Nos. 15, 16 and 17, Charles Square

Pages 147-148

Survey of London: Volume 8, Shoreditch. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1922.

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Ground landlords.

The freeholder and occupier of No. 15 is Mr. Isaac Sklanowitz. The freehold of No. 16 is owned by the Trustees of the marriage settlement of Sir S. F. Mendl, K.B.E., and Frances, Lady Mendl, and that of No. 17 by the Trustees of the late C. Hardy.

General description and date of structure.

On 13th January, 1726–7, Sarah Webster mortgaged to William Guy "all that messuage or tenement lately built and yet uninhabited, scituate on the west side of Charles Square," as well as another messuage lately built adjoining it on the north. (fn. 1) The only portion of the west side of the square belonging to the Websters comprised the sites of Nos. 15 to 17 (fn. 2) and it can hardly be doubted that the houses mentioned in the indenture were Nos. 16 and 17. No. 15 had probably not yet been built. All three are referred to in 1759 in a demise by John Webster to Jonathan Miles of three tenements or messuages on the west side of the square, then or late in occupation of James Praed, Jane Courant and Alexander Eynard.

Nos. 15 and 17 were designed as wings to No. 16, and consist of three storeys and basement. The walls are lined with deal panelling with moulded cornice and chair rail. The majority of the rooms in No. 15, however, have been stripped and lined with matchboarding. The staircases have well-turned balusters and shaped brackets to the lower flights (Plates 65, 66 and 79).

No. 16 is used for the accommodation of the Shoreditch County Court, and before the present Court House was built in the rear of Old Street, the front room on the first floor was utilised for that purpose. The premises have a brick front of three storeys and basement, with a moulded brick cornice at second-floor level. The top storey has probably been rebuilt. The central doorcase, which is in deal, is enriched with carved consoles and a foliated frieze (Plate 79). The iron railings to the front area have well-designed cast-iron standards similar to those at No. 15 (Plate 42). Within, the walls are lined with square panelling, with a moulded cornice of good proportions. The main staircase has turned spiral balusters, fluted circular newels, and carved stair brackets. The wall dado has moulded panels, with fluted pilasters as newels (Plate 79).

Condition of premises.

Good. Nos. 15 and 17 are utilised for factory purposes and have been altered accordingly.

In the Council's collection are:—

(fn. 3) Nos. 15–17, general exterior (photograph).

(fn. 3) No. 16, entrance doorway do.

(fn. 3) No. 16, staircase, general view (photograph).

(fn. 3) No. 16, do. (measured drawing).

(fn. 3) No. 16, front railings, details (measured drawing).

(fn. 3) No. 17, ground floor, front room, interior (photograph).

(fn. 3) No. 17, staircase, details of balustrading (measured drawing)

(fn. 3) No. 17, do. do. balusters do.


  • 1. Middl. Regy. Memls., 1727, VI., 199.
  • 2. See p. 145.
  • 3. Reproduced here.