Here is “The Triangular Building” in West Smithfield. I have sketched it from the South. This is its South West corner.
The question is: what is it? It has three vertical columns above, which look like chimney stacks, but might be vents of some sort. One is shown on the left of the drawing and another is just visible above the roof.
I found a marvellous document online, published by English Heritage: Western Markets, London Central Markets Smithfield, A Report by the Historical Research and Conservation Support London Team, June 20031
This suggests that the Triangular Block might have housed the base of a tall chimney stack. The chimney was for the boiler room of the Cold Store, which is adjacent. It was built around 1884. Certainly there were toilets in there, either originally or later, as there is a neat sign saying “GENTLEMEN” on the other side. The door is blocked up.
It is clear that whoever funded, designed and used this building cared about it, and was proud of it. The windows have key-stones, and there are stripes of decoration in the brickwork, now very much eroded. The chimney stacks also are decorated with bands. The building is on a sloping road, and must have been quite hard to build.
This whole area is due to be redeveloped2. In the distance on the left you can see “Denton Bros”, which I drew in a previous post. The crane in the background is from the Crossrail site at Farringdon. The buildings in the background are the Central Markets, still very much operational.
For more on Smithfield Market (and much more besides) , I recommend the wonderful “A London Inheritance” website. The article about West Smithfield is on this link: https://alondoninheritance.com/london-buildings/buildings-smithfield-market/
- NBR File no: 92219, NGR: TQ 3161 8163, Reports and Papers B/013/2003, Report by Joanna Smith and Jonathan Clarke, Photographs by Derek Kendall and Nigel Corrie. The document in full is on the following link as a pdf (53 pages).
- Here is a leaflet About the redevelopment. The leaflet is not dated, but must be fairly recent as it was lodged in people’s letterboxes as I walked through Smithfield today. I picked this one up off the pavement.