We built the Blackfriars estate in 1871 on the former site of The Magdalen Hospital for the Reception of Penitent Prostitutes. George Peabody’s original donation covered the cost of buying the site, which became home to Peabody’s sixth estate. Demand for homes in the area was high, so we expanded the estate from its original 16 blocks to 19, providing 384 homes.
In 1871 the Architectural Journal praised the estate, noting its spacious layout and surrounding trees. It said it considered Blackfriars to be ‘more home-like and less barracky’ than some of our early developments. In 1939 we added underground air-raid shelters, but the buildings suffered damage from bombing in 1940, 1941 and 1944.
On 11 July 1962 HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother visited the estate and unveiled a plaque to mark the centenary of the founding of Peabody.
In September 2021, the estate celebrated its 150th anniversary by taking part in London’s Open House festival. It welcomed many visitors, including the Mayor of Southwark