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Argyle Street, Norwich

Argyle Street
Argyle Street Winter 1981.jpg
Argyle Street, in Winter 1981
Argyle Street, Norwich is located in Norwich
Argyle Street, Norwich
Location within Norwich
Maintained byNorwich City Council
Coordinates52°37′18.9″N 1°18′10.7″E / 52.621917°N 1.302972°E / 52.621917; 1.302972
Construction
Completion1873
Demolished1986
Other
Known forSquats in the 1980s

Argyle Street was a Victorian terraced street in Norwich, Norfolk. It became a squat lasting from January 1980 to February 1985 until the street was demolished 1986.

History

A Victorian street consisting of small two up to down terraced houses, according to Morant's map, Argyle Sreet was partly built in 1873; Eyre Bros. 1883-4 Directory lists 106 families and their occupations, mainly manual workers with a significant number of men employed by the railway. Jarrolds Directory of 1889 lists one shopkeeper. It was saved from slum clearance in the early 1960s, after the nearby area of Richmond, or the village on the hill was completely demolished.

Slums

The University of East Anglia planned to buy the Victorian terraced housing of Argyle Street from Norwich City Council for student homes in 1979, however, in December of that year a handful of squatters moved in and Britain's longest-running and biggest squat began. In 1980, the squatters formed a co-operative, which was backed by Norwich City Council, which at the time included Pat Hollis. Together they applied for a grant from the Government-funded Housing Corporation. In 1981 a £1 million grant was agreed for a major renovation scheme, but in 1982 the Department of the Environment blocked Norwich City Council's plan to sell or lease the houses to the co-operative.[1]

Revelopment

In 1984 Norwich City Council decided to demolish the area and develop it for sheltered homes. The final eviction of squatters from Argyle Street occurred in February 1985.[2] Some of the redeveloped houses, built in 1986, were demolished in 2015 after subsidence occurred.

Legacy

In 1981 Argyle Street became the setting for scenes of a filmed adaptation of Doris Lessing's dystopian novel Memoirs of a Survivor.[3]

References