Hidden London

Beavers Farm

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Hounslow

A troubled housing estate in Hounslow West. In 1793 cavalry barracks were built on Hounslow Heath and the site is still in use today, on Beavers Lane. The stables have been converted to accommodation and are part of a conservation area. To the north-west of the barracks, the Beavers Farm estate (also known as the Beavers estate) was built from the early 1950s. The ‘Beavers’ name is not related to the presence of dam-building rodents but is a corruption of ‘Babers’; Upper and Lower Babers were parcels of land here. However, the furry animal theme was taken up, creating the silliest set of street names in London, including Chinchilla Drive, Raccoon Way, Marmot Road, Musquash Way and Opossum Way. Beavers County Primary School and the Church of the Good Shepherd (see image below) were built in response to the construction of the estate, the latter using money saved by not rebuilding the bombed Church of St John of Wapping. The estate has suffered from a variety of problems in recent years, including armed robbery, vandalism and what police called ‘one of the worst and most persistent cases of fly-tipping’ ever seen in the borough, which resulted in a 5,000 fine for the offender in 2003. The council’s response to the difficulties has included regeneration funding, warden patrols and co-ordinated clean-ups. At the primary school, large proportions of pupils come from single-parent households, are learning English as an additional language and are entitled to free school meals.

The Good Shepherd church
beavers.jpg
The Beavers estate
Postcode area: Hounslow TW4

Owing to an oversight, this entry has been omitted from the London Gazetteer

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