London’s swanky-looking ‘houses’ hide a surprising secret behind thick walls


Anyone who lives in London, or who has perused the city on Rightmove, will know that there are plenty of unusual, wacky and downright expensive houses on the capital’s market.

Whether you fall in love with a classic Victorian home or spot a modern work of art that you dream of living in there’s a little bit of everything in the Big Smoke.

But, sometimes, the most unusual homes aren’t as flashy as you might think – and often hide in plain sight.

Some properties in London are hidden from the public eye, like two houses located in central London managed by Transport for London (TFL).

Walking past, the buildings look like unassuming terraced houses, but actually they’re hiding history behind six inches or normal looking walls.

Sitting on Bayswater Road – near Hyde Park – is Leinster Gardens, reports MyLondon.

The fake homes look like those surrounding them
These fake homes look just like the ones around them

It is a prestigious area of Capital with high-end homes that cost a lot. But, the houses appear to be terraces mid Victorian homes.

Although many of the properties are listed on this expensive street, the middle section of the terrace actually contains two false houses.

Numbers 23 & 24 are managed and maintained by TFL. They have no rooms behind their thin faux exterior.

Actually, the building conceals an old Metropolitan line railroad from the 1860s.

To hide the hot steam from old steam trains, house fronts were constructed around them.

Before electricity, locomotives on London Underground were equipped with condensers to reduce smoke production. Drivers released the smoke and condensation in the above-air sections.

The trains would release steam and smoke behind the front
The front would be surrounded by steam and smoke from the trains.


One of these sections is located behind the numbers 23 and 24, Leinster Gardens.

The houses were constructed to prevent the section from altering the area’s appearance. However, the walls are 1.5m thick, and in some cases, only six inches around the windows.

False homes were constructed to match their neighbors and feature glam corinthian columns as well as fake windows and doors.

These buildings are Grade II listed and cannot be altered.

Whole terraced properties on the street sell for upwards of £1million each according to Rightmove’s data and one hotel is even listed for over £29million.

Check them out next time you’re near Hyde Park – just don’t expect anyone to answer the door!

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