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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Streets, Squares, and Buildings

Lucas Estate

Estates in Bloomsbury

1 Duke of Bedford
2 City of London Corporation
3 Capper Mortimer
4 Fitzroy (Duke of Grafton)
5 Somers
6 Skinners' (Tonbridge)
7 Battle Bridge
8 Lucas
9 Harrison
10 Foundling Hospital
11 Rugby
12 Bedford Charity (Harpur)
13 Doughty
14 Gray's Inn
15 Bainbridge–Dyott (Rookeries)

Area between the Foundling and Harrison estates: Church land

Grey areas: fragmented ownership and haphazard development; already built up by 1800

About the Lucas Estate

This seven-acre estate in the north-east of Bloomsbury was originally part of the Peperfield area of the Harrison estate, but became separated from it in the eighteenth century (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

Its owner at the beginning of the nineteenth century was Joseph Lucas, a tin plate worker, who decided in 1801 to develop the land (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

The estate was a small strip with a curved top, stretching from the area of the Boot pub to Gray’s Inn Road

Its main street when developed was Cromer Street, which was begun in 1801, and known as Lucas Street after the landowner until 1834 (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

The origin of other street names on the estate remains obscure

Dutton Street

Also known as Tankerton Street

It is in the north-east of Bloomsbury, running between Cromer Street and North Place (now Argyle Walk)

It is a narrow street which became a notorious slum area in the nineteenth century

The 1841 census shows its inhabitants to be mainly working-class and probably poor, being a mixture of labourers and french polishers, shoemakers, cordwainters, wheelwrights, and paper stainers, along with a tailor, a fishmonger, and a sweep

In 1855 a ragged school of boys moved here from Compton Place

There was a National School (St Peter’s School) on its west side by the 1870s; it appears on the Ordnance Survey map of 1868–1870

In the 1890s both the school and the slums were cleared and new blocks of flats were erected by the East End Dwellings Co; the street was subsequently renamed after Tankerton in Kent, where the EEDC had property

The flats still exist and in the twentieth century were bought by the Hillview Estate

This page last modified 14 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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