Our companion site to The Underground Map is globalguide.org.
Today it is launching, for the first time, a complete map from 1900 within the whole area of the M25. Based upon various public-domain Ordnance Survey maps published between 1894 and 1900, the seamless “slippy” map allows the viewer to see a complete map of London as it was as the Victorian era drew to a close.
In the 1890s, London was recovering from a growth spurt. Whole areas such as North Kensington, Islington, Clapham and Blackheath were being covered with new housing. Meanwhile, the vast majority of Middlesex and the fringes of Essex, Surrey and Kent were awaiting suburbanisation – a patchwork of farms and fields.
You can zoom in and out of the map, and the mapping changes between various editions of the OS mapping. Furthermore the little slider tool in the top right of the mapping allows you to overlay a modern map.
Access the homepage of the website here: www.globalguide.org
This is an example of a particular location in the suburbs of London – click on the “Hendon Central” text above to view. But looking at the old mapping, the future site of Hendon Central station was, until the 1920s, simply a bend in a road called Butcher’s Lane. Where the bend was located, was the future site of the circus in front of Hendon Central tube station. The east-west portion of Butcher’s Lane was renamed Queen’s Road. The portion running towards the northwest now follows the line of the hugely busy A41 (Watford Way). Extended south from this point, the thoroughfare runs south towards the Brent Cross flyover. Using the control in the top right of the map, you can overlay the modern Google Map on top of the 1900 map to see how the fields were overlaid with twentieth century housing.
The map below shows the area between Twyford and Willesden Junction – west of the Grand Union, the fields remain. East of it, the sprawl of London has overcome the countryside. You can see this map on the globalguide website by focusing on Willesden Junction.