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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 articlesGarrick Yard
Garrick Yard, together with the more familiar Garrick Street to the northeast of here, both took their names from the Garrick Club which commemorates the famous 18th century actor, David Garrick. As a young man of 18 years of age, David Garrick left his native town of Lichfield on the 2 March 1737 and set out for London sharing a horse with his tutor, Samuel Johnson. Whilst Johnson had high hopes of winning fame in the world of literature, Garrick came to complete his education in law, a profession he was very soon diverted from in preference for the stage.
The two arrived in the capital with only four pence between them and were forced into pleading with a bookseller friend of the Garrick family to lend them five pounds. After spending a short period at a college in Rochester, David Garrick’s sentiment for the theatre compelled him to terminate his studies, and with his elder brother, Peter, went into the business of selling wine as a stop-gap while awaiting the opportunity to present himself as an actor.
It was in March 1741 when Garrick got his big break and until his death on 20 January 1779 he enjoyed the fame and popularity attributed to th...
Heathrow Road, TW6
Heathrow Road is now buried beneath the runways and terminal buildings of Heathrow Airport. The settlement of Heathrow was spread out in a straggling manner along Heathrow Road from the Bath Road to Perry Oaks. The whole road and all of its buildings was obliterated by the construction of Heathrow Airport in the late 1940s. The farms and houses were demolished, the orchards grubbed up and the market gardens bulldozed.
The area bounded by Heathrow Road, Tithe Barn Lane and the Bath Road was, before the Enclosure of Harmondsworth Parish in 1819, one of the open fields of the parish and was known as Heathrow Field. The area to the south and east of Heathrow Road was common land of the parish and formed the western edge of Hounslow Heath. Heathrow, as its name suggests, was on the edge of the Heath bordered by the open arable fields of Harmondsworth Parish.
Turning down Heathrow Road from the “Three Magpies”, a traveller would have passed a row of houses (Doghurst Cottages) on the left, but after these the only buildings that would then be encounte...
Phillimore Place, W8
Phillimore Place was part of the old Phillimore Estate and, at first, named Durham Villas. In 1779, William Phillimore inherited the Phillimore Estate and was responsible for the first wave of its Kensington development.
One of the ancient roads out of London ran along the southern boundary of the estate. This road was later to be called Kensington High Street. A terrace of houses was built along this frontage and called Upper Phillimore Place. Apparently George III hated Upper Phillimore Place so much that he had the blinds pulled down on his carriage windows if he had to pass it; and he referred to it as “Dishcloth Row” because of the mouldings in the shape of drapery which decorated the houses facades.
A similar terrace was built further to the east and called Lower Phillimore Place. These houses were all later replaced in the 20th century by three huge mansion blocks called Phillimore Court, Stafford Court and Troy Court. The land itself was later sold off to pay estate duties, so the Kensington High Street frontage no longer forms part o...
Adam And Eve Mews, W8
Adam And Eve Mews is a street in Kensington. Adam and Eve Mews is a cobbled mews entered under a covered entrance on the south side of Kensington High Street.
Some houses have been painted in bright colours, whereas others are faced in plain brick.
The mews forks south and west at the end; at the western section again forks north leading to a very private cul-de-sac which also contains some recently built mews-style houses.
Many of the houses have attractive roof gardens with lots of shrubs by the front doors.
Adam and Eve Mews is named after ‘The Adam and Eve’, an ancient inn with two acres of gardens which used to stand on the site. The site was quite long and narrow and did not really lend itself to building typical large London houses.
William Willett, a speculative builder in the area, bought the land and got permission in 1880 to build a series of stables to serve the surrounding larger houses. The 2-storey stable blocks were put up in 1880 – 1881 with a fe...
Abbey Orchard Street, SW1P
Abbey Orchard Street was the heart of a former slum area. Abbey Orchard Street was build over a former orchard belonging to Westminster Abbey.
The Devil’s Acre was a notorious slum on and behind Old Pye Street, Great St Anne’s Lane (now St Ann’s Street) and Duck Lane (now St Matthew Street) in the parish of Westminster.
In the 19th century it was considered one of the worst areas of London - The Devil’s Acre. As with a number of streets at the time, the building of Victoria Street was aimed at removing the slums in the area, and particularly the Devil’s Acre. The street was formally opened in 1851 and, as with other such projects, it displaced rather than removed the slum.
The street had been planned as an experiment in sanitary and moral engineering. In deciding the route of the street, the planner James Pennethorne’s objective "has only been to ascertain how best to improve the condition of the inhabitants of Westminster by improving the buildings, the levels, and the sewers, and by opening com...
