Piecemeal building

The infant River Westbourne crossed, what in 1900, was still a boggy field.

MAPPING YEAR:1750180018301860190019302019Fullscreen map
Article · Hampstead · NW3 · Contributed by The Underground Map
Victorian house under construction

The infant River Westbourne crossed, what in 1900, was still a boggy field.

After the First World War, builders got themselves organised in suburban London. The Metropolitan Railway had bought vast swathes of adjacent land to its tracks and sold them on the developers to build “Metroland” estates. This pattern held sway throughout London, north and south.

Whether Kenton or Kenley, 1920s and 1930s housing looks very similar - homogeneous estates in a then-fashionable style which were well provided with bathrooms and other features inside and the areas designed with “all mod cons” too – shops, schools and parks.

The scale of suburban growth was staggering – the countryside started at Gospel Oak and White City before the First World War. Before the Second World War, just 25 years later, the new housing reached as far as Edgware and Hounslow.

It was not always this way. Before 1914, London was built one street at a time. Builders would not buy a whole farm but just a field – maybe two fields but maybe parts of a field.

And rather than building housing in anticipation of demand - the inter-war model - often the Victorian way was to build simply according to immediate needs. Land was sold to a new owner and then a house was built. Sometimes the potential owners had used their building society savings to buy land and afterwards employ a friend or well-known local builder to build their house.

Thus, many seemingly uniform Victorian streets change their style half way along – a different looking house here and a unique building there.

The nineteenth century map of London is full of half-built streets – laid out roads, many houses there but otherwise still awaiting completion.

Builders also often left the “difficult” land to successors. The new North Circular Road found its route in the 1920s through undeveloped land which was already surrounded by new suburbs, because the River Brent took a route through boggy pasture for much of its length. Hence you can see this river next to the new road for much of its northwestern length – Henley's Corner, Brent Cross and points south.

And on this featured map from 1900 we see a Hampstead field as yet undeveloped, but surrounded by housing.

This branch of the River Westbourne which was originally called the Kelebourne here - rises just north of here and the field to the south of its source was very marshy. Once the price of land made this piece of potential real estate worthwhile, the field was build upon.

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence

Add your own contribution to Piecemeal building.
Ensure that contributions are kept civilised and are not abusive.
We store your comment's IP address and reserve the right to apply bans where community standards are violated.
Please enter your name:
Enter the information you wish to add to Piecemeal building:
Please prove that you are a human by typing the text that you see in the picture below.
Refresh Image
You can completely dispense with this CAPTCHA palava by logging onto our Facebook app.
Contribution type:

If you authorise our The Undeground Map Facebook app by clicking the Facebook logo at the top right of the screen, you can add stories, photos and more to this location.
Note that the Undeground Map Facebook app does not post to Facebook on your behalf.
West End Lady
West End Lady   
Added: 7 Mar 2018 21:30 GMT   
Post by West End Lady: Rossmore Road, NW1

Rossmore Road is not in Camden Town, it is in St Marylebone - I should know. I was born and raised there! If anyone wants a further information please post on here.

Added: 4 Mar 2018 21:27 GMT   
Post by Alicemary: Erskine Road, NW3

I am trying to find any information out about 3 Erskine Road. NW3. I have just come across an old identity card which was my Grandmothers, dated 1946 , this being where she then lived. If anyone can give me any information about this area then, or old photographs, that would be really good.

Maria Russ
Maria Russ   
Added: 7 Dec 2017 09:46 GMT   
Post by Maria Russ: Middle Row Bus Garage

My mum worked as a Clippie out from Middle Row Bus Garage and was conductress to George Marsh Driver. They travel the City and out to Ruislip and Acton duiring the 1950’s and 1960’s. We moved to Langley and she joined Windsor Bus Garage and was on the Greenline buses after that. It was a real family of workers from Middle Row and it formed a part of my early years in London. I now live in New Zealand, but have happy memories of the early years of London Transport and Middle Row Garage.
Still have mum’s bus badge.

Happy times they were.

Julia elsdon
Julia elsdon   
Added: 22 Nov 2017 18:19 GMT   
Post by Julia elsdon: Shirland Mews, W9

I didn’t come from Shirland Mews, but stayed there when my father was visiting friends, sometime in the mid to late forties. As I was only a very young child I don’t remember too much. I seem to think there were the old stables or garages with the living accommodation above. My Mother came from Malvern Road which I think was near Shirland Mews. I remember a little old shop which had a "milk cow outside". So I was told, it was attached to the front of the shop and you put some money in and the milk would be dispensed into your container. Not too sure if it was still in use then. Just wonder if anyone else remembers it.yz5

Irene Whitby..maiden name crighton
Irene Whitby..maiden name crighton   
Added: 17 Nov 2017 22:50 GMT   
Post by Irene Whitby..maiden name crighton: Netherwood Street, NW6

I was born at 63netherwood street.need to know who else lived there.i think I moved out because of a fire but not sure

Cassandra Green
Cassandra Green   
Added: 19 Sep 2017 21:39 GMT   
Post by Cassandra Green: Rudall Crescent, NW3

I lived at 2 Rudall Crescent until myself and my family moved out in 1999. I once met a lady in a art fair up the road who was selling old photos of the area and was very knowledgeable about the area history, collecting photos over the years. She told me that before the current houses were built, there was a large manor house , enclosed by a large area of land. She told me there had been a fire there. Im trying to piece together the story and find out what was on the land before the crescent was built. This website is very interesting.

