Inventory Site Record

Woodberry Down Estate (Hackney)

Brief Description

Woodberry Down Estate was built by the LCC to provide 1,667 flats, replacing Victorian houses on land acquired from the Church Commissioners before WWII. Building was delayed by the war and in 1943 the estate scheme was revised, work commencing in 1946. It included amenities such as schools, a library and health centre, and there was an emphasis on providing light and views for the residents, with open spaces and garden areas incorporated among the blocks of flats.

Practical Information
Site location:
Lordship Road/Seven Sisters Road/Woodberry Down
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Housing/Estate Landscaping
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Tube: Manor House (Piccadilly). Bus: 253, 259, 279.
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.hackneyhomes.org.uk

Full Site Description

Spaciously planned estate built north of and adjacent to the New River Reservoirs (q.v.) on a site which had been acquired by the London County Council in 1936/7 by compulsory purchase order and which originally planned to provide 1,667 flats, replacing Victorian houses. By 1939 the freehold of 64 acres of land was purchased from the Church Commissioners, but building was delayed due to World War II. Part of the land purchased also included the Brownswood Bowling Club, which closed in 1940 and whose premises in Green Lanes had had tennis courts and a bowling green. In 1943 the LCC's estate scheme was revised by J H Forshaw, who had co-authored the County of London Plan with Patrick Abercrombie. Planned with schools, a library, health centre and other amenities, and an emphasis on providing light and views for the residents, the estate also had open spaces and garden areas incorporated among the blocks of flats. Building finally began in 1946 and the estate was largely completed by 1952, although work continued into the early 1960s.

Approval was given in 2002 for the regeneration of the estate and plans for redevelopment are in progress. A Neighbourhood Housing Office was opened on the estate in September 2010. The plan includes development of six residential quarters with improved housing and community facilities. Proposed improvements to open space includes a new linear park along the New River, with pocket parks created to enhance existing open spaces. It is intended to preserve or replace the large number of mature trees on the estate as well as undertaking additional tree planting along Seven Sisters Road.

Sources consulted:

Woodberry Down Memories Group, Woodberry Down Memories: the History of an LCC Housing Estate, London 1989; Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998); Victoria County History; Urban Practitioners for LB Hackney 'Woodberry Down, Area Action Plan - Supplementary Planning Guidance', 2004

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ321874 (532432,187473)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Hackney
Site management:
Pinnacle, housing contract manager to Hackney Homes
J H Forshaw/LCC
Listed structures:
LBII: St Olave Church
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Estate Renewal

Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.