St Barnabas & the Penny Chute
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St Barnabas & the Penny Chute

Charity for Women with a coin pipe for accepting donations.


1 Greek Street is called The House of St. Barnabas-in-Soho, and is an independent charity providing housing, care and support for homeless women.

It was built in 1746, and in 1811 became the offices of the Westminster Commissioner for Works for Sewers. This is where chief engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette started to work on the construction of the London sewage system.

By 1862 the house was taken over by The House of Charity, which was established in 1846 to provide temporary accommodation for homeless people. It was one of the first hostels in London - and helped over 300,000 people. It provided short-term accommodation and daily church attendance was expected while they got back on their feet.

Charles Dickens used the house and gardens as a model for the London lodgings of Dr Manette and Lucy in A Tale of Two Cities.

Sightseers - there is a quaint pipe in the railing with a slot for coin donations. The associating plaque said that this Penny Chute had been accepting donations for homeless women for over a hundred years.

Location: 1 Greek Street, Soho, London