The Underground Map
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About the project
The Underground Map is a project which is creating a history website for the areas of London lying inside the M25.
There are now over 17 000 articles on all variety of locations including amongst others, 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 - use the Google Map control to change to a particular decade.
|You can search any of the locations that have been created so far by searching for the title. Type into the box below:|
|There are a series of historical maps covering each decade between 1800 and 1950.|
Navigate to the area that you wish to view using the dropdown. Choose a location and then click Reset Location
|Search for a street in London by typing its name into the box below:|
|Users have created a series of historical location articles to go with the historic maps.|
Click icons on the mapping to display each article. Subjects are many and various - simply explore!
Explore old maps of London
Featured articlesJunction Tavern
The Junction Tavern is an imposing Victorian building between Kentish Town and Tufnell Park. The pub dates to 1885, the main bar and dining room reflects its late Victorian heyday. Its 18th century frontage veils an interior of dark-panelled rooms, a bright and airy conservatory and a beer garden.
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Kemp’s Court, W1F
Kemp’s Court is situated in the heart of Berwick Street Market where a line of stalls stretch down both sides of the road. All varieties of fruits and vegetables are available and the market has a tradition of specialising in the most exotic species. The street markets of London have been a feature of the City for many years and the market in Berwick Street has been here since 1840 – not the oldest by far but certainly one of the most popular.
Trading is at its peak around lunchtime when the street turns into a bustling hive of brisk activity, and at the close of business many of the items can be had for little more than a song.
The present panorama is a scene quite in contrast to the salubrious sounding description of Berwick Street outlined by Edward Hatton (New View of London) in 1708: ‘a kind of row like a small piazza, the fronts of the houses resting on columns.’ Number 83 was the studio of John Hall, engraver; it was here in 1791 that he meticulously worked from the portrait of Sheridan by Sir Joshua Reynolds
The modern King of Corsica public hou...
Staple Inn Buildings, WC1V
Staple Inn Buildings is part of historic Staple Inn. The current front facade consists of two buildings, one was the original staple Inn (5 bays to the left), the other was a house of similar age (2 bays to the right).
Staple Inn was built in 1585 and was a medieval school providing training in legal practices. Staple Inn was once attached along with neighbouring Barnards Inn to Grays Inn, one of the four inns of courts.
Behind the facade of High Holborn through the Holborn gateway is Staple inn courtyard with the staple inn hall on the opposite side of the courtyard. The old hall was built around 1580 as a banqueting hall.
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Staple Inn is London’s only surviving sixteenth-century domestic building, situated on the south side of High Holborn. Its timber-framed façade overhangs the roadway.
The building was once the wool staple, where wool was weighed and taxed. It was an Inn of Chancery built between 1545 to 1549. It survived the Great Fire of London and was restored in 1886 and reconstructed in 1937. It was extensively damaged by a Nazi German Luftwaffe aerial bomb in 1944 but was subsequently restored once more. It has a distinctive cruck roof and an internal courtyard.
It was originally attached to Gray’s Inn, which is one of the four Inns of Court. The Inns of Chancery fell into decay in the 19th century. All of them were dissolved, and most were demolished. Staple Inn is the only one which survives largely intact.
It was later rebuilt by the Prudential Insurance Company, and is now used by the Institute of Actuaries and various other companies.
The historic interiors include a great hall, used by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. The ground floor ...
Holborn commemorates the River Fleet, also known as the Holbourne stream. The road was once lined with coaching inns with the Bull and Gate being particularly noted for being the terminus of stagecoaches from the north. These in turn attracted costermongers who would sell travellers fruit. The sixteenth-century Staple Inn is one of London’s few surviving timber-faced buildings. Otherwise the inns of Holborn were swept away with the coming of the railways.
Two nineteenth century granite obelisks stand on both sides of Holborn at the junction with Gray’s Inn Road marking the entrance to the City.
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Crystal Palace Indoor Bowling
The London County Bowling Club was originally formed on the site of the Crystal Palace tennis courts. WG Grace may have been England’s greatest-ever cricketer but he had interests in many sports and towards the end of his cricketing career in the late 1890s, he began to take a keen interest in bowls.
In 1899, WG Grace accepted an invitation from the Crystal Palace Company to help them form the London County Cricket Club at the Crystal Palace Exhibition complex.
He became the club’s secretary, manager and captain. He was pivotal in establishing the London County Bowling Club in 1901.
On 8 June 1903 in Crystal Palace’s cricket pavilion, a group headed by WG, formed the English Bowling Association with himself as President.
Grace recognised that the popularity of the game was such that bowling in the winter was a viable proposition. In 1905 Crystal Palace Indoor Bowling Club was formed, playing within the Crystal Palace Great Exhibition centre’s main gallery, thereby establishing England’s first indoor bowling club. ...
Aldersgate Street, EC2Y
Aldersgate Street is located on the west side of the Barbican Estate. Originally Aldersgate Street was only the section starting from the church of St Botolph without Aldersgate towards Long Lane. The portion of the road from Long Lane to Goswell Street (after 1864 Goswell Road) was formerly named Pickax Street. This name may derive from Pickt Hatch, an area of brothels said to be in this part of London during the Elizabethan era.
