Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1208827.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 04-Dec-2021 at 14:03:11.


Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Greater London Authority
Islington (London Borough)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
TQ 31723 82049



TQ3182SE ST JOHN'S LANE 635-1/74/805 St John's Gate 29/12/50


Originally the south gateway to the Priory of Clerkenwell, the headquarters of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem; now the headquarters of the Most Venerable Order of St John. Built 1504 by Prior Thomas Docwra; probably refaced in 1846 through the efforts of W.P.Griffith, local architect and antiquarian; further restoration work of 1873-4 by Richard Norman Shaw, 1893 (reworking of coats of arms over the arch) and 1903 by John Oldrid Scott, all through the efforts of Sir Edmund Lechmere; east wing, including the Chapter Hall, added 1903 to the designs of John Oldrid Scott. Brick with dressed ragstone facings and stone dressings, roof of clay tiles. The building consists of an arch over the street with a room over it, flanked by slightly higher tower-like wings differently arranged on the north and south sides. Four-centred arch with star-shaped square tierceron vault, and brickwork of English bond to the interior walls in which are set Tudor-arched windows and a doorway. On the north side of the gate a three-light, Tudor-arched window is set centrally above the arch with coats of arms immediately below it; on either side of the arch, and in the same wall face, are four storeys of Tudor-arched openings, the lowest of them being doorways (that to the west blocked) with foliage carving to the spandrels. East and west of the central block are projecting wings of four storeys also, with Tudor- arched openings, and at the base of the west wing is a doorway with coats of arms and animal carvings in the spandrels and square label stops; an answering doorway to the east is partly set below the level of the road, and blocked up. A moulded string course runs across the principal front and the inner faces of the wings just above the main arch. Cornice and embattled parapet. The south side follows a similar arrangement except that the wings abut immediately on the arch, each having a three-light window to either face on the ground floor and Tudor-arched single-light windows to three floors above. The east wing abuts the Chapter House, and on the west side there is a similar additional wing, shallower but as broad, and without windows. Gabled roofs to east and west with chimney stacks chamfered to produce an extended octagon. The east wing is of three storeys with a four-window range to St John's Lane. Broad Tudor-arched doorway to the north end, designed as a carriage entrance for horse-drawn ambulances, with floral and heraldic ornament to the spandrels and a stepped panel of cusped ornament above; two four-light Tudor-arched windows under relieving arches to the ground floor; first floor has four three-light Tudor-arched windows under relieving arches; second floor has four pointed-arched windows with three lights and one transom to the Chapter Hall; embattled parapet. INTERIOR: . East tower: C17 dog-leg staircase with closed string, double-vase balusters, moulded rail, square newels with ball finials and moulded risers; linenfold dado panelling probably by John Oldrid Scott; plasterwork to the underside of the stairs decorated in relief with designed based on the 'langues' of the Order of St John, probably of late C19 date. Old Chancery on the second floor with panelling by J.O.Scott and stone fireplace of c.1570 introduced from the former town house of Sir Thomas Forster: fluted tapering pilasters to either side and frieze of scrolling foliage and fauna with Sir Thomas Forster's arms. Top room with panelled partition and moulded wooden fireplace surround enclosing Dutch tiles and and a grate with cast-iron hood of ogee profile, all by John Oldrid Scott. West tower: spiral staircase of 1504 with newel of chestnut, and treads of oak or possibly elm, those from ground to first floor early C20 replacements. The lowest room has a fireplace with Dutch tiles and a grate with cast-iron hood of ogee profile, by John Oldrid Scott. The Library and attic of 1874 by Richard Norman Shaw, the Library with Tudor-arched stone fireplace with heraldic bearings and decorative inscription including the date 1874. Council Chamber, over the arch: panelling of late C19 or early C20 date, inset with commemorative plaques; late C17 or early C18 fireplace with panelled pilaster and consoles supporting frieze of geometrical interlacing with festoons to the centre; dentil cornice to the mantelshelf, which breaks back and forward; late C19 roof of shallow pitch with arched braces and central lantern; heraldic stained glass in north and south windows, 19ll, by Powells of Whitefriars. Chapter Hall: panelled to sill height; fireplace at south end with straight-sided Tudor-arched opening , blank arcade with coats of arms above and embattled parapet, between barley-sugar columns; panelled roof of oak with central lantern carried on corbelled vaulting. (Pamela Willis: St John's Gate. Headquarters of the Order of St John).

Listing NGR: TQ3172382049


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Willis, P, St John's Gate Headquarters of the Order of St John


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 17 Apr 2001
Reference: IOE01/03552/32
Rights: Copyright IoE Peter Fuller. Source Historic England Archive
Archive image, may not represent current condition of site.
To view this image please use Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge.

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].