who designed Pond House remains a mystery, though certain elements of the house are reminiscent of the works of Sir John Soane and James Wyatt. Between 1802 and 1803, City stockbroker Benjamin Walsh had a three-storey house in the Greek revival style designed and built for him and his new wife Mary overlooking Clapton Pond. Walsh, the son of a director of the Bank of England, was engaged in the business of selling “war insurance”, under which the insured would be paid if England and France had not made peace by some future date, and he had a reputation in the City for flamboyance and recklessness.
During the nineteenth century, Pond House remained in family occupation. In 1877 a girls’ school was established in the house by a Miss Pearce. When the school closed in 1904, the house was used as a clothing factory and in 1939 ownership passed to the Hackney Volunteers’ Social Club, made up of men who were volunteers in the Hackney Rifle Regiment. Various alterations and repairs were made to the house during the latter half of the twentieth century, which were out of keeping with its historic character. By the turn of the century, the state of the house was causing concern to English Heritage who placed it on their At Risk Register. Finally the financial drain of retaining the property proved too much for HVCS and the property was sold for development in 2008.
One Housing Group has now restored the building to its former glory providing a number of apartments in the main building and coach house as well as new-build houses to the side of the property.
LOCATION: Hackney, London
CLIENT: One Housing Group
ARCHITECT: BPTW Architects
CONTRACTOR: Kingsbury Construction
ENGINEER: Ellis + Moore