It's time to lift the curfew!

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We've drawn up exciting new plans to give Barking’s 500 year old Curfew Tower a makeover.

We aim to declutter the approach to the tower and radically improve the landscaping to make this historic gem more visible and a much more attractive place to sit, relax and visit.

We will also introduce a bronze model of the ancient Abbey, to which the Curfew Tower was the principal gateway, to explain the historic importance of the site which includes the Abbey Ruins, Curfew Tower itself, and St Margaret’s Parish Church.

In the past curfews have been used to shut people away, but with this project we want to do the opposite. We want to restore the Tower as the centrepiece of this historically important site and create a dramatic approach which will draw people in and encourage them to relax, and also to learn about the history.

Our plans, which have funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, include reuse of the existing materials such as the Yorkstone flags and granite sets, and works to trim and maintain most of the existing trees.

We hope that it will help to revitalise the quieter end of East street by enticing shoppers, local residents and visitors to explore the area and understand Barking’s rich history.

We expect our proposals to be discussed by the Council’s planning committee in August.

Tell us what you think

Our survey is now closed. Thanks to everyone who responded.


We've drawn up exciting new plans to give Barking’s 500 year old Curfew Tower a makeover.

We aim to declutter the approach to the tower and radically improve the landscaping to make this historic gem more visible and a much more attractive place to sit, relax and visit.

We will also introduce a bronze model of the ancient Abbey, to which the Curfew Tower was the principal gateway, to explain the historic importance of the site which includes the Abbey Ruins, Curfew Tower itself, and St Margaret’s Parish Church.

In the past curfews have been used to shut people away, but with this project we want to do the opposite. We want to restore the Tower as the centrepiece of this historically important site and create a dramatic approach which will draw people in and encourage them to relax, and also to learn about the history.

Our plans, which have funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, include reuse of the existing materials such as the Yorkstone flags and granite sets, and works to trim and maintain most of the existing trees.

We hope that it will help to revitalise the quieter end of East street by enticing shoppers, local residents and visitors to explore the area and understand Barking’s rich history.

We expect our proposals to be discussed by the Council’s planning committee in August.

Tell us what you think

Our survey is now closed. Thanks to everyone who responded.


  • Plans for Curfew Tower are approved

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    11 Aug 2020
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    We're delighted to announce that the proposals to improve the area around Barking’s 500-year-old Curfew Tower a 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.

    "I'd like to thank everyone who commented on our proposals."

  • It's time to lift the curfew!

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    28 May 2020
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    Barking’s 500 year old Curfew Tower is set to get a makeover, if plans by Be First, the borough’s regeneration organisation, get the go ahead in July.

    The plan is to declutter the approach to the tower and radically improve the landscaping to make this historic gem more visible and a much more attractive place to sit, relax and visit.

    A bronze model of the saxon Abbey, to which the Curfew Tower was the principal gateway, will also be introduced to explain the historic importance of the site which includes the Abbey Ruins, Curfew Tower, and St Margaret’s Parish Church.

    Colin Bannon, Be First’s Heritage Townscape Manager, explains: “In the past curfews have been used to shut people away, but with this project we want to do the opposite. We want to restore the Tower as the centrepiece of this historically important site and create a dramatic approach to it which will draw people in and encourage them to relax, and also to learn about the history.”

    The project includes reuse of the existing materials on site such as the Yorkstone flags and granite sets, and works to trim and maintain most of the existing trees, and has funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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

    “We’re keen to hear what local people think,” adds Bannon, “and we have published the plans on our website.”