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Save The East End’s Architectural Heritage

January 20, 2017
by the gentle author

At this crucial moment when so much history is being trashed, this is your opportunity to protect the buildings that you love in the East End. As part of the Local Plan produced by Tower Hamlets Council, submissions are currently being invited for buildings which are worthy of being Locally Listed because of their architectural, cultural, historical or social significance.

Anyone can nominate a building but the deadline for submissions is the end of January.

READ more about this scheme by clicking here.

PRINT application forms to submit buildings for Local Listing by clicking here.

CHECK if a building is already Locally Listed by clicking here for an interactive map.

I hope as many readers as possible will take advantage of this rare opportunity to protect our heritage. As examples of buildings that deserve formal protection, I show the small weavers’ houses below which Huguenots of Spitalfields are submitting for Local Listing.

3 & 5 Club Row, two survivors of a terrace of six four-room houses built 1764-6

The terraces of silk merchants’ houses in Spitalfields declare their history readily, yet there are other more modest buildings of the same era which survive as the last vestiges of the workshops and dwellings where the weavers pursued their trade. You might easily walk past without even noticing these undemonstrative structures, standing disregarded like silent old men in the crowd. I am indebted to Peter Guillery and his book The Small House in Eighteenth Century London for highlighting these buildings where the silk weavers worked which are just as significant historically as the larger homes of those who profited from their labour.

190 & 192 Brick Lane, weavers’ houses of 1778-9 built by James Laverdure (alias Green), Carpenter

113 & 115 Bethnal Green Rd, two five room houses of c.1735 probably built by William Farmer, Carpenter

70-74 Sclater St, three houses built for weavers c.1719

70-74 Sclater St, No 70 was refronted in 1777

97 & 99 Sclater St, built c 1720

46 Cheshire St, built in the sixteen-seventies

4a – 6a Padbury Court, probably built c. 1760

125 Brick Lane, shop and workshop tenement probably built in 1778 for Daniel Dellacort, a distiller

You might also like to read about

Five Buildings in Whitechapel

9 Responses leave one →
  1. January 20, 2017

    Good idea from the council, hope the lists give the buildings some protection. Valerie

  2. Shawdian permalink
    January 20, 2017

    Thank you. I was just enquiring about this the day before last. I am so concerned about the way the structure of London is heading. All I see is ‘disaster’. Our great City has changed so much within the last 30 years, soon it will be just one Great Big Office come Flats and what is gone cannot be brought back. The day will come when people will not see any point in visiting, after all, people want to get away from the office not spend their days off looking at them.

  3. January 20, 2017

    Such a good set of articles on properties of certain era and architects. Who were the brick layers or the carpenters?
    In South St. Louis MO USA, a neighborhood at one time considered a house row area for iron workers and other industry in South S. Louis, I call Picadilly or Circus type entertainment area that first grade children in my 1970-75 classrooms always mentioned. The families gathered outside on the steps which placed one almost on the old brick laid street. On those steps the children and mothers watched the venders and carnival shows that went through in June-August. Those row houses might have been demolished during the rebuilding of Shaw’s, and the other neighborhood improvements. Old homes on Vandeventer are torn down just every other house left standing and renovated selling for $95,000+ in 2000.
    Every neighborhood named after the family that founded and built a small business or large business is in chance of being demolished. We are in hurry to get rid of modern blight from 200 year old communities. North St. Louis, an old French area, lost are some old family stores and town homes. What have we done to history of life that created a town, city or even an old countryside.
    Mississippi has so much land, how much is it worth? People ran out the milk farms and pig farms in rural areas. Old sheds that held the family pig or pigs, the pounds filled in. 1996 Attala County MS. still had a working milk farm. Gone. To wealth and novelty we shed our beautiful skin for prosperity and the John Grisham (Oxford, MS USA) types who hate the old, even when the trailer parks were there before 1990’s Old MS is losing its character.
    Thanks for this excellent web site. atk

  4. Peter Holford permalink
    January 20, 2017

    These are unprepossessing buildings that are at risk – some of them are obviusly ‘ripe for redevelopment’. And yet they are a fast disappearing, tangible record of East End history. They need listing and reviving. The alternative is probably bland, multi-storey blocks that communicate nothing about the history of the place. And they would probably be ugly too!

  5. Pam permalink
    January 20, 2017

    A little over 20 years ago a purchasing group that included IKEA bought 26 several row houses at Earl’s Terrace in South Kensington and they were in as disreputable state. When finished 5 years later the least expensive went for over 5 Million pounds.
    These premises may not be in South Kensington but were built at the same time by people of importance in 1770’s for they are brick not wood. Why do contractors not see the beauty in buildings in the East End once they can be brought back to life. Glass won’t last as long as these have already.
    Pam from Canada.

  6. Carol Franklin permalink
    January 21, 2017

    It is so important to me that these buildings should be preserved. The silkweaving industry is a fascinating part of London’s history. My great grandfather was born in that house at 125 Brick Lane.

  7. January 21, 2017

    The last three are not unprepossessing. Padbury Court is aesthetically pleasing – I would like to live in a house like that – and well maintained, and Brick Lane and Cheshire St are characterful. Some of the others are less attractive but, as the person above posted, would a modern alternative be better? Not all modern architecture is bland and ugly though and 70-74 Slater St is currently an eyesore. I would love to see an architect’s drawing of what could be done with it.

  8. lisa jayne HOCKING permalink
    May 30, 2019

    PLEASE SHARE ALL this on facebook … there are many weavers & people interested in this subject who would support your aims

  9. Jo Berube permalink
    June 14, 2019

    This architecture SHOULD be ALL preserved!!! Here in Quebec (Montreal), so many ‘historic’ buildings have been destroyed in the 70-80’s and now they regret the destruction. Society evolves and is more self-educated, therefore it appreciates more the value of historic pieces they can rely on as a reference point or landmark. Let’s not betray our past. Searching for ancestors is now a trend and what about the architectural houses or buildings our ancestors lived in? An historic building piece is like a piece of art, a canvas reflecting the past. My ancestor lived in Spitalfields and its architectural signature reflects this historic era, its spirit. Spitalfields is a jewel that needs to be preserved for locals and for tourists around the worl. Hold on! Real estate developers want instant profit but the past is a priceless heritage. Greetings from Montreal!

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