Charlton House Summerhouse

A talk by Charlie MacKeith, architect

Saturday 17th February 2018 at 2.30pm

The Grand Salon, Charlton House.


The Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust is about to embark on its first project in the process of rejuvenating Charlton House and its estate.

The Grade I listed Garden House, attributed to Inigo Jones, that once gave panoramic views back along the River Thames to The City of London has stood empty and unused since the public toilets within it were closed in the early nineties: It has been included in Historic England’s ‘Register of Heritage at Risk’ for many years. Thanks to a generous donation from the World Monuments Fund and subject to obtaining the necessary consents, work will start in the Spring to clear the building of the modern toilet fittings and masonry partitions to leave it open and available for a wide variety of temporary uses.

Tracy Stringfellow, Chief Executive of the Trust, said, “Charlton House is one of London’s unsung architectural gems and this work is the first step of a process to re-imagine the house and its grounds to provide enhanced facilities for visitors that befit this historically significant site. It will give the estate a ‘front-door’ where small exhibitions and other temporary events can be staged and the Trust looks forward to working with local stakeholders to begin this journey.”

Architect Charlie MacKeith, overseeing the initial project, says “it is a great privilege to be working with the Trust at the start of Charlton House’s revival. This fascinating little building, currently hidden and locked, has started revealing tantalising fragments of its history even before we’ve started to remove pre-war additions. The reopened pavilion will have a dramatic impact on the park and village”.

The Garden House was converted for use as public toilets between the First and Second World War. These were permanently closed in the early nineties and the building has stood empty ever since. It has been included in Heritage England’s Register of Heritage At Risk for many years.


This work is being carried out with the help of a generous grant from The World Monuments Fund and the Trust will be working with them and other bodies to deliver a comprehensive phased programme of works to improve the House and the estate to enable more visitors to enjoy this remarkable building.


photos by kind permission of Neil Clasper.