Electric Avenue, SW9

Road in/near Brixton, existing between 1888 and now

MAPPING YEAR:1750180018301860190019302019Fullscreen map
Road · Brixton · SW9 ·

Electric Avenue is a street in Brixton and the first market street to be lit by electricity.

Electric Avenue, Brixton, c.1900
Built in 1888, the elegant Victorian canopies over the pavements survived until the 1980s.

Brixton Market began in the 1870s as the area was becoming one of London’s rapidly expanding Victorian middle-class suburbs following the railway station opening in 1862. The area became a popular shopping destination due not only to the lights and covered iron canopy but also the array of shops – including London’s first department store: Bon Marché on Brixton Road – and street entertainers. Every Christmas, it would be lavishly covered in spectacular Christmas decorations.

At the turn of the century the middle classes moved out and the area became home to a large working class population. Many large houses were subsequently converted into flats.

Post-war, the area was in decline having suffered badly in WWII bombing. Many properties fell into disrepair or were split into smaller lodgings. Such lodgings would become home to the Windrush generation (named after the Empire Windrush, the first ship bringing migrants) who began arriving in the 1940s from the West Indies, and who have since shaped the culture and diversity of the entire area. With this growth in population came a greater demand for goods, and thus the street market continued expanding. The market developed a more notorious reputation towards the 1970s and 80s as Brixton gradually became more impoverished.

After the 1981 Brixton Riots, central government put money into the area and matters improved.

Today, the street contains several butchers and fish mongers and hosts a part of Brixton Market, which specialises in selling a mix of African, Caribbean, South American and Asian products. It is located just around the corner from Brixton tube station.


Electric Avenue, Brixton, c.1900
User unknown/public domain



Print-friendly version of this page

Unless a source is explicitedly stated, text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Articles may be a remixes of various Wikipedia articles plus work by the website authors - original Wikipedia source can generally be accessed under the same name as the main title. This does not affect its Creative Commons attribution.

Maps upon this website are in the public domain because they are mechanical scans of public domain originals, or - from the available evidence - are so similar to such a scan or photocopy that no copyright protection can be expected to arise. The originals themselves are in public domain for the following reason:
Public domain Maps used are in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.
This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighbouring rights.

This tag is designed for use where there may be a need to assert that any enhancements (eg brightness, contrast, colour-matching, sharpening) are in themselves insufficiently creative to generate a new copyright. It can be used where it is unknown whether any enhancements have been made, as well as when the enhancements are clear but insufficient. For usage, see Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag.