With their interest focused on the historic buildings outside their window, the people at the trust paid little attention to their own premises, though they rather hoped 50-52 Brushfield Street might reveal some interesting history underneath its 20th-century brick exterior.
In fact, when they peeled away the plasterboard of their first- floor office, they discovered wood panelling dating back to about 1680. Slowly it emerged that this was a rare 17th-century building, now listed as of historic interest.
The trust is selling its little treasure for pounds 195,000. There has been interest from restaurateurs and small city practices of architects and lawyers keen to buy a freehold building 200 yards from Liverpool Street Station.
But the site could be converted into a family house, as two previous trust properties in Spitalfields have been. Enquiries to the trust on 071-247 0971 or Baring, Houston & Saunders on 071-621 1433.
THE NAME Lavant entered the nation's vocabulary last month when this previously obscure little river burst its banks and flooded the cathedral city of Chichester. It was not a good time to be selling a house in the village of East Lavant: the only means of access was by boat.
The owners of one Queen Anne house in the village have decided to turn this to their advantage. Paxtons, one of the finest period houses in the area, is being sold on the strength of its non-floodability. It is in an elevated position looking out over Goodwood and the Downs, and the agents boast that, while the rest of the village disappeared under water, Paxtons stayed dry right down to its cellars.
With four large reception rooms, a big kitchen, four bedrooms, two bathrooms, three attic rooms and a self-contained first-floor flat, it is a large family house of the kind in short supply in the South-east. Outside, it has a large, lawned garden, a tennis court and paddock.
The house is flint-faced, with a traditional clay-tile roof and is listed Grade II. It is being sold by Henry Adams (0243 533377) with a guide price of pounds 500,000.Reuse content