Looking at Buildings

, printed from the Looking at Buildings website on Sunday 18th August 2019

Health and Hygiene

Leman Street [1] was founded in 1782 by doctors in the City but the present building erected in 1858-9 from voluntary contributions. Designed by G.H Simmonds, a local surveyor and the dispensary's secretary and built by John Jacobs of Leman Street. Repaired and refurbished as a pub by Ronald S. Hore c, 1997-8. Its appearance is mannered ItalianateGlossary Term [2] with channelled stuccoGlossary Term [3] plinthGlossary Term [4], a roundGlossary Term [5] arched entrance under a balcony and upper storey of five bays of windows beneath segmental and pointed pediments.

Pollard Row [6] was founded in 1849 by the Vicar of St James-the-Less in Bethnal Green. Its foundation followed hard on the heels of a serious cholera outbreak. The dispensary was rebuilt in its present guise in 1865-6 by Lee and Long, a firm who specialised in medical and hospital buildings. Its principal elevationGlossary Term [7] is in a superbly lavish RenaissanceGlossary Term [8] style abundantly decoratedGlossary Term [9] with carved ornament of fruit and flowers. Elaborate central tower with carved clockface and cupolaGlossary Term [10] on columns above. In the broken pedimentGlossary Term [11] of the first floor central window is a bust of Queen Adelaide. Converted for flats after 1990 by Cazenove Architects Co-Operative who also restored the demolished cupolaGlossary Term [12].

Old Castle Street [13]. ClassicalGlossary Term [14] arrangement of seven bays of simple round-headedGlossary Term [15] windows and completely unadorned except for 'Washhouse' and the date inscribed over the entrance. This unique, if fragmentary, survival has been retained for incorporation into Guildhall University's Fawcett Library [16], by Wright & Wright, 1999-2001.

Cheshire Street [17] became the first public baths in this appallingly overcrowded district. The style is reassuringly domestic, in red brick and bands of portland stoneGlossary Term [18], with a curved gableGlossary Term [19] end in a Flemish or Dutch manner. It has particularly fine relief carvings of cherubs over the separate male and female entrances, and at the east end is an orielGlossary Term [20] window supported on carved busts of angels. Beneath this was the entrance to the Board Room and Superintendent's flat. At the west end of this block stands the utilitarian single-storey former laundry washhouse with an iron and glass lanternGlossary Term [21] roof. It was commended at the time for providing space for prams, "in which the washers usually bring their linen. In most of the London baths this been omitted, with the result that the waiting halls are often impassable." The block in which the baths were housed was demolished in 1999-2000 when the entire group was converted for flats by Yeates Design & Architecture.

Last updated: Monday, 26th January 2009