Coventry Cross Estate

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Coventry Cross at night

Coventry Cross Estate is a social housing estate in the Bromley by Bow district of the East End of London.


The name Coventry Cross dates back to a public house by that name. Local historians have suggested that the name may have originated with a pre-Reformation cross belonging to a local convent, and that the name was corrupted over time to "Coventry Cross".[1]

178 flats were built by the London County Council, on the east side of Brunswick Road, opening in 1935.[2] As well as the main block called Coventry Cross, there were two smaller blocks, Fuller and Tennant Houses. They were not built with individual bathrooms, but each three flats shared one, along with an area for washing clothes.[3]

The line of Brunswick Road became a major road, the Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach (BTNA), part of the A102 and now the A12. In the early 1950s, the LCC built seven blocks of flats to the west of the BTNA, and named the estate Coventry Cross West.

Ownership of the estate passed in time to the Greater London Council and then to Tower Hamlets.

The original Coventry Cross and adjacent blocks were demolished in the 1990s. The remaining blocks west of the A12 kept the name Coventry Cross Estate.

In the 2000s, Tower Hamlets consulted the tenants of the estate over a possible transfer to a housing association, and they voted in December 2007 to join Poplar HARCA, a locally based social landlord.[4] Tenants expressed a 65% majority in favour, although most leaseholders opposed the move.[5] The transfer was not completed until 2009 due to negotiations over the amount of government grant to support the required refurbishment.[6]

The works programme not only brought the houses up to the Decent Homes Standard, but achieved marked improvements in energy efficiency as well as security, landscaping and visual enhancements.[7] Residents celebrated completion of the regeneration in October 2012.[8]


  1. ^ "Bromley Saint Leonard". "The Copartnership Herald", Vol. IV, no. 46 (December 1934). Tower Hamlets History On Line. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "London County Council". National Archives. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  3. ^ John Burnett (1986). A Social History of Housing: 1815-1985. Routledge. p. 248. ISBN 9780416367706. 
  4. ^ "Coventry Cross residents vote yes to transfer". HousingNet. 18 December 2007. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Disposal of Coventry Cross Estate to Poplar HARCA" (PDF). Tower Hamlets. 1 May 2008. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Local Homes Initiative" (PDF). Tower Hamlets. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Jess McCabe (9 March 2012). "Cheaper by the Durkan". Inside Housing. Archived from the original on 22 April 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "Coventry Cross estate marks regeneration with fun day". East London Advertiser. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coventry Cross Estate, photos by Durkan (construction company)

Coordinates: 51°31′22″N 0°00′41″W / 51.5229°N 0.0114°W / 51.5229; -0.0114

Bromley by Bow "Carnival Song" sung by children of the Coventry Cross Estate in 1980 - with photos from the time