A programme of art, culture and new infrastructure to reimagine the future of the UK’s biggest council housing estate


Open City

Becontree Bus Tour


Sunday 11 September

Due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II this event has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for 2023. For further information, please email Arts and Culture Hub at ArtsandCultureHub@lbbd.gov.uk

This tour will be led by former Becontree Estate Housing Manager, Bill Jennings. The tour includes site visits to Valence House Museum, Kingsley Hall, Eastbury Manor House and vacant council properties on the estate. The Becontree Estate is the biggest council estate in the UK and the most ambitious of the country’s interwar housing estates. The first of 27,000 houses for returning war heroes and working families were built on the four square-mile estate in November 1921, with the Garden City houses and iconic ‘Banjo’ closes recognised across the world.

Visitors unable to join the tour can visit Valence House Museum, Kingsley Hall and Eastbury Manor House.

Open City is a charity dedicated to making London and its architecture more open, accessible and equitable. It engages all citizens, particularly from under-represented backgrounds, in architecture and city-making. Its programmes – from the Open House Festival and its international network, to their pioneering education projects – open up buildings, conversations and careers to those normally locked out of them.

For further details about the Open City 2022 programme please click here.