The Ancient House is one of a few likely candidates for the title of “oldest house in London.” Its location in Walthamstow, fairly distant from the core of the city means that there are some challenges to this distinction. A building on Cloth Fair is almost certainly the City’s winner, while the other contenders include Sutton House in Hackney and Bromley Hall in Tower Hamlets. All of them date from either the 15th or 16th-centuries, with more modern renovations and extensions making their “official dates” somewhat murky.
For the Walthamstow’s Ancient House, 1435 seems to be the most agreed-upon year of construction. It was originally a hall house, centered around the titular hall, the largest space in the house where the fire was burnt and the main residents slept on the floor. It is known that the format of the house has changed gradually, but major restorations took place in 1934, and again from 2001-2002.
In 1934, some of its exposed brick outer walls were rebuilt. In particular, one was consciously arranged at an angle to give it the impression of Tudor brickwork. The early 21st-century works included the installation of a plaque that brought attention to this fact. The building is currently divided into four dwellings.
A renovation during the 1930s was undertaken by the firm Fuller’s, as a memorial to their recently deceased founder, W. G. Fuller. The more recent works were done by Butler & Hegarty.
Know Before You Go
As a private dwelling, the house can only be viewed from the outside. Please be respectful of residents and parking spaces when visiting.