The Tachbrook Estate was built between 1935-47 by Westminster Housing Trust Ltd, a private charitable trust set up for the purpose. Pulford Street was demolished to build the estate, which was to provide 180 flats. The blocks are set in landscaping, planted with numerous trees and with a communal garden and playground. The pre-war part of the estate is to the north along Aylesford Street. The later part includes an 8-storey block with 6-storey wings, Malcolmson House, which was opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1949. Princess Margaret visited the estate in 1953. The estate was taken over by the Peabody Trust in the 1972.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/07/2010
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Westminster Housing Trust Ltd was set up as a Public Utility Society in order to build what became the Tachbrook estate of 180 flats. Houses on Pulford Street were demolished and through the auspices of the Pulford Street Site Committee the majority of this land was saved from use for commercial purposes. The LCC sold the land below its market value in view of the proposed use for housing and the purchase price of £32,000 was largely raised by Westminster residents, with grants from the Ministry of Health and Westminster City Council. The estate consists of 14 blocks, lying to the east of Aylesford Street. The blocks were named for significant historical figures with Founders House commemorating the work of the Pulford Street Site Committee, Lady Walston and the Rt Hon Sir John Davidson, Chairman and Treasurer respectively of the Committee. Abbots House was named for the Abbots of the Monastery of Westminster, previous landowners of the area; Beaufort House after the mother of Henry VII, Lady Margaret Beaufort and Cowper House after the C18th poet and hymn-writer William Cowper, who studied at Westminster School. The WHT was taken over by the Peabody Trust in 1972.
The Peabody Donation Fund was founded in 1862 by George Peabody (1795-1869), an American banker, diplomat and philanthropist who had moved to London in 1837. He was part of a circle of influential thinkers and social reformers that included Lord Shaftesbury, William Cobbett and Charles Dickens, and he became the first American to be awarded the Freedom of the City of London. His charitable works benefited a great many organisations, including education, music, science, banking and housing. At his funeral in 1869 Queen Victoria and Prince of Wales sent carriages to follow his coffin and William Gladstone, then Prime Minister, was one of the mourners at Westminster Abbey. Setting up his fund with a donation of £500,000, a gift that Queen Victoria described as 'wholly without parallel', Peabody's aim was to tackle the poverty and poor housing that he witnessed around him in London. The first Peabody estate was built in Spitalfields in 1864, which was followed by the Greenman Street Estate in Islington in 1865. The Fund was initially restricted to building its estates within 8 miles of the Royal Exchange in the City.
From 1875 housing legislation came into effect that permitted slum clearance in London as a result of which Peabody was among the bodies that purchased cleared sites from the Metropolitan Board of Works, and was also required to provide housing for the displaced slum-dwellers. This led to a number of new Peabody estates being built in poor areas of London and existing estates were also enlarged. From 1900 a Royal Charter enabled the Fund to operate over a 12 mile radius of the Royal Exchange and the improved transport network now in place across London also provided a better service for those travelling between home and work. Although estates continued to be built, Peabody also began to build cottages, for example at Herne Hill (1901-05) and Tottenham (1907). The estate architect from 1910-47 was Victor Wilkins, whose estates of the 1920s were more elaborate in design. Building ceased in WWII and many of the estates suffered damage and loss of life.
After the war a private Act of Parliament in 1948 extended Peabody's operational area to a 25 mile radius and new powers were granted to enable the Fund to carry out an extensive recovery programme of repair and replacement. Modernisation of the older estates also began to be carried out. In addition, in the 1950s Peabody began to purchase other existing housing estates, the oldest being Parnell House in Bloomsbury of 1850 built by the Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes; the Shaftesbury Park Estate in Battersea, built in the 1870s by the Artizans' Labourers' and General Dwellings Company; the Carlton Square Estate in Mile End built in the 1850s by the Pemberton-Barnes family; the Ebury Estate of the 1870s built by the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company; and the Westminster Housing Trust's Tachbrook Estate added in 1972. In 2011 four estates were purchased from the Crown Estate.
The Group currently owns and manages over 19,000 homes in London and runs various community programmes for its residents and neighbourhoods. In 2007 a 10-year programme of major improvements was launched, which includes environmental improvements to the open spaces of around 40 estates, carried out in consultation with the residents. These aim to improve access, safety and security as well as address issues such as waste management, climate change and biodiversity. Soft and hard landscaping, lighting, provision of play areas are among the works and residents' panels work with Peabody to select the landscape architects and other contractors for the programme.
Simon Bradley and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 6: Westminster', (Yale University Press, 2003); Peabody history on www.peabody.org.uk