Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12

Road, existing between the 1750s and now

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Road · The Underground Map · W12 ·

Shepherds Bush Green is the southern section of road lining Shepherd’s Bush Green itself.

From the 17th century, the North High Way (Uxbridge Road), the main route from London to Oxford, ran along the north side of the triangular green known as Shepherds Bush, an area of waste land owned by Fulham Manor, The other two sides of the triangle led to Brook Green Lane (Shepherds Bush Road) and Gold Lock Lane (Goldhawk Road).

There was little development of the area beyond a few houses, and an inn, on the north side of the Common and Syndercombe Cottage, on the comer of Gold Lock Lane.

By the early 19th century the roads were much improved and the north side of the Common and the beginning of Wood Lane, up to Wood House, were lined with terraces. A development of semi detached houses, known as Lawn Place, lined the west side of the Green but the southern side remained open. It is unsure when a formal road lined the south side of the Common - in the 1860s, it is labelled "New Road".

By the mid 19th century the Common had been acquired by the Metropolitan Board of Works from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, (the Lords of Fulham Manor), and drained and the ground
level raised. Around this time areas to the north and west of the Common were almost totally built up, with a particular density of building around the eastern end of the Common which included Providence Place (Shepherds Bush Place).

By the late 19th century the area had changed dramatically. The Common and the surrounding areas had been built up, although less so on the west side, and the character of the area was now distinctly suburban. This development was greatly facilitated by the opening of two new railways in the area. Market gardens were replaced by row upon row of terraced houses built speculatively for occupation by the lower middle class white collar workers who commuted to the City.

Shepherds Bush Common was at this time the centre of a growing and prosperous late Victorian suburb. Whilst the south and west sides remained residential the houses on the north side gave way to shops, providing the everyday services required by the local populace. The Common itself had been laid out with pathways, a drinking fountain was installed at its west end and trees planted around its perimeter.

The commercial and retail heart of the area, Uxbridge Road facing the Common, was largely redeveloped. The Common had also become an entertainment centre for west London, amusement arcades and two new cinemas adding to the existing theatres on the west side.

The Franco-British Exhibition of 1908, at the "White City" attracted a signifcant amount of visitors to the area. However by the 1930s there is evidence of slow decline in the area’s prosperity, reflected in a reduction of local facilities, most certainly linked with the burgeoning development of suburbia to the west.

The Common suffered from enemy action during WWII with extensive damage to its south and west sides and to Uxbridge Road station, which never reopened.

Of Post-War developments the most important was the relocation of the BBC at Wood Lane, in the early 1950s, and the construction, in the late 1960s, of the Westway flyover which reduced the Green’s historic role as a main western route out of London.

Shepherds Bush Green now features a shopping centre, tower blocks and a service station. A large traffic roundabout has been built at its eastern end to serve the link road (M41) to the
Westway flyover.


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