Humble Houses

Bethnal Green Road
I went to an interesting talk at the Bishopsgate Institute last week called ‘Silk-weavers Tenement Housing in Georgian East London’. Bit of a mouthful, but right on the money as far as my interests go. I love the East End and especially the area around Spitalfields / Bethnal Green (‘oh really?’ – everyone) and its Georgian history and buildings.

The Georgian houses that were saved by the Spitalfields Trust in the 1970s were more of the high end houses owned by the master silk weavers in the 18th century. The cottage houses built for the weavers and labourers were built very cheaply and so there aren’t many left.

The photo above shows a few that are. This is Red Church Street at the north end of Brick Lane. There are three weavers houses left, one of which (at least for me) seems to have retained its original features better. That is number 113, the second building from the left (with the Estate Agents sign). Since I first saw this building on Dan Cruickshank’s program about the Sptialfields area I’ve really liked it, despite it being decrepdid and possibly even more so because of its state.

At the talk I found out that it has been recently listed so it won’t be demolished. However, I’m not sure what exactly is going to happen to it. Will it remain as is or will someone try to restore it?  If it was to be restored it would look a bit out of place with its neighbours. I think as long as it’s not knocked down I’d be happy but I’m still curious as to what its fate will be.