The Underground Map
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About the project
The Underground Map is a project which is creating a history website for the areas of London lying inside the M25.
There are now over 16 000 articles on all variety of locations including amongst others, roads, houses, schools, pubs and palaces.
You can begin exploring by choosing a place from the dropdown list at the top left and then clicking Reset Location.
As maps are displayed, you can use the map control by clicking on markers to change location or choose different historical views.
If you wish to contribute to the project, you can use a Facebook login to authorise The Underground Map app and tell other users the story of your area, street or house.
N.B. The app is simply used to authorise users and will not post to Facebook.
|You can search any of the locations that have been created so far by searching for the title. Type into the box below:|
|There are a series of historical maps covering each decade between 1800 and 1950.|
Navigate to the area that you wish to view using the dropdown. Choose a location and then click Reset Location
|Search for a street in London by typing its name into the box below:|
|Users have created a series of historical location articles to go with the historic maps.|
Click icons on the mapping to display each article. Subjects are many and various - simply explore!
Explore old maps of London
Featured articlesAdam And Eve Mews, W8
Adam And Eve Mews is a street in Kensington. Adam and Eve Mews is a cobbled mews entered under a covered entrance on the south side of Kensington High Street.
Some houses have been painted in bright colours, whereas others are faced in plain brick.
The mews forks south and west at the end; at the western section again forks north leading to a very private cul-de-sac which also contains some recently built mews-style houses.
Many of the houses have attractive roof gardens with lots of shrubs by the front doors.
Adam and Eve Mews is named after ‘The Adam and Eve’, an ancient inn with two acres of gardens which used to stand on the site. The site was quite long and narrow and did not really lend itself to building typical large London houses.
William Willett, a speculative builder in the area, bought the land and got permission in 1880 to build a series of stables to serve the surrounding larger houses. The 2-storey stable blocks were put up in 1880 – 1881 with a fe...
Abbey Orchard Street, SW1P
Abbey Orchard Street was the heart of a former slum area. Abbey Orchard Street was build over a former orchard belonging to Westminster Abbey.
The Devil’s Acre was a notorious slum on and behind Old Pye Street, Great St Anne’s Lane (now St Ann’s Street) and Duck Lane (now St Matthew Street) in the parish of Westminster.
In the 19th century it was considered one of the worst areas of London - The Devil’s Acre. As with a number of streets at the time, the building of Victoria Street was aimed at removing the slums in the area, and particularly the Devil’s Acre. The street was formally opened in 1851 and, as with other such projects, it displaced rather than removed the slum.
The street had been planned as an experiment in sanitary and moral engineering. In deciding the route of the street, the planner James Pennethorne’s objective "has only been to ascertain how best to improve the condition of the inhabitants of Westminster by improving the buildings, the levels, and the sewers, and by opening com...
Archbishop Tenison’s School
Archbishop Tenison’s School moved to The Oval in 1928 Thomas Tenison, an educational evangelist and later Archbishop of Canterbury, founded several schools in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. A boys’ school now at the Oval was founded in 1685 in the crypt of St Martin’s in the Fields and relocated by 1895 in Leicester Square on the site previously occupied by the Sabloniere Hotel.
The school moved to The Oval in 1928, with the new building being opened by the then Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII). A girls’ school was formally established in 1706 for 12 girls and in 1863 a new school building was erected at 18 Lambeth High Street. The girls school closed in 1961, when it amalgamated with Archbishop Temple’s Boys School to form a mixed VA school. The building was used by Temple’s as a first-year annex from 1968 to 1974, when Archbishop Temple’s School closed. Archbishop Tenison founded another school in nearby Croydon in 1714.
Archbishop Tenison’s at The Oval became a grammar school, then a com...
The Ossulston Estate is a multi-storey council estate built by the London County Council in Somers Town between 1927 and 1931. The estate was built to rehouse those poor who were not being served by the LCC’s new suburban estates, and was significantly denser to suit the urban site. It was located on the site of the Somers Town slum, between Euston and St Pancras stations. The original proposal made in 1925 was for 9-storey blocks on the American model, which would have required lifts, and with more expensive flats for private tenants on the highest floors. This was rejected and the height reduced to a maximum of 7 storeys, with fewer lifts and no private flats. The provision of central heating was also eliminated, but the buildings were unusual in providing electricity from the start, and Levita House had the first central heating system installed by the LCC.
