The Denizen – A New Palace For The Dead!

As we’ve previously noted those pre-selling investors ghost homes in Taylor Wimpey’s planned development The Denizen AKA The Turd have hyped up the location with lies while saying nothing about the fact it will overlook the site of the old City of London mortuary in Golden Lane.

The City of London Mortuary and Coroner’s Court was formerly on the eastern side of Golden Lane, dating from the late nineteenth century. The buildings were damaged in the Second World War, and the court was for some years held in the Cripplegate Institute, on the western side of Golden Lane….

The current purpose built mortuary, offices and court date from the late 1960s, and form a part of the oldest part of the modern Barbican complex, in the public services building known as Milton Court (where the City Fire Station was also housed). The City mortuary ceased to be used as such in 2002, when the City contracted with the London Borough of Camden to use its public mortuary instead of maintaining its own. The old mortuary is now used as a storeroom for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. The City Coroner’s Court and offices are expected to move to new accommodation provided by the City at Walbrook Wharf in 2006 or early 2007, after which the Milton Court site will be redeveloped.

Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Affairs Written Evidence, Evidence submitted by the City of London Corporation, City Remembrancer’s Office, March 2006

The original Milton Court has now been demolished and replaced with a tower block known both as Milton Court and The Heron. The new building houses part of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at its base, and empty ghost homes for investors on the higher floors. Moving on, the Cripplegate Institute is right next to The Denizen site and is no longer used as a mortuary but houses instead the UBS bank – but the whole area remains haunted by the dead. Returning to the original Golden Lane mortuary:

The Corporation of the City of London agreed a budget of £13,000 in 1869 to provide a large mortuary on Golden Lane, with a post mortem room, disinfecting chamber and ambulance station.

The plans were later modified, after disagreement about whether the provision of what was described ‘a palace for the dead’ was an appropriate use of ratepayers’ money, but the complex was independently described in 1875 as ‘the best building of the kind in London’. A coroners’s court was added to the complex in 1877.

Golden Lane on the Kate Eddowes WordPress site.

What goes around comes around and so The Denizen at the south end of Golden Lane has been promoted as a place to park dead money; sadly these ghost homes will mostly be left empty rather than entombing the dead lives of those who invest in them. If London is to live what we need are affordable flats that are used as housing rather than as an alternative form of currency. Until the market bubble for housing bursts and property ceases to be an attractive investment to the wealthy, London will remain a city of the dead. The London housing bubble is currently deflating so new investors may well lose money, but even so property is still vastly over-valued in the city. And there’s never gonna be much life in The Denizen’s ghost homes, you’d see more action in a mortuary than what’s gonna go down in this over-priced and yet to be built apartment block! Appropriate then that in the game Black Ops II a denizen is a zombie!

Pippa Henslowe.

This translates into English as ‘mansion on shady ground’ and was hung as part of a protest against The Denizen on a social housing block opposite the site of the proposed development.


Select Committee on Constitutional Affairs Written Evidence. Evidence submitted by the City of London Corporation, City Remembrancer’s Office:

Golden Lane at Kate Eddowes:

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