excalibur estate, catford

Photo credit: Municipal Dreams. 

Photo credit: Municipal Dreams. 

Excalibur Estate, Catford. Lewisham 1946. Battersby Road, London SE6 1SB.

The Excalibur Estate contains the last remaining inhabited post-war prefabs in London, five of which have been designated for conservation.

The 1944 Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act earmarked £150m for an emergency programme of temporary housing.  Aircraft factories were tasked with the construction of prefabricated homes.

The first prototype was proudly displayed at the Tate Gallery in 1944 and in the following four years 156,623 of these ‘palaces of the people’ were erected across the country. They were planned as temporary housing, to last ten years at the most.

In the event, over 10,000 prefab homes remained in use in London as late as 1975. Now only some 250 remain and with the largest concentration (under threat of redevelopment) in the Excalibur Estate.

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