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Fears over future of for-sale Arts and Crafts masterpiece

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The future of the Arts and Crafts masterpiece Mary Ward House, in London's Bloomsbury, remains uncertain following its being placed on the market.

The building, heralded by Pevsner as 'one of the most charming pieces of architecture designed at the time in England', will be at the whim of any new owner - subject, of course, to listed building consent.

Mary Ward House was designed in the late 1890s by Smith and Brewer, and was financed by philanthropist Passmore Edwards.

It was built to bring different social classes together. The centre was created as a place for the training, care and entertainment for the less fortunate in society.

More recently, the building has been used for exhibitions, student accommodation, and various filming projects such as Robert De Niro's The Good Shepherd.

It includes a mixture of offices and open-plan spaces, suitable for concerts and plays, as well as a residential area, which houses 40 individual bedsits.

Estate agent Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward has stated it will listen to offers of around £8.5 million for the building; however, it is also open to offers for commercial lease.

by Richard Vaughan

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