The design, by G. Topham Forrest, chief architect of the LCC, and his assistants R. Minton Taylor and E.H. Parkes, was influenced by Viennese modernist public housing such as Karl Marx-Hof, which Forrest had visited. The estate consists o...
Wood Lane (1914)
Wood Lane - apparently London’s "go-to" station. There was a bewildering confusion of station names in the area, because the London & South Western Railway, which ran trains along the tracks of the West London Railway through Addison Road, in 1869 constructed a branch line which curved westwards from Addison Road down to Richmond with stations eventually opened at Shepherd’s Bush (in Shepherd’s Bush Road south of the Green), Hammersmith in Grove Road, and Shaftesbury Road (later renamed Ravenscourt Park). In 1868 the Metropolitan line Hammersmith station was moved further south, nearer to the Broadway, and to compound the duplication of names, the District line in 1874 extended its track from Earls Court and formed another Hammersmith station on the south of the Broadway.
This was not, however, the last Hammersmith station, because the Piccadilly line opened theirs in 1906 and at the same time the District line, which had previously run their trains through to Richmond on the branch line of the UzSWR took over respons...
Park Village East, NW1
Park Village East was part of a proposed canal-side village. Nash’s Regent’s Park development incorporated an entire range of house sizes and styles. Within the Park were large villas set in their own grounds for the very rich, and imposing stucco terraced palaces for the wealthy. Outside the Park were middle class villas in Park Village and the markets and barracks, each with their working class housing, near the Cumberland Basin. It was built as a complete new town on the edge of London.
John Nash saw the romantic possibilities of the new Regent’s Canal which was being built around the northern edge of his new Regent’s Park. On the way to the new hay market which he was planning in Cumberland Basin, would be a secluded, peaceful valley bordering the canal. He envisaged a pretty ‘village’ on its banks, as an annexe to his noble Corinthian terraces in Regent’s Park itself. In stucco, with tall windows leading out to wooded gardens overlooking the canal. On the edge of London, they would be the equivalent of Blaize Hamlet, which ...
Raymede Street, W10
Raymede Street, after severe bomb damage in the area, disappeared after 1950. For some years after the construction of the Hammersmith and City Railway, cricket fields lay to the north of the railway embankment. Here on one occasion the Notting Hill Flower Show and Home Improvement Society held its Exhibition, and the Duke and Duchess of Teck, accompanied by their young daughter, distributed the prizes. But in the middle seventies a series of residential roads were planned running parallel with the railway, and as these roads were continued east across Ladbroke Grove, they linked up this district with the smaller houses of the Portobello Road area.
The plan of 1865 shows that building plots along the south end of Ladbroke Grove had been leased by Colonel St. Quintin to Charles H. Blake, Esq., who already owned much property on the top of St. John’s Hill.
Shortly after the St Michael and All Angels church was opened, the freehold of eleven acres of Portobello Estate was obtained for St Charles’s College, and by 1874 a handsome rang...
Yorkshire Road, CR4
Yorkshire Road is part of Pollards Hill. Pollards Hill is a residential district crossing the border of the south London boroughs of Croydon and Merton between Mitcham and Norbury. It is the name of a council ward in Merton. The district is bisected by the Croydon/Merton boundary along Recreation Way. With no road connections between the Croydon and Merton portions of the district, they retain very different characteristics.
Mitcham Borough Council’s solution to the post-war housing shortage was to build prefabricated ‘Arcon’ bungalows at Pollards Hill. The first bungalows were ready as early as January 1946, and were meant to last about 10 years; in fact, many were still in use in the mid-1960s.
The four maisonette blocks were built by the Council in the 1950s on Yorkshire Road, beginning with Westmorland Square in 1950 and the final block, Bovingdon Square, in 1956; the other two were Hertford Square and Berkshire Square. The pre-fabs were mostly demolished in the 1960s, to make way for a new,...
