Image: Peabody Trust Wild Street Estate (H A Darbyshire, completed 1882), Drury Lane WC2, Covent Garden, London.
From: Survey of London: Volume 5, St Giles-in-The-Fields, Pt II. Originally published by London County Council, London (1914):
“Little Wild Street was formed about 1690, for a deed, dated 1st September in that year, refers to a “toft, peece or parcell of ground, being parcell of the garden late belonging to Weld House in or near Weld Streete … abutting towards the south to a new streete or passage of thirty foote in breadth there made or intended to be made, to lead out of Weld Streete towards Duke Streete [Sardinia Street] and the arch in Great Lincolne’s Inn Fields.”
“Wild Street estate, in Drury Lane, opened in 1881 as part of Peabody’s effort to clear London’s slums. So many people needed re-housing that the Trustees built 13 six-storey blocks on the site.
Information about residents’ occupations appears in the 1901 census. This shows that West End theatres, restaurants, Covent Garden Market, the newspaper trade and Government offices were good sources of employment for those living on the estate.
As a result of war damage in 1941 and 1944 two blocks in the centre of the estate were later demolished. The remaining flats were modernised in the 1960s to make them self-contained.”