Ian McKellen’s Historic Limehouse Home and “The Grapes” Pub

Written By

Sophia Chen

Updated on

Sophia Chen

Writer/ Reviewer

Ian McKellen's  Limehouse Home
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Nestled on the prestigious Narrow Street in East London, this Georgian terraced townhouse is a striking example of the area’s rich maritime and industrial heritage.

Among its notable residents is Ian McKellen, who owns a historic home and a 500-year-old pub called The Grapes Pub, adding to this vibrant neighborhood’s unique charm and historical significance.

History

Dating back to the early 18th century, the redbrick house has a storied past, having served various purposes over the centuries.

It was once home to the Woodward Fisher lighterage firm and operated as The Waterman’s Arms pub in the 19th century.

Before that, it was part of a workshop for the Sparkes barge building company.

More recently, it was known as Booty’s Riverside Bar until 2013.

View from Ian McKellen's Limehouse Home
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Sir Ian McKellen, celebrated for his roles in The Lord of the Rings, X-Men, and Richard III, calls this Limehouse home.

He reportedly owns two properties in this serene neighborhood, known for its riverside charm and cultural appeal.

River Behind Ian McKellen's Limehouse Home
The Grapes
Thames River
The Grapes

Stunning Outdoor Features

The townhouse’s rear side is designed to maximize its riverside location.

A balcony and a roof terrace offer unobstructed views of the Thames and the nearby Canary Wharf.

These outdoor spaces are perfect for entertaining or simply relaxing while enjoying the scenic river vistas.

Ian McKellen's Grapes Pub in Limehouse, UK

Charming Living Spaces

The residential part of the property is thoughtfully designed to provide a seamless living experience, featuring three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Additionally, the main living area boasts a double reception room that opens into a timber-framed conservatory with a curved roof.

This space, along with an adjoining balcony, offers sweeping views of the River Thames.

Living Room in Ian McKellen's Limehouse Home
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The conservatory acts as a suntrap, providing a space to soak in the views year-round.

Conservatory in Ian McKellen's Limehouse Home
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The kitchen, with its rustic timber beams and flooring, is bathed in natural light due to the home’s open layout and ample glazing.

This design ensures the kitchen is not only functional but also a bright and pleasant space for cooking and gathering.

Kitchen in Ian McKellen's Limehouse Home
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Kitchen in Ian McKellen's Limehouse Home
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Converted Commercial Space: The Grapes Pub

The ground floor of the townhouse features a 1,200-square-foot commercial unit with a traditional timber shopfront.

This space has been transformed into The Grapes, a historic pub co-owned by the distinguished actor Sir Ian McKellen, director Sean Mathias, and publisher Evgeny Lebedev.

The pub, originally serving the working-class dockers of the Limehouse Basin, dates back to the 1720s and is a Grade II listed establishment.

Situated on the site of an earlier pub from 1583, it has survived the heavy bombing of World War II, maintaining its historical significance and charm.

Ian McKellen's Grapes Pub in Limehouse, UK
The Grapes
Ian McKellen's Grapes Pub in Limehouse, UK
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Ian McKellen's Grapes Pub in Limehouse, UK
The Grapes
Inside Ian McKellen's Grapes Pub in Limehouse, UK
The Grapes

McKellen’s residence is on the same street as The Grapes, and he is known to host a pub quiz there every Monday.

Inside Ian McKellen's Grapes Pub in Limehouse, UK
The Grapes
Inside Ian McKellen's Grapes Pub in Limehouse, UK
The Grapes

This historic townhouse on Narrow Street, combined with The Grapes pub, stands as a unique blend of historic charm and modern convenience.

It offers luxurious living spaces, rich historical context, and a vibrant cultural scene, making it a cherished landmark in one of East London’s most desirable neighborhoods.

Inside Inside Ian McKellen's Grapes Pub in Limehouse, UK
The Grapes
Inside Inside Ian McKellen's Grapes Pub in Limehouse, UK
The Grapes

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