Frazer House

warehouse-office block, 1970 for Robert Frazer, ground-floor pub and club use since 1997

39–47 Alie Street and Brownson's Court
Contributed by Survey of London on May 6, 2020

Behind five two-storey two-room plan eighteenth-century houses along Alie Street's north side immediately west of Leman Street was Brownson’s Court with seven small one-room plan houses, probably built in 1741 by Thomas Holden, a joiner, possibly working with his son, Strickland Holden, a surveyor–architect who lived on the other side of Alie Street. Occupants were mainly tradespeople. The lease of this compact estate was sold in 1831 and rebuilding appears to have ensued, of Nos 43–47 as three-storey shophouses, and of Brownson’s Court as a neater row of six still tiny dwellings. The larger houses flanking the court’s entrance housed cafés and refreshment rooms thereafter. The site was cleared after Second World War bomb damage and used as a car park until the building in 1970 of the office block called Frazer House.1

  1. London Metropolitan Archives, MDR1740/4/864; District Surveyors' Returns; Collage 116965: Rocque's map: Morning Advertiser, 10 June 1831, p. 4: The Times, 14 April 1847, p. 12: Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, L/THL/D/1/1/60: Goad insurance maps: Ordnance Survey maps: Census: Post Office Directories: Tower Hamlets planning applications online 

Frazer House, 32–38 Leman Street
Contributed by Survey of London on May 6, 2020

In the eighteenth century, the site of 32–38 Leman Street was occupied by four three- storey and attic shophouses. Nos 36–38 were rebuilt in 1852 for Joseph Mead, No. 38 curving around the corner to Alie Street with classical detailing. No. 36 saw use by an English butcher, a Dutch provision merchant, and a German printer; No. 38 accommodated a bakery until the First World War.1 Second World War damage precipitated demolition and use of the site as a car park. Proposals in the 1960s for the building of an eight-storey warehouse for wholesale trade fell away and in 1970 the owner, Robert Frazer, an insurance broker, erected a nine-storey warehouse-office block to designs by Thomas Saunders, architect. Tenants included shipping agents, button-hole machine manufacturers, and library suppliers. External alterations were made in 1991, and from 1997 to 2005 the ground floor was used as a pub run by the Old Monk Pub Company, succeeded since 2007 by White’s Strip Club.2

  1. Goad insurance map 1890: Census: Post Office Directories (POD): London Metropolitan Archives, District Surveyors' Returns; Collage 116965 

  2. Historic England Archives, Britain from Above, EAW021447: Ordnance Survey maps: Bomb damage survey 1945: Tower Hamlets planning applications online: POD: circle 

Yard Theatre, Temporary Rehearsal Space
Contributed by Jamie Harper on June 20, 2016

In 2014, I rehearsed a play for The Yard Theatre at Frazer House. The Yard had been granted free access to the building to develop their arts projects since they are a registered charity. We had great experiences working in this space. As a former office building, the space had lots of different rooms and offered a lot of flexibility.

Theatre rehearsal at Frazer House, 2014
Contributed by Jamie Harper