So you want to live... in a converted synagogue

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The Independent Online

Replete with authentic fixtures and fittings?

Replete with authentic fixtures and fittings?

Sadly not. Other than the Victorian façade along the front of the building, the outside looks pretty nondescript and is certainly not your typical Victorian-era synagogue. The property, in Brick Lane, London E1, is reckoned to date back to 1873 - when there was a thriving Jewish community settled in the area.

Are there any hints as to its origins?

Once inside the open-plan, two-and-a-half-level 1,800 square foot space, the mezzanine floor looks suspiciously like the women's prayer gallery, although its exact history remains hazy. It's currently used as a long, narrow dining-room area and office space.

What about the main reception room?

It's a bright and breezy double-height space, with massive, double-glazed glass windows and pine flooring. In one corner there's a basic, timber-finished kitchen, while the rest of the open-plan living area is yours to mooch around in as you please (the current owner uses it as a home cinema).

And the sleeping arrangements?

They're located downstairs in the basement. You get two large bedrooms (one en suite) surrounded by lots of character-enhancing exposed brickwork and wooden beams - a rather nice contrast to the bright, modern-feeling open space upstairs. Both bedrooms also feature double doors to a "sunken" 200 square foot basement patio.

Bit of a suntrap?

The vendor seems to think you can catch a good few hours of sun on the patio during the day, although considering its rather recessed position (it is surrounded by very high brick walls, and above them iron railings), don't rely on it for your summer tan.

How much?

The former synagogue in Heneage Street E1 is on the market for £635,000 through Stirling Ackroyd (Isabel Baretto, 020-7749 3838).

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