Oliver Close
Oliver Close Estate is a housing estate
Housing estate
A housing estate is a group of buildings built together as a single development. The exact form may vary from country to country. Accordingly, a housing estate is usually built by a single contractor, with only a few styles of house or building design, so they tend to be uniform in appearance...

 in Leyton
Leyton is an area of north-east London and part of the London Borough of Waltham Forest, located north east of Charing Cross. It borders Walthamstow and Leytonstone; Stratford in Newham; and Homerton and Lower Clapton in the London Borough of Hackney....

, London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England. From 1967 to 1996 the estate contained 500 flats in five high-rise buildings. It is currently owned and administered by the Community-based Housing Association.


Archaeological investigations in 2001 and 2005 showed that a palisaded Late Bronze Age settlement had stood on the Oliver Close site in the 9th and 10th centuries. Afterward, however, the site was only in marginal use until the expansion of London reached the Lower Lea Valley
Lower Lea Valley
The Lower Lea Valley is the southern end of the Lea Valley, surrounding the River Lea , which runs along the boundary of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets on its western bank and the London Boroughs of Waltham Forest and Newham on its eastern bank, into the River Thames. The river forms the...

 in the late 1800s. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 there were prefabricated Anderson shelters set up on the Oliver Close site for protection against air raids. After the war, the first public housing development on the site also used prefabricated buildings.

High-rise development

The history of the modern housing estate began in 1963 with approval of construction of a high-rise estate in the Municipal Borough of Leyton
Municipal Borough of Leyton
Leyton was a local government district in southwest Essex, England, from 1875 to 1965. It included the neighbourhoods of Leyton, Leytonstone and Cann Hall. It was suburban to London, forming part of the London postal district and Metropolitan Police District...

. With the reorganization of London government, the estate came under the jurisdiction of the London Borough of Waltham Forest
London Borough of Waltham Forest
The London Borough of Waltham Forest is in northeast London, England. Officially, it forms part of Outer London as it borders Essex. However, it can be seen that the NE London boundary does not extend far compared to elsewhere in the city...

 in 1965.

The estate was built in two stages. The stage approved in 1963 consisted of three 20-storey buildings, each containing 100 flats. The buildings were named Arthur Punshion Tower, Clifford Hicks Tower, and James Collins Tower.

The second stage, at Oliver Close and Auckland Road, was approved in 1967 and consisted of two 20-storey towers with 200 flats. The buildings were named Terence Messenger Tower and Stanley Horstead Tower.
  • Arthur Punshion Tower
  • Clifford Hicks Tower
  • James Collins Tower
  • Stanley Horstead Tower
  • Terence Messenger Tower


As high-rise estates became associated with overcrowded conditions, poverty, and crime, governments gradually changed their approach to public housing. In 1996 ownership of Oliver Close and other housing estates was assigned to the Waltham Forest Housing Action Trust. By 2002 all five towers at Oliver Close were demolished, and in April 2002 the Housing Action Trust was disbanded. Oliver Close came under control of the Community-based Housing Association. As of 2007, 330 homes had been built.
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