Renovation of 43-47 Mecklenburgh Square

Goodenough College is planning to renovate five Grade 2 historic houses (43-47 Mecklenburgh Square) next to William Goodenough House. The work will improve the fabric of the buildings, increase their life and respect their important place in Bloomsbury’s literary and academic heritage.

The starting date for the project is dependent on planning applications and fundraising but work could start in early 2025 with a finish date in summer 2026.

Built between 1824-5, the houses are located on the north side of Mecklenburgh Square. All of the houses are integrated with William Goodenough House, with the back of the houses and the gardens overlooking current WGH accommodation.

Plan of Mecklenburgh Square north

The College regained stewardship of the houses in November 2019 following the end of a 35-year lease with Clarion Housing. Since 2019 the properties have been cared for by a property guardian company, to provide live-in security and prevent further deterioration.

The College plans to:

  • Adjust the internal arrangement to offer improved accommodation – in doing this careful space planning will be exercised within the constraints of the existing listed buildings.
  • Retain or repair existing heritage features, such as fireplaces, decorative cornicing, plaster mouldings and timber shutters to ensure the character of the listed buildings is preserved. Works will be approved through a listed buildings application.
  • Increase the buildings’ energy efficiency by making thermal upgrades to each house – new glazing will be sensitively integrated into window frames and additional internal insulation added to external walls to improve energy efficiency.
  • Provide all energy and hot water to the houses by a new Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) system, removing gas, reducing the carbon footprint of the houses and providing future resilience.
  • Upgrade internal walls and floors to provide enhanced fire protection and acoustic comfort and bring the houses up to current regulatory standards.

The College is consulting with local organisations and residents. To see more details of the project please download  sample layout and floorplans. (NB: The images provide an artist’s impression of the ground floor and garden courtyard of William Goodenough House in the foreground, showing how the houses relate to the College building.)

If you would like to comment on the project please email

46-47 Mecklenburgh Square