The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at
The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at

This Used to Be Fields

Thursday 30 October 2014

This summer, we worked alongside Historypin and Create, in collaboration with the residents of Barking & Dagenham, on a unique creative project to build a digital archive of photos and stories from the people of the Becontree Estate in This Used to Be Fields.

Inspired by the memories and shared social history of the local residents, artist Chad McCail created a colourful new mural representing the multi-layered history of the Becontree Estate at Valence House.

Following a winding Becontree street, McCail transports us through the area’s rich history, from WW1 to the arrival, and rapid departure, of Ford Motors to political events such as Gandhi’s visit to Kingsley Hall, alongside the personal stories of those who live in the estate.

Admission to Valence House Museum, is free and opening hours are Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm (except public holidays).

Explore Historypin’s digital archive, This Used to be Fields and contribute your own memories of the area.

This Used to be Fields is a collaborative project delivered by Historypin and Create. The project has been commissioned by the Barbican, with funding from the Arts Council of England and additional support from Creative Barking and Dagenham.

Photography: Emil Charlaff

Artist Chad McCail