We acquired the land for Lawrence Street in 1863 for just under £5,000. When it was built in 1870 it was known as the Chelsea estate and kept this name until the 1930s, when it was renamed to avoid confusion with the new Chelsea Manor Street estate. Costing £10,000 to build, it was Peabody’s fifth estate and was designed by Henry Darbishire, an architect who worked with us across three decades.
In 1966, the estate featured in an essay on Peabody’s early history by Professor J. N. Tarn. The essay noted that to begin with, the four blocks of the estate were more tightly packed than Peabody’s previous developments. This didn’t stop the children living on the estate from leading an active life outside, under the watchful eye of the estate porter.
A few years before Professor Tarn’s history was written, the South Block at Lawrence Street was demolished to provide a better environment and outlook for the remaining three. In 1998, the garage adjoining West Block, which had originally held fifteen tons of coal for the estate, was sold to a private purchaser.