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 16 000 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, you can use the map control by clicking on markers to change location or choose different historical views.
If you wish to contribute to the project, you can use a Facebook login to authorise The Underground Map app and tell other users the story of your area, street or house.
N.B. The app is simply used to authorise users and will not post to Facebook.
|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 articlesShepherd Market
Shepherd Market was described by Arthur Bingham Walkley in 1925 as one of the oddest incongruities in London. It is a small square in the Mayfair area of central London, developed in 1735-46 by Edward Shepherd from an open area called Brook Field, through which flowed the Tyburn and used for the annual May fair from which Mayfair gets its name. The fifteen-day fair took place on the site that is Shepherd Market today and was established by King James II in the 1680s, mainly for the purpose of cattle trading. Over the years the fair grew in popularity and size, attracting both rich and poor. Whilst Queen Anne tried to put an end to the fair, her successor George I was more approving. The gentrification of the area in the eighteenth century killed the festival off, with the building of many grand houses. A local architect and developer (Edward Shepherd), was commissioned to develop the site. It was completed in the mid 18th century, with paved alleys, a duck pond, and a two-storey market, topped with a theatre.
Shepherd Market was associated with prostitutes in the eighteenth cen...
Munro Mews, W10
Munro Mews is a part cobbled through road that connects Wornington Road and Wheatstone Road. Originally the stable house accommodation for the main houses on the surrounding streets, the primary purpose of the Mews properties is now residential, though some commercial activity still takes place. Modern flats occupy one side of the street.
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Ruislip Gardens is on the Central Line, situated between West Ruislip and South Ruislip. The tracks through the station were laid by part of the Great Western and Great Central Joint Railway with services starting on 2 April 1906 although there was no station at Ruislip Gardens at that time. The station opened on 9 July 1934 at the point where West End Road crossed Yeading Brook.
As part of the 1935-40 New Works Programme, Central line services were projected westwards from a new junction, west of North Acton on the line to Ealing Broadway. The original intention was to extend the service as far as Denham, but work was delayed by World War II and the formation of the Metropolitan Green Belt after the war and so the terminus of the extension was cut back to West Ruislip, with services starting on 21 November 1948.
The main line services stopping at Ruislip Gardens ceased on 21 July 1958 and their station closed, leaving only the Central line services in place.
The station achieved poetic immortality in John Betjeman’s poem ’Midd...
St Andrew, Holborn
The Church of St Andrew, Holborn stands within the Ward of Farringdon Without. Roman pottery was found on the site during 2001/02 excavations in the crypt. However, the first written record of the church itself is dated as 951 in a charter of Westminster Abbey, referring to it as the "old wooden church", on top of the hill above the river Fleet.
The Charter’s authenticity has been called into question because the date is not within the reign of the King Edgar of England who is granting it. It may be that this is simply a scribal error and that the date should be ’959’ (DCCCCLIX). A ’Master Gladwin’, i.e. a priest, held it after the Norman Conquest and he assigned it to St Paul’s Cathedral, but with the proviso that the advowson be granted at 12 pence a year to the Cluniac Order’s, St Saviour’s foundation of what was to become Bermondsey Abbey. This assignment dates between 1086 and 1089. In about 1200 a deed was witnessed by James, the Parson, Roger, his chaplain, Andrew, the Deacon and also Alexander his clerk. In 1280 one Simon de Gardino bequea...
Holborn Circus, EC1N
Holborn Circus is a junction of five highways in the City of London, on the boundary between Holborn, Hatton Garden and Smithfield. It was designed by the engineer William Haywood and opened in 1867. The term circus describes the way the frontages of the buildings surrounding the junction curve.
On one side lies the church of St Andrew, Holborn, an ancient guild church that survived the Great Fire of London. However, the parochial authority decided, nevertheless, to commission Christopher Wren to rebuild it. Although the nave was destroyed in the Blitz, the reconstruction was faithful to Wren’s original. Many other buildings surrounding Holborn Circus were severely damaged during the Blitz. After the end of the Second World War, many were demolished.
Holborn Circus was described in Charles Dickens’ Dictionary of London (1879) as "perhaps... the finest piece of street architecture in the City".
