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Bacon Smokehouse

A Grade II Listed Building in Bunhill, London

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Latitude: 51.5211 / 51°31'16"N

Longitude: -0.101 / 0°6'3"W

OS Eastings: 531848

OS Northings: 181954

OS Grid: TQ318819

Mapcode National: GBR P8.GW

Mapcode Global: VHGR0.61G7

Entry Name: Bacon Smokehouse

Listing Date: 3 July 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1419034

Location: Islington, London, EC1M

County: London

District: Islington

Electoral Ward/Division: Bunhill

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Islington

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Sepulchre Holborn

Church of England Diocese: London

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Bacon smokehouse, 1877 by Charles Bell for ER Parker, provisions merchant. Converted to offices in the late C20.


Bacon smokehouse, 1877 by Charles Bell for ER Parker, provisions merchant. Converted to offices in the late C20.

MATERIALS: yellow stock brick, slate roof, brick chimney stack.

PLAN: the building occupies the north-eastern side of the courtyard behind 44-46 St. John Street; it is rectangular in plan.

ELEVATION: the smokehouse is a two-storey builidng enclosed on three sides by adjacent buildings. To the ground floor there are four sets of double doors. An iron walkway provides access to the first floor where there are porthole windows with sliding circular iron smoke-dampening shutters, and floor-level windows with iron shutters. The pitched slate roof has louvred ventilation cupolas and there is a single brick stack at the rear.

INTERIORS: interior not inspected.


Nos. 38-46 St. John Street were erected in two phases between 1877 and 1890, replacing buildings damaged by a fire in 1868. The bacon smokehouse and warehouses were built in the first phase, by Charles Bell for the provisions merchant ER Parker. The site is located nearby to the Metropolitan meat and poultry market at Smithfield, an important point for trade.

Charles Bell (1846-99) was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, and initially trained with his brother, a builder and contractor, after which he was articled to John Giles of Craven Street, London. Bell soon started his own practice and designed a wide variety of building types, and worked across England’s South and Midlands. He became best known for his board schools and Wesleyan chapels and a number of his works are listed.

The bacon smokehouse was converted to use as offices and commercial space in the late C20.

Reasons for Listing

The bacon smokehouse at 44-46 St. John Street, 1877 by Charles Bell is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

* Rarity: there are no other known examples of the building type on this small scale, which was superseded by processing in much larger stoves;
* Architectural interest: this small, functional building, that was part of a larger provisions merchant’s complex by Charles Bell, it is of a pleasant composition with good quality materials and detailing, including the smoke vents that are embellished as louvred cupolas;
* Evidential value: the small scale bacon smoking industry has been superseded by larger scale operations; the building fabric holds important information about the burgeoning industry, once important in the locality;
*Survival: the single visible façade of the exterior is largely unaltered and the remaining fabric illustrates the industrial function.

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