Proposals to improve the area around Barking’s 500-year-old Curfew Tower were approved last night (Monday,10 August).

The plans to open up views of the tower and improve the landscaping were approved at Barking and Dagenham Council’s planning committee.

Councillor Cameron Geddes, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Social Housing, said: “We’re massively proud of our heritage. For too long the Curfew Tower has been obscured from view

“These plans will give this building of huge historic significance the setting it deserves.”

A bronze model of the Saxon Abbey, to which the Curfew Tower was the principal gateway, will also be erected to help visitors understand the history of London’s oldest and most significant complex of ecclesiastical buildings.

The project, which will be undertaken by the Council’s regeneration organisation, Be First, will reuse existing materials on site such as the Yorkstone flags and granite sets and includes works to trim and maintain most of the existing trees. The project has funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Be First hopes that the project will help to revitalise the quieter end of East street in Barking, by enticing shoppers, local residents and visitors to explore the area and understand Barking’s fascinating history.

David Harley, Be First’s Head of Regeneration, explained: “With substantial new development in Barking Town centre, it is important to cherish Barking’s rich history.  These public realm works will enhance the setting of the historic Curfew Tower raising awareness of the area’s heritage and create an attractive calm space for people to relax and have lunch.  This forms part of a wider National Lottery Heritage Fund project involving local schools and volunteers.”

You can see the plans on our website