So you want to live... in a former station master's house

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The Independent Online

I'm guessing this is train-related

Correct. A stationmaster's house served as both the living quarters and place of work, in the days before railway lines became fully automated.

So is it still part of a railway station?

Sadly not. The property, built around 1867, acted as a Station Master's House for the old Highgate station on the long-since-dismantled Northern Heights line, which connected Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace in London.

So what are we left with?

A Victorian property surrounded by a moat, with enough period features to give any would-be railway buff the ride of their lives. The surrounding area, much of which was the old railway route, has been turned into a conservation park.

What was that about a moat?

Well, it's quite an unusual feature, especially when you consider the location - slap-bang in the heart of a busy London suburb. The property, surrounded by 700m2 of wooded gardens and water features, is accessible by a quaint timber bridge, which spans the moat. It gives the sort of picturesque setting you'd expect to find in Horsham, not Highgate.

So what's inside this rural retreat?

Immediately apparent is the painstaking restorative work, with exposed wooden beams and brick work, original fireplaces and mahogany parquet flooring in the main reception. What you don't get though, is bags of space. There's an open-plan sitting/dining room, a hand-crafted Victorian kitchen and four bedrooms on the first floor. For this price, you'd probably expect something a bit larger.

How much?

The former Station Master's House is on offer for a cool £1.1m through Kinleigh Folkard and Hayward (020-8341 6666). What you're paying for is a slice of intimate country living, minus the commuting.