Leighton Road, NW5

Road in/near Kentish Town, existing between 1804 and now

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Road · Kentish Town · NW5 ·

The route of Leighton Road followed an original path from the Assembly House Inn on Kentish Town Road to Maiden Lane.

In 1804, the pathway was described as having a stile at the eastern end and a bowling green on its north side (on the site of the current 37 Leighton Road).

The owner of the land surrounding the path was Joshua Prole Torriano. Naming the path ’Evans Place’, Torriano sold off small freehold plots to individuals.

In 1816, Evans Place was renamed as Gloucester Place. The plots were just enough for large individual houses, or small groups developed at this same time causing a diverse built environment.

Leighton Road assumed its current name in the 1860s when it was linked to Torriano Avenue.

37 Leighton Road was one of the first new houses to be completed - in 1824. It was originally one of a pair but its twin was demolished when Lady Margaret Road was laid out mid century.

Citation information: A brief history of Kentish Town – The Underground Map
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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 see further modernisation in the post-World War II period. This means that there are few signs of 19th century influence left in the area.

Today Kentish Town is a busy shopping and business area. It offers libraries, gyms and other entertainments to visitors and its community.

The station was opened by the Midland Railway in 1868 on the extension to its new London terminal at St Pancras.

The separate London Underground station was opened on 22 June 1907 by the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway (CCE&HR), a precursor of the Northern line. The station was designed by Leslie Green with the ox-blood red glazed terracotta facade and the semi-circular windows at first floor level common to most of the original stations on the CCE&HR and its two associated railways, the Baker Street & Waterloo Railway and Great Northern Piccadilly & Brompton Railway which opened the previous year.
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