List of existing model dwellings

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Peabody Square Model Dwellings in Blackfriars Road, in Southwark, London. These buildings, which still exist, are typical of early Peabody Trust developments, and of pre-World War I social housing in London in general.
Peabody Square Model Dwellings in Blackfriars Road, Southwark.

Model Dwellings were buildings or estates constructed, mostly during the Victorian era, along philanthropic lines to provide decent living accommodation for the working class. They were typically erected by private model dwellings companies and usually with the aim of making a return on investment hence the description of the movement as "five per cent philanthropy."[1] As such they were forerunners of modern-day municipal housing.

This is a list of still-standing model dwellings, organised by builder. Most of these companies are now defunct; a few, such as the Peabody Trust are still operating and building new accommodation, and others have been subsumed by larger firms. This list covers urban development on the principal of "five per cent philanthropy"; for communities built to house workers for a particular trade or employer, see model village or company town.

Artizans, Labourers & General Dwellings Company[edit]

Homes were classified by size on ALGDC estates; this is the smallest on the Noel Park estate, London

The Artizans' Company (ALGDC) was established in 1867 by William Austin, becoming one of the largest of the model dwellings companies in the late Victorian era. It was best known for its large, low-rise, suburban estates in London. It was later subsumed into Sun Life Financial.

Name of dwelling Location Date of construction
Noel Park[2] Wood Green, London 1882–1929
Pinnerwood Park[3] Pinner, London 1932–1935
Queen's Park[4] Kilburn, London 1874–1881
Shaftesbury Park[5] Battersea, London 1872–1877
Leigham Court[6] Streatham, London 1889–1928

Chester Cottage Improvement Company[edit]

The Chester Cottage Improvement Company was founded in 1892,[7] and was a particular concern of the Duke of Westminster.[8]

Name of dwelling Location Date of construction
Priory Place[9][10][11][11] Chester, Cheshire 1898

East End Dwellings Company[edit]

The EEDC was founded by Samuel Barnett and others in 1882 in order to provide particularly for the area that is now the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Name of dwelling Location Date of construction
Museum House[12] Burnham Road, Bethnal Green, London 1888
Dunstan Houses[13] Stepney Green, London 1899
Thornhill Houses[14] Thornhill Road, Barnsbury, London 1902
Whidborne Buildings[15] Kings Cross, London 1890's

Edinburgh Co-Operative Building Company[edit]

The Edinburgh Co-Operative Building Company (ECBC) was founded by a group of stonemasons in Edinburgh in 1861. By 1872 they had built nearly 1,000 houses in six parts of Edinburgh and Leith,[16] commonly known as colony houses.

Name of dwelling Location Date of construction
Abbeyhill Colonies[17] London Road, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh
Dalry Colonies[18] Dalry, Edinburgh 1868–1870
Shaftesbury Park Shandon, Edinburgh 1883–1904
Stockbridge Colonies[18] Glenogle Road, Stockbridge, Edinburgh 1861–1867

Four Per Cent Industrial Dwellings Company[edit]

Evelina Mansions, Camberwell
Name of dwelling Location Date of construction
Stepney Green Court[19] Stepney Green, London 1896
Navarino Mansions[20] Dalston Lane, Hackney 1903-5
Mocatta House[21] Brady Street, Whitechapel, London 1905
Evelina Mansions[22] Camberwell, London 1900
Rebecca House[23] Mile End, London 1933

Improved Industrial Dwellings Company[edit]

The Improved Industrial Dwellings Company (IIDC) was founded by the stationer (and later Lord Mayor) Sir Sydney Waterlow in 1863.

Name of dwelling Location Date of construction
Asmun's Hill cottages Hampstead Garden Suburb, London 1909
Clarendon Buildings[24] Balderton Street, Westminster, London 1872
Cobden Buildings[25] King's Cross Road, London 1865
Cromwell Building[26] Redcross Way, Camberwell, London 1864
Derby Buildings[27] Wicklow Street, Camden Town, London c.1865
Grosvenor Estate[28] (now operated by Peabody Trust) Brownhart Gardens, Mayfair, London 1886–1982
Leopold Buildings[29] Bakers Rents, Poplar, London 1872
Stanley Buildings[30] Midland Road, Camden Town, London 1865
Tower Buildings[31] Brewhouse Lane, Wapping, London 1864
Waterlow Court[32][33] Hampstead Garden Suburb, London 1907–1909

Metropolitan Association for Improving the Dwellings of the Industrious Classes[edit]

The MAIDIC was the first company to be formed for the specific purpose of providing model homes, in 1844. It built mainly within London.

