Following intense bombing during the Second World War, Londoners were in need of new homes – and fast. The solution adopted by the Government was a unique scheme which saw temporary homes being built in factories, sometimes by prisoners of war, to speed up the construction process. 1,500 homes were destroyed in Lewisham in the first year of the Second World War alone and this estate of 189 homes was part of the solution however they were only designed to last for around ten years. Over 70 years later and the majority are still standing.
The single storey prefabs were built with two bedrooms, an inside toilet and all came with a garden. The exterior of the properties all look fairly similar; distinct with their flat roof with a very slight peak in the centre. These prefabs were of the ‘Uni-Seco’ variety- one of the most common prefab types made almost entirely of asbestos and wood.
In 2013 Lewisham Council devised plans to demolish all 189 homes which were to be replaced with flats. An estate of prefabs like this is unique and the council were met with a backlash, resulting in residents and history organisations protesting against the demolition. English Heritage have given six properties, and the church, Grade II listed status which secures the fate of these buildings however structures which have been modified (such as new doors or windows) are generally exempt from being listed.
A large number of homes have been demolished however some still remain; their future uncertain.