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Kentish Town ·
JUNE
20
2019

The Underground Map is a project which is creating street histories for the areas of London and surrounding counties lying inside the M25.


In a series of maps from the 1750s until the 1950s, you can see how London grew from a city which only reached as far as Park Lane into the post war megapolis we know today. There are now over 85 000 articles on all variety of locations including 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, click on the markers to view location articles.

You can also view historical maps of London - click on the "pile of paper" control on the top right of a page's map to change to a particular decade.
Latest on The Underground Map...
Kentish Town
Kentish Town is first recorded during the reign of King John (1208) as Kentisston. By 1456 Kentish Town was recognised as a thriving hamlet, and in this period a chapel of ease is recorded as being built for the inhabitants.

The early 19th century brought a lot of modernisation, causing a lot of the area’s rural charm, the River Fleet and the 18th century buildings to vanish.

Large amounts of land were purchased to build the first railway through the area, which can still be seen today. Kentish Town was a prime site for development as the Kentish Town Road was the main route for the growing city of London to the South.

1877 saw the beginning of mission work in the area as it was, by then, poor. The mission first held their services outside but as their funding increased they built a mission house, chapel, and vicarage.

In 1912 the Church of St Silas the Martyr was finally erected and consecrated, and by December of that year it became a parish in its own right.

Kentish Town was to s...

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Citations and sources

Gillian Bebbington's 1972 work on street name derivations

Links and further reading

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Histor­ically inclined look at the capital’s obscure attractions

 

Featured articles

MARCH
15
2019

 

Royal Aeronautical Society
The Royal Aeronautical Society, also known as the RAeS, is a British-founded multidisciplinary professional institution dedicated to the global aerospace community. The objectives of Society include: to support and maintain high professional standards in aerospace disciplines; to provide a unique source of specialist information and a local forum for the exchange of ideas; and to exert influence in the interests of aerospace in the public and industrial arenas.

The Society was founded in January 1866 with the name The Aeronautical Society of Great Britain. Early or founding members included James Glaisher, Francis Wenham, the Duke of Argyll, and Frederick Brearey. In the first year, there were 65 members. In 1868 the Society held a major exhibition at London’s Crystal Palace - John Stringfellow’s steam engine was shown there. The Society sponsored the first wind tunnel in 1870-71, designed by Wenham and Browning.

In 1918, the organization’s name was changed to the Royal Aeronautical Society.

During the 1940s, the RAeS responded to the wartime need to expand the aircraft industr...
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MARCH
14
2019

 

Ainger Road, NW3
Ainger Road lies along the boundary of St John’s Hampstead, a parish which saw rapid development in the nineteenth century. The name commemorates Thomas Ainger, vicar of St John’s from 1841 until his death in 1863, who provided clinics, schools and churches to go with the new houses in the area.

George Pownall was the builder/developer responsible for developing the street. In 1868 Pownall proposed to build several new roads. After building in Albert Park and Oppidans Road, Ainger Road was built in 1869. By 1879, Pownall had built 38 houses, three stables and a workshop.
»read full article


MARCH
13
2019

 

South Square, NW11
South Square is the name of the southern part of Central Square, Hampstead Garden Suburb. Raymond Unwin’s 1905 proposals for a garden suburb at Hampstead showed a central core near to the location of what became Central Square. This point was the highest in the suburb and thus its proposed buildings would become the focus in views from surrounding streets. There was to be a library, a hall, an Anglican church, a chapel and shops. The east side of the square was to be filled with housing.

As 1908 dawned, Edwin Lutyens was appointed consulting architect to Hampstead Garden Suburb (HGS) and was directed to focus his energies on the central area, including the Institute. Lutyens’s drew a sketch plan for Central Square and presented to the General Purposes Committee of the HGS Trust on 18 February.

Henrietta Barnett, whose idea the suburb had been, was known not to approve it and suggested an alternative arrangement in a letter of 24 February. This plan captures what would become the final form of the Central Square, with the Institute and rel...
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MARCH
12
2019

 

Latymer Upper School
Latymer Upper School is an independent selective grammar school which accepts boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 19. Latymer Upper School was founded by Edward Latymer in 1624. It is coeducational with over 1200 pupils.

