This record is held by London Metropolitan Archives: City of London

Details of LMA/4013
Reference: LMA/4013

Corporate records

Date: 1863-1984
Related material:

Further references can be found in the records of the Metropolitan Boards of Works, especially in relation to the Artisans Dwelling Acts, 1875-1882 (see MBW). Also, the company helped develop part of Hampstead Garden Suburb (see ACC/3816).

Held by: London Metropolitan Archives: City of London, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Improved Industrial Dwelling Company Limited, 1844 -

Physical description: 18 files
Custodial history:

These records have been passed on through a number of property companies and, although not extensive, give a valuable insight into one of the commercial developers in social housing.

Publication note:

Burnett, John. A Social History of Housing 1815-1970 Library 28.6 (1976)

  • Housing
Administrative / biographical background:

This commercial company developed high density housing blocks for artisans in Central London. It was founded by Sydney Waterlow in 1863 in the same period in which much philanthropic housing was being built : the Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes was founded in 1844 (see ACC/3445/SIC) and Peabody Donation Fund was founded in 1862 (see ACC/3445/PT).


The Company started with an initial capital of £50,000 and its shareholders included MPs, lawyers, builders and merchants. It built in blocks of 5-7 storeys providing self-contained flats for artisans. By 1871 over 1,000 dwellings were occupied and the company profits grew above the 5 per cent dividend paid. It worked from standard plans (prepared by a surveyor rather than an architect, see LMA/4013/01/01) and built many estates including Wapping, Cromwell Buildings Southwark, King's Cross Road, Old St. Pancras Road, Greenwich, High Street Islington, and Bethnal Green.

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