Royal Mint Court

Royal Mint Court

Royal Mint Court development - new and immersive public realm

Royal Mint Court development - new and immersive public realm

A new mixed use campus with up to 600,000 sq ft of office, retail and leisure space

A new mixed use campus with up to 600,000 sq ft of office, retail and leisure space

Exit gate at Royal Mint Court

Exit gate at Royal Mint Court

Entrance gate to Royal Mint Court

Entrance gate to Royal Mint Court

Entrance to Royal Mint Court

Entrance to Royal Mint Court

March 2011
The historic building Royal Mint Court

The historic building Royal Mint Court

March 2011

Royal Mint Court

4 Royal Mint Court, London EC3N 4HJ
Local Authority:
Tower Hamlets
Mixed use

Description of Royal Mint Court

Royal Mint Court is a 19th-century building close to the Tower of London EC3.

Royal Mint Court comprises four office buildings and an adjacent residential block.

The total net lettable area for the commercial accommodation was approximately 470,000 sq ft, around 700,000 sq ft gross.

This historic Grade II listed building offers an exciting blend of classical & contemporary finishes providing a unique corporate profile within a secure landscaped environment.

The History of Royal Mint Court

2020 November - David Chipperfield Architects are announced as the designers of the new Chinese Embassy.
2018 May - Delancey and the LRC Group sell the site to the People’s Republic of China. The site had planning consent to remodel and refurbish the 5.2 acre Royal Mint Court into a 600,000 sq ft commercial scheme.

Royal Mint Court comprises an extensive 5.4 acres on the former Royal Mint site. Previously home to the Royal Mint, with over ten centuries of coin production on the site and the adjoining Tower of London, the first coin was struck on the site in 1810, and one of Royal Mint Court’s first jobs was to strike medals for the troops at the Battle of Waterloo.

In 1560 it was used by the Royal Navy for its first large scale victualing yard, and in 1696 Sir Isaac Newton was appointed as warden of the estate.

The Cistercian Abbey of “St Mary De Grace” (sometimes referred to as Eastminster Abbey) occupied the site, from 1348 to 1539. In 1562, the site became the Royal Navy Victualling yard until 1784, when it became a tobacco warehouse.

In 1798, a committee of the Privy Council appointed by King George III decided that a new building was needed to house the “Royal Mint” which for over 500 years had been located within the “Tower of London”. Construction commenced in 1807.

The “Johnson Smirke” building was named after the two architects responsible for its inception. The first architect chosen was James Johnson. Unfortunately, he died in 1807 and never saw his design realised. Sir Robert Smirke completed the works and went on to design the British Museum in 1823.

The Company of Moneyers led by the “Mint Master” - a post held at one point by Sir Isaac Newton - manufactured all coins of the realm. When decimalization was introduced in the early 1970's operations were transferred to new buildings in Wales. Minting ceased at Royal Mint Court in 1975.

From 1988 onwards the Johnson Smirke Building at No 4 Royal Mint Court was home to Barclays Bank Executive Board and following their re-location to Lombard Street in January 2000, the building was taken over by Landmark Plc and has been successfully run as a high quality serviced office centre ever since.

The nearest tube station is Tower Hill (District and Circle Lines).


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The nearest tube, train and bus stations.
Tower Gateway DLR Station
St Katharine Docks
100, N551

News: (6)

The Chinese government has commissioned David Chipperfield Architects to design the new London embassy on the former site of the Royal Mint Court, reports Architect's Journal.

The previous home of the Embassy of China was at 49-51 Portland Place in Marylebone. The Consular and Visa Affairs are located at 31 Portland Place.

Find out more at

18/11/2020 09:39 by Buildington

Delancey and the LRC Group completed the sale of the Royal Mint Court site to the People’s Republic of China on Friday 18th May 2018.

The sale follows an unsolicited offer from the People’s Republic of China, who intend to transform the site into their new embassy.

The freehold of the site was originally acquired on an off-market basis by clients of Delancey in June 2010 from the Crown Estate. The majority of the estate became vacant in early 2013, making it suitable for a wholesale major redevelopment/refurbishment, and in April 2015, a joint venture was finalised with the LRC Group. Planning consent was secured by the joint venture from Tower Hamlets in February 2017, for a comprehensive, architecturally ambitious refurbishment and part redevelopment, with permission to provide new retail and leisure accommodation, 1.8 acres of landscaped public realm, and 600,000 sq ft of modern high specification office space, approximately 50% more net office space than the site currently has.

