Caird Street, W10

Built between 1874 and 1882 by the Artisans, Labourers & General Dwellings Company, originally there were more than 2000 homes arranged along First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth avenues.

Building took place in several roads at the same time. Houses were dated 1873 and 1874 on the east side and 1876 on the west side of Sixth Avenue, 1880 in Fifth Avenue, 1875 in Caird Street at the east end of the estate, and 1876 in Oliphant Street at the far end and in a nearby shopping parade in Kilburn Lane.

Queen’s Park, like the company’s other four residential parks in London, was the result of a well supported effort to improve working-class conditions. It came to be seen as a success, both in encouraging the company to buy land for the Noel Park estate in Tottenham and in comparison with the squalor of much canalside housing, including Kensal New Town.

Financial difficulties in 1877 brought delays, rent increases, and building on the intended open space, but renewed progress had led to the completion of 1571 houses by 1882, when a further 449 were under construction. The whole area west of First Avenue had been built up by 1886. All 2200 houses at Queen’s Park were occupied in 1887, when the rents were much lower than those nearby.

In 1899 the estate was ’carefully sustained in respectability’, there was a waiting list for tenancies, and rents were never in arrears. Tenants were church or chapel goers and in regular work, as artisans, clerks, policemen, or railwaymen. Only a fifth of the inabitants lived in poverty, compared with more than 55 per cent in Kensal New Town, and those that did so may have lived outside the company’s estate, around Herries Street.

“C Street”, like all of the others on the Queen’s Park Estate were all renamed in 1912 but kept the initial letter, becoming Caird Street.

A combination of bomb damage and council rebuilding schemes in the 1970s reduced the size of the estate.

Leave a Reply