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27 Fournier St, all reasonable offers considered

October 5, 2009
by the gentle author


One of the neighbours is moving on, and consequently 27 Fournier Street is now for sale. Built by Peter Bourdon in 1725, this is one of the few double-fronted houses in the street, with a side entrance leading formerly to a carriage house. In 1724, Mr Bourdon had been elected “Headborough” and by 1744 was included in a list of “eminent merchants and traders” in London – this elegant house suited his status. His initials PBM remain to this day, just visible on the rainwater head (see below). But by 1759, Mr Bourdon was gone from his beautiful house and it was occupied by Obadiah Agace, trading as Agace and Sons, weavers of silk mixed with worsted.

From 1829 until 1946 and the passing of the National Health Act, it was used as the London Dispensary for the charitable provision of free medical attention and medicines to all. This institution provided a vital service and in November 1866 they raised £1,600 to buy the freehold. Until 1955 there was a large panel in stucco across the front, proclaiming its function as “LONDON DISPENSARY” and you can distinguish the mark of this above the first floor windows.

In spite of changes of use over the years, the house has retained many of its features, including the original irregularly shaped staircase, panelled rooms, fireplaces, curved-top sash windows, shutters and weavers’ garret. Fifty years ago, it might have been condemned as a slum, but thanks to the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust it was saved. Now described by our namesake Country Life as “probably the most important house in Spitalfields”, offers within the region of three million pounds will be considered by Jackson Stops and Staff. As a shrewd business man, Peter Bourdon would be delighted to see how his investment has gone up and equally curious to discover, given the current market conditions, what price the old house will fetch.


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