Bishop's Bridge Road, W2

Road in Paddington, existing between 1819 and now

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Road · Paddington · W2 · Contributed by Scott Hatton
JANUARY
7
2017


Bishop’s Bridge Road, now a main thoroughfare, began life as a footpath.

Westbourne Green was an early settlement and obliterated by mid 19th-century building, much of which consisted of streets with the prefix Westbourne and was sometimes known as Westbournia. The name Westbourne is thought to have originated not as the west burna or stream but as a place on the west side of the stream which came to be called after it.

The settlement long remained small, with a single alehouse in 1552. There were only a few houses in 1745, mostly south of the point where Harrow Road running westward from Edgware Road was joined by Westbourne Green (later Black Lion) Lane running northward from the Uxbridge road. From the southern end of the hamlet, a footpath later called Bishop’s Walk (eventually Bishop’s Bridge Road) provided a short cut to Paddington Green.

Westbourne Green had a very refined air in 1795 and was still considered a beautiful rural place in 1820. The Grand Junction canal, passing north of the village between the grounds of Westbourne Farm and Bridge House, was a scenic enhancement, later used to attract expensive building to the area. Although housing was spreading along Black Lion Lane, it had not reached Westbourne Green by 1828, when a house later called Elm Lodge stood north-west of Westbourne Manor House.

The main addition was at the southern end of the village, opposite Bishop’s Walk, where Pickering Terrace (later part of Porchester Road), backed by a double row called Pickering Place, formed a compact block of cottages amid the fields. Seven ratepayers had been assessed at Pickering Terrace in 1826 but some of the houses were still unfinished and others empty in 1837.

The cutting of the GWR line across the middle of Westbourne Green was begun in 1836, necessitating a slight northward realignment of Harrow Road east of its junction with Black Lion Lane, where a turnpike gate was moved.

Since the railway obstructed the Paddington Green end of Bishop’s Walk, the footpath was replaced by Bishop’s Road, soon extended westward as Westbourne Grove.

Housing spread in the 1840s, mainly south of the railway. The eastern end of Bishop’s Road was built up and at first called Westbourne Place, where the publisher George Smith was visited by Charlotte Bronte in 1848 and 1849. Immediately to the west, where the Paddington Estate straddled the Westbourne, roads were laid out, with bridges over the railway to link them with Harrow Road.

No. 37 Gloucester Gardens, Bishop’s Road, was the London home of the architect Decimus Burton by 1855. Most of the area between Bishop’s Road and the railway had been filled by 1855.

Building agreements were made with several individuals for every street. Some were speculators, including the Revd. Simon Sturges, who took leases for 12 houses on the north side of Bishop’s Road in 1847.

South of the railway, Westbourne Green shared the social characteristics of adjoining parts of Bayswater. The eastern end of Westbourne Gardens, with Porchester Square, and Gloucester, Porchester, and Orsett terraces, was wealthy, as was Bishop’s Road. Westbourne Park Villas and Road, with Hereford Road and other streets running south, were well-to-do, as was Westbourne Grove. Talbot Road and other streets running to the Kensington boundary were well-to-do or fairly comfortable, with poverty in some mews dwellings. There were also some poor alleys north of the canal, off Harrow Road near the workhouse.

The early 20th century saw a general, if slow, decline. Whiteley’s opened new buildings in Queensway rather than in Westbourne Grove, which lost much of its appeal.

By 1919 many large houses on the western edge of the borough around Talbot Road were empty or subdivided and by c. 1929 the area between Westbourne Grove and the railway, with many cheap boarding houses, had an air of neglect. Slums still lay farther north, where the neighbourhood of Brindley, Clarendon, and Cirencester streets had Paddington’s highest density, of 1.75 or more persons to a room, and was ’one of the most discreditable in London’.

In the period between the World Wars the building of Porchester Hall, with its adjacent library and baths, gave the north end of Porchester Road the appearance of a modest civic centre. Nearby rebuilding produced blocks of private flats, all north of Westbourne Grove. The few new commercial buildings included the GWR parcels depot at nos. 14, 16, and 18 Bishop’s Road and its estate and other offices at the northeastern end of Westbourne Terrace by 1934.

The renamed (after the Second War) Bishop’s Bridge Road became lined by many types of building. Westward from the railway bridge they include the former GWR parcels depot, the six and seven-storeyed block of municipal flats called Brewers’ Court, finished in 1976, and the empty site of Holy Trinity church, which was a subject of controversy in 1984 and prepared for flats called Trinity Court in 1986.

The area between the line of Bishop’s Bridge Road and Westbourne Grove and the railway is residential. Restoration of the tall Italianate houses in the eastern part, around Gloucester Terrace and Porchester Square, has enabled it to retain its original resemblance to Bayswater. The eastern end of Orsett Terrace (formerly Orsett Place), although much altered, contains two detached villas whose ornate features include Egyptian pillars and boldly projecting cornices; they were designed by G. L. Taylor as comparatively low buildings, in order not to hide Holy Trinity church.

At the south-west corner of Porchester Square the flats of the Colonnades are in scale with the seven- or eight-storeyed red-brick blocks of Peter’s, Ralph, and Arthur courts to the west. Off Westbourne Grove there are tall cramped terraces of the 1860s or 1870s in Hatherley Road and Westbourne Grove Terrace, in addition to the eight storeyed Hatherley Court, and in part of Newton Road. Another stretch of Newton Road, parallel with Westbourne Grove, has several grouped and single villas, of two storeys and basements, in small gardens, serving as reminders of the appearance of Westbourne Grove before it became a shopping centre.

