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Historic England Research Records

Low Willington Farm Estate

Hob Uid: 1499396
Location :
South Tyneside
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : NZ3192261897
Summary : Three fourteen-storey slab blocks with balcony access built as public housing. The blocks contain 210 dwellings in total. Construction was approved by committee in 1958. All of the tower blocks are now demolished.
More information : The blocks were constructed by Wallsend Municipal Borough Council. The Primary and Alternate addresses of Taunton, Tarrington and Tilverton Close are the individual street addresses of each block; all are of equal status. The Primary Name is the name that was given to the contract for the development. The date of demolition is unknown. (1-2)

Three blocks of flats, 14 stories high. The flats had rooms on two floors. There were also a number of four storey blocks, with 12 units in each. They were constructed in the 1960s and demolished in the 1991. Some of the four storey units were refurbished and still stand. (3)

The three tower blocks became a local landmark and featured in the film version of the BBC sitcom "Whatever happened to the Likely Lads?" (4)

"Alderman C. L. Palmer explained that Tyneside's tallest flats had been very controversial, but Wallsend Council suffered a land famine, so the obvious way to go was up. He was addressing the crowd at the opening of Taunton Close on 4th November 1960. The Council opted for multi-storey flats on the Low Willington Farm Estate in June 1957, after visiting similar schemes in the Midlands and Scotland, and consulting with Wimpeys. A year later the first artist's impressions appeared, featuring 180 maisonettes in 12 storey blocks - just part of the 354 dwelling estate. By the opening the towers had increased to 14 storeys. They were founded on concrete rafts, steelframed, with concrete panels. The all-electric flats had underfloor heating, and there were communal laundries on three floors. Each flat had cost about £2100, and the rents were 27s 6d per week. Because they were completed two months ahead of time, the Council had already earned £4000. The platform party includes the Mayor, Coun. W. Rickelton; Chair of the Housing Committee, Ald. Palmer; and the Deputy Mayor, Coun. J. C. Grogan. Others identified include the Town Clerk, J. Stoker, 2nd from the left; behind Ald. Palmer is the Borough Surveyor, C. E. Faddy; to his left the Borough Treasurer, W. Dunn." (5)


Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Tower block : modern public housing in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Source details : Gazetteer 1
Page(s) : 358
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Source Number : 2
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Personal archive of Dr Miles Glendinning, held at Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh.
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Source Number : 3
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Email correspondence 04-AUG-2014
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Source Number : 4
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : Seven interesting facts about Howden and Percy Main. Evening Chronicle. Jan 01. 2012< http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/local-news/seven-interesting-facts-howdon--1342139 > [accessed 05-AUG-2014]
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Source Number : 5
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : 24-July-2008, post by Borras Hwfa, taken from former website tomorrows history.com, direct quote. < http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=501265&page=61 > [accessed 05-AUG-2014]
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Mid 20th Century
Display Date : Demolished pre-1994
Monument End Date : 1994
Monument Start Date : 1958
Monument Type : Tower Block, Slab Block, Balcony Access Block, Council Flats
Evidence : Demolished Building
Monument Period Name : Mid 20th Century
Display Date : Construction approved 1958
Monument End Date : 1958
Monument Start Date : 1958
Monument Type : Tower Block, Slab Block, Balcony Access Block, Council Flats
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NZ 36 SW 90
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER BLOCK DATABASE PILOT PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31