Little Green Street, NW5

Road in/near Tufnell Park, existing between the 1780s and now

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Road · Tufnell Park · NW5 ·
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2019

Little Green Street was built in the 1780s and is one of the few intact Georgian streets in London.

Little Green Street sign
Credit: Wikimedia/IMS
The street has only eight houses on one side and two on the other, all built in the 1780s and Grade II listed. The original inhabitants included manual workers such as carpenters with the street marked by Booth’s poverty map as being a mixture of poor and fairly comfortable.

Little Green Street inspired the 1966 song ’Dead End Street’ by The Kinks and they made one of the first music videos for it in the street.

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Little Green Street sign
Wikimedia/IMS


 

Tufnell Park

Tufnell Park - a respectable suburb.

Tufnell Park kept a rural air well into the 19th century in its important role as a base for a number of dairies supplying the capital. In 1753 the area became the property of William Tufnell who was granted the manor of Barnsbury by his father-in-law Sir William Halton. The manor (now demolished) stood on the site of the Holloway Odeon. The manor's gateposts can still be seen, however, towards the west end of Tufnell Park Road. Tufnell petitioned parliament for permission to develop his estate but the leases he was granted were left unused.

The Tufnell Park estate passed to his brother George Foster Tufnell, MP for Beverley (d 1798), then to George's son William Tufnell (d 1809), MP for Colchester, who married in 1804 into a fortune owned by Mary Carleton (daughter of Thomas Carleton of South Carleton d.1829). Both are buried at St Mary’s Islington, hence her maiden name appearing as two street names in N7.

The manor then passed to Henry Tufnell, MP for Ipswich and Devonport, Liberal chief whip and Lord of the Treasury.

Serious building began in the 1845 with a scheme sponsored by Henry Tufnell and designed by John Shaw Jr, who had laid out the Eton Estate in Chalk Farm. This initial work was largely limited to the area around Carleton Road. In 1865 the scheme was taken up by George Truefitt who developed most of the local villas and St George's Church (1865), built for Anglican secessionists. The housing stock was of a solid nature, and Tufnell Park kept its good name until the end of the century.

Charles Booth in his survey of London Life and Labour reported that the older streets (Anson Road and Carleton Road) housed a mixture of retired merchants and music hall artistes who were rich enough to holiday abroad over winter. He believed that second wave of building around Hugo, Corinne, Huddleston and Archibald Roads threatened to create a metropolis from which the rich would soon be going. The private girls' school established at the corner of Carleton and Brecknock Roads was closed in 1878 after many of its pupils drowned in the Princess Alice disaster.

Tufnell Park was more fortunate than several of its neighbours. Whereas roads and railway lines were sliced through Kentish Town and Camden in the 19th century, they mostly passed through Tufnell Park in tunnel, and Junction Road railway station provided a direct link with central London. The shabby genteel reputation of Tufnell Park made it a standard comic reference in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. George and Weedon Grossmith locate their aspirational Mr Pooter in Tufnell Park (Upper Holloway) in Diary of a Nobody. Julian and Sandy, the camp BBC home service comedians frequently referenced Tufnell Park as did the Guardian newspaper's Biff cartoon in the 1980s.

Tufnell Park tube station is on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line, between Archway and Kentish Town. It has distinctive Edwardian red tiling and has two lifts between the street and platform level rather than escalators. Upon exiting the lifts, passengers are required to use stairs to reach the trains. The southbound platform lies at a lower level than the northbound.

The station was opened on 22 June 1907.
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