Bevin Court , Islington

On 10th May 1941 ĎA Parachute Mine and High Explosive Bomb fell on Holford Square and Percy Circus causing widespread devastation in immediate vicinity and considerable damage by blast to buildings over a large area of the Borough'

Repot No 18. Warden's Posts Area C & A from 24 hours ending 6 p.m.

 

This was a devastating raid. London Boroughs kept records of all bombing incidents but each borough kept them in its own way. Finsbury was at that time a separate Borough and only later became part of Islington. Finsbury made a separate typed record of every incident in the Borough every 24 hours. The incidents in this 24 hours cover just over 2 pages of typescript. As the report sheets show, it was a devastating list.
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The Bomb Damage Map of Holford Square and Percy Circus

 

The Colour Key to the L.C.C. Bomb Damage Map

Colour Key References
Black -Total destruction
Purple - Damaged beyond repair
Dark Red - Doubtful if repairable
Light Red - Seriously damaged, but repairable at cost
Orange - General blast damage, not structural
Yellow - Blast damage, minor in nature
O V1 flying bomb large circle
o V2 long range rocket. small circle

There will be slight variations in the colours because the original maps
are old and the colour balance on computer monitors will vary

Uses of the Bombing Map on this website

Percy Circus and Bevin Court on the bombsight.org website.
It will open in a new window.

Rebuilding on the Holford Square Site

The damage to some parts of Percy Circus was repairable, so it was decided to repair these sections and to rebuild the others on their old footprints. In this way the the shape of the old Circus would be retained, although the colours of the bricks were allowed to change in some cases.

Holford Square had been so badly destroyed that it was decided to level the site and rebuild completely.

This is a very early report on the way Holford Square was to be rebuilt. There were to be separate rectangular blocks all facing the sun and staggered, so that one did not block another. It would have been efficient enough, but dull.

The Holford Square Site , covers an area of about 3 acres and there will be 143 flats built round the area of the old square which is being retained as an open space. The flats will be equipped in a similar manner to the I3usaco Street Scheme. They will enjoy fine views to the west over the open space and the steeply sloping land beyond. There will also be a nursery school and other communal buildings. Tenders have been obtained and the building work should start shortly.

Date and source unknown

Instead of this scheme a completely different solution was chosen

Bevin Court


A building with Three Arms and a central, cylindrical Entrance Hall was chosen;


The Plans of Two Adjoining Flats

 

 

At the northern end of what was Holford Square one sees the backs of the old, original houses. Turn left and Bevin Court, in white and red, towers up. When it was built it must have dominated the area but the trees have grown so tall that the building is difficult to see and almost impossible to photograph.


The Entrance to Bevin Court from the North


The Entrance seen through the masking tree screen.


Bevin Court

A picture of the lower parts of two arms of the building.
It is so large that anything less than a helicopter would have trouble photographing it.

The building is so large that entrance and security could have been a nightmare. Some architects would have put entrances at intervals along all three arms and perhaps at the centre too. Here the problem has been solved far more intelligently.

The Entrance to Bevin Court


The Sole Entrance to this Huge Block.

There is only one entrance to this enormous building. This gives a built-in security but one would have expected a great danger of congestion at the entrance, but there seems to be little of this.

 


Diagram of the central staircase leading to the four landings.

 


Central Staircase.

Inside the entrance doorway is a staircase which leads off to the there different arms of the building, at different levels. Thus there is no cause for congestion because people separate immediately into three streams.


The view looking upwards from the ground floor.

Looking up into the geometrical central stairway, one can see the three separate walkways, leading to the three arms of the building.


The upper balconies, each leading to fewer arms than
lower the ones, as the building slows to a stop.

The whole entrance hall is a model of elegant efficiency.

 

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