The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Margaret outside her prefab
Prefab at night

100 Buildings 100 Years

1946: 17 Meliot Road, Excalibur Estate, London

Status: Unlisted
Condition: Fair condition
Type: Housing
Location: 17 Meliot Road, Excalibur Estate, London, SE6

17 Meliot Road is a ‘uni-seco’ prefab on the Excalibur Estate, one of 185 on the UK’s largest post-war prefab estate. Thousands of prefabs were built across bombed-out London (of 156,000 over the country) after World War II to alleviate the housing shortage for returning servicemen and their families. Since then, most have been knocked down and the Excalibur Estate is set to be bulldozed and replaced by modern housing within the next few years.

The estate was built in 1946 by German and Italian prisoners of war. It was supposed to last 10 years, but almost 70 years later, it’s still standing and this house was lived in and cherished till last Autumn. The two-bed council houses had immersion heaters, built-in cupboards, indoor bathroom, constant hot water, separate indoors toilets, and a spacious garden, offering unheard-of luxury and comfort. ‘To find a bathroom inside was magic’, recalls Mr O’Mahony, who has lived on the Estate since the end of the war, ‘and a refrigerator! Ordinary people didn’t have them.’

Now, temporarily, a Prefab Museum, 17 Meliot Road is welcoming the public to discover this amazing bungalow and slice of 20th-century social history that will soon disappear for good.

by Elizabeth Blanchet

Prefab Museum on Facebook

Search 100 Buildings 100 Years

Look for buildings by entering the name of a building or architect or browsing the drop down list. Each entry gives the architect and location, and the icons show listing status. Where available, we have linked to detailed online information about the building, such as the Historic England listing description.

  • Search

  • Or