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No. 28 Britton Street

A Grade II Listed Building in Clerkenwell, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5212 / 51°31'16"N

Longitude: -0.104 / 0°6'14"W

OS Eastings: 531642

OS Northings: 181962

OS Grid: TQ316819

Mapcode National: GBR N8.TV

Mapcode Global: VHGR0.41W4

Entry Name: No. 28 Britton Street

Listing Date: 29 September 1972

Last Amended: 12 April 2013

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1204945

English Heritage Legacy ID: 368584

Location: Islington, London, EC1M

County: London

District: Islington

Electoral Ward/Division: Clerkenwell

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Islington

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St James Clerkenwell

Church of England Diocese: London

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Summary

No. 28 Britton Street is an early-C18 terraced town house, now in office use.

Description

MATERIALS: the front facade is of red-brown brick laid in Flemish bond with red brick dressings and gauged flat window arches; windows are late-C20 six-over-six-light sliding sashes with horns. The building is rendered at ground floor with a C19-style shop window. It is thought that all external joinery is late-C20 replication of pre-existing joinery.

PLAN: the building has two bays and three storeys with a basement and garret; the roof is double-pitched with a valley gutter running parallel to the road. The original C18 floor-plan remains: a ground-floor entrance hall, with dog-leg stair to the rear along the right-hand party wall, and a front and back room to each floor. At basement and upper-ground-floor level the building inter-connects with a modern extension which occupies the full depth of the plot.

EXTERIOR: the entrance is to the right and comprises a six-panel door set between pilasters. A fascia and cornice run across the frontage and to the left of the door is a C19-style shop window. First- and second-floor windows are set almost flush with the wall. The garret room is continuously glazed with side-hung timber casement windows.

INTERIOR: the interior of No. 28 presents as one of the early C18, both in terms of layout and appearance: rooms are lined in full-height unmoulded wall panelling; front rooms have fireplaces in the party wall, and backrooms have corner fireplaces; the stairs have turned vase balusters with a moulded handrail and closed string. It is believed that some of the panelling is original, providing the pattern for the rest of the panelling throughout the building. The staircase includes original newel posts, handrails, and some balusters, but a number of the latter are modern reproductions.


History

Britton Street was laid out and built up between 1718 and 1724, replacing gardens and small houses on the backlands of Turnmill Street and St John's Lane. It was originally called Red Lion Street, after a tavern at the top end where it met Clerkenwell Green, and was renamed in 1937 after the antiquary John Britton. No. 28 was one of an original row of four houses built in 1722.

Initially the northern half of the street became established as one of the best residential addresses in Clerkenwell, but by the latter part of the C18 most of the houses were in the occupation of craftsmen and tradesmen, particularly clock and watchmakers and cabinet makers; several of the surviving old houses have attic 'watchmaker' windows, including No. 28 (although this has been rebuilt). During the C19 the street became densely populated with small-scale manufacturers, and whilst suffering the problems of overcrowding and poverty, it was also a thriving commercial area, and remained so until the Second World War.

In 1991, No. 28 underwent substantial repair and restoration following a fire.

Reasons for Listing

No. 28 Britton Street is listed at Grade II for the following principal reason:
* Architectural and historic interest: constructed as a town house in 1722, the building retains key elements of its historic form, character and fabric.

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