Name of dwelling Location Date of construction
Albert Cottages[34] Stepney, London 1858
Alexandra Cottages[35][36] Penge, London 1866–1868
Gibson Gardens[37][38] Stoke Newington, London 1880
Howard House[39][40] Deal Street, Stepney, London 1864
Victoria Cottages[41] Woodseer Street, Stepney, London 1864

Newcastle upon Tyne Improved Industrial Dwellings Company[edit]

The Newcastle upon Tyne Improved Industrial Dwellings Company (NUTIIDC) was founded by James Hall[42] in 1859.[43]

Name of dwelling Location Date of construction
Garth Heads Industrial Workers' Dwellings[44] Byker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1869–1878

Peabody Trust[edit]

The first block of Peabody dwellings in Commercial Street, Spitalfields. A wood-engraving published in the Illustrated London News in 1863, shortly before the building opened.
Whitecross Street Peabody Estate

The Peabody Trust was set up following a huge gift for the poor of London from the banker George Peabody in 1862.[45] It became one of the largest providers of model housing for the working classes.

Name of dwelling Location Date of construction
Abbey Orchard Street Estate[46] Victoria, London 1880s
Bethnal Green Peabody Estate[47] Cambridge Crescent, Bethnal Green, London 1910
Coleshill Flats[48] Mozart Terrace, Westminster, London 1871
Horseferry Peabody Estate[47] Victoria, London 1922
Islington Peabody Estate[49][50] Greenman Street, Islington, London 1864–6
Langley Mansions[47] Langley Lane, Vauxhall, London 1900
Lawrence Street Peabody Estate[49] Lawrence Street, Chelsea, London 1870
Old Pye Street Peabody Estate[47] Victoria, London 1880s
Peabody Square[49] Blackfriars Road, Bermondsey, London 1871
Pimlico Peabody Estate[47] Peabody Avenue, Pimlico, London 1876
Poplar Peabody Estate[47] Elf Row, Poplar, London 1866
Shadwell Peabody Estate[47] Glamis Street, Stepney, London 1866
Spitalfields Peabody Dwellings[51][52] Commercial Street, Spitalfields, London 1863–4
Tottenham Peabody Estate[47] Lordship Lane, Tottenham, London 1907
Whitechapel Peabody Estate[47] John Fisher Street, Whitechapel, London 1880s
Whitecross Street Peabody Estate[47] Finsbury, London 1883
Wild Street Peabody Estate[47] Drury Lane, Covent Garden, London

Pilrig Model Dwellings Company[edit]

This company was founded in Edinburgh in 1849 and built the earliest model dwellings (see colony houses) in Edinburgh. The work of the PMDC was an inspiration on Henry Roberts, who went on to become one of the most prolific architects of model housing.[53]

Name of dwelling Location Date of construction
Shaw Colonies[54][55][56] Shaw's Place, Edinburgh, Scotland 1849–1862

Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes[edit]

The SICLC was one of the earliest model dwellings companies. It grew out of the Labourer's Friend Society into a housing provider in 1844 and built a number of properties in London, most of which no longer exist.

Name of dwelling Location Date of construction
Dimsdale Street (built to SICLC pattern for the Great Exhibition) 11 Cowbridge, Hertford, Hertfordshire 1852
Parnell House[57] Streatham Street, Camden Town 1849
Turner Court[58][59] St Luke's Street, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire 1862


A number of other schemes were built by private individuals or other concerns.

