The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Pawnbroking ‘Harrods’ listed

The Twentieth Century Society is delighted that Sutton House, 156-8 Victoria Street, Westminster, London, has been listed by English Heritage (EH), at Grade II. Noted as a rare, if not unique, survival of a particular type of commercial architecture, EH comments on the special architectural interest of its striking and well-detailed Moderne facade, its intact shop front, and the wealth of its interior fittings.

Its special historical interest is recognised as equally significant. Pawnbroking was part of everyday life in the inter-war depression years and Sutton House was the headquarters of London’s oldest pawnbrokers which became a high-class international establishment in the early-C20; in the 1930s, Sutton’s had offices in Paris, Cannes and Berlin – ‘‘the Harrods of pawnbroking’, according to a recent article in the Daily Mail’.

The Society put the building forward for spot-listing in April 2008, when this was put under imminent threat of demolition as part of the wholesale redevelopment of this part of Victoria. Whatever its future, we are now confident that this rare survival of a particular part of the nation’s history is under statutory protection and will be preserved for future generations.


For more information or photographs, please contact Christina Malathouni at the Twentieth Century Society on 020 7250 3857 or by email – christina.malathouni(at)