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UK The Heygate Estate (visited May to July 2013), London - February 2014

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This is a report on the final days of the colossal abandoned Heygate council estate in Elephant & Castle, it's a demolition site now. I know it's not a typical derp but thought I'd post as no-one else has basically!

The Heygate Estate was built in 1974 behind Elephant & Castle station and became the home for more than 3000 people until 2007 when residents were relocated because of a scheme to regenerate the whole area. Southwark council's reasoning for the closure of the Heygate estate was down to the fact that it had become a hive for crime and poverty although residents refute those claims. Residents were given little choice but to be relocated or be taken to court. Development plans were halted upon the discovery of asbestos throughout the buildings and the entire estate was left abandoned for several years. The bottom three floors were sealed up with metal panels to stop thieves and vandals from gaining access but the rest of the site was accessible from the street amazingly and became a mecca for street artists travelling from acros Europe to leave their mark there. Several film scenes were shot here from films including Attack the Block, Harry Brown and World War Z.

These photos were taken with my samsung phone from steet level, inside the main building and up on the rooftop. Hope you enjoy!

One of the main blocks from the outside


Barbed wire hammock hanging from trees on the way in


Destroyed TV


Cool artwork everywhere, although kids were vandalising anything half decent within a day or two by the end.


The most poignant bit of artwork; the old Elephant & Castle being brought to it's knees by the new Elephant & Castle....


The Shining tricycle!


Class cleansing, a pretty accurate political statement....


Scenes of ruin


A crew filming a music video, the Heygate's homeless resident asleep underneath the steps


A stray knife lying on one of the top floor corridors, a random set of traffic lights and a golf bag inside an empty flat....


The Yellow Pages from 2000/2001


A pair of Simpsons slippers left by the door of a flat


Shot overlooking the estate from a top floor window


Rooftop entry point


Roof with a view....


You can read more info on the story of the residents of the Heygate estate here: Heygate Estate · Setting the Record Straight

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Looks like it was an awesome place to live - not! For once I'm glad to hear of a place being demo'd haha, great capture though, and still a bit of history consigned to the books :)

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Thanks all, yeah it is a proper eyesore. Some of the old residents are still up in arms about it coming down as they built a community in there, I'd like to hope that they'll all end up somewhere a little bit nicer though which should soften the blow ;)

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Cool shots Raw & having just moved back into SE2 can say theres just so many of these places waiting to come down within the 3bn regeneration project.

Catch em whilst ya can :D

Cool share :thumb


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Cool shots Raw & having just moved back into SE2 can say theres just so many of these places waiting to come down within the 3bn regeneration project.

Catch em whilst ya can :D

Cool share :thumb


Thanks mate. Indeed, the Aylesbury estate's already started I believe, even bigger than the heygate although I guess this time around they'll be aware of the asbestos so it should be a bit better organised you'd hope

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Ah man i tried for ages to get in this place one afternoon, was rather sealed ><, actually nice to see photos from in/ up top at last, cheers :D

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The most poignant bit of artwork; the old Elephant & Castle being brought to it's knees by the new Elephant & Castle....


That's quite a deep meaning image. I like that shot, well captured.

This place reminds me of Glyncorrwg, a failed social housing project in South Wales.

Thanks for sharing it with us, I enjoyed looking through your selected shots.

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Very fitting indeed, spent a good couple of years visiting this place so I'm gonna be very sad to see it finally fall. I've lost a handy fall-back place for photoshoots as well.

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