Paul Goswell, Managing Director at Delancey, commented: “We are delighted with the People’s Republic of China’s decision to transform Royal Mint Court into their new London embassy. Delancey, along with its partner LRC Group, were fully committed to building out the office development, having spent the last four years designing the scheme in conjunction with Tower Hamlets and the GLA, both of whom have been constructive and supportive throughout the process. However, the scale of the buildings, coupled with the unparalleled history and large area of amenity and public realm, make it one of a kind in the City of London and undeniably perfect for the needs of a prestigious embassy. We wish the People’s Republic of China all the very best in their new London home.”

Yehuda Barashi of The LRC Group added: “With its striking historic buildings, combined with adaptable modern infrastructure, excellent accessibility to the City and the west End, and the listed wall dating back to circa 1810 which surrounds the site, we always knew that Royal Mint Court was special. Home to the Royal Mint from 1810, this landmark site has already helped to shape the economic future of the UK, and we are excited to see it evolve and move into its fitting new chapter with the People’s Republic of China”

Paul Nicholls, Senior Director, UK Development, CBRE commented: “This is a landmark transaction for London and emphasises the capital’s importance in a global setting. We have been working with the Chinese Embassy for many years to identify a suitable site for its new headquarters and are delighted to have acquired Royal Mint Court on its behalf. The embassy has been patient and considered in its search for a location that meets all its requirements and supports its vision to create a campus of such significant global strategic importance.”

The clients of Delancey and LRC Group were advised by Mishcon de Reya, Knight Frank, BH2. Savills helped facilitate the transaction on behalf of Delancey and LRC. CBRE and Addleshaw Goddard advised the People’s Republic of China.

Source: Savills

19/05/2018 17:32 by Buildington

Royal Mint Court has received planning permission for a new development designed by Sheppard Robson, reports Delancey.

The development will transform the historic 5.2 acre central London site into a campus of up to 5 buildings, providing modern flexible office accommodation, with significant public realm and retail facilities, enlivening the 600,000 sq. ft. development and respecting and celebrating its unique historic context.

A proposal to remodel and refurbish the former home of the Royal Mint received planning permission from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The plans by clients of Delancey and the LRC Group, will offer unique state-of-the-art employment, retail and leisure space in a thriving part of the City.

The central London scheme incorporates five buildings, providing 550,000 sq. ft. of contemporary office space and 50,000 sq. ft. for shops, cafes and restaurants, together with 1.8 acres of landscaped public realm. The designs have been drawn-up by architectural practice Sheppard Robson, with architects Morrow + Lorraine appointed to sympathetically reinvigorate the historic Johnson Smirke building. The public realm will be designed by the internationally acclaimed landscape architect Martha Schwartz.

The flexible floor-plates of the offices are designed to appeal to a wide spectrum of potential occupiers, delivering both large open plan spaces of up to 80,000 sq. ft. and smaller, more dynamic floor spaces for the creative and start-up industries.

The development will be capable of accommodating in excess of 6,000 employees.

The development is a rare opportunity to stitch a prominent, yet currently under-used site, just across the road from the Tower of London and next to St Katharine Dock.

The new office-led development will see the conservation and refurbishment of the historic buildings, complemented by the remodelling and refurbishment of the structures built in the 1980s. New access points and public space will bring to life the state-of-the-art infrastructure and layers of history, spanning seven centuries.

Designed to achieve an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM environmental standard, the sustainable development incorporates in excess of 1,000 bike spaces.

The landscaped public courtyards will also provide flexibility for a large number of possible uses, such as retail pop-ups and seasonal events for tenants and the local community.

Local residents’ views were closely taken into account in the planning stage, following a detailed consultation process. Two public exhibitions were held, alongside regular meetings with key stakeholders, resulting in predominantly positive feedback and many residents voicing their support for the site to be brought back into use with new amenities.

Paul Goswell, Managing Director at Delancey, commented: “We are delighted with the Council’s decision to approve our plans. The scale of Royal Mint Court, coupled with its history and large area of amenity space, make it a one of a kind site in the City of London and we have sought to use this to create an inspirational working environment.

LRC Group commented: “The 600,000 sq. ft. Royal Mint Court masterplan will create one of the most sought after destinations for employment and leisure in London. The striking design of the restored historic Johnson-Smirke, combined with the remodelled, modern architecture with adaptable modern infrastructure, will make Royal Mint Court an unrivalled destination for companies looking to make a bold move in the City.”

