Gilbeys Yard Community

This is Gilbeys Yard

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The Gilbeys Yard cobblestone covered surface is mostly owned by One Housing Group Ltd, apart from the two large heritage buildings: The Interchange and The Henson buildings with their collection of historic underground tunnels and catacombs.

One Housing - Gilbeys Yard Estate comprises of 82 homes developed in 1997 which were awarded for being the Best New Development by a Housing Association

The Henson Building was redeveloped into 70 residential units and ground floor and basement office in 2009 after its previous incarnation, The Henson Creature Shop / Warehouse was destroyed by fire.

The Interchange Building has been the offices of the world's oldest news company The Associated Press for quite some time after being part of W&A Gilbey Ltd, formed in 1857 for about 100 years and became the largest drinks firm in the world.

Gilbeys Yard in Camden is in the London region of England. The postcode is within the Camden Town with Primrose Hill ward/electoral division, which is in the constituency of Holborn and St Pancras.

We've got quite a history

...and a bit of a reputation

with a few issues...

but nothing we can't manage.



Gilbey’s Yard is a brick built postmodern housing estate built in the 1990’s. It comprises 3-4 storey socially rented flats and houses arranged in rows parallel to the Regent’s Canal with cobbled yard space in between. There is a small public playground and viewing area facing onto the canal. The density of homes at the estate is relatively low for the location, but the accommodation is understood to be in reasonably good condition.

The building at 30 Oval Road faces onto the canal and the yard. This building was substantially redeveloped following planning permission in 2009 and comprises 70 flats with offices at ground and basement levels.

There is a wealth of subterranean heritage below the yard, including the former horse tunnels linking through to the stables and the Winding Vaults. The privately owned cobbled yard links through to the Interchange building.

The public realm in the yard is largely car dominated, with informal parking, uneven surfaces, damaged cobbles and protruding bin stores contributing to a cluttered pedestrian environment. Being located close to the town centre and the towpath, the cul-de-sac like arrangement makes the area secluded. The yard is in frequent use by servicing vehicles catering for the Lock Market, the Interchange Building and the other properties in the area. The area is also reportedly used for taxi collections. Anti-social behaviour is an issue in the yard, which causes a nuisance for existing residents.

Oval Road is the main route connecting to the south of Gilbey’s Yard. This area has the more traditional street pattern of the Camden Town Conservation Area. To the south there are long views towards the BT Tower. Oval Road bridges the canal to meet the yards to its north. The road comes to an abrupt end at Gilbey’s Yard with only a very narrow pedestrian and cycle link continuing between the Gilbey’s Yard properties into the Morrisons car park.


At Gilbey’s Yard, the Council will support measures to improve the relationship of the estate with its surrounding environment and where possible deliver additional homes.

The general approach to existing estates in the framework area is set out on page 29. Development within the Gilbey’s Yard area will be expected to contribute towards the following key objectives:

• Respond to the robust industrial character of the historic canal environment and architecture.

• Provide for a continuation of Oval Road through the yard and into the Morrisons site for pedestrians and cyclists, creating an important connection to the southern part of the framework area and connecting with surrounding communities.

• Knit into the surrounding urban grain, help integrate the framework area with surrounding areas and provide a comfortable transition from existing neighbourhoods into new.

• Development should significantly improve the environment of Gilbey’s Yard, including the removal of informal parking, the rationalisation of street furniture such as bin stores, improved accessibility for all, general maintenance and repair works (including damaged cobbles). Development proposals will need to be accompanied by parking and public realm management plans.

• The environment should promote community safety through good design and natural surveillance. The area should have a clear hierarchy of public and private areas and secluded areas and dead-ends should be removed or addressed to minimise opportunities for anti-social behaviour.

• Development should include improved servicing arrangements, so that they minimise impacts on residential amenity.

• Improve the open space and facilities for children’s play, this could also include quieter open space areas. Door-step play is particularly important given the concentration of family housing.

• Preserving and enhancing heritage features above and below ground. Taking opportunities to connect with the heritage of the area for example by enabling the winding vaults to be opened to the public.

• Consider the role of the estate in its existing context and potential future context (if development of neighbouring sites was to occur). This should include how the estate could be adapted to form part of an inclusive wider neighbourhood.