At lunchtime today, I walked down Old Pye Street, once one of the worst ‘rookeries’ in London. Both Joshua Cross and Patrick Furlong, the labourers who started the 1834 fire, lived nearby.
Today the street is lined with Peabody Trust mansion blocks, built there in the late 19th century, when the “The Devil’s Acre”, as it was called, was cleared. The Trust still provides social housing for Londoners in the heart of Westminster.
The Old Pye Street Estate buildings are red and black striped brick (above), while the nearby Orchard Street Estate round the corner (below) is yellow and grey.