Inventory Site Record

St James Close and Clothworkers Almshouses (Islington)

Brief Description

Behind St James Close is the private communal garden for residents of Victorian almshouses built by the Clothworkers Company in 1855. The eight 2-storey yellow brick houses were originally built in two blocks at right angles to each other, but they are now linked by new buildings and a screen wall between Nos. 4 and 5. The entrances are now at the rear of the buildings with consequent alterations to the main facades. They face onto a pleasant communal garden, which has recently been re-landscaped.

Practical Information
Site location:
1-8 Bishop Street
Type of site:
Private Garden
Open to public?
Opening times:
Has opened for OGSW. Otherwise private, for residents only
Has taken part in Open Garden Squares Weekend 11 times, most recently in 2019.
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Tube: Angel (Northern). Bus: 38, 56, 73, 271, 341, 476

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2009
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Full Site Description

The land used to be owned by the Canons of St Paul's Cathedral and was acquired by the Clothworkers' Company in the reign of Henry VIII. The current St James Church was built of Kentish ragstone in 1873/5 and designed by the architect to the Clothworkers' Company, F W Porter. The Clothworkers' Company's C16th Lambe's Chapel in the City had been demolished in 1872 and over the door in the church is a half-figure of William Lambe dating from 1612, together with Flemish roundels that were formerly in the chapel. Lambe was Master of the Clothworkers in 1569. The Clothworkers attended services at St James Church until the 1980s. The parish joined with the parishes of two other churches, that of St Philip in Linton Street in 1953 and of St Peter in Devonia Road in 1981.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998); history on St James Church website

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ322838 (532170,183770)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
Church of England
Site management:
Listed structures:
LBII: Clothworkers Almshouses
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:

St James Close and Clothworkers Almshouses

St James Close - Photo: David Lowe
Date taken: 14/06/14 16:24

Click a photo to enlarge.

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