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Visit Norton Folgate’s Victorian Warehouses

June 27, 2015
by the gentle author

This weekend, Norton Folgate hosts Best of Britannia, a pop-up department store showcasing the best of British manufacturing and permitting the opportunity to visit the wonderful nineteenth century warehouse interiors that British Land want to destroy.

This event illustrates the flexibility of the existing spaces and proposes one possible use for the buildings if they can escape demolition. Tower Hamlets Planning Committee vote on British Land’s proposal to obliterate Norton Folgate under a hideous corporate plaza on July 21st, so there is still time to object – and you have until 8pm today and 6pm this Sunday to take a look for yourself at what could be lost.

In 2010, Photographer Rachael Marshall took these atmospheric pictures of the buildings which were the headquarters of Nicholls & Clarke from 1875 until quite recently, supplying hardware and ironmongery of all kinds.

Photographs copyright © Rachael Marshall.

Follow the Campaign at facebook/savenortonfolgate

Follow Spitalfields Trust on twitter @SpitalfieldsT

You may also like to read about

Dan Cruikshank in Norton Folgate

Stories of Norton Folgate Old & New

The Return of British Land

Save Norton Folgate

7 Responses leave one →
  1. paul cosgrove permalink
    June 27, 2015

    Its such a shame that are heritage and historic buildings are being demolished, to make way for metal and glass buildings, the east end is renowned all over the world for its history and its people, the community is being slowly eaten up in what a lot call development, the old buildings that are being removed hold history and character, the east end should remain as it is and renovate the old buildings keeping its history intact for many more years to come.

  2. June 27, 2015

    I very much hope that British Land will not succeed, it is a crime to destroy our heritage for the sake of profit. Thanks for showing the photos again and for trying to mobilise supporters to save Norton Folgate. Valerie

  3. Pauline Taylor permalink
    June 27, 2015

    Why is it that whilst we are constantly put under pressure to recycle everything else this does not seem to apply to buildings. It is obvious that these buildings could be saved so let us pray that British Land will not be given the planning permission that they seek.


  4. Jim permalink
    June 27, 2015

    Should they be rented out as is? What’s the goal here?

  5. Janice Humpage permalink
    June 27, 2015

    Please is there a petition we can mail into ?

  6. Peter Holford permalink
    June 27, 2015

    It’s not even a question of sacrificing profit in the cause of maintaining heritage. The two are not necessarily incompatible with each other. What is required is some imagination by the developers to adapt and restore old buildings so that they can be brought back into productive use and make profit. The capital costs would be much lower, the impact on the environment would be lessened considerably and the buildings may have a longer life span than a bunch of nondescript tower blocks that may well be demolished before the end of the century. But that would require imagination! It would also require a long term vision that would entrust our environment and history for future generations. Ha! Some hope!

  7. Dick Hobbs permalink
    June 27, 2015

    I turned up today to have one last look at where my dad spent 49 years of his life working, and found a bunch of marketeers wanting to charge me a tenner for the priviledge. I negotiated a 2 for 1 deal, and found that this wonderful set of buildings were jam packed with earnest young things trying to sell high-end old toot (all British made, so thats OK). Local hipsters seemed to be lapping it up along with the pulled pork burgers and craft beer.
    But at least the ground floors of all the old Nicholls and Clark buildings are open, including those at the far end of Blossom Street. These are especially interesting, there is an interesting collection of faded rock and pop magazine pictures on one of the walls, and some of the basements have retained a real Dickensian feel, rat-traps and all.
    Despite my feelings about bearded hipsters, at least this unique space was being used once again.
    Lets hope it wasn’t for the last time. These buildings and the memory of those who grafted in them deserve better than obliteration.

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