My Friends in the East End: Princelet Street Life

13 Princelet Street, Spitalfields

I’m a huge fan of the Landmark Trust. It is the charitable organization that rescues interesting buildings, brings them back to life and then rents them out as holiday homes so that everyone may experience, for a short time, living in these remarkable buildings. I applaud the work and the vision involved and as Capability Brown before them seemingly waved his magic wand on the eighteenth century landscape The Landmark Trust seemingly waves its magic wand and transforms total ruins into beautiful buildings using the best of workmanship and the highest quality fittings and good solid furnishings.

Just some of the buffet lunch in the front dining room.

As I said, I’m a fan, but for some people visiting and staying at Trust properties is an obsession! In order to cultivate and encourage this obsession The Trust started a group called The Friends of the Landmark Trust. Run by volunteer co-ordinators, the Friends organise stays (which they call Houseparties) at larger properties so that singles and couples or small groups of friends may experience staying in Landmarks which they would not normally be able to afford or feel that they would not properly appreciate to their fullest extent. In addition, during the Houseparty weeks all Friends are invited to a Reception which usually includes a buffet lunch, a talk and a chance to look around the property and meet fellow like-minded members. All profits from these events go to support further renovation work.

Friends enjoy the garden at 13 Princelet Street

I’m also a fan of the blog Spitalfields Life. The Landmark Trust’s property at 13, Princelet Street featured in the blog last year. I’ve stayed there twice already and have another booking for the early new year. However, I couldn’t resist the Friends’ invitation to attend a Reception at Princelet Street on Wednesday. It was a chance to meet up with friends (small f) and Friends (capital F). Houseparties and Receptions ‘up north’ are rare but London is accessible to me. My elder son ‘The Banker’ lives down there; and it’s always good to meet up.

One of the volunteer co-ordinators gave a brief talk about the history of the house and the Spitalfields area in general. In the case of Princelet Street there didn’t have to be too much magic wand waving by the Trust. Mr Peter Lerwill a supporter of the Landmark Trust very generously bequeathed the house to the Trust for the enjoyment of Landmarkers. Only a lick of paint was required to make it ready for letting.


12 comments on “My Friends in the East End: Princelet Street Life

  1. nilly says:

    Thank you for giving us more ideas for interesting & historic holiday accommodation. I wonder if the Landmark Trust can “top” our thrilling stay in a medieval gate-house at Dover Castle earlier this year? It might be fun to find out.

  2. Thank you for your comment and interest, Nilly. If I am right in thinking that the Dover Castle Gate-house is an English Heritage property then I believe that there are some differences but I have never yet stayed in an EH place. I suggest that the only way to find out is to TRY ONE!

    • nilly says:

      Yes, Peverell’s Tower is run (very well) by English Heritage. We would love to try The Grange at Ramsgate, but, as it sleeps 8, we’d have to hold a family gathering there. I hate to wish time away, but as soon as real Winter sets in I will settle down to booking some historic visits for next year.

  3. Nilly, I think we are Kindred Spirits! I can think of few better ways of passing a winters evening!

  4. Perfect Barbara! I walked across to Swiss Cottage earlier this year and it happened to be the weekend that a caretaker of another LMT property was staying there to assess the standards. She invited me in and showed me round, just such lovely places and I was really impressed with the shelf full of local history about the venue itself.

  5. I remember enjoying that post, Lynne. Fantastic place and gorgeous views – and I’ve never yet visited.

  6. Marie-Noëlle says:

    Keep landmark trusting, Barbara !!! … And writing nice posts !!!

  7. I have several bookings in the bag. Thank you for all your encouragement, Marie-Noelle!

  8. […] I’ve just returned from a couple of nights in London staying at the lovely Landmark Trust property at 13, Princelet Street. The house was built in 1719 in the Spitalfields area of east London for Huguenot silk weavers. It’s a lovely, warm, characterful house with all the comforts you could wish for on a cold winter’s evening in the east end of London when the wind and rain are blowing outside – as they were on our first evening. Fetch a takeaway curry from one of about 50 curry houses on Brick Lane, then over a cup of tea inspect the Landmark Library and plan the next day’s entertainment, review the day that’s just finished or take up the Landmark Handbook and plan another trip. I visited the house for a Friends’ Reception last October and wrote about it here. […]

  9. visitinghousesandgardens says:

    this looks like something I could join. what’s the average age?

  10. Over 60 definitely. The ones with the time and the money!

  11. […] The silk is similar to (it could even be) that designed in Spitalfields by Anna Maria Garthwaite of Princelet Street. And a pair of red Edwardian shoes similar in style to those worn by wealthy women in the 17th […]

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