Edward Latymer, a wealthy lawyer and puritan, left part of his wealth for the clothing and education of “eight poore boyes” from Hammersmith. In 1657, a parochial charity school was set up and was rebuilt in 1755. A new facility was built on what is now King Street in Hammersmith in 1863, and was replaced in 1890 with a new building between King Street and the Thames. This structure persists to the present day as the core of the Upper School. The site also includes Latymer Prep School, which takes pupils aged 7 to 11.

The school became fully private in 1975 after being a direct grant school. The Sixth Form has been co-educational since 1996, and in 2004 the main school started to become co-educational.
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MARCH
11
2019

 

Hatton Garden, EC1N
Hatton Garden is a street and area noted as London’s jewellery quarter and centre of the UK diamond trade. The name ’Hatton Garden’ is derived from the garden of Ely Place, the London residence of the Bishop of Ely, which was given to Sir Christopher Hatton by Elizabeth I in 1581, during a vacancy of the see.

The area surrounding Hatton Garden has been the centre of London’s jewellery trade since medieval times. The old City of London had streets, or quarters, dedicated to types of business, and the area around Hatton Garden became a centre for jewellers and jewellery. Nearly 300 businesses in Hatton Garden are in the jewellery industry and over 55 shops represent the largest cluster of jewellery retailers in the UK. The largest of these companies is De Beers, the international family of companies that dominate the international diamond trade. De Beers has its headquarters in a complex of offices and warehouses just behind the main Hatton Garden shopping street. The area also plays host to a large number of media, publishing and creative businesses, including Blinkbox ...
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MARCH
10
2019

 

Lower Marsh Market
Lower Marsh Market is in the Waterloo area of London. Lower Marsh Market and a variety of vintage shops, pubs, bookshops, art galleries, independent coffee spaces and a variety of restaurants featuring food from many ethnic origins.

In 2015, the market was reported as having 77 stalls.

»read full article


MARCH
9
2019

 

Television Centre
Television Centre is a complex in White City that was the headquarters of BBC Television between 1960 and 2013. The first BBC staff moved into the Scenery Block in 1953, and the centre was officially opened on 29 June 1960. Parts of the building are Grade II listed.

It was announced in 2010 that the BBC would cease broadcasting from Television Centre in 2013. Property developers Stanhope plc bought the complex for £200 million.
»read full article


MARCH
8
2019

 

Coppock Close, SW11
Coppock Close is part of the Kambala Estate. The Kambala Estate was named after a former road that the estate covered - Kamballa Road. It is part of a scheme of low-rise brick-built houses and flats, built between 1976 and 1979.
»read full article


MARCH
7
2019

 

St Luke’s Hospital for Lunatics
St Luke’s Hospital for Lunatics was founded in London in 1751 for the treatment of incurable pauper lunatics by a group of philanthropists. It was London’s second public institution in London created to look after mentally ill people, after the Hospital of St Mary of Bethlem (Bedlam), founded in 1246.

In 1786 the hospital moved to purpose-built premises on Old Street, between Bath St and what is now the Old Street Roundabout. The building had a magnificent frontage of brick, 500 feet long and had a central entrance, with the male wards to the left and female wards to the right.

There wered single cells for 300 patients, each with small windows set high in the wall.

All patients were transferred in 1916, and the buildings were acquired by the Bank of England to become the St Luke’s Printing Works, used for printing bank notess. The building was demolished in 1963.
»read full article


MARCH
6
2019

 

Thames Tunnel
The Thames Tunnel connects Rotherhithe and Wapping and was built between 1825 and 1843. There had been an increasing need for a new connection between the north and south banks of the Thames to link the expanding docks on each side.

In 1818, the Anglo-French engineer Marc Brunel had patented the tunnelling shield, a revolutionary advance in tunnelling technology. Five years later, he produced a plan for a tunnel between Rotherhithe and Wapping, which would be dug using the shield. Financing was found from private investors and the project began in February 1825.

