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Road · The Underground Map · NW10 ·

Stephenson Street was built in 1889 by the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) for its employees.

Originally, the estate appears to have been the private property of the LNWR, simply called Railway Cottages. The Borough of Acton may have named the streets when they were adopted, choosing names like Stephenson Street, Crewe Place and Stoke Place for their railway associations. The Railway Institute club, and a mission church and school were added within a few years.

On this Old Oak Lane Estate, the few densely packed streets of terraces display a characteristic layout, with small gardens, and narrow back alleys. This form is not too dissimilar from the ‘back-to-back’ estates in which many industrial workers of the 19th century were forced to live. All available space is allocated to buildings, small gardens and road access. Street trees, verges or any other than hard surfacing played no part in the original layout, although some planting, including a line of street trees on Old Oak Road, has occurred recently.

The Mission Church and parts of three terraces have been demolished. A new street, Channel Gate Road, has been driven through the estate, demolishing the school on Old Oak Lane, along with eight houses in Goodall Street and Stephenson Street. Channel Gate Road provides access to the lorries servicing the Channel Tunnel Freight Depot.

The survival of Old Oak Lane Estate in more or less its original form as a planned workers development is a rarity. Few examples remain in London.


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The Underground Map

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.
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