Picture of David Robinson

David Robinson


A building in Whitchurch, Buckinghamshire that played an iconic role in Britain’s war effort, becoming known as Churchill’s Toy Shop, has undergone a fabulous transformation into exclusive apartments for Stonehouse Real Estate, featuring door hardware and expertise from award-winning architectural ironmongers Em-B Solutions.

Churchill Manor is a beautifully refurbished development of 1, 2, 3 and 4-bedroom apartments that incorporate myriad features of the original buildings. The development includes the building that housed Ministry of Defence 1 Military Intelligence Research unit  where some of the most ingenious inventions of WWII were devised. During the war it became known as ‘Churchill’s Toy Shop’ as the team there worked on creative devices such as sticky bombs, the pencil detonator, floating mines and even a bullet-firing helmet. Rumours persist that this was the inspiration behind military inventor Q and his collection of gadgets in the Ian Fleming James Bond stories.

Stonehouse Projects has completely reinvented Churchill Manor the building, creating beautiful apartments for sale which have been specced and fitted out to the highest standards, incorporating many of the building’s original features including fireplaces, panelled walls and original windows. One of the apartment’s kitchens was once Winston Churchill’s office giving the new owners the chance to sit where the great man himself sat whilst making strategic decisions to defeat the Axis forces.

After working with Em-B Solutions previously, Jonny Eden from Stonehouse who was responsible for the spec and design of the project, turned to the Leeds-based company to assist with the specification of the door furniture and to help with the scheduling of the fire doors required for the apartment entrance doors. Star of the door hardware suite is a selection of stunning Georgian-style lever on backplate sprung door handles forged from solid brass in a variety of finishes to suit different apartments. Matching the hardware throughout the apartment was vital to maintaining the high-end design feel and attention to detail that epitomises this development.

“This was not a standard apartment fit out. Everything has been meticulously specced and sourced, including the door furniture which is so vital to the luxe appearance and feel of the apartments,” says Stonehouse’s Jonny Eden. “We quickly realised that we needed to bring in the experts at Em-B for the door schedules, especially the fire doors so that we could ensure that the ironmongery not just looks and feels great but meets the highest standards of safety and security.”

For nearly 20 years, Stonehouse Projects has built a strong reputation for quality in residential construction. The company’s 360º approach covers all aspects of a project, from sourcing the property to design and budgeting, always with a focus on delivering quality on time. Unlike mass-produced developments, each Stonehouse project is unique and often includes preserved historical features.

Em-B is an award-winning, well-established architectural ironmonger and supplier of door solutions based in Leeds established in 1966. The company regularly win awards for its architectural ironmongery schemes on some of the UK’s most prestigious projects, working for household name architects and clients. Em-B’s success is built on working as a true partner within the construction process from drawing board to installed product and beyond.

Churchill’s Toy Shop
Churchill’s Toy Shop