Self-guided exterior tour of the estate. Pick up guide from 5 Tower Gardens, N17 7PX.
"Tower Gardens in North Tottenham is a distinctive semi-circular estate bounded by Lordship Lane and the Roundway. Constructed between 1904 and 1928, it was one of the first municipal "cottage estates" in the world. It is now a conservation area and is featured in the annual London Open City architecture weekend held third weekend in September. When first built by the London County Council (LCC) it was known as the White Hart Lane Estate.
"The Conservation Area comprises the oldest parts of the estate, built by the London County Council between 1904 and 1913. It is one of the first "garden suburbs" in the world and is characterised by good quality and practical buildings that show an inventive use of materials and vernacular motifs typical of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Along with Hampstead Garden Suburb, Tower Gardens is one of the most important estates of its type in London.
"The estate consists of 954 houses arranged in 24 streets, each with its own architectural style. Their appearance was influenced by the Garden City Movement founded by Sir Ebenezer Howard. The properties are mostly two-up, two-down with some three bed houses and also flats in Topham Square. The houses remain cheap by London standards.
"The curiously named streets belie the area's history. Most appear to be named after someone who once owned the land, from Siward, Earl of Northumberland, in the time of Edward the Confessor, through to Thomas Smith in 1792. A project by Risley Avenue School in conjunction with Bruce Castle Museum identified the streets as named after the 'Lord's of Tottenham'."