Elliott Family History, Ancestral Trees, Biographies, Photographs, Records and Local History.
Hanbury Buildings, Poplar

Hanbury Place was a small courtyard situated between Poplar High Street and King Street, London and which originally contained six terraced houses built in 1810. Hanbury Buildings, a five-storey block of artisan's dwellings situated in Hanbury Place backed onto the iron-works and was completed in 1887 [1]. The building was constructed of brick and concrete, with wooden floors. Sanitation was very basic, with one tap and three WCs per floor located in the common area. A typical exterior view of the building, part of the Musiem of London collection, is shown here: Hanbury Buildings, Poplar (1939).

In 1920 the weekly rent for one of the flats in Hanbury Buildings was increased from 5s 9d to 6s 6d, and the flats were found to be in a state of poor repair [1] . It is evident that tenants at that time were taking the opportunity, where possible, to move to move comfortable accommodation. By 1938 the building were in such a bad state, that the tenants instigated one of the rent strikes in the east end of London. The tenants demanded a reduction in the 9s per week rent, and also for repairs to be carried out.

In November 1939, 26 tenants of Hanbury Buildings appeared as defendants at Bow County Court, where the landlord was seeking to have the tenants evicted for failure to pay rent [2]. Giving evidence, an architect stated that he had not seen worst conditions anywhere. The judge found that most of tenants were within their rights to withold rent and dismissed the cases, with costs awarded to the tenants [3].

Hanbury buildings, together with Hanbury Plase, was demolished in the 1950s [1].

A list of the names of inhabitants of Hanbury Buildings obtained from census returns, 1891 to 1911, and baptisms at St Peter, Limhouse is located here: Index of Names - Hanbury Buildings, Poplar.

A list of electors living in Hanbury Buildings eligible to vote in either parliamentary or local elections is located here: Index of Electors - Hanbury Buildings, Poplar.

An interesting tale of a courageous young woman, Elizabeth Clarke, from Hanbury Buildings is shown here: 'Brave Effort to Save Hanging Man' [4]

A contemporary newspaper report on the inquest of George Iles of Hanbury Buildings is contained here: 'Death of Man Injured in Truncheon Charge' [5]

An account of living conditions in Hanbury Place, late nineteeth century prior to the construction of Hanbury Buildings circa. 1887 is contained here: 'A Social Scandal' [6].

[1] 'Survey of London - Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs: the Parish of All Saints' (1994) vol. 43 and 44, pub. Athlone, London, ed. Porter, S.
[2] 'East End News and Shipping Chronicle', Thursday November 21, 1939
[3] 'East End News and Shipping Chronicle', Tuesday December 12, 1939
[4] 'Western Morning News, 20 September 1923
[5] 'The Manchester Guardian, 03 December 1929
[6] 'The Pall Mall Guardian, 16 September 1886

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