The tunnelling shield was built at Henry Maudslay’s Lambeth works and assembled in the Rotherhithe shaft. Its main innovation was the support for the unlined ground in front and around it to reduce the risk of collapses. Many workers, including Marc Brunel, fell ill from the filthy sewage-laden water seeping through from the river above. The main engineer himsef, John Armstrong, fell ill in April 1826. Marc’s son Isambard Kingdom Brunel took over at the age of 20.
...
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MARCH
5
2019

 

Ethelburga Street, SW11
Ethelburga Street was named after Saint Æthelburh (Ethelburga), founder and first Abbess of Barking. Ethelburga was the sister of Earconwald, Bishop of London. Earconwold founded a double monastery at Barking for his sister, and a monastery at Chertsey for himself. Barking appears to have already been established by the time of the plague in 664 AD.

Ethelburga had been at some time based in a manor which was sited in what became Battersea Park near to Albert Bridge Road.

Before Battersea Bridge was built around 1771, the area contained scattered houses, lanes and tracks. Once lane which then stretched right across the modern Battersea Park was Marsh Lane. The section across the park disappeared but the remainder of Marsh Lane was made into Ethelburga Street in 1871. At the time, the street stretched from Battersea Bridge Road to Albert Bridge Road.

A house called Park House (now demolished) was built in 1873 at the (north) corner of Ethelburga Street and Battersea Bridge Road for Benjamin Cooke, a builder who built a lot of Battersea.
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MARCH
4
2019

 

Talbot Yard, SE1
Talbot Yard used to host one of the most famous inns in English literature. The Tabard was immortalised by Chaucer when he selected it as the starting place of the pilgrims in his celebrated Pilgrims Progress. He sets the scene at the Inn on the night before the pilgrimage:

‘Byfel that in that sesoun on a day,
In Southwark at the Tabard as I lay
Ready to wenden on my pilgrimage
To Canterbury, with ful devout courage,
At night was come into that hostelrie,
Wel nyne and twenty in a compainye.’
The Tabard as it stood in 1875 was not the inn that Chaucer knew of 1388; the original was destroyed by fire in 1628.

The inn first appeared on the scene in 1304 when the Abbot and Convent of Hythe became the owner of two houses purchased from William Latergareshall. On the site of these houses the Abbot built a dwelling house and a hostelry and erected the sign of the Tabard, a sleeveless leather coat. It was probably the first of the High Street inns and the forerunner of a multiplicity of inns,...
»more


MARCH
3
2019

 

Brunel Museum
The Brunel Museum is a museum at the Brunel Engine House in Rotherhithe. The Engine House itself was designed by Sir Marc Isambard Brunel as part of the infrastructure of the Thames Tunnel. It contained steam-powered pumps used to extract water from the tunnel.

Since 1961 the building has been used as a museum displaying information on the construction of the tunnel as well as other projects by Marc and Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
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MARCH
2
2019

 

Mercator Road, SE13
Mercator Road was at first called Marlborough Road and was first laid out in the 1850s. Ten deaths occurred in Mercator Road as the result of a Nazi raid on 29 June 1944 which destroyed most of the houses.

After the war, the road was cleared and over 80 prefabs were temporarily built on Mercator Road with some on Blessingham Road. This was a stopgap measure and in 1964, the Borough of Lewisham approved the building of the 14 storey Rawlinson House along with the rest of the Mercator Estate. This was built by the Tersons company, who were part of Balfour Beatty.
»read full article


MARCH
1
2019

 

First Avenue, EN1
First Avenue is an unusual instance of the numbering as opposed to the naming of roads. The area called ’The Avenues’ were built in different years, outside of the sequential order that might be expected.

Fourth Avenue and Fifth Avenue were built first in 1880 with Sixth Avenue begun in 1883. Seventh Avenue dates from 1884

First Avenue and Second Avenue date from the 1890s but Third Avenue did not appear until 1927.

In 1974 Enfield council compulsorily purchased properties north of Main Avenue and demolished Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Avenues to put up a housing estate.

First Avenue appears on the 1896 Ordnance Survey map with houses on the east side only.
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