Victorian school in Clerkenwell with prime resi potential comes to market

The Ragged School site near Farringdon is on the market for something around the £20m mark

A former Victorian school in Clerkenwell – founded in 1878 to educate the area’s destitute children – is being sold with some significant prime resi development potential.

The Ragged School – located on an almost-island site at 18 Vine Hill, EC1 – currently comprises 18,807 square feet of office space arranged over lower ground, ground and seven upper floors, with the 0.39 acre site also including a substantial car park that fronts onto Eyre Street Hill. The freehold is up for grabs with an unconfirmed asking price of around £20m.


It’s in a tremendous location, a few minutes’ walk from the railway interchange at Farringdon (including the new Elizabeth Line), and as such the selling agent Gerald Eve is expecting it “to generate considerable interest”, with “the potential for either commercial or residential development”.

So-called “ragged schools” were charitable institutions established in the Victorian era to educate poor children. Charles Dickens, who lived five minutes away on nearby John Street, took a great interest in ragged schools, placing them at the centre of Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and the like. The Ragged School in Clerkenwell was founded in 1878 and had Lord Shaftesbury as its President.

The school is currently mostly vacant, with full vacant possession achievable within 11 months of serving notice.

Fergus Jagger, partner at Gerald Eve: “The location of the school and the under-utilised nature of much of the site make this an excellent redevelopment opportunity. Clerkenwell’s resurgence as both a business and residential area will only be strengthened by the arrival of the Elizabeth Line – turning the area into one of London’s best-connected quarters – and as such the Ragged School will generate a great deal of interest among owner-occupiers, investors and developers.”

Full details here (PDF)