Skip to content

At Ben Truman’s House

January 30, 2023
by the gentle author

Behold, the winter dusk is glimmering in this old house in Princelet St built in the seventeen-twenties for Benjamin Truman. A hundred years later, a huge factory was added on the back which more than doubled the size. In the twentieth century, this became the home of the extended Gernstein family from whom the current owners bought the house in the eighties. Notable as Lionel Bart’s childhood home, who once returned to have his portrait taken by Lord Snowden on the doorstep, in recent years it has served as the location for innumerable film and photo shoots. Then, as if to complete the circle, the house was sold to the proprietors of the Old Truman Brewery.

You may also like to take a look at

At 31 Fournier St

At Anna Maria Garthwaite’s House

At Jocasta Innes House

The Last Derelict House in Spitalfields

17 Responses leave one →
  1. Christine Swan permalink
    January 30, 2023

    What a perfectly preserved piece of Spitalfields! I now worry because that probably means it will be sold to developers and ruined in some way. I’d like it to be bought by someone who cares about its history. Alas, this will not be me as I envisage a seven figure price tag and unlikely that even a lottery win would suffice.

  2. Sandra Lawrence permalink
    January 30, 2023

    Wonderful pictures but I have to ask what its future is, given the whole Brewery thing. Is it safe?

  3. Gillian Stevens permalink
    January 30, 2023

    Such a shame that Ben Truman’s house has been allowed to fall into disrepair. Hope the new owners will give it some love and restore it to its former glory.

  4. January 30, 2023

    I agree with the above comment.
    A remarkable and beautiful house with great richness of a tangible past.
    Please tell me the Spitalfields Trust are involved with it’s future?

  5. January 30, 2023

    A wonderful historic building. After restoration, it would be a dream to live there. Finally I would have space for my books! 😉

    Love & Peace

  6. keithb permalink
    January 30, 2023

    That armchair next to the window. The old light from the window falling on a table full of books. Can you have nostalgia for something you have not actually lived?

  7. Richard Smith permalink
    January 30, 2023

    Amazing house, amazing pictures.

  8. Steve Shinners permalink
    January 30, 2023

    Fabulous photos of a beautiful house, that looks like it has retained alot of it original features and charm.

  9. Sally Bernard permalink
    January 30, 2023

    Wonder what will happen now to this beautiful old building?

  10. Saba permalink
    January 30, 2023

    Fabulous. I hope the new owners will care for the house tenderly. If the chimneys are in the same shape as everything else, I would not light a fire in any fireplace as sparks can fly out between cracks in the mortar and start a fire.

  11. Jo N permalink
    January 30, 2023

    I wouldn’t worry too much Christine, this house pops up in TV dramas etc *all* the time so I imagine it’s a pretty sound investment commercially for the current owners. I too hope that that continues and its features and patina are preserved.

  12. PaulaPM permalink
    January 30, 2023

    Those worn wooden stair treads get me every time.

  13. Marie-Anne permalink
    January 31, 2023

    Oh, how I would love to own and live in one of those houses!

  14. Keith permalink
    January 31, 2023

    A lovely old house. I have visited the house on a few occasions and have the honour of slipping down the rickety staircase and nearly falling through the whole in the floor! No worries… it was an honour to have been in such a well kept and historic building. May it remain as long as it is and keep us old house lovers for generations to come.

  15. Bill permalink
    January 31, 2023

    Thanks again! Such beauty. Very wabi-sabi, as the Japanese so rightly say. The entropic touch of time, so poetic!

  16. WMA permalink
    February 1, 2023

    It looks like no work has been done on this for the past 6 years. I was hoping to see what they’d done with it and how it had cleaned up.

  17. Marcia Howard permalink
    February 2, 2023

    Please reassure us that it’s not going to become a casualty to the developers!

Leave a Reply

Note: Comments may be edited. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS