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The battles of Boundary Street

Words: Sarah Wise
Cleared Site

London’s first council estate is celebrated for marking a new era in progressive approaches to housing the poor. But with just 11 of the original 5,700 evicted residents moving into the new flats in the late 1890s, it was in fact an early example of ‘social cleansing’, discovers Sarah Wise

“It was a district of almost solid poverty, in which the houses were as broken down and deplorable as their unfortunate inhabitants... The whole place deserved destruction.” This epitaph for the Old Nichol neighbourhood, in central East London, was written by Charles Booth – social investigator and creator of the famous

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