Urban living with loft apartments in Brentwood

Only a 40-minute commute to the CIty, loft apartments at The Galleries have cloistered courtyards and landscaped gardens.

Lofts are synonymous with cool urban living, but these designer homes also exist in the suburbs and the sticks. A meticulous refurbishment of a listed Victorian asylum in the Essex commuter belt has brought 131 homes, including double-height lofts with exposed bricks, beams and roof trusses.

Specialist heritage developer City & Country has taken five years to transform the old Warley Hospital, now called The Galleries, in Brentwood.

The site is the second-highest point in the county and the homes have been created around cloistered courtyards and landscaped gardens. Original blocks where patients once toiled over needlework have been split into flats, while even the deconsecrated chapel is a spectacular triple-height home.

The lofts range up to 1,670sq ft and prices start at £360,000. From Brentwood train station, it is a 40-minute commute to the City. Call 01277 202122.

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