Nokes Estate was an agricultural estate in the Earl’s Court area, formerly known as Wattsfield. Since at least the sixteenth century this area, reckoned as seventeen but in fact nearer eighteen and a quarter acres, had been known as Wattsfield.
Essentially, it included part of Earls Court Lane (now Earls Court Road) and Barrow’s Walk (now Marloes Road) and contained an orchard and several fields on which Abingdon Villas, Scarsdale Villas and neighbouring roads were later built .
In 1593 it was owned by Robert Fenn and remained in that family until Sir Robert Fenn sold it, with its advantage of a westward abutment on Earl’s Court Lane, to William Arnold in 1652. The Arnolds kept it until 1673, when it was bought by John Greene, and it remained with representatives of the Greene family until at least 1755.
Rocque’s mid-century map shows Barrows Walk bounding its eastern side, on the present line of Marloes Road.
By 1810 the owner was Samuel Hutchins, who in that year bought the enfranchisement from Lord Kensington for £...
Abingdon Road, W8
Abingdon Road stretches between Stratford Road and Kensington High Street. The present name recalls the parish connection with the abbey of Abingdon but the road began its life as Newland Street in 1817.
The street is tree-lined and very attractive.
The east section of Abingdon Road between Cope Place and Abingdon Villas was developed in 1852-4. Nos. 40-50 (even) were probably built by Richard Anderson, a builder from Plaistow who had a brickfield in the area, and No. 52 by Barnabas Jennings and William Stevenson. These were all builders involved in other parts of the Abingdon Villas and Scarsdale Villas area.
Ilchester Mansions was built by James Turner and Charles Withers in 1892-3. The designs were by George Eves. Eves was the estate surveyor for the Allen-Stevens Estate which owned much of the land in this area.
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Ossington Street, W2
Ossington Street leads from Moscow Road at its north end to the Bayswater Road at its south end. Ossington Street was originally laid out from the then Uxbridge Road to Moscow Road on part of Gravel Pit field in the 1830s. It was known at the time as Victoria Grove, and was renamed to Ossington Street in 1837 and transferred to Kensington. It is possible that the street was named after Viscount Ossington.
The buildings to the west side were in the form of terraced cottages of two storeys and basement, with a mews behind. Victoria Grove Mews retains its name to this day.
Several of the terraced houses to the south were leased to William Ward, a Marylebone builder, who also filled a space along the Uxbridge Road between Victoria Grove and the then boundary of Paddington with an inn and five shops, nos. 1 to 6 Wellington Terrace, around 1840.
By 1865, almost all of Bayswater had been built up and the only sites for infilling were south of Moscow Road and in particular along the east side of Victoria Grove. This was built up as Palace Cou...
Blackbird Hill Farm
Blackbird Hill Farm was situated on the corner of Birdbird Hill and Old Church Lane. It is unknown when Blackbird Hill Farm was first established. There were at least five “villagers” cultivating small areas of land in this part of Kingsbury at the time of the Domesday Book in 1085, but old records suggest that many local inhabitants died during the Black Death plagues of the mid-14th century. About 100 years later, in 1442, there is a mention of what may have been a farm on this site, and when a detailed map of the parish was drawn in 1597 it clearly showed a property called Findens here, a group of buildings around a yard with a strip of land, just over an acre, attached.
The large field behind it is shown as being leased to John Page, gentleman, by St Paul’s Cathedral (‘The Deane of Powles’), while the land on the opposite side of the main track was held by Eyan Chalkhill, who also had a watermill on the River Brent. In 1640, Findens was a 12-acre smallholding.
By the time of John Rocque’s map of 1745, there were farm buildings and o...
Chandler’s Cross is a hamlet south of Sarrat, Hertfordshire. Its pub, the Clarendon Arms, became a restaurant in the 2000s.
A nearby hotel is The Grove, set in 300 acres. This has hosted major events such as the G20 London summit and the 2013 Bilderberg Conference. As a house, it was remodelled by various architects including Surveyor of the King’s Works, Robert Taylor on the site of a medieval manor house as a home for the Earls of Clarendon, second creation, the Villiers family who downsized their estates to one they have long held at Swanmore, Hampshire following the 1914 increase of estate duty.
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