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Description: No. 24 F.w. Paine Funeral Directors
Date Listed: 31 January 2006
English Heritage Building ID: 1408487
OS Grid Reference: TQ1832269329
OS Grid Coordinates: 518322, 169329
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4106, -0.3001
Funeral directors' premises. Mid C19, with 1908 shop interior.
Exterior: Two storeys with attic and basement levels. Stock brick, painted on front façade, four bay, mid C20 casement windows, late C19 shop frontage beneath with modern glazing. Shop frontage retains its stall-risers, pilasters, consoles and fascia, with modern signage. Lamp bracket remains between first and second windows. Rear façade rendered, four bay, C20 casement windows, C19 shop frontage beneath with modern glazing. Front door has brass letterbox with company name. Slate roof.
Interior: Ground floor contains 1908 funeral directors' premises, lined with oak panelling throughout, with fluted pillars and pilasters and two quatrefoil vents at ceiling level. Reception area walls fitted with purpose-built drawers, cupboards and glass fronted cabinets with brass fittings for the display of items such as coffin furnishings and urns, also contains fitted umbrella stand, original radiators and small, arched, glass backed recess. Carved shelf in an oak leaf pattern beneath large arched recess. Three arched doorways from reception area to arranging rooms and back office. Door from reception area to hallway at foot of stairs has painted lettering on glass reading 'Way Out'. Ceiling has thin wooden timbers, forming square panels.
Front office retains fitted desks, shelves, cupboards and original radiator. Arranging office, two chapels of rest and record stores (containing the company's registers going back to its establishment in 1884), divided by wood and glazed panels, part frosted glazing with elongated hexagonal leading, edged with red or yellow stained glass. General storage area and back office oak panelled with shelves. Back office contains safe painted to look like a tall wooden cupboard, and large panelled glass partition. Kitchen retains ceramic sink and wall tiles, and panelling. Two WCs retain ceramic sinks, wall and floor tiles and toilets. Long flip-top counter spans the back corridor area.
First floor: Mid C19 stick baluster staircase from ground to first floor level. Hallway and back boardroom oak panelled, though not to ceiling height. Windows from hallway on to a central light well. Boardroom contains simple painted arched brick fireplace. The remainder of the rooms on the first floor have either been converted for use as staff accommodation, or are used as general storage space, and are not of special interest.
Attic: Two rooms used as general storage areas.
Basement: open space used as record storage area.
History: The boardroom was used until recently as an office by The Necropolis Company (formerly The London Necropolis and National Mausoleum Company est. 1852), whose records remain in the basement.
Summary of Importance
F.W. Paine, 24 London Road,is a nationally rare survival of a complete Edwardian funeral directors' interior, including original fixtures and fittings such as glass fronted cabinets for the display coffin furnishings and urns. The special interest of this building is confined to the bespoke undertaker's premises on the ground and some of the first floor of the building.
'The Frederick W Paine Story', in B Parsons, The London Way of Death, Stroud (Sutton Publishing) 2001, 114-127
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.