A Vision for Clapton

The Clapton Arts Trust - supporting & promoting heritage, the arts & culture in our corner of London.

We aim to provide a range of workshops & classes, projects, events and exhibitions, at the same time bring new life to some of Clapton's spacious historic buildings. In addition offering affordable workspace (live/work & studio space) for artists, designers, musicians and craftspeople - our stated Aims.


Latest in short

• Invitation to become a trustee - see About Us


• One Day Bookbinding workshops with Katy Goutefangea - see Beginners Classes


• Schoolhouse Open Weekend (with exhibitions and activities) a great success - see below


• How you can support the Old Schoolhouse Restoration Project - see below



"Old Schoolhouse" Open weekend

On the 16th and 17th June as part of the Clapton Festival we held our second "Alternative Open Day" of buildings at risk, at the Old Schoolhouse. Hundreds came to see the schoolhouse and exhibitions and of course to engage in the activities offered.

Over sixty local residents showed their support for the project by either becoming a member of the trust or a "Friend of the Old Schoolhouse" (you can too, see further below).


grounds of schoolhouse at open weekend

PHOTO ABOVE: flint-knapping in the grounds of the Old Schoolhouse.


Trustee, Hackney Society and local area conservation committee member Julia Lafferty gave hourly talks about the building and the restoration project. There was Fat Time Projects "Early Man" time-line, walk & conversations (Frank Creber, Anne-Marie Fairbrother & Patricia Ryan), Will Lord's flint-knapping, Gilbert Smyth's "Inside Out" inspired photo wall of local people (photo below), Vulpes Vulpes studio's six artists work in the  "Approach Togetherness" exhibition inside and, of course, the 1841 Old Schoolhouse itself, with early Victorian gothic style features.

inside of schoolhouse hoarding

PHOTO ABOVE: local people by Gilbert Smyth.

See close to 150 photos of the Open Weekend and exhibition as well as preparation of the Old Schoolhouse for the event at this collection of Flickr photo sets.

See a selection of photos of the Open Weekend & exhibition at this external blog post.



The "Old Schoolhouse" restoration project

...at 146a Lea Bridge Road, Clapton E5 9RB. The schoolhouse is listed as "Testi & Sons, Millwrights" on English Hetritage's "at risk" register, list entry no. 1264991. PHOTO RIGHT: the Old Schoolhouse as it was several years ago.

We have applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant to both restore the grade II listed Old Schoolhouse and bring it back into use for the benefit of the community and will know in September if we've been successful or not.

In the meantime we need to:

      • • meet our match-funding goal of £300,000

      • • attract even more members and "Friends of the Old Schoolhouse"


      • Support the restoration

      • You can help by joining the more than sixty people who became members of the trust over the two days of the Open Weekend.

      • Members get regular newsletters and notice of micro-volunteering opportunites.


        • Join by post:

Send a cheque or postal order made out to "Clapton Arts Trust" along with a completed CAT Membership Registration Form to: The Secretary, Clapton Arts Trust, c/o 22 Beecholme, Prout Road, Clapton E5 9NS.

Join online:

Use the donate button below then download and send us your completed CAT Membership Registration Form (link below) to info@claptonartstrust.org

Download the Membership Registration Form




...or just make a donation

Alternatively, just make a donation to the Clapton Arts Trust and support our Old Schoolhouse Restoration Project. Paypal, credit & debit cards accepted - or send a cheque or postal order to: The Clapton Arts Trust, c/o Secretary, 22 Beecholme, Prout Road, Clapton, london E5 9NS.




Using Gift Aid means that for every pound you give, the Clapton Arts Trust will receive a further 25p from the Inland Revenue, helping your donation go further.
This means that £10 can be turned into £12.50 just so long as donations are made through Gift Aid.  This makes a massive difference to us and doesn't cost you a thing.

Simply download the Gift Aid form below to print and send in to us as an email attachment or post.

Download our Gift Aid declaration form



Presentation: the Old Schoolhouse restoration


We envisage that when restored it will become "the Old Schoolhouse River Heritage & Arts Centre".

We hope to develop Victorian themed classes & workshops for schools and colleges with an emphasis on local & river heritage, in addition to exhibitons & events. We also plan a series of evening & weekend art and craft workshops for adults, from beginners to professionals, all taken by working professional artists.

We are also developing a series of guided heritage walks for both schools and the community.

Our first Alternative Open Day


We held our first, very successful "Alternative Open Day late last year - Historic buildings at risk" of Pond House (1803), situated behind Clapton Pond, near Mildenhall Road (external link: Alternative Open Day photos), with guided tours of house.

Speaker Julia Laffety (founding member of CAT, member of the Clapton Conservation Areas Advisory Committee and member of the Hackney Society) gave a well received talk about its history and place in both society and the landscape.












"Vision for Clapton" presentation

In which we hope to encourage visual and street furniture improvements for the Clapton Pond and Lea Bridge Road roundabout areas in particular and have a long term vision to restore the Lea Bridge roundabout to a crossroads.

We hope this will develop into a Neighbourhood Plan for the wider area, centred on Clapton Pond as the "town centre".




let us know what you thinK

You can complete the survey mentioned at the end of the presentation by going to our "A Vision for Clapton" page or go the external Clapton Vision survey page.

If you have any further ideas or comments, please do email us at: info@claptonartstrust.org




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The "Clapton Cultural Quarter" - map


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The Clapton Art Trust - Background and "raison d'etre"

From the secretary: The trust was formed late 2010 to save the Old Tram Depot for use as a cultural centre with bespoke manufacturers, artists & craftsmen live/work space and to save other historic buildings in the area for similar use, most notably the Clapton Cinematograph Theatre, the White Hart Pub and the Old Schoolhouse on Lea Bridge Road. (external link: CAT launched)


• The Old Tram Depot

...did finally get planning application approval for a large housing redevelopment in July 2011, however its future is far from certain. The section 106 contribution has not been finalized, not least because the developers will almost certainly not  proceed for at least two years. We believe the wait has been brought about primarily by the lack of housing association funding (to buy the affordable homes).
Over the next year or so changes to the planning system may have an impact too, so right now its "wait and see".

Our hope is that a greatly reduced redevelopment, saving most if not all the current structure, along the lines of the Old Truman Brewery development in Spitalfields will be the final result.


• The Clapton Cinematograph Theatre and the White Hart

...are now in new hands: the pub will be restored and the cinema building refurbished in one form or another. We have talked to Antic, who own the pub and they have stated they do wish to have community involvement with art and and/or media educational clubs, evenings as so on.



Regenerating local heritage buildings & providing access to all
Providing education in the arts & music
Supporting artists & providing studio space
Promoting awareness & appreciation of local heritage




Background image curtesy of Tim Bennett - www.suddendrop.co.uk