Name of dwelling Location Date of construction Notes
Friary Close Marmion Road, Portsmouth 1851 Gothic style. Architect Thomas Ellis Owen. Comprises 24 individual dwellings and one shop on the Friary Close frontage.[60]
New Court[61] Streatley Place, Hampstead, London 1854 Block of 30 flats, built for Hugh Jackson, solicitor.
Rosebank Cottages Edinburgh, Scotland 1854–1860 Built by Sir James Gowans[62] for "the better class of mechanics and others."[63][64] Modelled on the Pilrig cottages.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tarn, JN (1973) Five Per Cent Philanthropy: an account of housing in urban areas between 1840 and 1914 London:CUP
  2. ^ Welch, Caroline (2006). Noel Park: A Social and Architectural History. London: Haringey Council Libraries, Archives & Museum Services
  3. ^ Harrow Council - Pinnerwood Park Estate Initial Consultation - Character Appraisal and Management Strategy Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ City of Westminster: The Queen's Park Estate Design Guide
  5. ^ Wandsworth Council - conservation area documentation
  6. ^ Lambeth Council conservation guidelines Archived 16 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Lewis, C.P. and Thacker, A.T. (eds.) "Topography 900-1914: Victorian and edwardian, 1840-1914" in A History of the County of Chester: Volume 5 part 1: The City of Chester: General History and Topography (2003), pp. 229-238. Date accessed: 1 April 2011
  8. ^ Savage, 'Working Class Standards of Living', 40; G. Huxley, Victorian Duke: Life of Hugh Lupus Grosvenor, First Duke of Westminster, 146
  9. ^ British Listed Buildings
  10. ^ British Listed Buildings
  11. ^ a b British Listed Buildings
  12. ^ Ann. Rep. of M.B.W. H.C. 157, p. 105 (1887), lxxi; ibid. H.C. 159, p. 13 (1888), lxxxvii; ibid. H.C. 326, p. 141 (1889), lxvi; G.L.R.O., MBW 2459/8. From: "Bethnal Green: Building and Social Conditions from 1876 to 1914" in Baker, T.F.T. (1998) A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 11: Stepney, Bethnal Green pp. 126-132 Date accessed: 1 April 2011
  13. ^ London Borough of Tower Hamlets: Stepney Green Conservation Area
  14. ^ Thornhill Houses Tenants and Residents Association
  15. ^ London Borough of Camden: King's Cross Voices
  16. ^ Resources for Learning in Scotland
  17. ^ Scotland's Places
  18. ^ a b c Edinburgh Architecture
  19. ^ IDS Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ IDS Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ IDS Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ IDS Archived 14 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ IDS Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ British Listed Buildings
  25. ^ British Listed Buildings
  26. ^ British Listed Buildings
  27. ^ British Listed Buildings
  28. ^ British History Online
  29. ^ British Listed Buildings
  30. ^ British Listed Buildings
  31. ^ British Listed Buildings
  32. ^ British Listed Buildings
  33. ^ English Heritage
  34. ^ British Listed Buildings
  35. ^ Alexandra Cottages Residents Association
  36. ^ London Borough of Bromley Archived 20 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  37. ^ The Gibson Gardens History and Cookbook, Centerprise Trust, 1984 (ISBN 0-903738-65-1)
  38. ^ Robson, D. (1998) Gaslight on the Cobble: Family life in Gibson Gardens and Stoke Newington 1923-1955 Paz Publications (ISBN 0-9533954-0-5)
  39. ^ British History Online
  40. ^ British Listed Buildings
  41. ^ British Listed Buildings
  42. ^ Arcadja Auctions, portrait of the founder Accessed 01/04/2011
  43. ^ British Listed Buildings
  44. ^ English Heritage
  45. ^ Peabody Trust
  46. ^ City of Westminster Conservation Area Consultation
  47. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Peabody Trust
  48. ^ British Listed Buildings
  49. ^ a b c Peabody Trust
  50. ^ Cosh, Mary. The Squares of Islington: Part II: Islington Parish. Islington: Islington Archaeology & History Society. pp. 133–6. ISBN 0950753262.
  51. ^ Bezodis, P.A.; Ison, W. (1957). "Commercial Street". Spitalfields and Mile End New Town. Survey of London. 27. London: London County Council. pp. 256–64.
  52. ^ This was the Peabody Trust's first block of dwellings, but was sold in the late 1970s (being much smaller than the later estates, and outdated in its facilities), and is now a private residential block named The Cloisters.
  53. ^ Roberts, H. (1861) Examples of Efforts in Scotland to Provide Improved Dwellings for the Working Classes. Transactions of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science - p779ff
  54. ^ [Pilrig Model Dwellings Company Edinburgh Architecture]
  55. ^ Historic Scotland
  56. ^ British Listed Buildings
  57. ^ British Listed Buildings
  58. ^ British Listed Buildings
  59. ^ HullWebs
  60. ^ British Listed Buildings
  61. ^ British Listed Buildings
  62. ^ Dictionary of Scottish Architects
  63. ^ Historic Scotland
  64. ^ British Listed Buildings