Du Cane Court

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Du Cane Court 184.jpg

Du Cane Court is an Art Deco apartment block on Balham High Road, Balham, south London. A distinctive local landmark, it was opened in 1937 and, with 676 apartments, is the largest privately owned block of flats under one roof in Europe.[citation needed] It is so distinctive (at least from a great height in the air) that it was reputedly used as a navigational landmark by German pilots bombing London during the Second World War.[citation needed]

It was a popular place to live for many music hall stars in the 1930s and 1940s and boasted a social club, on the top floor, before the area was converted into flats. Past residents have included the comedian Tommy Trinder.[1] Currently comedian and writer Arthur Smith, the self-styled 'Bard of Balham', is a resident.

During the Second World War it was speculated that Du Cane Court had escaped bombing because it was planned for use by military officers in the event of a successful German invasion.[2][3] This and related legends were explored by writer Steve Punt in a 2009 BBC Radio 4 programme called Punt PI.[4]


  1. ^ Vincent, Gregory K. (2008). A history of Du Cane Court : land, architecture, people and politics. Woodbine. ISBN 0-9541675-1-1. 
  2. ^ Taw, Susannah. "Streets of London: Chestnut Grove, SW12". Time Out. 
  3. ^ Noble, Heather. "The Story of Bevin's Babes". BBC. 
  4. ^ Punt Pi at Radiolistings

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Coordinates: 51°26′30″N 0°09′20″W / 51.441634°N 0.155522°W / 51.441634; -0.155522