Read the Holborn Circus entry on the Wikipedia...
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Brick Lane, E1
Brick Lane runs north from the junction of Osborn Street, Old Montague Street and Wentworth Street, through Spitalfields to Bethnal Green Road. Winding through fields, the street was originally called Whitechapel Lane. Brick Lane was so named as early as 1550 after the two tile garths which stood on its eastern side, these being places where tile or brick clay was dug. The lane already had buildings on it by the 1650s, on the east side as far as modern Hanbury Street and the Fossan estates (which included the Flower and Dean Street rookery) soon followed on the west side.
Land to the north of present Hanbury Street was acquired for the Black Eagle Brewery in the late 1600’s and the earliest reference to the brewing here is a reference to Joseph Truman, brewer ’of Brick Lane’ in 1683. By 1701, the nucleus of the brewery was in evidence.
Building continued in earnest over the next 100 years and by 1746, the street was completely built up. The ’Neuve Eglise’ the former Huguenot Chapel at the corner with Fournier Street was built in 1743 (now the Jamme Masjid Mosque).
The southern stre...
St Etheldreda’s Church
St Etheldreda’s Church is in Ely Place, off Charterhouse Street in Holborn, London. The Roman Catholic church is dedicated to Ã†thelthryth, or Etheldreda, the Anglo-Saxon saint who founded the monastery at Ely in 673. It was the chapel of the London residence of the Bishops of Ely.
It is one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in England, and one of two surviving buildings in London dating from Edward I’s reign. The chapel was purchased by the Roman Catholic church in 1874 and opened in 1878.
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Weybridge is a town by the River Wey in the Elmbridge district of Surrey. It is bounded to the north by the River Thames at the mouth of the Wey, from which it gets its name. It is an outlying suburban town within the Greater London Urban Area, situated 7 miles (11 km) northeast of Woking and 16 miles (25 km) southwest of central London. Real estate prices are well above the national average: as of 2008, six of the ten most expensive streets in South East England (defined as the official government region, which excludes Greater London) were in Weybridge.
Weybridge, based on its parish bounds, forms three wards of the United Kingdom or can be divided into the Thames Street and town centre area, the Queens Road area on top of Monument Hill, most of Brooklands and St George’s Hill. Within the post town, rather than Weybridge’s other boundaries is Oatlands or Oatlands Village.
Until the late 18th century Weybridge was as a very small village with a river crossing, seed milling to make flour and nurseries would continue to provide ...
Blackbird Hill (1906)
Blackbird Hill is image in 1906 and then part of Neasden. Given the road entering from the left and the building in the background, this is a suggested location for this 1906 photograph.
Blackbird Hill was named after Blackbird Farm. We don’t know when there was first a farm here. There were at least five “villagers” cultivating small areas of land in this part of Kingsbury at the time of the Domesday Book in 1085.
The large field behind it is shown as being leased to John Page, gentleman, by St Paul’s Cathedral (‘The Deane of Powles’), while the land on the opposite side of the main track was held by Eyan Chalkhill, who also had a watermill on the River Brent.
By the time of John Rocque’s map of 1745, there were farm buildings and orchards on both sides of Old Church Lane. These would come to be known as the upper and lower yards of Blackbird (or Blackbird Hill) Farm. Whereas the original farm, or smallholding, was probably growing a mixture of crops, mainly to support the farmer’s own family, b...
Sipson is a village in the historic county of Middlesex, England, but since 1965 has been administered as part of the London Borough of Hillingdon. The village’s name comes from the Anglo-Saxon Sibbwines tūn: "Sibbwine’s farmstead". Sipson village adjoins the Bath Road (the modern A4), which linked London to Bath.
The village of Sipson was first mentioned in 1214. By 1337 there were 14 houses at Sipson, surrounded by cultivated land.
The first definite picture of the parish is supplied by Rocque’s map of 1754, where the settlement pattern is clearly shown. At Longford, Harmondsworth, and Sipson there were small, compact groups of houses. Harmondsworth Lane, running east to Sipson, and continuing to Harlington as Sipson Lane, was a track across the open fields. The main settlement at Sipson lay south of Harmondsworth Lane, and was grouped on both sides of Sipson Road; a few houses were situated at Sipson Green where the road joined the Bath Road. From the Bath Road at King’s Arbour to its southernmost point dwellings, collectively known as Heathrow, lined the side of Heathrow Road.
