In 1919, the British nation was beleaguered by four years of war, and sections of society, were living in abject poverty. There was a real fear, that people returning form the war, would find their living conditions un-satisfactory and unacceptable. Thus, in order to quell any potential public discontent, and improve working class living conditions, The Housing and Town Planning (Addison) Act of 1919 came into fruition. 





















The London County Council would go on to build thousands of homes in Barking, Dagenham and Ilford.


The first residents moved into the Becontree estate in 1921.  The first houses on the estate to be constructed were located on Chitty’s Lane. The estate was finally completed in 1935, an occasion which was marked with an official completion ceremony in Parsloes Park. However, the estate has been added to by further house building in later years.

At the time of Becontree’s completion, it was thought to be the largest housing estate in the world. 
















The site was designed as a cottage garden estate, it was important that the houses came with gardens and there were lots of parks and green spaces. The two storey houses came with a back garden plus a privet hedge separating the front garden from the street.

The builders would place a red flag outside the houses to signal completion.

















Construction of Becontree Estate, 1920.j
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“Having a proper house with your own garden, an inside toilet, and running water was magical”.




















Slum clearance and the desire for improved housing led to the 

site being designed as a cottage garden estate. Green spaces and trees were considered important. The estate became known for its two storey houses with a back garden and a privet hedge separating the front garden from the street. The properties were equipped with hot and cold running water, as well as an indoor bathroom and toilet and either one or two living rooms, and a scullery.

Many of the first residents came from Limehouse which was undergoing extensive slum clearance.


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Construction of Wood Lane, Becontree Estate, 1920

Becontree Estate,1950s

Becontree front Garden

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