Brenda Jackson
Brenda Jackson   
Added: 13 Aug 2017 21:39 GMT   
Post by Brenda Jackson: Granville Road, NW6

My Gt Gt grandparents lived at 83 Pembroke Road before it became Granville Road, They were married in 1874, John Tarrant and Maryann Tarrant nee Williamson.
Her brother George Samuel Williamson lived at 95 Pembroke Road with his fwife Emily and children in the 1881 Census

Apparently the extended family also lived for many years in Alpha Place, Canterbury Road, Peel Road,

Added: 19 Jan 2019 05:40 GMT   
Post by LDNnews: St Johns Wood
Dartford station: Man 'with sword' arrested after armed police descend on busy train station
A man has been arrested after allegedly carrying a sword on train.


Added: 18 Jan 2019 16:30 GMT   
Post by LDNnews: Chalk Farm
Blood Mood 2019: Everything you need to know about Monday’s total lunar eclipse
Astronomers and skygazers will be on the lookout for a spectacle on Monday morning as a total lunar eclipse takes place.


Added: 18 Jan 2019 16:27 GMT   
Post by LDNnews: Aldwych
Cannon Hill, NW6
Cannon Hill is a road in Fortune Green, NW6


Added: 18 Jan 2019 15:40 GMT   
Post by LDNnews: Belsize Park
More passengers 'shun public transport and use cars or cabs to get to airports'
Airline passengers are more likely to travel by car or cab to catch flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton than they were seven years ago, in a trend described as "concerning" by a new report.


Added: 18 Jan 2019 07:30 GMT   
Post by LDNnews: St Johns Wood
Police detectives with 'disdain' for alleged child sex abuse victims were 'too lazy' to investigate properly, court hears
Two police detectives with a "cynical disdain" for alleged child sex abuse victims sabotaged a string of cases because they were too lazy to investigate properly, the Old Bailey heard.


Added: 17 Jan 2019 15:30 GMT   
Post by LDNnews: Chalk Farm
Council admits language unit at Bexleyheath school could close - but hundreds want it kept open
Council admits language unit at Bexleyheath school could close - but hundreds want it kept open


Added: 17 Jan 2019 06:40 GMT   
Post by LDNnews: Belsize Park
Brexit news latest: Tom Watson and Michael Gove praised for fiery summing up speeches ahead of no confidence vote
Tom Watson and Michael Gove have been praised for their fiery speeches in the Commons as they wound up the debate ahead of the no-confidence vote in the Government.


Added: 17 Jan 2019 05:40 GMT   
Post by LDNnews: St Johns Wood
Brentford: Championship club’s B team taking on Europe and England’s elite
Meet the English side without a league that take on European giants to help develop Championship-ready players.


Added: 16 Jan 2019 16:27 GMT   
Post by LDNnews: Aldwych
Golborne Mews, W10
Golborne Mews lies off of the Portobello Road, W10.


The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.



Hampstead though now considered an integral part of London, has retained much of its village charm.

Hampstead is on a steep hill and the tube station platforms are the deepest on the London Underground network, at 58.5 metres below ground level. It has the deepest lift shaft on the Underground.

Although early records of Hampstead itself can be found in a grant by King Ethelred the Unready to the monastery of St. Peter's at Westminster (AD 986) and it is referred to in the Domesday Book (1086), the history of Hampstead is generally traced back to the 17th century.

Trustees of the Well started advertising the medicinal qualities of the chalybeate waters (water impregnated with iron) in 1700. Although Hampstead Wells was initially successful, its popularity declined in the 1800s due to competition with other London spas. The spa was demolished in 1882, although a water fountain was left behind.

Hampstead started to expand following the opening of the North London Railway in the 1860s (now on the London Overground), and expanded further after the tube station opened in 1907.

