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


The maps and plans of the Becontree Estate include estate layouts, different house types, parks and public spaces, public buildings, drainage and road construction, commercial properties, and private builds providing key public services such as GP surgeries and churches. They are key to understanding the architectural response to the provision of a completely new healthy urban space.

The estate was built in sections over a number of years, with each section given a name and number, e.g., Barking Section 13 or Ilford Section 1. The number of the section reflects the order in which the estate was constructed. This is how the plans have been organised here, with separate categories for plans that apply to the whole estate or to multiple sections.

The majority of the plans originate from the original period of construction between 1921 and 1936, but the site also includes a number of later plans to illustrate the continuing development of Becontree.

The section dedicated to Pre-Becontree Estate plans have been taken from a collection of property deeds that belonged to the LCC. These all relate to lands that were obtained by them using compulsory purchase powers to allow them to build the Becontree Estate. They are useful in showing the largely rural nature of the area before the estate and also some of the original roads that were incorporated into the estate's design.

We will be continuing to add plans to the site as they become available.

Photograph of the Becontree Estate in East London.

Map of the Becontree Estate with the numbered sections used to guide the construction of the estate highlighted.