This Grade I listed building, commissioned as his residence by Dean Sandcroft during the time of the reconstruction of St. Paul’s Cathedral, was built between 1672-3 to the design of Edward Woodroofe, who was an assistant surveyor to Sir Christopher Wren.
Through the centuries, the house has been refurbished on many occasions but when the previous Bishop retired in 2017, the Church Commissioners for England, saw the opportunity to upgrade the house to twentieth-first century standards. Since 1996, the house had not been altered or subject to anything other than minor refurbishment, which meant that several areas in the building required attention.
A team of consultants have been working alongside Caroe Architecture to produce a scheme that fulfils the Church Commissioner’s brief and responds in a sympathetic manner to the challenges posed by this heritage asset. The main elements of work have included the internal re-ordering of basement and second floors, general internal and external redecorations, an improved accessible arrangement of the external entrance including repairs to the front boundary wall to preserve the wall and the majestic 180 year-old London Plane trees planted within the front courtyard.
Thorough historical research and site investigations helped the team to establish the significance of all parts of the property and as an ensemble, which helps us to inform our design proposals. Working in close liaison with the City of London and Historic England, we managed to secure planning approval and listed building consent for the works, which had been carried out in two phases. During excavations in the front courtyard, working with archaeologists, remains of a brick-paved cellar floor were discovered. This dated from one of the pre-1666 houses that existed on the site, and was overlaid by more than a metre thickness of Great Fire of London debris.