Site History

The site was purchased by the Trustees in 1752 for £350, and the first Almshouses were built in 1753.

At that time the land was in use as tenter grounds on the western side and market gardens on the east near to Bear Lane.

Tenter grounds were fields covered in long wooden frames, onto which newly manufactured cloth was hooked and stretched taut to dry after the process of fulling (the removal of oils, dirt and impurities). The saying ‘on tenterhooks’ comes from this process of stretching cloth taut on the frames and leaving it out to dry.

site map
John Rocque’s A plan of the cities of London and Westminster, and borough of Southwark, 1746

The charity has built Almshouses in the 18th, 19th & 20th centuries, with the existing buildings on the site being developed during the 1970s.



We are proposing a highly sustainable building and are currently exploring specific measures as the design evolves.

Sustainable energy use throughout the building including use of Air Source Heat pumps and solar panels
Excess heat from offices used to heat the Almshouses
Water conserving fixtures and fittings to avoid excess consumption
Stairs to be visible from lift lobby to encourage their use instead of lifts
Low-energy lighting
More than 450 cycle parking spaces together with shower facilities in the basement
A car-free development
New shared use of Almshouse gardens, with increased biodiversity for nesting and foraging
Spacious roof terraces over three levels providing additional outdoor amenity for residents and office occupiers



The site benefits from an excellent level of accessibility to public transport.

The development is car-free apart from two parking spaces for blue badge holders, with improved pedestrian routes around the site, to take advantage of the excellent accessibility
Over 450 cycle parking spaces, together with changing and shower facilities, will be located within the basement
The office’s main entrance is on Blackfriars Road and cycle parking, emergency access and deliveries are off Nicholson Street
A dedicated delivery area is proposed on Nicholson Street which will comprise a loading bay to service the office, Almshouses and public house
The new Prince William Henry pub will front onto Blackfriars Road along with new accesses onto the walkway that runs along the northern boundary of the site
Delivery personnel and couriers will be instructed to take all deliveries to the Nicholson Street access
There will be a separate access to the Almshouses and associated community facilities from Chancel Street and Nicholson Street
Waste stores are provided in the basement which will include both bins and compactors. Waste will be brought up to ground level on collection days and held in the delivery area from where it will be wheeled out to the refuse vehicle