Fournier Street

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Fournier Street, formerly Church Street, is a street of 18th century houses in Spitalfields, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It runs between Commercial Street and Brick Lane.

Fournier Street was the last to be built on the Wood-Michell estate in Spitalfields, London. The houses mainly date from the 1720s and together form one of the most important and best preserved collections of early Georgian domestic town-houses in Britain. Built for French Huguenot master silk-weavers and mercers, the houses of Fournier Street were fitted out with fine wooden panelling and elaborate joinery such as carved staircases, fireplaces and highly detailed door-cases by the master craftsmen of the day.

One of the finest examples is Howard House, No. 14 Fournier Street, a mansion house, built circa 1726 by 'carpenter and gentleman', William Taylor, for his own occupation but subsequently leased by silk weavers, 'Signeratt and Bourdillon'. It has three floors and a large garrett attic which once contained the loom. It is here that the silk for Queen Victoria's Coronation gown was woven. The unique hardwood staircase balustrade is carved to display fluted columns with Ionic capitals placed on each turn for one hundred steps. Indeed each step is expertly carved with a masterly design of hops, barley, and wild roses.

No. 23 Fournier Street is perhaps the best surviving example of a classic, single-fronted early Georgian town house of simple but elegant design. This house retains the original,...
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