The first of our new regular feature examining our local architectural gems
Whether you’re sauntering down East Ham’s High Street South on foot, or gliding past on four wheels, it’s unlikely you’ve failed to spot the grandeur of Greatfield’s Burgoyne building – you just might not have known its name until now.
Located next to the fire station, just before the junction with Melford Road, the frontage is all that remains of a large chemical works, partly demolished to make way for the St George’s and St Mary’s council estates after the works had closed in the 1950s.
Few will be aware of the long history of the company behind the building, Burgoyne Burbidges & Co., which first started trading in the more central EC2 area around 1714, only moving to East Ham in 1892.
Sadly the site has been derelict for years. Fans of the building might also be surprised to hear that it doesn’t have protected status. Although a wide range of planning options would be considered by the site’s present owners – Newham council – and there were rumours the building might have become an artists’ studio, restoration costs, claimed to be around £3 million, have so far deterred any would-be developers.
And yet the building continues to fascinate many residents who would love to see it brought back to life, so here’s hoping for that vital lottery win.
Anyone wanting to find out more about this building is advised to check out the website 28dayslater.co.uk, which contains many beautiful pictures of the inside of the building as well as some great source material relating to Burgoyne Burbidge and Co.’s early history.