Profumo House demolished where disgraced War Minister volunteered at Toynbee Hall

Demolition of Profumo House in Whitechapel begins around Toynbee Hall's iconic bell tower. Picture:

Demolition of Profumo House in Whitechapel begins around Toynbee Hall's iconic bell tower. Picture: Toynbee Hall Settlement - Credit: Archant

Demolition work has begun on the Profumo House building in the East End of London as part of the £16 million redevelopment of Whitechapel’s historic Toynbee Hall settlement.

Profumo House, previously known as the Gatehouse, housed the Warden’s flat and office, accommodation for Toynbee Hall’s residential volunteers, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and most recently the free legal advice centre.

It was rebuilt in 1965 as the original 1884 development was largely destroyed in the 1940 London Blitz.

Profumo House was named after former government War minister John Profumo who worked at Toynbee Hall as a volunteer for 40 years helping tackle East End poverty, following his fall from power.

The so-called Profumo-Keeler affair in 1963 uncovered links to a Soviet naval attaché, creating a national security risk, which eventually brought down the Conservative government of the day.


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But Profumo was rehabilitated at Toynbee Hall and even met the Queen in 1971 when she visited the settlement.

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