Pick Hatch is mentioned in The Merry Wives of Windsor ("Goe … to your Mannor of Pickt-hatch") and in The Alchemist ("The decay’d Vestalls of Pickt-hatch"). By the late eighteenth century the name Pickax was no more in use, and the road was fully incorporated into Aldersgate Street.
Barbican Underground station is located on Aldersgate Street and when it was opened in 1865 was named Aldersgate Street tube station. In 1910 it was renamed Aldersgate, then Aldersgate & Barbican in 1924, before finally being renamed Barbican in 1968.
28 Aldersgate Street is the approximate fo...
Halbutt Street, RM9
Halbutt Street is one of the oldest streets in the area. Dagenham (’Daecca’s home’) was probably one of the earliest Saxon settlements in Essex: the name is first recorded in a charter of A.D. 687. From the 13th century onwards references to the parish, its farms and hamlets, are sufficiently numerous to suggest a flourishing community. In 1670 Dagenham contained 150 houses.
In the south of the parish the main west-east road from London to Tilbury entered as Ripple Side, known in the 16th century as Ripple Street, and now called Ripple Road. It turned north as Broad Street, formerly French Lane (mentioned in 1540) and then east past the Church Elm (1456), through Dagenham village, as Crown Street, formerly Dagenham Street (1441), and then south-east over Dagenham (or Dagenham Beam) Bridge. Joining that road at the village was one coming south from Becontree Heath. The northern part of this last road, now Rainham Road North, was formerly Spark Street (1540) and later Bull Lane. The southern part, now Rainham Road South,...
The Becontree Estate remains the largest public housing development in the world. The Becontree Estate was developed between 1921 and 1932 by the London County Council as a large council estate of 27,000 homes, intended as ’homes for heroes’ after World War I. It has a current population of over 100,000 and is named after the ancient Becontree hundred, which historically covered the area.
The very first house completed, in Chittys Lane, is recognisable by a blue council plate embedded in the wall. Parallel to Chittys Lane runs Valence Avenue, which is wider than the rest of the streets in the district because a temporary railway ran down the centre of the avenue during the construction of the estate - it was built especially for the building work, connecting railway sidings at Goodmayes and a wharf on the river Thames with the worksites.
At the time people marvelled at having indoor toilets and a private garden, although the sash windows were extremely draughty, there was no insulation in the attics, and during the winter ...
Chittys Lane, RM8
In Chittys Lane, the first houses of the Becontree Estate were built. The Becontree Estate is named after the ancient Becontree Hundred, which historically covered the area.
Because of the lack of available land in the County of London, the Housing Act 1919 permitted the London County Council (LCC) to build housing and act as landlord outside of its territory. On 18 June 1919 the London County Council’s Standing Committee on the Housing of the Working Classes resolved to build 29,000 dwellings to accommodate 145,000 people within 5 years, of which 24,000 were to be at Becontree. Becontree was developed between 1921 and 1935 as a large cottage estate of around 26,000 homes, intended to be "homes fit for heroes" for World War I veterans.
Most of the land was at that time was market gardens, with occasional groups of cottages and some country lanes. It was compulsorily purchased. 4,000 houses had been completed by 1921. The early residents were able to pick rhubarb, peas and cabbages from the abandoned market gardens.
Adelaide Cottages stood to the east of London Road behind the former Florida Cinema. In 1875 they were reported as still having no running water or main drainage.
Adelaide Cottages were probably named after Queen Adelaide, the consort of King William IV. Genotin Road was extended south over their site in the late 1960s.
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Goodwins Field - a field with a story. In 1715, Goodwin’s Field was a field owned by a Peter Lavigne, grocer or perfumier of Covent Garden. He bought it from two brothers, John and Thomas Morgan of Marlborough, Wiltshire in 1699. Goodwin’s Field had been inherited in 1699 by the Morgans under the provisions of the will of their brother Charles Morgan (d. 1682), also a grocer of Covent Garden, who had bequeathed his shop there directly to Lavigne, formerly his ’servant’.
Morgan had bought Goodwin’s Field in 1680 from a William Chare who in turn had inherited it, by the custom of the manor of Earl’s Court, as the youngest son of a John Chare.. The latter had bought it in 1641 from mortgagees of Samuel Arnold, one of a family widely propertied in the vicinity of Earl’s Court. Earlier, in the 1530s to 1550s, Goodwin’s Field had been owned by a family called Thatcher.
Goodwin’s Field passed on Lavigne’s death in 1717 to his widow and then in 1719 to their daughter, at that tim...
Blue Peter Garden
The original garden, adjacent to Television Centre, was designed by Percy Thrower in 1974. Its features include an Italian sunken garden with a pond, which contains goldfish, a vegetable patch, greenhouse and viewing platform. George the Tortoise was interred in the garden following his death in 2004, and there is also a bust of the dog Petra, sculptures of Mabel and the Blue Peter ship, and a plaque in honour of Percy Thrower.
When the programme’s production base moved to Salford MediaCityUK in September 2011, sections of the garden, including the sculptures and the sunken pond, were carefully relocated to the piazza of the new studio facility.
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Sections of The Underground Map text are taken, adapted or remixed from the Wikipedia. Other sections are written by the authors and users of The Underground Map. The Underground Map hereby gives permission for the re-use of all material which is attributed on its website under the Creative Commons License/CC-BY-3.0.