TQ3583 : Cranbrook Estate

taken 6 years ago, near to Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, Great Britain

This is 1 of 2 images, with title Cranbrook Estate in this square
Cranbrook Estate
Cranbrook Estate
This statue, in front of some of the low rise buildings and tower blocks that comprise Cranbrook Estate, is a representation of the blind beggar of Bethnal Green by Elisabeth Frink, dated 1958. The blind beggar was reputed to be Henry de Montfort, son of Simon de Montfort, who having lost his sight at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, ended up begging at a crossroads in what is now Bethnal Green. This unlikely riches to rags story captured the imagination of Tudor audiences and has been passed down the ages; it gave its name to the pub on Whitechapel Road where Ronnie Kray murdered George Cornell. Clearly the Metropolitan Borough Council were sufficiently impressed to grace their show-piece housing estate with this public artwork. In fact, the historical record suggests that Henry de Montfort was killed at Evesham and probably never came anywhere near this corner of east London - but then why spoil a good story?
Cranbrook Estate

3,120 houses were destroyed in Bethnal Green in the blitz. Following the war, those homes capable of repair were repaired but the London County Council (LCC) and Bethnal Green Metropolitan Borough Council were keen to pursue a policy of slum clearance. 17 acres of land to the north of Roman Road were cleared of existing housing and industry to make way for a new estate to be built by the Borough council, who appointed Skinner, Bailey and Lubetkin as architects. The new dwellings were specifically to be given to people whose homes had been demolished. The first units were completed in 1963 and the whole estate by 1966. There was a mixture of tower blocks, of varying heights, and lower rise buildings including bungalows for older people. Although in subsequent years the estate was to suffer some of the social problems associated with its inner city location, it is still regarded as a fine example of this type of development much loved by many of its residents.

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Grid Square
TQ3583, 389 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Friday, 9 October, 2015   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 13 October, 2015
Geographical Context
Housing, Dwellings 
Primary Subject of Photo
Housing Estate 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 3570 8303 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:31.7928N 0:2.7068W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 3570 8301
View Direction
NORTH (about 0 degrees)
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