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It’s not often we get to use the word ‘fascinating’ and mean it, but Arnold Circus deserves the accolade – and the BBC agrees. We spotted Arnold Circus in the sixth and final episode of a BBC2 documentary, ‘The Secret History of Our Streets’, learning that in 1890, as the location of a Victorian ‘social experiment’, the area became home to the first council estate in Britain.
Previously infamous for its poverty and crime, Arnold Circus was transformed to ensure the respectability of its residents. The raised area in the centre of the circus, upon which sits a bandstand, was built using the rubble from the old slum, is still there to this day.
When? All day, every day, since 1890.
Where? Arnold Circus, Shoreditch, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E2
More info: Boundary Estate Wikipedia page