You would not know from walking down Roupell Street that this quaint London lane on the southern side of the Thames River was marshland in the 18th century.
Lined with two-story row houses built in the 1820s by an enterprising businessman named John Palmer Roupell, the block is now considered “an immaculately preserved enclave of Georgian architecture in the heart of Waterloo.” Maybe you have seen the street, playing a starring role as an evocative backdrop in the television series Call the Midwife?
The other day our contributor Margot Guralnick spotted a listing on real estate site The Modern House of a magical remodel—indoors and out—for a Roupell Street gem, a Rescued Georgian in a ‘Time-Capsule Enclave’ (see the interiors on Remodelista).
Today, we tour the courtyard garden…and imagine what it might have looked like 200 years ago:
Photography courtesy of The Modern House, except where noted.
Painted gray and stacked, concrete blocks become planters and create a sculptural element against a brick wall.
Would you like to make your own modern planter box on wheels? See Container Gardening: A DIY Planter on Wheels for step-by-step instructions for a project from our Gardenista book.
The back of the courtyard garden opens onto the street behind Roupell.
Above a brick wall, a close-clipped hedge adds an additional layer of privacy without making the garden feel claustrophobic.
Can you spot the garden’s electric-car charging station?
The house is under contract, notes The Modern House. But the next time you are in London, you can take a walking tour to learn more of Roupell street’s secret history.
Are you designing a small city courtyard garden of your own? For inspiration, see our Garden Design 101 guides to Patios & Decks, Fences & Gates, and Pavers. See more of our favorite small courtyard gardens:
- Before & After: A Modern Courtyard Garden for a Historic Home
- The Cult of the Courtyard: 10 Backyard Ideas for Small Spaces
- Ask the Expert: Design Tips for a Shady Courtyard Garden
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