6 Ellerdale Road · Admiral’s Walk · An introduction to Hampstead by G.E. Mitton (1902) · Anna Freud Centre · Arkwright Road · Avenue Mansions · Back Lane · Back Lane · Bracknell Gardens · Bracknell Way · Bracknell Way · Branch Hill Pond · Camden Arts Centre · Cannon Lane · Cannon Place · Carlingford Road · Chesterford Gardens · Christ Church Primary School · Church Row · Coach House Yard · Columbas Drive · Croftway · Denning Road · Devonshire House Preparatory School · Devonshire House Preparatory School · Downshire Hill · Dresden Close · East Heath Road · Ellerdale Close · Ellerdale Road · Elm Row · Everyman Cinema · Finchley Road And Frognal · Finchley Road · Firecrest Drive · Fitzjohn’s Avenue · Fitzjohn’s Primary School · Fitzjohn's Avenue · Fitzjohns Avenue · Fitzjohn’s Avenue · Fitzjohn’s Primary School · Flask Walk · Freud Museum · Frognal Bridge · Frognal Close · Frognal Court · Frognal Gardens · Frognal Lane · Frognal Parade · Frognal Rise · Frognal Way · Frognal · Frognal · Gainsborough Gardens · Gayton Road · Grange Gardens · Great Hollow Elm · Greenaway Gardens · Greenhill · Hampstead · Hampstead Gate · Hampstead Grove · Hampstead High Street · Hampstead Hill Gardens · Hampstead Parochial Church of England Primary School · Hampstead station (1907) · Hampstead Town · Hampstead tunnel · Heath Brow · Heath Drive · Heath Hurst Road · Heath Side · Heath Villas · Heathside Preparatory School · Heysham Lane · Holford Road · Holly Bush Vale · Holly Walk · Jack Straw's Castle (1907) · Judges’ Walk · Keats Grove · Keats House · Kemplay Road · Langland Gardens · Lindfield Gardens · Lithos Road · Lithos Road · Lower Terrace · Lymington Road · Lyndhurst Road · Mansion Gardens · Maresfield Gardens · Mount Vernon · Netherhall Gardens · Netherhall House · Netherhall Way · New End Primary School · New West End · North Bridge House Pre-Prep School · North Bridge House Senior School · North Bridge Nursery School · Nutley Terrace · O2 Centre · Oakhill Avenue · Old Brewery Mews · Oriel Court · Oriel Place · Palace Court · Pentameters Theatre · Perrin’s Lane · Perrins Court · Perrins Walk · Pilgrim’s Lane · Pilgrim’s Place · Pilgrims Lane · Pilgrims Place · Prince Arthur Mews · Prince Arthur Road · Redington Gardens · Redington Road · Rosemont Road · Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel · Rosslyn Hill · Rosslyn House · Rosslyn Mews · Rudall Crescent · Shepherd’s Path · Shepherd’s Well · Shepherd's Path · Shepherds Walk · Source of the Kilbourne · Southbank International School · Spedan Close · Spode Walk · St Anthony’s Preparatory School · St John · St Luke’s Church of England Primary · St Margaret’s School · St Mary’s School · St Mary’s Church · Studholme Court · Telegraph Hill · Templewood Avenue · Templewood Gardens · The Academy School · The Academy School · The Gables · The Mount · The Royal School · Thurlow Road · Two streams meet · University College School · University College School · Upper Terrace · Vale of Health · Vane Close · Village Mount · Whitestone Lane · Whitestone Pond · Willoughby Road · Yorkshire Grey Place ·
Articles in grey above need some care and attention
Roads are red; buildings are green
Other entries in blue above are featured articles
Print-friendly version of this page


The Fascination of Hampstead
By G. E. Mitton (1902)
Facebook Page
Finchley Road
Facebook Page
Swiss Cottage
Facebook Page
West Hampstead
Facebook Page
Hidden London
Histor­ically inclined look at the capital’s obscure attractions
All-encompassing website
British History Online
Digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources.
Time Out
Listings magazine


John Rocque Map of Hampstead (1762).
John Rocque (c. 1709–1762) was a surveyor, cartographer, engraver, map-seller and the son of Huguenot émigrés. Roque is now mainly remembered for his maps of London. This map dates from the second edition produced in 1762. London and his other maps brought him an appointment as cartographer to the Prince of Wales in 1751. His widow continued the business after his death. The map of Hampstead covers an area stretching from the edge in the northwest of present-day Dollis Hill to Islington in the southeast.
John Rocque, The Strand, London

Environs of London (1832) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured. Relief shown by hachures. A circle shows "Extent of the twopenny post delivery."
Chapman and Hall, London

London Underground Map (1921).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1921.
London Transport

The Environs of London (1865).  FREE DOWNLOAD
Prime meridian replaced with "Miles from the General Post Office." Relief shown by hachures. Map printed in black and white.
Published By J. H. Colton. No. 172 William St. New York

London Underground Map (1908).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1908.
London Transport

Ordnance Survey of the London region (1939) FREE DOWNLOAD
Ordnance Survey colour map of the environs of London 1:10,560 scale
Ordnance Survey. Crown Copyright 1939.

Outer London (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
Outer London shown in red, City of London in yellow. Relief shown by hachures.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)

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.