Due to the scale of the site, Sheppard Robson’s starting point for the masterplan was to make the development fully accessible and to reinstate the historic setting of the Johnson Smirke centrepiece, which once resolved, guided the composition of the individual buildings and surrounding public spaces.

The masterplan for the project sought to open up the site, with two core routes designed by Sheppard Robson; these run from north-to-south and east-to-west, with the latter framing views of the Tower of London and into the heart of the development.

A new route will also be created to connect St Katharine Docks with Aldgate and beyond, providing step-free access from Tower Hill Underground to the residential neighbourhoods in the east.

06/08/2016 09:18 by Buildington

I was a medical student at Charterhouse Square, adjacent to Smithfield meat market - presumably "West" Smithfield. The square and adjacent lawn of College Hall was never built upon, and it was only in the early 1950s when they came across hundreds of skeletons when digging the foundations of the new college buildings that they realised this was the site of an old plague pit. The bones were then stored in the Anatomy Building. I wonder if they are still there?

30/12/2015 16:12 by

I was born at 4 East Smithfield which was bombed in WW11 and demolished around 1970 to make way for a modern building. Our home abutted the Royal Mint wall. During the Blitz several anti-aircraft guns were stationed there and shook our home. I checked on Google Earth and was amazed at the new buildings in the old mint complex. I was also amazed when the Museum of London sent me pamphlets telling of the skeletons found under our home from the Great Plague and old Roman burial sites. Do you have any information and pictures of the new developments?

24/10/2015 18:31 by

Sheppard Robson and Morrow + Lorraine are appointed for the redevelopment of Royal Mint Court site, following an invited design competition held by the joint venture formed by clients advised by Delancey and the LRC Group.

The prominent 5.5 acre site next to the Tower of London will be remodeled into a major commercial-led, mixed-use development, with improved public realm and permeability as well as retail facilities.

Sheppard Robson has worked on the initial feasibility studies to analyse the relationships between the buildings on-site and to understand how access to the development, positioned in Tower Hamlets on the fringe of The City, can be improved.

Sheppard Robson’s plan includes the remodelling and complete refurbishment of two inter-connected office buildings in the heart of the site. These are currently known as Murray and Dexter House and were originally designed by Sheppard Robson in the 1980s. The practice’s role also includes the refurbishment and extension of The Registry Building adjacent to the main entrance of the site and the enhancement of the public realm.

Morrow + Lorraine will be working on the refurbishment of the centrepiece Grade II* listed Johnson Smirke building, which has a significant history as the home of the Royal Mint.

Paul Goswell, Managing Director of Delancey, said:

“We are confident that Sheppard Robson and Morrow + Lorraine will provide the calibre of design required to revitalise the historically important Royal Mint Court site. The site is located on the edge of the City overlooking the River Thames and The Tower of London, a World Heritage site. Our commitment is to undertake a sympathetic refurbishment and part redevelopment of the historic buildings to create a vibrant mixed use working environment, retaining the historic character but providing modern office accommodation in line with what today’s companies want. This will include opening up the site and delivery of over 1.8 acres of public realm, thereby creating a new destination for Londoners.

Yehuda Barashi, principal of LRC said:

“Royal Mint Court is a unique historical site in one of the strongest inner city locations in London. We are very excited to be involved in revitalizing the site and creating a scheme that brings out its full potential. Royal Mint Court represents one of the most significant regeneration opportunities in the heart of London in over a decade. Our vision is to work with Delancey, Sheppard Robson and Morrow + Lorraine to deliver a vibrant new commercial destination for the City of London.

David Ardill, partner at Sheppard Robson, said:

“The more we analyse the site and its layers of history, the more interesting the project becomes. We are delighted to be working on a scheme that is not just about creating high-quality buildings, but also defining how they address their urban context. It is exciting to be part of such a unique opportunity with the potential to unlock such a large area of the urban fabric of central London.”

JJ Lorraine, founding director at Morrow + Lorraine, said:

“The chance to resuscitate the Johnson Smirke Building, the centrepiece of this historic site is a perfect commission for the practice. Sheppard Robson, DV4, Delancey and the LRC Group share our ambition to bring to life a building that enjoys a unique place in London’s rich history and to create something extraordinarily good.”

16/09/2015 21:12 by Buildington

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