Our prefab location map started life at the museum. We carefully mapped the prefabs people told us about in the visitors’ book and from the flags stuck in our map on to Google My Map. Thanks to eagle-eyed prefab scouts and people who live or lived in them, we now have over 90,000 identified! The markers are for prefabs still lived in, demolished and in museums, and general information. And some we are not certain if they are still there!
Every week people tell us about prefabs we didn’t know existed. We have been directed to prefabs still lived in or long demolished, on farms, used as storage, catteries, as holiday homes or clubrooms, even two made into a pub, and links to community archives or Facebook groups. We put them on our map and where they have a history, a photo or memory attached it makes them come alive. If your prefab is not on our map, please tell us!
Tips for searching: In London, searching on the postcode SW11 rather than Battersea will return more results. Outside London the city, town or village name is recorded. All verified locations across the UK contain the first part of the postcode. We ask for your patience while we reconfigure the map, to make it easier to use. For more information read our blog post about mapping the prefabs.
As part of our project the Moving Prefab Museum and Archive we aim to make the map even better, with more stories, photos and links. Many local, regional and national archives are being digitised and made available online. Can you help us find information about prefabs through these and other resources to enrich our collective knowledge, or do you know of prefabs still lived in, in your area? Please visit our Support page or contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where do we find the information? We use the National Library of Scotland’s excellent OS London/TQ 1:1,250/1:2,500 maps of London and the south east 1947-64 overlaid on modern maps, Bristol’s Know Your Place and old-maps.co.uk (subscription service). If you identify prefab locations for us (roads and streets, villages and towns, boroughs or postcodes) we can generally find them using the maps above. Prefabs on these maps are very distinctive, and in some cases we can identify the type of prefab by the shape!
100 re-clad Arcons in Lincoln.
2, possibly 3, AIROH aluminium bungalows in North Yorkshire.
A Universal behind the Mazda garage in Southampton.
There has been a fantastic response to our call for Swedish timber prefab houses and bungalows, from Somerset to Orkney. See our blog post Swedish Post-War Prefabricated Houses – location list. We have also been notified of Finnish timber houses, erected by the Forestry Commission.
If you spot any prefabs on your travels, let us know!
A Uni-Seco prefab on the Kent and East Sussex Railway. We were subsequently offered it!
At the Chiltern Open Air Museum on 23 August 2016, Rosemary the cousin of the lady who lived in Chiltern’s Universal prefab in Finch Lane, Amersham, came along to our event. Look out for her filmed interview soon. Thanks to Solange and Jane for interviewing her.
Prefabs in Lewes, Rustington, Eastbourne and Brighton, plus a link to prefab photos in the James Gray collection, the photographic archive of the Regency Society. Thanks to Martin for all the links, via email!
A Swedish timber prefab and Tarran prefab opposite each other, in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. The Swedish prefab is still lived in, the Tarran has become a changing room. Thanks to Sid for the photos and information via Facebook.
More information from visitors to the East End Canal Festival about prefabs in Mile End, plus a photo of prefabs by the Gainsborough Studios. We were directed to prefabs that may be still up and in alternative use.
Arcon Mk V prefab still up and lived in, in Aylsham Norfolk. Prefabs in Hopwood, Birmingham, still up and lived in.
Photos by Jane Hearn
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.