Platform Two – RCA


Barking Arboretum Project!
March 23, 2009, 1:08 am
Filed under: Barking | Tags: , , , , , , ,

With the news that Google has launched the UK version of its Street View service, which allows users to browse through literally thousands of streets in over 25 UK cities, it seems that never before have so many people had the opportunity to so easily explore their local community & architectural landscape.

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 However, in this world of high-tech imagery & instant download, how much more do we actually know about the history of our town & it’s inhabitants?

 For the Arboretum opening in April, I propose to construct a ‘model village’ of Barking Town, complete with what I believe to be interesting buildings that I feel have been overshadowed by recent developments.  Local residents will also be encouraged to get involved, perhaps through workshops that will allow them to add their favourite places & buildings to the Village.

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(Babacombe & Blackpool’s Model Villages)

 On opening, the model village will be accompanied by a map / brochure outlining the particular interest of the buildings as well as a brief overview of Barkings lesser-known architectural assets.

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Eastbury House, Barking.

(Perhaps an example of very old & forgotten history?)

It is strange when you visit Eastbury Square, Barking today and find an Elizabethan manor house stuck bang in the middle of rows of terrace housing. I have heard less intelligent residents comment that it is odd that such a dwelling should be placed here.

If only they would stop and think of the folly of their statement, they would quickly realise that this dwelling has survived here since the 16th century– a relic of the Elizabethan age, being occupied by their gentry– and hence the name of the street which leads there, being designated as Tudor Road. The house today is a Grade 1 listed building, and was listed as such in 1954. It is usually described as “an important example of a medium-large sized Elizabethan manor house”.

There is much dispute over when it was built. Analysis of twelve of its timbers by dendrochronology from the roof, by the Ancient Monuments Laboratory in 1997, suggests that its construction date was not before 1566. The official date noted on a leaden spout rainwater head on the south side of the house is 1573; this is no longer visible. In all probability it took many years to complete and was built between these dates.

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