7. Peabody Estate (Islington) 1865 (Henry Astley Darbishire) London

islington-1865Although not the first Peabody estate this perhaps the first to employ the recognisable fortified block aesthetic. The interest in terms of arrival sequence is the open block arrangement. Although generally planned around a courtyard, Peabody blocks are mostly freestanding. This provided a greater level of porosity than Roberts’ Streatham Street project (although openings were often controlled with fencing and gating). Entries to flats face inward and are emphasised but not celebrated.

Despite the clearly made interior territories they seem to have always been austere and forlorn. There are no other opportunities for inhabitants to claim any of the exterior spaces and the sense is that the courts and entry spaces are merely spaces to be crossed. As such this type is fairly inward looking and interiorised.


  • street (city) ⇒ cross gate (boundary) ⇒ pass through court (collective territory) ⇒ enter stair lobby (threshold) ⇒ stair (ascend) ⇒ door (two to four)

Unit identity

  • Weak; the main intent is for a collective assembly; front doors are largely obscured.

Digimap Islington

  • Black & white image from https://www.peabody.org.uk.
  • Site plan courtesy of OS digimap.
  • Street View courtesy of Google Maps.
  • Map courtesy of OS Digimap.

See also:


Previous Entry 6. Leopold Buildings Columbia Road

Next Entry 8. St Martins Cottages 1869


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