Thursday, 12 April 2012

41&42 Cloth Fair

This early seventeenth century survivor of the fire of London, the blitz and bulldozers claims to be the oldest house in London still standing. This unique building was almost lost in the late 1920’s as it was scheduled for demolition as part of a sanitary improvement scheme and slum Clearance by the Corporation of London. Unlike most of its neighbours including the Dick Whittington Inn it was luckily saved and subsequently restored in 1930 as offices.

The ground floor is much altered from its original form and looks unspectacular; it is easy to walk past without noticing the fine historic building above. The upper part of the building consists of a red brick front with a pair of a rectangular timber bays topped with pediments. The building is completed with a timber attic gable. 

Left © is an image of the building prior to its restoration taken in 1904. As can be seen the distinction between the two pictures is not too great, the alteration of the ground floor is perhaps the greatest difference. The windows too also differ being restored from Georgian sash windows to more authentic led glass windows. Overall the restoration was sympathetic to the building respecting its features and retaining its character. It was recognised in 2000 for its sensitive restoration and original features and Won a heritage award. It is a grade 2* listed building by English heritage meaning it is of special architectural interest.  

1 comment:

  1. An email I received the other day from someone who couldn't comment on this post for technical reasons - "41 Cloth Fair was not just offices but lived in for at least 40 years by Paul Paget who restored it" They go on to say that he restored most of the city churches bombed in the war and arranged the first cleaning of St Pauls.


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