Blackbird Hill, NW9
The route of Blackbird Hill has been in existence since the Domesday Book. In 1597 many roads converged on Kingsbury Green. One, originally called Ox Street or London Lane and later Kingsbury Road, ran eastward to the Hyde; Buck Lane, earlier known as Stonepits or Postle Lane, ran northward from Kingsbury Green to join Hay Lane, a road mentioned in the 13th century. Another early road in northern Kingsbury was Tunworth or Stag Lane, which ran from Redhill to Roe Green. Church Lane, in 1563 called Northland Lane, ran southward from Kingsbury Green to the church and Green Lane joined the green to Townsend Lane, known as North Dean Lane in 1394 and 1503. On the west Gibbs or Piggs Lane joined Kingsbury Green to Slough Lane or Sloe Street, as it was called in 1428. The southward extension of Slough Lane, Salmon Street, was called Dorman Stone Lane in the 15th and 16th centuries. There was an east-west road joining Hill and Freren farms to Hendon. The portion between Church Lane and Salmon Street, called Freren Lane in 1379, had disappeared by the early 18th c...
Pereira Street, E1
Pereira Street ran north/south in Bethnal Green. It ran from Neath Place in the north down to Bath Street at its south end.
Directly after its construction it was two streets - Duke Street north of the junction with Thomas Passage and Wellington Street to the south. The latter was the first of the two to be built - marked on the 1820 map without Duke Street. Presumably the two were named after the victor at Waterloo, one after the other.
Halfway along, the Freemasons Arms pub was situated at 45 Pereira Street.
It was swept away as part of slum clearances in Whitechapel, Limehouse and Shoreditch.
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West Cross Route, W11
The West Cross Route is a 1.21 km-long dual carriageway running north-south between the northern elevated roundabout junction with the western end of Westway (A40) and the southern Holland Park Roundabout. The WCR was formerly the M41 motorway. Its status was downgraded to an A-road in 2000 when responsibility for trunk roads in Greater London was transferred from the Highways Agency to the Greater London Authority.
The WCR was originally the designation for the western section of Ringway 1, the innermost circuit of the London Ringways network, a complex and comprehensive plan for a network of high-speed roads circling central London designed to manage and control the flow of traffic within the capital.
The WCR and the other roads planned in the 1960s for central London had developed from early schemes prior to the Second World War through Sir Patrick Abercrombie’s County of London Plan, 1943 and Greater London Plan, 1944 to a 1960s Greater London Council (GLC) scheme that would have involved the construction of many miles of motorway-standard roads across the city and demolition on a massive scale. Due to the huge construction costs and widespread public...
Charterhouse Street, EC1A
Charterhouse Street is a street on the northern boundary of the City of London. It connects Charterhouse Square and Holborn Circus, crossing Farringdon Road and running along a number of historical sites, including Smithfield Market and the historical headquarters of the Port of London Authority.
Before 1869, the one connection between the Smithfield area and the Charterhouse was an ancient street called Charterhouse Lane. In the seventeenth century this street consisted of a narrow alley which started from the east side of the open space at the bottom of St John Street, then widened a little and swung northwards on a straight line to the gate that protected Charterhouse Yard. The opening-out of the western section when the new Smithfield Market was built in the 1860s destroyed the old lane’s integrity. Less than half its former length remained, renamed as part of the otherwise entirely new Charterhouse Street
Charterhouse Street is perhaps most famous for its gastropubs, such as the Fox and Anchor, that attract local City workers an...
Lancefield Coachworks was a builder of bespoke bodies for expensive car chassis always introducing sporting elements into designs. Lancefield operated as coachbuilders from 1921 to 1948 then switched their business to aircraft components which had been their wartime activity. They were based in London at Wrenfield Place, Herries Street, Queen’s Park, W10.
It was set up by the Gaisford brothers - Harry, Edwin and Bob - and George Warboys. The Gaisford Brothers had learned the coachbuilding trade at the Grosvenor Carriage Company, as had head designer Jock Betteridge.
