The area between Shoreditch and Old Street is usually packed with commuters so intent on getting to work on time that they don’t take much notice of their surroundings. And even if they do look up at what’s around them, there’s a good chance they wouldn’t guess what’s hidden inside the magnificent Gothic building that dominates Leonard Street.
The Grade 1 listed former St Michael’s Church is in fact home to hundreds of prestigious antiques – some of which are worth thousands of pounds and date back as far as the mid 16th Century.
Specialising in fireplaces and chimney pieces, Westland Antiques makes the most out of its majestic home, displaying its carefully found and restored pieces across a range of galleries open to potential buyers to walk through.
Anyone lucky enough to have a townhouse to renovate will be hard pressed to come across another showroom so packed full of potential showstoppers for their home. Whether you’re looking for a renaissance restoration or something Art Deco, Westland should be your first stop on any antique treasure trail.
While fireplaces and chimney pieces might be Westland’s rasion d’être, the collection itself is vast and varied. From lanterns to garden furniture, there are also more affordable items for those who want something special but don’t have the space or money for anything quite as dramatic as a marble fireplace.
Even for those who don’t have something specific in mind, a meander through the sprawling galleries will fill you with awe and inspiration when it comes to your own interior design plans.
Those who can’t make it to the spectacular building will certainly be missing out on the full Westland Antiques experience, but shouldn’t be put off browsing through its collections, which includes pieces from the Renaissance, Georgian and Regency periods to name just a few.
The company’s well-managed website lists all of its items in easy to browse galleries, including high definition zoomable images of the piece from different angles and details of its provenance and dimensions – so there’s no reason why you can’t choose your own piece of history while sitting at home.
Unlike most churches, St Michael’s doesn’t open its doors on a Sunday, but for those who do spend their Saturdays in Shoreditch, a visit to church would certainly be an interesting way to spend the afternoon. While the area may now be home to some of the newest shops and restaurants in the city, an iconic old building housing some of the world’s most prestigious antiques is right in its centre – and it would be a real sin to miss out.