House, 412, in London’s V&A


AT THIS TIME OF YEAR, my thoughts turn to London. I used to go there often, usually in November when air fares dropped. On my last visit, I went to the City of London Museum and saw a huge exhibition on the Great Fire of 1666. What I remember most was the exquisite garnet and gold jewelry that had been buried in people’s backyards as the fire raged, and was later excavated. The jewelry was so fine that it struck me anew how advanced, in some ways, civilization was in those medieval days, lack of indoor plumbing notwithstanding.

I became fascinated with the remnants of London’s pre-fire architecture, much of it located in the area around Bishopsgate and made of stone.

On December 2, the New Medieval & Renaissance Galleries will open at the Victoria and Albert Museum — ten rooms of material chronologically arranged from 300 to 1600 AD. Among the highlights: the façade of Sir Paul Pindar’s timber-framed house, top, a rare survivor of the Great Fire.


Sir Paul Pindar’s house in the 1860s

Here’s some backstory:

In 1597, Sir Paul Pindar, a tobacco merchant and financier with connections to James I and Charles I, bought several properties just outside London’s city walls. In this area, he built a new three-and-a-half-story house. To the left, the older existing properties were adapted to form part of an impressive new frontage. To the right, a gateway led down the side of the house. Between these, Pindar built a new bay, above, and it is this that has survived…

In 1890, the property was demolished to make room for the expansion of Liverpool Street Station, but fortunately, the façade was recognized as an architectural rarity and presented to the V&A.

To read more about the house and the New Medieval and Renaissance Galleries, go here.

About cara

I blog (for fun) here at casaCARA, and write (for money) about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites.
This entry was posted in ENGLAND, HISTORIC PRESERVATION, LONDON and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to House, 412, in London’s V&A

  1. Astor C. says:

    “Sir W. Batten, not knowing how to remove his wind (wine), did dig a pit in the garden and laid it there; and I took the opportunity of laying all the papers of my office that I could not otherwise dispose of. And in the evening Sir W. Penn and I did dig another and put our wine in it and I my parmazan cheese…” September 4, 1666. From Samuel Pepys incomparable first-hand description of the the great fyre (the spellings are all his).

  2. Mary-Liz says:

    Sounds so interesting!! Amazing that it survived. Are you going to go? I also like going to London this time of year……

  3. cara says:

    Not this year. I’m thinking of warmer climes (Andalusia, south of France, Sicily…)

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