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Charles Rowan House and Attached Iron Railings

A Grade II Listed Building in Southwark, London

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Latitude: 51.5276 / 51°31'39"N

Longitude: -0.1102 / 0°6'36"W

OS Eastings: 531189

OS Northings: 182659

OS Grid: TQ311826

Mapcode National: GBR M6.DK

Mapcode Global: VHGQT.1VLT

Plus Code: 9C3XGVHQ+2W

Entry Name: Charles Rowan House and Attached Iron Railings

Listing Date: 30 September 1994

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1298020

English Heritage Legacy ID: 369133

Location: Islington, London, EC1R

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: Clerkenwell Holy Redeemer

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text


MARGERY STREET (South side),
Charles Rowan House & attached iron railings


Includes: Charles Rowan House WILMINGTON STREET Finsbury.
Includes: Charles Rowan House AMWELL STREET Finsbury.
Includes: Charles Rowan House MERLIN STREET Finsbury.

Former flats for married policemen, now council flats, on a steeply sloping site bounded by roads on all four sides. 1928-1930. G Mackenzie Trench architect and surveyor for the Metropolitan Police Authority.

Red brick laid in Flemish and English bonds with moulded brick dressings to street elevations, and multi-coloured stock bricks to courtyard elevations; roofs obscured; projecting, picturesque red-brick stacks demarcate breaks in the roofline where the blocks step up the hill.

Expressionist style. Four massive facades parallel to four roads: great arches lead into the central courtyard from Merlin and Margery Streets. Five storeys with basement; six bays (each of three-window range to Amwell Street) and (2:3:4:4:3:2 to Wilmington Street); eight bays (2:3:3:2:2:3:3:2 to Margery and Merlin Streets). Powerful, rhythmic street elevations with bays articulated by full-height moulded brick stacks treated as pilasters that create strong skyline. Decorative extradoses and dressings to great arched entrances.Metal casement sashes separated by narrow full-height moulded brick pilasters that become a decorative feature to brick parapets; decorative brickwork above top floor sashes. Stacks and intervening parapets read as battlements. Attached iron railings to exterior elevations.

INTERIOR: Ninety-six two and three-bedroomed flats were originally provided on five floors, with a covered playground in the basement. Minor alterations have occurred.

History: Nos. 22-24 Wilmington Square, formerly on this site, were demolished in order to build the austerely impressive Charles Rowan House Police Flats block. As early as 1904 the Metropolitan Police Authority planned housing for 500 married policemen. Records indicate that this early goal was not reached; a concerted effort at building police accommodation did not occur until the 1950s. Plans for those in Wilmington Square survive in the Public Records Office but they appear to be the only ones. At least three other police flats by Trench are extant: Crawford Street, Marylebone, 1925; Kintyre House, New Park Road, Lambeth, and Cornwall Street, Waterloo, but Charles Rowan House is the least altered and most architecturally assured of the group. Stylistically it is also unusual for this country and exhibits a powerful, Expressionist manner most often associated with continental design of this period.

Source: (Historians File, English Heritage, London Division: 1990; The Squares of Islington: Cosh, M: The Squares of Islington Part I: Finsbury and Clerkenwell: Islington: 1990: 96).

Listing NGR: TQ3118982659

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

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