Bethnal Green Estate, London

Blocks A to G, W E Wallis -- builders, William Cubitt and Co
Block H - Victor Wilkin
Date Built
Blocks A to G - 1910
Block H - 1916
Cambridge Crescent
The Bethnal Green Estate occupies a triangular site just off the Hackney Road.  Built by the Peabody Trust in 1910, it comprises eight tenement buildings in three blocks around a central courtyard. 

Initially, there were seven blocks but in 1915 the eighth block, designated Block H, was added thereby closing off the triangle.  It is quite apparent that block H (closest to the camera in the image below) is different in style from the others.

When they were first built, each block contained four or five tenements to a floor for a total of 140 flats in the original 7 blocks.  Block H added another 20 units.  Facilities like lavatories, washing, and laundry were shared.  In the courtyard there was a coal store capable of accommodating 25 tons and 14 pram sheds.  According to the Peabody website, "The average size of the living rooms was 156 square feet, and of the bedrooms 117 square feet."

In 1952 an electrical sub-station was added to the site bringing an end to gas lighting. 

Between the 1950s and the 1970s, blocks A to G were refurbished with the addition of lifts, central heating, double glazing and showers.  The Peabody website adds that, "More recently block H was modernised to provide self-contained accommodation, although the basement of this block still contains the old workshops and a drying room for tenants’ laundry."  As you can see in the image below, a playground has been added to the inner courtyard.

On the Cambridge Crescent side of the complex, a lower building sits in the space between Block H and Block F.  According to the plan, this was originally the estate office.

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