North Circular

While taking the bus from Stansted, UK to London we drove along North Circular Road for some time. A quarter of all of the houses along the two or three mile stretch we were driving along were abandoned. I recorded a GPS waypoint on my phone not knowing where we were to look up later what the story was with this abandoned houses.

Turns out this arterial road which sees a huge amount of traffic each day was slated to be expanded into a more proper motorway in the 60's but then the project was canceled in the 70's. A large portion of the houses on this road are now owned by Transport For London as they buy up lots when they come up for sale. Since the project of expanding the road has been stalled for decades these houses are abandoned.

The result is that it's a squatter's paradise. In reading about this place I found some really interesting material. You can find below for shorts done for the BBC on the North Circular. I also saw a sign for a company called Camelot which places people in abandoned houses to keep them from being squatted or vandalized. If there's anything that could further inspire one to be a squatter than seeing hundreds of abandoned houses one after the other, I don't know what it is.

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