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A Clockwork Orange film location, Thamesmead
Andy Parsons

Then and now: the estate from ‘A Clockwork Orange’

By Thomas Hobbs
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Did you know that the brutalist housing estate from ‘A Clockwork Orange’ still exists on the outskirts of London? Here’s what it’s like today…

The location: Binsey Walk, Thamesmead.

The scene: In a sinister, dystopian London, antisocial delinquent Alex (Malcolm McDowell) has had it with his gang of ‘droogs’ questioning his leadership. So he kicks them into a handy water feature on his concrete-and-brick housing estate.

Then: With its artificial lakes and futuristic concrete tower blocks, Thamesmead – when it was finished in 1968 – was posited as an answer to London’s post-war housing shortage. Just three years later, its brutalist buildings became one of the locations Stanley Kubrick used to create the bleak future of Anthony Burgess’s novel.

Now: Poor transport links and years of mismanagement have seen the area slip into decay. ‘Kubrick helped to solidify a poor reputation,’ says regeneration consultant Robert Bevan. Over the next 30 years, housing association Peabody will invest £1.5 billion to build 30,000 new homes and a DLR link in Thamesmead. For now, Binsey Walk is more or less derelict: the only menacing white figures you’ll see today are honking swans.

Now discover more of the best movies about London.

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