Golden Lane Estate, EC1Y

Neighbourhood in/near City of London, existing between 1957 and now

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Neighbourhood · City of London · EC1Y ·

The Golden Lane Housing Estate is a 1950s council housing complex in the City of London.

Great Arthur House, at the centre of the Golden Lane Estate, was the tallest residential building in Britain at the time of its construction.
Credit: Steve F/Wiki commons
It was built in an area devastated by bombing during the Second World War. Only around 500 residents remained in the City by 1950.

The site had been occupied since the mid 19th century by small Victorian industries and businesses, especially metal working.

As part of the comprehensive rebuilding strategy of the City of London, the idea was the provisional of general-needs council housing for the many people who worked in the City. The Estate, when built, fell within the boundary of the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury, and so many tenancies were also offered to those on the Finsbury waiting list.

A competition for designs was announced in 1951 and was covered in the architectural and popular press. Geoffry Powell won the competition to build the estate in 1952. The three partners-to-be of Chamberlin, Powell and Bon were all lecturers in architecture at Kingston School of Art, and had entered into an agreement that if any of them won the competition, they would share the commission.

The first phase of the estate - Bowater House - was officially opened in 1957. Before completion, the estate was enlarged to the west as more land was acquired with three buildings added later: Cullum Welch House, Hatfield House and Crescent House.

The full list of building names are:

- Hatfield House: named after Hatfield Street which ran off Goswell Road and was laid out at a date after Faithorne and Newcourt’s map of London of 1658
- Great Arthur House which takes its name from Great Arthur Street, which ran between Goswell Road (then Goswell Street) and Golden Lane (originally called Bridgwater Street)
- Crescent House follows the historic building line of Goswell Road, creating a crescent.
- Cullum Welch House is named after Lt-Col.Sir George Cullum Welch, 1st Baronet, Lord Mayor when the estate was commissioned.
- Stanley Cohen House: Stanley Cohen was chairman of the City of London public health committee in 1954, when the estate building contract was let.
- Bowater House is named after Sir Noel Bowater Bt. the Lord Mayor of London who in 1954 laid the foundation stone of the estate at Bowater House, the first building to be completed.
- Cuthbert Harrowing was a chairman of the Public Health Committee of the City of London, who died shortly before the foundation stone was laid.

A boundary change in 1994 means the estate is today wholly inside the City of London.

Main source: Golden Lane Housing Estate, London | Patrick Baty – Historical paint consultant
Further citations and sources


Great Arthur House, at the centre of the Golden Lane Estate, was the tallest residential building in Britain at the time of its construction.
Steve F/Wiki commons


City of London

The City of London constituted most of London from its settlement by the Romans in the 1st century AD to the Middle Ages, but the conurbation has since grown far beyond its borders.

As the City's boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, it is now only a tiny part of the metropolis of Greater London, though it remains a notable part of central London. It holds city status in its own right and is also a separate ceremonial county.

It is widely referred to as 'The City' (often written on maps as City and differentiated from the phrase 'the city of London') or 'the Square Mile' as it is 1.12 square miles in area. These terms are also often used as metonyms for the United Kingdom's financial services industry, which continues a notable history of being largely based in the City.

The local authority for the City, the City of London Corporation, is unique in the UK and has some unusual responsibilities for a local council, such as being the police authority. It also has responsibilities and ownerships beyond the City's boundaries. The Corporation is headed by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, an office separate from (and much older than) the Mayor of London.

The City is a major business and financial centre, ranking as the world's leading centre of global finance. Throughout the 19th century, the City was the world's primary business centre, and continues to be a major meeting point for businesses.

The City had a resident population of about 7000 in 2011 but over 300,000 people commute to it and work there, mainly in the financial services sector. The legal profession forms a major component of the northern and western sides of the City - especially in the Temple and Chancery Lane areas where the Inns of Court are located, of which two—Inner Temple and Middle Temple - fall within the City of London boundary.
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