St. Ann’s Court, Chertsey, Surrey
In October 2016, I was invited along with Alison Oram to be interviewed by the BBC at the 1937 Grade II* listed modernist mansion St. Ann’s Court.
St. Anne’s Court was built in 1937 by architect Raymond McGrath for stockbroker Gerald Schlesinger and his partner architect Christopher Tunnard. The LGBTQ heritage significance of St. Ann’s Court came to light during research for the Pride of Place project with Historic England. The circular master bedroom was designed in such a way that the double bed (in fact two beds pushed together) could be separated and then moved into side alcoves separated by curtains and screens. The central circular room then became a breakfast or dressing room. This ingenious solution allowed Schlesinger and Tunnard to maintain their privacy at a time when homosexual offences were punishable with imprisonment. It also shows how LGBTQ histories can be built into the very fabric of buildings.
As a result of our research, St. Anne’s Court was relisted to include its LGBTQ heritage significance.
The House that Had a Forbidden Love
Date: 3 October 2016
Produced by Alexi Peristianis
On the day it was released, the video