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VIEW THE PADDINGTON AREA IN THE 1750s
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.

VIEW THE PADDINGTON AREA IN THE 1800s
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.

VIEW THE PADDINGTON AREA IN THE 1830s
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.

VIEW THE PADDINGTON AREA IN THE 1860s
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.

VIEW THE PADDINGTON AREA IN THE 1900s
The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.

 

 
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Paddington

The first underground railway station in the world ran from Paddington - opened as Paddington (Bishop's Road) by the Metropolitan Railway on 10 January 1863 as the terminus of the company's route from Farringdon.

Paddington mainline railway station - Paddington station - has a commuter service serving stations west of London, a mainline service to Oxford, Bristol, Bath, Taunton, Devon, Cornwall and South Wales. There is also an express rail line to Heathrow Airport.

In Paddington Station there is a display case showing Paddington Bear, a character of children's fiction who, in the book, is first discovered at this station and hence named after it.

Important places in Paddington include St Mary's Hospital - where penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming - and Paddington Green police station.

Alan Turing, the pioneer mathematician was born in Warrington Crescent.


LOCATIONS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Bayswater:   Bayswater is one of London's most cosmopolitan areas - also one of London's biggest concentration of hotels.
Paddington:   The first underground railway station in the world ran from Paddington - opened as Paddington (Bishop's Road) by the Metropolitan Railway on 10 January 1863 as the terminus of the company's route from Farringdon.
Paddington Green Children’s Hospital:   The Paddington Green Children’s Hospital opened in August 1883.
Queen's Cinema:   This cinema was situated at the top of Queensway, on the corner of Bishop's Bridge Road.
Red Lion Bridge:   Harrow Road once spanned the River Westbourne at this point.
River Westbourne:   The Westbourne is one of the lost rivers of London.
St Mary’s Hospital, London:   St Mary’s Hospital is a hospital in Paddington, founded in 1845.
Westbourne Green:   The story of the building of a suburb.


PHOTOS OF THE AREA
Westbourne Lodge:   Westbourne Lodge appeared in one of the earliest photographs in London.


NEARBY STREETS AND BUILDINGS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Bishop's Bridge Road, W2 · Bourne Terrace, W2 · Bouverie Place, W2 · Cervantes Court, W2 · Chilworth Street, W2 · Chilworth Street, W2 · Cleveland Gardens, W2 · Cleveland Square, W2 · Cleveland Terrace, W2 · Conduit Place, W2 · Craven Hill Gardens, W2 · Craven Hill, W2 · Craven Terrace, W2 · Crompton Street, W2 · Delamere Terrace, W2 · Desborough Close, W2 · Devonshire Terrace, W2 · Edna House, W2 · Edward House, W2 · Elms Lane, W2 · Gloucester Mews, W2 · Gloucester Terrace, W2 · Hallfield Estate, W2 · Harbet Road, W2 · Harrow Road, W2 · Inverness Mews, E16 · Inverness Mews, W2 · Inverness Terrace, W2 · Lancaster Mews, W2 · Leinster Gardens, W2 · London Mews, W2 · London Street, W2 · Lord Hills Road, W2 · Macmillan House, W2 · Norfolk Place, W2 · Norfolk Square, W2 · North Wharf Road, W2 · Orsett Terrace, W2 · Paddington Green, W2 · Paddington Station, W2 · Park Place Villas, W2 · Pembroke House, W2 · Pickering Mews, W2 · Porchester Gardens, W2 · Porchester Road, W2 · Porchester Square, W2 · Porchester Terrace, W2 · Praed Mews, W2 · Praed Street, W2 · Queens Gardens, W2 · Queensborough Terrace, W2 · Rainsford Street, W2 · Sale Place, W2 · Sheldon Square, W2 · South Wharf Road, W2 · Southwick Mews, W2 · Southwick Street, W2 · St Marys Mansions, W2 · St Marys Medical School, W2 · St Marys Terrace, W2 · St Michaels Street, W2 · Star Street, W2 · Station Concourse, W2 · Talbot Square, W2 · Upbrook Mews, W2 · Warwick Crescent, W2 · Warwick Cresent, W2 · Warwick Place, W9 · Westbourne Terrace Road, W2 · Westbourne Terrace, W2 · Westway, W2 ·


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Inner West London (1932) FREE DOWNLOAD
1930s map covering East Acton, Holland Park, Kensington, Notting Hill, Olympia, Shepherds Bush and Westbourne Park,
George Philip & Son, Ltd./London Geographical Society, 1932

Central London, north west (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
Central London, north west.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)

Cary's New And Accurate Plan of London and Westminster (1818) FREE DOWNLOAD
Cary's map provides a detailed view of London. With print date of 1 January 1818, Cary's map has 27 panels arranged in 3 rows of 9 panels, each measuring approximately 6 1/2 by 10 5/8 inches. The complete map measures 32 1/8 by 59 1/2 inches. Digitising this map has involved aligning the panels into one contiguous map.
John Cary

John Rocque Map of London (1762) FREE DOWNLOAD
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 covers central London at a reduced level of detail compared with his 1745-6 map.
John Rocque, The Strand, London

Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1843) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured.
Chapman and Hall, London

Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1836) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured. Insets: A view of the Tower from London Bridge -- A view of London from Copenhagen Fields. Includes views of facades of 25 structures "A comparison of the principal buildings of London."
Chapman and Hall, 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)
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