Open House Festival

London Buddhist Centre

community/cultural, religious

Robert Pearsall, 1888

51 Roman Road , Bethnal Green, E2 0HU

If you've never been to the centre, come and find out how this derelict Victorian fire station became a hub of Buddhism in the West; and if you already come to the centre, delve deeper into its architectural secrets!

Getting there


Bethnal Green


Cambridge Heath, Bethnal Green


D6, 8, 309, 106, 388



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Drop in activities

Sun 22 Sep


Drop in: Open Day


The Building

The building is an ornate, vernacular redbrick Victorian fire station. Designed by Robert Pearsall for the Metropolitan Board of Works, completed in 1888, and in use by the London fire service until 1969

Typical Arts and Crafts Gothic in red and blue brick with stone dressings and stamped-terracotta decoration. Symmetrical front, tall with two rows of gabled dormers, the lower rank gabled with decorative flame keystones. Former vehicle entrance with segmental brick arches between heavy buttresses. The former hose tower was originally topped by a tall, hexagonal turret.

Converted in 1978 into the London Buddhist Centre
After conversion a new entrance was made, through a gateway with decorative wrought-iron overthrow inset with coloured stones depicting the crest of Nalanda, the ancient Indian monastic university. By Aryadaka.

The Vision

The London Buddhist Centre teaches meditation and Buddhism in a way that is relevant to modern life. Our aim is to hold up a radical vision for life, share tools for transformation and create the conditions for individuals to grow and contribute to a new kind of society.

We run classes and courses in person and online, as well as retreats at Vajrasana in rural Suffolk. There's something for everyone, with events for those aged 16-25, people of colour and families as well as yoga classes and arts events.

Online presence


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