History in Structure

43-49, Charlotte Road

A Grade II Listed Building in Hackney, London

More Photos »
Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 51.5255 / 51°31'31"N

Longitude: -0.081 / 0°4'51"W

OS Eastings: 533225

OS Northings: 182478

OS Grid: TQ332824

Mapcode National: GBR T7.YB

Mapcode Global: VHGQT.KX1F

Plus Code: 9C3XGWG9+6J

Entry Name: 43-49, Charlotte Road

Listing Date: 9 June 2006

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391679

English Heritage Legacy ID: 494333

ID on this website: 101391679

Location: Shoreditch, Hackney, London, EC2A

County: London

District: Hackney

Electoral Ward/Division: Hoxton East & Shoreditch

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Hackney

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Leonard with S Michael, Shoreditch

Church of England Diocese: London

Tagged with: Building

Find accommodation in


735/0/10187 CHARLOTTE ROAD
09-JUN-06 Shoreditch

Group of originally seven furniture workshops/warehouses, now workshops, offices and shops. Developed in stages between 1877-1881, with minor C20 modifications, for John King Farlow.

MATERIALS: White brick with prominent gauged red brick detailing. Timber loading doors and shop front fascias and consoles. Windows are timber sashes under cambered heads.

EXTERIOR: To Charlotte Road, the buildings read as two groups, each with eight window and loading bays flanking a central loading bay capped with a gabled parapet. The loading bays have paired, part-glazed doors to each floor. There are two surviving cranes. Most distinctive is the use of polychromy: the red brick is used for banding between each floor, striped heads over the second floor windows, and the solid in the third floor windows and curved heads of the central loading bays, where there is also polychrome herringbone brickwork. Interspersed with this is a pattern of moulded bricks at the top and bottom of each floor division, and between each window cill, with a different detail to each level, numbering about ten. There is a corbelled eaves cornice and pronounced slender corbels at the top of each pilaster. Some of the shop windows have been replaced, but altogether sympathetically; the pilasters between each bay have plain heads over a moulded squat capital with griffin detail.

To Mills Court, rear elevations much plainer with red brick cambered arches over the windows; 43- 46 retain their integral one-storey rear ranges with similar windows. The rears of 47-49 have been replaced by two and three storey late-C20 extensions in yellow brick with red brick window arches in a sympathetic style but not of special interest.

INTERIOR: Only partially inspected. Noted to have undergone some late-C20 refurbishment including the opening up of rooms for offices and the insertion of modern stairs, lifts and entrance lobbies for residential and commercial use. The buildings are believed to retain their original timber truss roof structures with historic and modern roof lights.

HISTORY: For almost a century, from the mid-C19 to the mid-C20, South Shoreditch was the hub of the British furniture trade. The area manufactured, sold and supplied furniture of all types and quality to retailers in the West End, provincial cities and throughout the British Empire. As a result, South Shoreditch has a consistent and unique combination of factories, warehouse and showrooms, a concentration of interrelated building types which creates a distinctive historic character.

43-49 Charlotte Road, a row of seven four-storey workshops/warehouses originally with rear one-storey workshops to Mills Court, were built for John King Farlow. Developed in stages between 1877 and 1881 to a similar design, the group forms one of the most impressive blocks of its type in South Shoreditch. This large-scale speculation exemplifies the trend towards a denser and taller reconstruction of Charlotte Road and its transformation from a once-residential street.

In 1876 Farlow acquired a terrace of twelve houses, 43-54 Charlotte Street, and a row of tenements, 1-15 Mill Court, from Richard Foster. Between 1878 and 1881 six warehouses, 44-49, were built by Henry Hart for Farlow on the site. In 1878 the newly built 49 was leased to Jacob Emil Zoers, manufacturer of umbrella and parasol sticks. Two years later Zoers leased 48, after openings had been made in the party walls on the ground and third floor to connect it to the adjoining premises. The first tenant of 46 was Pintsches Patent Lighting Company Ltd, who took the building in 1879. In 1881 44 was leased to Ebenezer Envil, French polisher, whose lease was renewed in 1895. Envil apparently sublet parts of the building to others in the furniture trade, a common practice in the late-C19. In contrast to this was the sprawling complex of William Lamb, wholesale looking glass and cabinet makers. In 1892 the owner of the business took over the lease of 45 Charlotte Road. By 1908 the firm had extended across 44-49 (as well as 55-56) Charlotte Road. These buildings were used to manufacture the furniture that was sold in their Curtain Road showrooms, on the other side of Mills Court. By the late 1930s Lamb's had retracted to 44-46 and 47-49 formed part of another large concern, W. A. Hudson, furnishing ironmongers, who installed a rolling mill at the rear of the premises. 43 was occupied from the 1880s until the 1930s by Edward Bagshaw, (later Bagshaw and Morris) spring manufacturers. Established in the late 1850s, the firm claimed to be the oldest maker of coppered steel springs for the upholstery trade, also manufacturing chair webs, tack and nails. Later occupants of 43 included Albert John Edwards and John Henry Griffiths (trading as C & R Light) who leased the building in 1935 as a warehouse.

Furniture and furnishing use continued in these buildings until the mid-to-late C20. B & N Upholstery were operating from 44 in 1955 along with Mr Billigheimer, a feather dealer who used it to store and stuff pillows. In 1986 the building was bought and refurbished by a writer and former antique dealer, Jeremy Cooper, who filled it with Victorian 'art' furniture of a kind much imitated by the East End furniture trade. At the time of its conversion the building retained narrow vertiginous wooden stairs rising uninterrupted through two floors. The later occupation of the art dealer Joshua Compston (1970-1996) is commemorated by a pair of metal plaques on the front of the building. All of the buildings in the row have been refurbished since the 1980s and the rear ranges of 47-49 have been rebuilt on a substantially larger scale.

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: This group of seven four-storey furniture workshops developed between 1877-81 has an exuberant level of detail in moulded bands, polychrome brickwork, and a handsome and functionally indicative rhythm that altogether endows the building with special architectural interest; it also has special historic interest as one of the grandest of the multi-occupant warehouse and workshop terraces within the well understood and highly significant context of South Shoreditch.

Smith, Joanna 'An Industrial Suburb': The Commercial Buildings of South Shoreditch 1850-1980 (Unpublished English Heritage Architectural Investigation report, 2004)
Cabinet Maker, January 1897, May 1903, 358.
House and Garden, vol. 42, no. 10, October 1987, 198-201.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.