South Birkbeck Road, E11

Place Name

An area laid out between about 1858 and 1880 by the Birkbeck Freehold Land Society, Birkbeck Building Society and Birkbeck Bank. Birkbeck Road was divided into North Birkbeck Road and South Birkbeck Road between 1981 and 1990. The developers were named in honour of Dr George Birkbeck (1776 – 1841), a physician and a pioneer of adult education. Francis Ravenscroft who admired Birkbeck’s philanthropy set up the Birkbeck Bank and Birkbeck Building Society and it is through these that much of the development across Greater London was financed in the 19thCentury. Dr Birkbeck started the mechanics’ institutes and was one of the founders of University College London.

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