Initially known as Gaisford & Warboys they worked from Lancefield Street in Queen’s Park then on moving to nearby Beethoven Street changed their business’s name to Lancefield Coachworks later incorporating a company of that same name.
Early commissions were primarily on Rolls-Royce and Bentley chassis. More than 150 bodies for Rolls chassis were built prior to the outbreak of World War II.
During World War II, Lancefield manufactured parts for the De Havilland Mosquito.
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Hanbury Street, E1
Hanbury Street is a long road running west-east from Commercial Street to Vallance Road. The street-line of the western section dates from c.1649 when it was known as Lolesworth Lane or Street as it crossed Lolesworth Field.
Appears as Browne’s Lane on maps of 1677, named after Jeffrey Browne, a local landowner who also owned part of the Spital Field which later became the market.The north side had become built up by 1681. The street was later extended east of Brick Lane, though called Montague Street, Church Street and Wells Street.
Considerable rebuilding took place during the early 1700s, resulting in the typical Georgian houses that dominated much of the area (and still do in nearby streets). Following the progressive expansion of Truman’s Black Eagle Brewery, Browne’s Lane and its continuations eastward were renamed and renumbered as Hanbury Street in 1876, in honour of Samson Hanbury and possibly his brother Osgood, who became partners in the brewery business from 1780. A widely reproduced broadsheet from September 1888 which reports th...
St James’s is an exclusive area in the West End of London. St James’s was once part of the same royal park as Green Park and St James’s Park. In the 1660s, Charles II gave the right to develop the area to Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St Albans, who proceeded to develop it as a predominantly aristocratic residential area with a grid of streets centered on St James’s Square. Until the Second World War, St James’s remained one of the most exclusive residential enclaves in London. Famous residences in St James’s include St James’s Palace, Clarence House, Marlborough House, Lancaster House, Spencer House, Schomberg House and Bridgewater House.
St James’s is the home of many of the best known gentlemen’s clubs in London. The clubs found here are organisations of English high society. A variety of groups congregate here, such as royals, military officers, motoring enthusiasts, and other groups.
It is now a predominantly commercial area with some of the highest rents in London and, consequently, the world. The auction hous...
Agar Town was a short-lived area, built in the 1840s, of St Pancras. From 1789 the area was the private estate of William Agar of Elm Lodge. To contemporaries he was commonly called, ’Councillor Agar,’ and known as an eccentric and miserly lawyer. In the 1810s Agar fought a desperate battle to prevent the cutting of the Regent’s Canal through his property, although his underlying motive may simply have been to maximise the compensation he received.
William Agar died in 1838 and his widow soon began to grant building leases on part of the estate, while retaining Elm Lodge. The neighbourhood was started in 1841 with Agar’s widow leasing out small plots on the north side of the canal.
The 72 acre site was built of the lowest quality materials on 21 year leases. An area was a population of labourers living in houses they built for themselves, was generally considered a slum. Street names belied the type of area and included Canterbury Place, Durham Street, and Oxford Crescent.
The local vestry failed to provide “Ague To...
Kingsgate Street, WC1R
Kingsgate Street ran from High Holborn to Theobald’s Road. It was named after the King’s Gate barrier at its southern end, where King Charles’s coach famously overturned in 1669.
In the eighteenth century Kingsgate Street to Seven Dials (south of Oxford Street) was a traditional route for criminals whipped at the cart’s tail.The Kingsgate Baptist Chapel on Catton Street stood on the corner with Kingsgate Street.
The reforming publisher and journalist Henry Hetherington had a printing business here from about 1815 until 1834.
The street was obliterated in 1902–1906 by the London County Council’s Kingsway improvement scheme.
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New Wimbledon Theatre
The New Wimbledon Theatre is a Grade II listed Edwardian theatre built by the theatre lover and entrepreneur, J B Mulholland. Built on the site of a large house with spacious grounds, the theatre was designed by Cecil Aubrey Massey and Roy Young (possibly following a 1908 design by Frank H Jones). It seems to have been the only British theatre to have included a Victorian-style Turkish bath in the basement. The theatre opened on 26 December 1910 with the pantomime Jack and Jill.
