Meet Holborn’s newest luxury development that has its roots in one of the UK’s oldest country pursuits
A countryside pursuit
The month of November has dawned on us, and the hunting season is now in full swing. In earlier days, esteemed members of the rural population would don their scarlet coats, saddle their horses, and gather together to chase foxes with an excited pack of scent-trained dogs scampering along next to them. Although in some areas it was the preserve of the elite, large parts of the rural community would be involved at all levels. From the field members and the whippers-in to the members of the local community who would run or cycle alongside the hunt, it was a source of great excitement across the entire countryside.
While hunting as a sport is no longer legal, the social culture around it remains alive and well. As is traditional, Cambridge opened the season with its Hunt Ball last week and the Oxford ball shall close it in March. There are also shows across the country for traditional hunting dogs, as well as various parades of red-coated hunts-masters and their crews.
Town and country/The big smoke
Although the hunt was a pursuit that dominated rural areas, the sport has a wide history that extends well outside the countryside and even into London. From the leather used to make the saddles, to the manufacturing of the weapons and the tailors who made the hunting attire, the sport permeated a notable share of the London economy in areas across the city.
One such area was Holborn, which was home to a collection of dyers’ buildings. One of their principal activities was to dye fabric the rich scarlet colour that was used in the hunting uniform. To achieve this colouring, the dyers used the madder plant, which was popular due to its light-fast qualities. The plant has been used for thousands of years, with traces having been found in the tomb of Tutankhamun dating back to 1350 BC.
The dye is produced from the plant’s roots, which are dried, cut, and liquidised before being applied to the wool. The roots can produce a variety of reds, ranging from orange-red to blood reds and fiery reds. This is impacted by the age they are harvested at, the soil they are grown in, and the temperature at which the dye is applied. After being treated by the dyers, the fabric would have been delivered to the tailors who would use it to make the distinctive uniform know as ‘hunting pinks’. It is from this that the dyers buildings get its current name, Pinks Mews.
The dyers buildings live on
Following its occupation by the dyers’, the buildings have since seen new leases of life as an almshouse and later as a solicitor’s office. Today, it has been transformed into 35 luxury apartments. Benefitting from the tucked-away site, Pinks Mews enjoys a unique privacy and seclusion whilst still being in the heart of central London. An area that has seen much change throughout its lifetime, Holborn is now buzzing with big businesses and media companies and is home to a host of exclusive restaurants and vibrant bars.
Inside the apartments, the interiors benefit from an outstanding finish, from the luxury oak and hand-crafted joinery in the living areas to the floor-to-ceiling marble in the bathrooms. The properties also benefit from a dedicated 24-hour concierge service. All this is can be found a covetable distance away from Farringdon station.
Prices at Pinks Mews range from £995,000 to £2,750,000. For further information contact Jamie Gunning at CBRE (020 7240 2255), Glen A. Cook at Hamilton Brooks (020 7606 8000) or visit the Pink Mews website to register your interest.
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