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The Journeyman Weavers’ Houses

May 29, 2019
by the gentle author

I am delighted to announce that after my report on the threat of demolition to 3 Club Row – a journeyman weavers’ house dating from 1764/6 – Historic England visited the property last week, and the Secretary of State is currently assessing whether to grant listed status to this building and 5 Club Row which is its mirror image.

Last Friday, Tower Hamlets Council issued a Building Preservation Notice on 3 Club Row which gives it legal protection during the listing process and makes it a criminal act for anyone to damage it.

If you would like to learn more about the journeyman weavers and discover why their surviving houses are significant, you can join a guided walk on Saturday 15th June hosted by Julian Woodford, author of The Boss of Bethnal Green. Click here for tickets.

The battle to save 3 Club Row is not yet over. If you have not yet submitted an objection to the demolition, please do so. We need to register as many objections as possible. You will find instructions at the foot of this article.

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 these more modest buildings of the same era survive as the last vestiges of the workshops and dwellings where the journeyman 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 equally as significant historically as the larger homes of the merchants 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


Note the developer’s Porsche in this rendering of their proposed replacement for 3 Club Row



Use your own words and add your own personal reasons for opposing the development. Any letters which simply duplicate the same wording will count only as one objection.

1. Quote the application reference: PA/19/00932/A1

2. Give your full name and postal address. You do not need to be a resident of Tower Hamlets or of the United Kingdom to register a comment but unless you give your postal address your objection will be discounted.

3. Be sure to state clearly that you are OBJECTING to the demolition of 3 Club Row.

4. The building is exceptionally rare and significant and should be listed.

5. It is an historic building in a Conservation Area and part of the historic and architectural interest of the area.

6. The replacement scheme is not worthy a replacement.



You can register and object by clicking here if you have a UK postcode


you can write an email to


you can send a letter to

Town Planning, Town Hall, Mulberry Place, 5 Clove Crescent, London, E14 2BG

15 Responses leave one →
  1. Saba permalink
    May 29, 2019

    I have a great interest in Huguenot crafts persons, so I am wondering whether the journeymen were typically Huguenots or whether the journeymen were the employees of the Huguenot silk weavers in London. The dates given for the construction of the buildings are following the period that Huguenots fled France and moved to Germany, England, South Africa, The United States, and other countries. I live in New York State in an area where many of the Huguenots settled.

  2. May 29, 2019

    Brilliant and persistent as ever.

  3. Ruth Hope permalink
    May 29, 2019

    You are a force for good!

    Meanwhile, what is happening with the bell foundry? I hope it is a positive outcome.

    Onward and upward.

  4. Penny Bowden permalink
    May 29, 2019

    Yaaaayyyy! I would like to think my e-mailed objection to Tower Hamlets played its part – especially the warning that Hugeunot descendants worldwide would be watching what they do. This latest news is very encouraging – but as you say, the battle’s not won yet, so here’s hoping more os us discerning folk will put pen to paper

  5. May 29, 2019

    Thank you. I have made my objection

  6. Haydn E Ebbs permalink
    May 29, 2019

    Wish I could go to one of the tours (I live in France).
    I had ancestors who were weavers and lived at 26 Sclater Street,(mid 1800’s) and some in Brick Lane…

  7. Jill Wilson permalink
    May 29, 2019

    Great news! Lets hope the buildings get the listing and protection they deserve…

    Well done GA – keep up the good work!

  8. May 29, 2019

    Great news! The battle is not over, but it’s going well.

  9. May 29, 2019

    I yesterday had a neighbour notification letter regarding the revisions of planning application of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry . It seems that they are set on a path of a brave new world of bland hotels , expensive residences for the wealthy, glass and concrete towers, unafordable shops in empty and characterless high streets. I would love those whom we take the trouble to elect to the council to prove me wrong .

  10. May 29, 2019

    E-mail sent. History Blog cited. Hope outcry from around the world helps!

  11. Adele Lester permalink
    May 29, 2019

    Keep up your tremendous work GA. Delighted to hear this.

  12. Jen permalink
    May 29, 2019

    That’s welcome news! I’ve already registered my objection (from the U.S. via email), and I know at least one other Club Row silk weaver descendant has as well. Will let him and the others know of this encouraging news.

    It is encouraging and gives me a teeny sense of agency in the matter. That’s good!

    Thank you again for bringing Club Row doings to our attention, and guiding us through the process of registering objections.

  13. Georgina Briody permalink
    May 29, 2019

    I have put a strong objection into Tower Hamlets today. I tried to save Jubilee Street but that didn’t work out well, let’s hope we can save the weavers’ houses. I will not give up.

  14. May 29, 2019

    Objection already sent and now another objection to the revised Whitechapel Bell Foundry (Boutique Hotel) plans must be sent too. These unique places deserve our efforts to save them.

  15. Simon permalink
    May 30, 2019

    I have objected, thank you for informing us!

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