Excerpt from a letter from a former resident to the Central Nursing Office at the London Hospital, 11 October 1987:1
The above property is situated on the corner of Newark Street and Turner Street, the entrance in Turner Street. Facing Newark Street is the side of St Philip’s Church, the opposite corner Gwynne House, a dull grey building. Formerly it was known as ‘Crofts’, latterly as 28 Newark Street.
This residence was run as a boarding/guest house for medical students by a Mr and Mrs Croft from 1932 to the outbreak of the Second World War. Mr Croft worked as a steward/waiter in the medical college in one of their dining rooms. What it was used for during the war I do not know... In 1947 it became a very senior sisters' house, each had a sitting room, separate bedroom, shared bathrooms, and a kitchen for all to use. I lived in this residence for nearly three years... I have no knowledge of its usage from the autumn of 1954 to 1972. The structural repair of this building was undertaken by an estate office run by the London Hospital, it cared for other properties belonging to the hospital.
Royal London Hospital Archives, RLHLH/Z/2, Gwynne House Subject File ↩
Excerpt from Historic England list entry for 28 Newark Street (listed at Grade II):
NEWARK STREET E1 1. 4431 (South Side) No 28 TQ 3481 15/494 II GV 2. Early C19. Stock brick with parapet, roof not visible. 3 storeys and basement, 2 windows each. Gauged flat arches to recessed windows on 1st and 2nd floors, those on 1st floor, in round arched recesses. Sashes and French casements with glazing. Brick band below coping. Stone band at 1st floor. Both houses now form one block, former door on Newark Street replaced by sash window.
No 28 to 42 (even) form a group with St Augustine with St Philip's Church, Stepney Way.1
Historic England, National Heritage List for England, list entry number: 1357858 (online: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list- entry/1357858, accessed 26 August 2016). ↩
The portion of Newark Street lying on the London Hospital’s estate is divided into three blocks from New Road eastwards to Cavell Street. Originally New Street, sections were called Little Rutland Street, New Terrace and Stebon Place up to 1864. It all became Newark Street in 1890. Leases were granted for completed dwellings close to New Road between 1810 and 1813.1
The surviving three-storey houses on the south side of Newark Street (Nos 26–34 and 40–42), opposite St Philip’s Church, were originally named New Terrace and were among the largest dwellings on the London Hospital estate, matched only by those in Philpot Street. Nos 26–28 were built as a pair of two-bay houses with two-room plans, rear staircases and raised basements, No. 26 being entered from Turner Street. Mary and Ann Parker were granted a building lease for these lots in 1830. The houses were acquired by the hospital in 1886 and converted into a nurses’ residence that became a boarding house for medical students in the 1930s, then, after the Second World War, accommodation for senior sisters, who each had a bedroom and a private sitting room.2
A variation to the pattern of two-bay façades with evenly spaced sash windows is evident at 30–32 Newark Street, where a central first-floor relieving arch encloses a pair of narrow windows. A building lease was granted to Mary Eleanor Haines in June 1826. These houses were also made nurses’ accommodation in 1886, and converted into laboratories and offices for the dental department in the 1980s. More recently, they have been divided into flats. Nos 34, 40 and 42 Philpot Street, separated by the former St Philip’s National School and vicarage, have first-floor relieving arches and round-arched doorways with fluted door surrounds. No. 34 was completed in 1835, when a lease was granted to Joseph Adams. A building lease for Nos 40–42 was taken in 1839 by Henry Cook Maister, who agreed to complete this pair with 67–69 Philpot Street. No. 34 was purchased by the Rev. Sidney Vatcher in 1894 and converted into offices for the East End Emigration Society, an organization that assisted with migrations to Canada, America, South Africa and Australasia.3
Ordnance Survey maps: Royal London Hospital Archives (RLHA), RLHLH/S/1/3: Shoreditch Observer, 25 Aug 1860: Morning Advertiser, 22 May 1865: Pall Mall Gazette, 14 March 1865: East London Observer (ELO), 28 May 1870 ↩
RLHA, RLHLH/Z/2, Gwynne House subject file ↩
RLHA, RLHLH/A/5/45, p.424; RLHLH/A/5/46, p.205: ELO, 26 Dec 1896: Tower Hamlets planning applications online ↩