See inside Redbridge’s unique buildings this weekend during Open House London

From a small 12th century hospital chapel which treated leprosy sufferers, to a 1930s ship-shaped school, the borough’s most unique and interesting buildings will open their doors this weekend, giving visitors a chance to snoop around.

Experience the changing face of Redbridge through historical buildings as Open House London takes place all around the capital.

Now in its 20th year, Open House offers a unique opportunity to explore the capital’s amazing architecture and it has many new offerings for 2012.

These include the late-19th century Barnardo’s Garden Village, in Barkingside, which became the home for a large number of orphaned girls, and the recently refurbished Ilford Central Library, Clements Road, Ilford.

Aldborough Hatch also has two new additions this year – St Peter’s Church and The Chapel, which is now a private home.

This year’s theme, The Changing Face of London, explores how the built environment is evolving from the design of homes, the impact of climate change and the role of design in making London a more liveable and enjoyable city.

More than 750 buildings will be open throughout London, alongside a free programme of neighbourhood walks, engineering and landscape tours, night time openings, and experts’ talks.

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Included is the impressive Bancroft’s School, High Road, Woodford Green, which was built in 1889, giving excellent views over east London towards The City.

Formerly a Drapers’ Company charitable school in Mile End Road, the school marks its 275th anniversary this year.

The school was founded by a wealthy businessman, Francis Bancroft, who left his fortune for the provision of a school for “one hundred poor boys” and almshouses for elderly gentlemen.

The centrepiece of the school is a beautiful quadrangle with red brick cloisters, typical of the Victorian gothic revival style favoured by its architect, Sir Arthur Blomfield.

His style can also be seen in designs for the Royal College of Music (1882) and Magdalen College School, Oxford (1893).

The peaceful and simple Chapel, which sits in one corner of the quad, is also worth a visit.

The school is open on Saturday 10am-2.30pm.

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