The Manchester Estate (aka Salford Estate)

I always called it the Salford Estate (or referred to it as ‘over Salford’), but its official name is the Manchester Estate – built by the LCC around 1961 between Seyssel Street, Pier Street and Manchester Road.

Corner of Seyssel Street (L) and Manchester Road (R), 1965

As shown in the following photo, Stebondale Street used to extend to Manchester Road in the east. At the rear of the houses in Seyssel Street (right hand side) was a fairly substantial building which was a joinery. The wartime military huts are still standing in the Mudchute. The Pier Tavern and the houses in Jubilee Crescent are the only buildings still standing in 2020 – and that’s ‘only just’ in the case of the pub, whose facade is all that is left over after recent redevelopment.


As with other areas of Cubitt Town, there was much damage by bombing during WWII. Many of the buildings which appear to be still in reasonable condition in the photo were actually uninhabitable ruins, as the following map shows. The detached, rectangular buildings are prefabs.


The following two photos were taken at the Stebondale Street end of Seyssel Street in the 1950s.

Photo: Christine Egglesfield

Photo: Maureen Mason (nee Silk). The buildings in the background are in Manchester Road, and include the Pier Tavern

Construction of the estate started in 1961. All buildings in the area apart from the Pier Tavern were demolished and cleared, and Stebondable Street was shortened, terminating at its corner with Seyssel Street.

1962. Seyssel Street. A screenshot from the film ‘Postscript to Empire’. The man leaving the building site is the Revd. Strong of St. Paul’s Church in Westferry Road. He featured in a few scenes in the film, talking to various people around the Island.

Photo: Maureen Mason (nee Silk).

Survey of London:

The Manchester Estate was built to an overall density of 35 dwellings (138 persons) per acre. Urmston and Salford Houses, on the north side of Seyssel Street, are eight four-storey link-blocks of maisonettes. These were originally flat-roofed buildings, with dark-red-brick piers and end walls, while the front elevations had some tile-hanging.

Farnworth House, in Manchester Road, and Castleton House, in Pier Street, are five-storey blocks of flats, with dark-red-brick piers and end walls. Along the front and back elevations exposed concrete floor-beams are infilled with panels and windows. The access-balconies to Farnworth House are supported by a prominent metal grid on the front elevation.

1965. Seyssel Street.

1965. Salford House

1965. Pier Street. Castleton House (L) and the rear of Farnworth House (R)

1965. Seyssel Street (L) and Manchester Road (R)

1960s. Pier Street from Urmston House. Photo: Island History Trust

Among the the first resident families of the estate were, according to the 1964 electoral register (not everybody registered to vote, so the lists are certainly not complete):

Salford House Ashkettle, Atkins, Barretta, Benson, Bowen, Briggs, Brind, Brotherwood, Butler, Cakebread, Chapman, Clark, Conway, Cressall, Crundwell, Davies, Dawson, Dolphin, Dorney, Duggan, Elsdon, Fitzgerald, Fox, Gleason, Gleeson, Gregory, Griffin, Grindley, Haywood, Henderson, Hill, Hook, Howard, Jenkins, Kedge, Kelly, Kemp, Laker, Land, Lane, Leslie, Line, Lowther, Manley, Marlborough, Martin, McIlveney, McSweeney, Mead, Meggs, Merrick, Morris, Munro, Murray, Newton, Ogles, Perkins, Rea, Roast, Roberts, Smith, Sweeney, Tucker, Vorialin, Waring, Warn, Webb, White, Wisewell, Wood.

Urmston House Bedding, Bennett, Camilleri, Campbell, Croft, Daykin, Dean, Garrett, Gray, Harris, Hook, Johnson, Kinsville, Knowles, Munden, Nelson, Pitts, Scott, Silk, Smith, Vandersteen, Wardrop, Willson.

Farnworth House Biggs, Bowen, Brown, Clark, Cox, Cumberland, Cutter, Dixon, Dowding, Gleeson, Hawkridge, Heath, Jackson, Jones, Kinchin, Morgan, Norfold, O’Leary, Oxley, Robbins, Roberts, Sammons, Seymour, Spillman, Walsham.

Castleton House Cahill, Clark, Clarke, Dyer, Gamble, Hall, Humphrey, Lockley, Mantle, McRae, Osborne, Rivers, Roberts, Smith, Strudwick.

One of my mates, Gary Langton, lived in Salford House so I was a frequent visitor.

c1978. Playing the fool: Mick Lemmerman

c1978. Gary and dog. Photo: Mick Lemmerman


1970s. Urmston House


1985. Screenshot from the Prospects TV series.

1980s. Photo: Bill Regan

1985. A montage of screenshots from the Prospects TV series. Click for full-sized version

In the late 1980s, Tower Hamlets Borough Council refurbished the flats on the estate. With their new cladding and pitched roofs the flats now looked very different. As can been seen in this photo, not all flats were refurbished – thanks to the 1970s ‘Right to Buy’ some flats were privately owned and some owners declined to participate.

The estate will celebrate its 60th birthday next year. I suppose that makes it quite old in the Island scheme of things.

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6 Responses to The Manchester Estate (aka Salford Estate)

  1. Michael Halpin says:

    Mick a couple of photos have the name Maureen milk on them she was Maureen silk!

  2. Emma jane says:

    Lovely to read about the history of the flats. I was born at my nan and grandads in Salford House, and their name appears on the electoral register.

  3. Jan Hill says:

    I remember that when these flats were built we lost a chunk of our garden in Kingfield street. Previously we had a chicken run at the end of the garden but that had to go.

  4. Pingback: The Isle of Dogs in the Sixties | Isle of Dogs – Past Life, Past Lives

  5. Pingback: Seyssel Street | Isle of Dogs – Past Life, Past Lives

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