October 1972. This building was part of Phase IV of the City’s building programme for the Barbican site. The contractor was Myton Limited, a subsidiary of Taylor Woodrow.
John Trundle Court is a terrace block which runs north to south on the north podium of the estate along Aldersgate Street. It is on the very western edge of the Barbican estate and overlooks Barbican Tube station on one side. It forms a ‘U’ with Bunyan Court, an east to west terrace which it joins near the former YMCA building and Bryer Court, another north to south terrace block opposite. John Trundle Court and Bunyan Court are connected, but Bryer Court stands slightly apart on its own. Part of Virgin Health Club is underneath the block.
Flats either face west (and overlook Aldersgate Street) or east (and overlook the gardens between John Trundle Court, Bunyan Court and Bryer Court ).
In many ways, John Trundle Court is a mirror image of Breton House. They share virtually the same basic structure, from raised entrances to the buildings up flights of stairs, to virtually identical flat types once you get inside. The stairs lead to lobbies which serve a cluster of flats.
There are 6 storeys of flats and 2 of penthouse flats, containing 117 one-room flats and 16 two-room penthouse maisonettes. The flats are numbered 1 – 133. The flats are almost exclusively studio flats of Type F1A or Type F2A, with equally compact two-room penthouses of Type P2A.
You can get to John Trundle Court from Fann Street, past the launderette and up the ramp to the north podium. You can also reach it from Beech Garden. This becomes John Trundle Highwalk near the bridge over Aldersgate Street to the Barbican Tube Station. The lift at staircase 55 at the southern end of the block also has an 02 level which leads out via a long subterranean corridor to Aldersgate Street, near the bridge. The lift at staircase 58 at the northern end comes out further north beyond Carthusian Street. These are convenient means to get to the upper podium level from Tesco’s or the tube station without climbing stairs.
Lifts and staircases
Lift lobbies to the flats are on a mezzanine floor, up a flight of steps from the podium. The lifts open on each floor onto lobbies which each serve a cluster of five flats. There are four lift shafts: Nos. 55 to 58. All the lifts and stairs go to 03 level which is the entrance to the car park. The lifts for staircases 55 and 59 stop at an 02 level with fireman’s access to Aldersgate Street.
You have to venture through an open lift well to reach Bunyan Car Park. I say venture because, there are a lot of pigeons sitting on the handrail several storeys up and they are not facing your way.
I am not aware of any stores.
John Trundle, Bunyan and Bryer Courts enclose Beech Garden, a pleasant square combined with a garden and an attractive miniature lake on the Bryer Court side. It has interestingly shaped gardens set in the brick surface, which is itself at different levels. The bricks have been laid in patterns which lead you through bushes to stepped areas where there are seats. Beech Garden becomes John Trundle Highwalk near the bridge over Aldersgate Street to the Barbican Tube Station.
List description of this building issued by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (as it then was) in 2001.
“Block XIV: 1-133 John Trundle House [sic]: Twelve bays, with four entrances, stairs and lifts, and central corridor serving single -aspect flats. Seven storeys plus mezzanine entrance, set above podium level of North Barbican above Beech Street (Beech Gardens). The block is supported on paired columns which support the cross walls, with cross beams expressed externally and with white -painted soffits. Rooftop flats have higher, full-glazed round-arched form, eight to the block, set in pairs save at the ends, set behind balconies, forming a distinctive white roof-line. The lower floors have three windows per bay, each with central varnished wood door opening on to balcony, all with planting boxes behind metal and glass balustrades. The steps up the mezzanine entrances are tiled, and each has a glass door. Deep curved balustrade to podium on both sides, under which is White Lyon Court, giving on to a ramp which leads from Goswell Road to Beech Gardens. This elevation is entirely glazed, with steel windows and doors.”