The Clerkenwell estate was built in 1884 thanks to a change in housing legislation in 1875 which allowed London’s first slums to be cleared. The original estate consisted of 11 blocks, eight of which were arranged round a central courtyard. There was a laundry room on the top floor of each block, but no communal bath house.
In December 1940, a bomb fell on Blocks G and H killing 12 people. Block G was then demolished in 1964 due to subsidence and was replaced by a terrace of five houses. We further modernised the estate in the 1960s and 1970s. During this period, the artist Sam Taylor-Johnson is believed to have lived at the estate.
In more recent years, the Clerkenwell estate was chosen to feature in the 2009 Terry Gilliam film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. The estate was chosen by Gilliam’s team because it offered what they believed was the ‘perfect London atmosphere’.