ISLINGTON HOUSING NEWS SUPPLEMENT
HISTORY OF CITY HOUSING NO.12

 

1. POST WAR HOUSING

When the war ended in 1945 the first places to be built were the Emergency Factory Made Bungalows. They were called prefabs.

This emergency housing was intended to last for 5 years. 30 years later some of these prefabs are still standing.

2. ALONG, USEFUL LIFE

One reason for their long life was that the prefabs were so popular with the families who lived in them.

More time and money was to be spent on the high rise permanent blocks. But although often awarded gold medals for design, these blocks did not have ther same appeal for tenants as the modest prefabs.

3. A FIRST FOR ISLINGTON

The 1947 prefabs were acclaimed as something new. But the first emergency housing had sprouted in Islington-in 1667.

The homeless from the Great Fire had camped out in their thousands. But soon emergency 2-storey houses were rushed up for some of them in Clerkenwell.


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4. BOOMING CLERKENWELL

In the years following the Great Fire Clerkenwell became a boom town.

Before the Fire it was a small village of 461 houses. Within 50 years Clerkenwell had trebled in size to become a town of 1500 dwellings.

5. INSIDE THE WALLS

Inside the walls of the City there was a scene of complete desolation.

In an area 1.5 miles long by .5 mile wide all that was left standing were brick chimneys. Everything else had been razed to the ground.

13,200 houses had been destroyed by the holocaust that had devastated 373 acres.


6. PLANS FOR A NEW CITY

Christopher Wren and 3 others produced proposals for building a planned new city. None of these were accepted.

7. REBUILDING LAWS

Following the Rebuilding Act of 1667 a Commission was set up to supervise the new building.

The legislation was concerned with two things - the prevention of another fire and the preservation of property rights.

8. RULES & REGULATIONS

All houses were to be built of stone and brick. The heights of all dwellings were prescribed according to their locality.

Regulations in this Act, and later Acts of 1707 and 1709, set out the thickness of walls and the height of ceilings. Wooden window frames had to be recessed into the walls.

 

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