History in Structure

The Verger's Cottage and remodelled entrance (part of the former Camden Road New Church complex), Islington Arts Factory, 2 Parkhurst Road, LB Islington

A Grade II Listed Building in Islington, London

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Latitude: 51.5538 / 51°33'13"N

Longitude: -0.1232 / 0°7'23"W

OS Eastings: 530218

OS Northings: 185549

OS Grid: TQ302855

Mapcode National: GBR FP.X6J

Mapcode Global: VHGQS.T68P

Plus Code: 9C3XHV3G+GP

Entry Name: The Verger's Cottage and remodelled entrance (part of the former Camden Road New Church complex), Islington Arts Factory, 2 Parkhurst Road, LB Islington

Listing Date: 29 April 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1427828

ID on this website: 101427828

Location: Lower Holloway, Islington, London, N7

County: London

District: Islington

Electoral Ward/Division: Holloway

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Islington

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Luke West Holloway

Church of England Diocese: London

Tagged with: Cottage

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A Verger's Cottage and re-modelled entrance, of 1908, by Ernest G Trobridge. The listed structures form part of a complex of Swedenborgian buildings based around the former Camden Road New Church and its Sunday School, of 1873-4, by Edward C Gosling (these are not part of the listing, as indicated on the attached map extent).


The Verger's Cottage and remodelled entrance of 1908 by E G Trobridge (part of the former Camden New Church* and Sunday School*, 1873-4, by E C Gosling & The Perry Brothers in Gothic style, now The Islington Arts Factory).

MATERIALS: constructed in red brick and render with decorative fish-scale tiled roof.

PLAN: the cottage has a two-room plan, adjoined to the former Sunday school and church by a remodelled main entrance at the west elevation.

EXTERIOR: a three storey cottage beneath an M-shaped gable roof with a central triple chimney stack. Windows are in pairs, in curved recessed surrounds on each storey of the west elevation, with a mix of four double pane casements on the ground floor, a pair of centrally placed four-pane (some boarded) leaded glass casements on the first floor, one with a floral stained glass motif surviving, and a pair of triple-pane casement windows on the second floor centrally placed beneath each gable. A centrally placed hopper titled and dated VERGERS COTTAGE/1908 is above the first floor windows. The roof on its southern elevation, bounded by a garage forecourt, has a Dutch gable.

Principal access is through Trobridge's remodelled red-brick entrance on Parkhurst Road which stands under a sweeping canopy. It consists of a wide door opening flanked by a buttress on either side. A triple-panelled notice-board advertising courses at the Arts Factory is placed underneath the canopy to the immediate right of the buttress. A tall narrow boarded lancet on the west elevation of the Sunday school is located beneath the left-side of the canopy. A tall post which may have had a light fitting attached stands outside the entrance. Above the entrance canopy is a tall, rectangular casement window.

INTERIOR: the entrance foyer (with modern reception desk) and its passageway comprises a turquoise blue, green and white vitreous mosaic floor and lower-dado height wall tiles arranged as a simple arcade. An original Church notice-board is intact above the dado, which forms the enclosed southern elevation of the Sunday School. Original signage is intact laid into the mosaic of the ground floor. These are located at access points and titled LIBRARY in white lettering on a turquoise blue surround and THE NEW CHURCH in red lettering on a white background with turquoise blue surround across the New Church entrance. A boarded frame is present above the door opening, which contained the stained glass window referred to in Ley's 1908 account of the Church (Ley 1908, 15). The stepped plaster cornices within the entrance-way are of note, as these correspond with plaster-work detailing in the cottage. The ground floor comprises the remodelled ladies' and gents' cloakrooms with original internal doors intact. These were accessed through a foyer containing a central flue with cast iron fireplace, mantel and mirror.

The two upper levels of the cottage are reached by a staircase of Pentelikon marble treads and mosaic-tiled dados and risers, consistent with the arrangement in the new entrance hall below. The staircase has an intricate cast-iron balustrade with the original wooden handrail. Additional light is provided by two, small angled dormer windows above in the cottage roof. Access to the Church Gallery was on the first floor, evident by intact mosaic-tiled signage titled GALLERY in white lettering on a turquoise blue background at its entrance. This has been partitioned into a modern storeroom.

