The Peabody Trust

The Peabody Trust was founded in 1862 by George Peabodyan extraordinary American banker and business man who lived and worked in London. He wanted to ‘..ameliorate the condition of the poor and needy of this great metropolis, and to promote their comfort and happiness..’ and in March 1862 he launched the Peabody Donation Fund with a gift of £150,000. In 1869 he increased his gift with a further £350,000. Today the Peabody Trust in London has an annual turnover of c.£150,000,000.

George Peabody c.1850 (www.metmuseum.org on Wikipedia)
George Peabody c.1850 (www.metmuseum.org on Wikipedia)

He had initially considered paying for drinking fountains, or contributing to the ‘ragged schools’, but then decided to establish a model dwellings company. ‘The first block was built in Spitalfields, and further housing estates followed in Islington, Poplar, Shadwell, Chelsea, Westminster, Bermondsey, and elsewhere. By 1882 the Trust housed more than 14,600 people in 3,500 dwellings. By 1939 it owned more than 8,000 dwellings..’.

The "Peabody" dwellings for the industrious poor in Commercial Street, Spitalfields. A wood-engraving published in the Illustrated London News, 1863 (shortly before the building was opened). Architect: H.A. Darbishire. Engraver unknown.
The “Peabody” dwellings for the industrious poor in Commercial Street, Spitalfields. A wood-engraving published in the Illustrated London News, 1863 (shortly before the building was opened). Architect: H.A. Darbishire. Engraver unknown.

The Peabody Square between Blackfriars Bridge Road and Webber Road was designed by Henry Darbishire and completed in 1871. While somewhat austere, the building around a central square was very different from the tenements which existed before and influenced subsequent social housing. Today the buildings are Grade II listed.

Peabody Square, 1872 (www.british-history.ac.uk)
Peabody Square, 1872 (www.british-history.ac.uk)
Peabody Square, Blackfriars Road
Peabody Square, Blackfriars Road
Peabody Square, Blackfriars Road
Peabody Square, Blackfriars Road

You may be interested in
The Peabody Trust
The Peabody Square in Southwark
Planned developments in the area?
Peabody building plans

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s