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49-53, Clerkenwell Road

A Grade II Listed Building in Clerkenwell, London

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Latitude: 51.5223 / 51°31'20"N

Longitude: -0.1044 / 0°6'15"W

OS Eastings: 531607

OS Northings: 182082

OS Grid: TQ316820

Mapcode National: GBR N8.PG

Mapcode Global: VHGQT.4ZNV

Entry Name: 49-53, Clerkenwell Road

Listing Date: 26 July 1994

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1207936

English Heritage Legacy ID: 368778

Location: Islington, London, EC1M

County: London

District: Islington

Electoral Ward/Division: Clerkenwell

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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Listing Text


635-1/74/287 (South side)
Nos.49-53 (Odd)


Former Holborn Union Offices. Dated 1885 on the foundation
stone and 1886 on the corner pediment. By Alfred Saxon Snell
for the Board of Guardians. Blue brick to the base, the street
elevations entirely of rubbed brick with cut and moulded
dressings, roof of Welsh slate. In the Queen Anne style. There
is a symmetrical front of three storeys and fourteen windows
to Clerkenwell Road, with a slightly projecting centrepiece of
two windows, and outer, slightly projecting bays of three
windows; there are also a wing of two storeys and eleven
windows in Britton Street, and a canted two-storey bay to the
corner; the windows throughout the building are typically
flat-arched with the lower part of the gauged brick head cut
back in an ogee profile, and the glazing bars are original
throughout, so far as visible.
Three round-arched entrances in Clerkenwell Road, the central
entrance broader; the outer entrances have pilasters, stilted
arch and archivolt; the entrances are flanked by fluted Doric
pilasters which overlap their mouldings in a way typical of
the building; these carry an entablature with triglyph frieze,
festoons and drops, and a pediment, that to the centre
segmental. Each entrance has a doorcase with a wooden cornice
and scrolled pedimented central panel to the fanlight. Two
sets of three windows between the entrances, their architraves
unmoulded apart from the ogee heads and overlapping the simple
entablature which runs between the entrances. On the first
floor the outer bays have three round-arched windows with a
decorative transom running across at springing level; they are
flanked by pilasters with capitals at the springing and a
second shorter range of pilasters above, the spandrels filled
with festoons and drops; pediments with raking cornice; the
central bay has two flat-arched windows flanked by pilasters
supporting the main cornice, and two oculi above, flanked by
pilasters supporting a segmental pediment; two sets of three
flat-arched windows to either side, overlapping and
interrupting the frieze of festoons; cornice with dentil and
egg-and-dart mouldings; pedimented dormers in mansard roof;
stacks with triglyph frieze and deeply projecting cornice.
The wing in Britton Street and the corner bay continue the
detailing from Clerkenwell Road, with plain architraves
overlapping the horizontal mouldings, though the two storeys
are both taller than in Clerkenwell Road. A frieze of
scrolling foliage runs across the ground floor, and the
ground-floor windows are divided into lower and upper lights
at that point; the upper floor has a frieze of swags and
drops, plus aprons of ogee profile to the windows; the cornice
and parapet continue, with an aedicule to the corner with
scrolled consoles, fluted pilasters, segmental pediment and
central cartouche inscribed 'HOLBORN UNION OFFICES 1886';
stacks with triglyph frieze and cornice; lantern, square in
plan, with ogee lead roof and finial.
The interior retains a number of original features. Principal
staircase from ground to first floor of double imperial type
with elaborate cast- iron balusters and mahogany rail;
decorative plaster ceiling to staircase hall, and Aesthetic
Movement stained glass to landing window. Secondary staircase
from first to second floor in Clerkenwell Road with similar
balusters. Passage from landing to Board of Guardians' Room
has decorative terrazzo flooring and decorative tilework to
the dado. The Board of Guardians' Room on the first floor in
Britton Street has a panelled dado and original architraves to
doors; elaborate chimneypiece with central inscription and
scrolled pediment; gallery at the north end carried on paired
Doric pilasters with entablature, pulvinated frieze, dentil
cornice and parapet with balustraded panels; panelled ceiling
decorated with bay leaf ornament and foliage.
(Historians' file, English Heritage London Division; Brunskill
RW: Brick Building in Britain: London: 1990-: CLR.PL.176).

Listing NGR: TQ3160782082

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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