On the 1st November, 2012 the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust wrote the Geffrye Museum to object to plans to demolish the pub. In the letter the Trust offered to take on the repair of the building:
‘We, the Spitalfields Trust would gladly take this building off your hands and repair it at our own cost, and find a positive new use for it that would positively enhance the Museum and its ‘quarter’. Demolition of a building of this calibre by a major London museum is surely not a positive way forward.’
The Spitalfields Trust is one of England’s most respected building preservation trusts, having repaired and brought back into use over 60 historic properties since its foundation in 1977. The Trust began its work in Spitalfields, east of the City of London (and just a short walk south of the Geffrye) where it rescued dozens of early 18th-century houses. Since then it has extended its operations outside London, restoring a medieval manor house in Wales and a Tudor gate house on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent.
Closer to home, it also, recently, oversaw the rehabilitation of a number of modest late Georgian houses in Whitechapel – of a similar scale and character to the Marquis of Lansdowne. The effect on this overlooked and unappreciated district has been transformational and the project received the ‘Restoration of the Century’ award from Country Life Magazine in 2011.
Sadly, in a letter of 19 November, the Geffrye Museum rejected the Trust’s offer.
The Trust believes that the pub, which has an estimated market value of around £400,000, is ripe for repair and rehabilitation and could easily be integrated into the museum’s plans and put to a range of uses.
the Marquis of Lansdowne seen from the back of the Museum