New Lease of Life for Listed Woolwich Landmark
By redbrickers | Thursday, August 29, 2013, 15:47
A Grade II listed building on English Heritage's 'At Risk' Register, which holds a significant place in the military history of Woolwich, is being transformed as part of a new housing development by asra Housing Group.
The newly restored Government House in Woolwich
Known locally as Government House, the substantial former residence was once home to numerous Royal Artillery Regiment Commanders and Royal Military Academy Commandants. The property is located at the junction of Grand Depot Road and Nightingale Place and is being sympathetically restored to provide four one-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments.
Julietta Kene, Project Manager overseeing the sales at asra Housing Group, says: "We are saving this important local landmark and breathing new life into the site, which has stood empty for over a decade. We have worked closely with the Royal Borough of Greenwich on the project and we are very proud that we can write a new chapter in the house's lengthy history.
"The new development is known as Governor's Place and incorporates the renovated and refurbished Grade II listed Governor's House, which will provide eight luxury apartments for shared ownership. Integral to the project is the build of 13 new three bedroom mews-style houses for private sale, within the walled gardens of the Governor's House. All face into a beautiful communal garden area that harks back to times long gone."
Government House is a substantial three storey Georgian Villa built in yellow stock brick with gauged arches. It is predominantly an early 19th century house with its earliest origins dating back to around 1775. It has been a residence or headquarters for the military for most of its 230 year history. The central and service staircases, principle arrangement of rooms, external envelope and boundary walls have been saved and incorporated into the development's design.
The earlier house appears to have been built on land owned by Maxey William Patterson, forming part of the Burrage Estate and was leased to the Board of Ordnance until the late 18th century, when that house and a large amount of land to the east of Woolwich Common was sold to the Board.
The building's long history includes a number of major rebuilds, including a phase of development around 1808-10 instigated by the Board of Ordnance, as well as major remodelling and extension in the late Victorian period. These changes appear to have been associated with changing accommodation requirements, changing landscape fashion in and the need to modernise services.
By 1937 the building changed its use permanently from a residence to military offices, which remained the use up to the 1990s. During WWII it appears a large part of the east service wing was damaged and removed.