The first floor rooms of the cottage are currently being used as offices with bedrooms above. Originally the caretaker's kitchen, the southernmost of the two-room plan has a copper with built-in stove below, which are both intact, next to a boarded in fireplace. The windows have sculpted, curved wood surrounds and glazing as described above. The caretaker's living room, located off the kitchen, contains an original cast-iron fireplace with cast-iron mantle-piece and inverted Art Nouveau-style decorated tiles on the surrounds. There is a stepped plaster detail visible in the corner of the living room (the underside of stairs) as well as stepped plaster detail around the chimney breast on the first floor. Access to the second floor bedrooms was not possible during the inspection visit.

* Pursuant to s.1(5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest. The former Camden Road New Church and Sunday School are not included in the listing, as indicated on the attached map.


The former Camden Road New Church and Sunday School (both 1873-4 and designed by architect Edward C Gosling) were built by the Perry Brothers for The Camden Road Society of the New Jerusalem Church. The Society, which originated in July 1787, comprised enthusiasts and followers of the writings of the international scholar and religious cleric Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). Having sold their Chapel in Cross Street, Hatton Garden (their base since 1827-1872), the Swedenborgians moved here, after expanding their influence and followers. During the construction of the New Church, they met briefly in Camden Town Athenaeum (1871 by F R Meeson and demolished in 1955), a large brick and terracotta Italianate style building which was situated on the present garage forecourt immediately south-west (VCH Middlesex 8, 45-51). The New Church was consecrated on 1 January 1874 by Rev Rudolf L Tafel, AM, PhD (1831-1893) assisted by the Rev W Bruce and the Rev S M Warren.

Due to the need for further expansion, after thirty-four years, the site was remodelled and extended in 1908 to a design by E G Trobridge to include a three-storey Verger's Cottage, ground floor cloak-rooms, an extended Library and Lecture Hall (in the two-storey Sunday School building), increased cellar height, a new furnace/fireplace and a new access to the Church Gallery. This newly re-designed Swedenborgian religious complex was interconnected by a grand entrance decorated with turquoise blue, green and white glass mosaic tiles on the floors, dados and stair risers and an impressive staircase with treads of white/grey Pentelikon marble. There was elaborate detailing, including a pair of new Honduras carved mahogany doors leading into the church, and the addition of a stained glass top light to the old external door showing a sun rising through the clouds with the words "NEW CHURCH" inscribed above in ruby glass (all 1908 by Ernest G Trobridge with J E Wallis & Co of Maidstone & Rust's Vitreous Mosaic Company, owned by Jesse Rust of Lambeth Glassworks).

The commission of E G Trobridge (1884-1942), at this early stage in his professional career as an architect, is documented in a short publication by the Society on the history of the former Camden Road New Church. The accompanying Bazaar Programme dated 1908, praises how E G Trobridge and E Wallis & Co of Maidstone "very ably and ingeniously" carried out the work on "so limited a space" (Ley, 1908, 15). They state that the church has been "very tastefully and appropriately decorated" to remedy certain defects in the old decoration scheme. Trobridge, himself a committed Swedenborgian, was the son of artist and New Church writer George Trobridge. In 1909, Trobridge writes "the philosophy of Swedenborg affects every detail of every structure" (Smith 1982, 1-2). He is best known for his Arts and Crafts cottages of the 1920s, many of which are listed and located in Kingsbury in the London Borough of Brent, where he lived.

On expiry of the lease in 1954, the congregation merged with the Argyle Square Society of the New Church and moved from Camden Road New Church to a site in High Barnet. The buildings were then altered and subdivided internally to accommodate its changing use as a boys youth club and community arts facility. This included a 1950s brick infill to enclose the former space between the New Church and Sunday School. The interior of this brick building is being used as a cafe in 2015, with an opening for a small kitchen, through the fabric of the west aisle. The mahogany doors with rectangular stained glass window above leading into the church are no longer present. The gallery floor has been removed though its former position is still visible in the interior fabric and its steeple lost its spire due to corrosion in the 1990s. The former Sunday School comprises upper and lower floor dance studios and the Verger's Cottage, in 2015, is in use as offices with flats above.

Reasons for Listing

The Verger's Cottage and re-modelled entrance by Ernest G Trobridge, of 1908, part of the former Camden Road New Church complex, of 1873-4, are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Design/ Aesthetic interest: as a well composed building, innovative in its use of materials and expressive of the architect's individual style combined with his Swedenborgian beliefs;

* Interior: for the intact plan-form of the cottage and distinctive quality and survival of the decorative vitreous mosaic tiled entrance with intact floor signage, and for its impressive and well-finished fixtures and fittings;

* Historic interest: as an early example of the work of Trobridge commissioned by The Camden Road Society of the Jerusalem New Church due to his architectural skills and background as a Swedenborgian.

External Links

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