The theatre was very popular between the wars, with Gracie Fields, Sybil Thorndike, Ivor Novello, Markova and Noël Coward all performing there. Lionel Bart’s Oliver! received its world premiere at the theatre in 1960 before transferring to the West End’s New Theatre. The theatre also hosted the world premiere of Half A Sixpence starring Tommy Steele in 1963 prior to the West End.
With several refurbishments, most notably in 1991 and 1998, the theatre retains its baroque and Adamesque internal features. The golden statue atop the dome is Laetitia, the Roman Goddess of Gaiety (although many refer to h...
Colindale is an area of north London lying to the northwest of Hendon. Formerly in the borough and ancient parish of Hendon, Colindale was essentially the dale between Mill Hill and Burroughs. By the middle of the 20th century, it had come to include that part of the Edgware Road between The Hyde, and Burnt Oak.
The area is named after a 16th century family of the same name. Until the 20th century Collindale, was without any buildings save for a large house called Collindale Lodge, Collindale Farm, and a few cottages. (A spelling with two L’s has been used, as on this printed in 1873.) All of these properties were on Collindeep Lane, which had in the medieval period been an alternative route out of London (via Hampstead, Golders Green, and Hendon) to the Edgware Road. By the end of the 16th century it was not often used as a main road, and by the middle part of the 19th century was called Ancient Street.
By the end of the 19th century cheap land prices made Colindale attractive to developers. Colindale Hospital was started ...
York Way, N1
York Way has been a thoroughfare since the twelfth century. York Way long formed the boundary between the parishes of St. Pancras and Islington. For its entire length York Way now forms the boundary between the London Boroughs of Islington and Camden. It only became York Way in the mid twentieth century but it is one of the most ancient roads in the north of London.
York Way was named ’Mayde Lane’ (1467) and ’Maiden Lane’ (1735) (commemorated in the Maiden Lane Estate, Maiden Lane Bridge - over the Regent’s Canal and the former Maiden Lane railway station). It became York Road in the 19th century, and the current name was adopted in 1938.
The historian Camden says, "It was opened to the public in the year 1300, and was then the principal road for all travellers proceeding to Highgate and the north." It was formerly called ’Longwich Lane’, and was generally kept in such a dirty, disreputable state as to be almost impassable in winter, and was so often complained of that the Bishop of London was induced to l...
The Polygon was a housing estate, a Georgian building with 15 sides and three storeys that contained 32 houses. In 1784, the first housing was built at the Polygon, Clarendon Square, amid fields, brick works and market gardens on the northern fringes of London. The area appears to have initially appealed to middle-class people fleeing the French Revolution.
Clarendon Square occupied the site formerly covered by the barracks of the Life Guards.
Two of the most famous residents of the Polygon were William Godwin and his wife Mary Wollstonecraft, who died giving birth to Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. Another former Polygoner was Charles Dickens, who lived at No 17 in the 1820s shortly after his father, John Dickens, was released from debtors prison. Dickens later made the Polygon a home for his ’Bleak House’ character Harold Skimpole, and he in turn may well have been modelled on Godwin. As late as 1832, Somers Town was full of artists
The Polygon deteriorated socially as the surrounding land was subsequently sold off in smaller lots for ch...
Shepherd's Bush Market
Shepherd’s Bush Market is a station on both the Hammersmith & City and Circle lines. The Metropolitan Railway (MR) opened the original station on 13 June 1864 as Shepherd’s Bush on its new extension to Hammersmith. From 1 October 1877 until 31 December 1906 the MR also ran direct services along this line to Richmond via Hammersmith (Grove Road).
The original Shepherd’s Bush station closed in 1914 to be replaced by two new stations which opened on 1 April 1914: the new Shepherd’s Bush station resited a short distance north across the Uxbridge Road, and Goldhawk Road about half a kilometre to the south. Those stations remain in those locations but nothing exists of the former station buildings in the marketplace.
In 1900 the Central London Railway (CLR) opened its Shepherd’s Bush station, now the Central line station, at the other end of Shepherd’s Bush Green. For 108 years there were two Tube stations of the same name a third of a mile apart.
In 2008 the new London Overground Shepherd’s Bush railway station was opened on the...
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.