St Agnes Place, SE11
St Agnes Place was once the most famous squatted street in London. St Agnes Place was originally laid out in 1805 with No. 1 built in 1805, and Nos. 3, 5 and 7 in 1808.
It became famous as a squatted street which resisted eviction orders for more than 30 years. When a number of derelict houses were scheduled for demolition to extend Kennington Park in 1969, squatters occupied the properties and a High Court injunction prevented the demolition.
The residents of St Agnes paid utility bills and for several years were run by a housing cooperative with diverse occupancy, and in the last few years a larger number of young homeless people.
Bob Marley stayed at the street on several occasions in the 1970s. St Agnes Place had a Rastafari community and had a Rastafari temple along with other related social centres.
The street was run by a housing cooperative until 2005, when Lambeth London Borough Council obtained an eviction order. Demolition was completed in 2007.
In 2010 Lambeth Co...
Hartington Road, SW8
The area where Hartington Road was eventually built was part of an area of Vauxhall called "The Nine Acres". In 1774 a footpath which ran along the line of the present Hartington Road divided the nine acres into a western portion, containing about five acres and planted with gooseberry and currant “trees”, and an eastern portion, part grass and part ploughed land.
Another footpath on the line of Wilcox Road bounded the close on the north side. The western portion was let on two building leases to John Roupell, lead-smelter, in 1824 and 1825. Landsdowne Place and Spring Grove - which later were consoldated into Hartington Road - were laid out in the 1820s.
The eastern portion was purchased by Thomas Allen at an auction in 1821 and was not let on building lease until after his death. The portion was developed after 1857 by John Abbot, builder, who laid out Brough Street and Kenchester Street.
Since the houses between Hartington Road and Brough Street were destroyed by a flying bomb in the war of 1939–45, their sites became covered with temporary sin...
St Augustine’s Church of England High School
St Augustine’s Church of England High School is a Voluntary Aided Church of England comprehensive school in the West London borough of Westminster, Kilburn. The school is a Science College and has a sixth form. St Augustine of Canterbury is the patron saint of the school. It is located adjacent to its affiliated primary school and parish church St Augustine’s Church.
The school traces its origins to Mother Emily Ayckbowm, who also founded the Community of the Sisters of the Church, working in conjunction with the first vicar of the nearby St. Augustine’s church. The school was opened on 16 May 1870 in Andover Place with seven students, with specifically the High School opening in 1884 as an all boys’ secondary school; the present division into primary and secondary schools being complete by 1951.
In 1969, the present school buildings were opened, with St. Augustine’s High School becoming a Church of England comprehensive school.
In February 2009, the school received a nearly £20 million investment under the BSF programme for schools, which entailed a major refurbishment providing a new buildin...
Kennington Park is a public park in Kennington, south London. It was opened in 1854 on the site of what had been Kennington Common, where the Chartists gathered for their biggest "monster rally" on 10 April 1848. Soon after this demonstration the common was enclosed and, sponsored by the royal family, made into a public park.
Kennington Common was a site of public executions until 1800 as well as being an area for public speaking. Some of the most illustrious orators to speak here were Methodist founders George Whitefield and John Wesley who is reputed to have attracted a crowd of 30,000.
The common was one of the earliest London cricket venues and is known to have been used for top-class matches in 1724. Kennington Park hosts the first inner London community cricket ground, sponsored by Surrey County Cricket Club whose home, The Oval, is close to the park.
In the 1970s, the old tradition of mass gatherings returned to the park which was host to the start of many significant marches to Parliament. Tod...
Archbishop Tenison’s School
Archbishop Tenison’s School moved to The Oval in 1928 Thomas Tenison, an educational evangelist and later Archbishop of Canterbury, founded several schools in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. A boys’ school now at the Oval was founded in 1685 in the crypt of St Martin’s in the Fields and relocated by 1895 in Leicester Square on the site previously occupied by the Sabloniere Hotel.
The school moved to The Oval in 1928, with the new building being opened by the then Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII). A girls’ school was formally established in 1706 for 12 girls and in 1863 a new school building was erected at 18 Lambeth High Street. The girls school closed in 1961, when it amalgamated with Archbishop Temple’s Boys School to form a mixed VA school. The building was used by Temple’s as a first-year annex from 1968 to 1974, when Archbishop Temple’s School closed. Archbishop Tenison founded another school in nearby Croydon in 1714.
Archbishop Tenison’s at The Oval became a grammar school, then a com...
The Ossulston Estate is a multi-storey council estate built by the London County Council in Somers Town between 1927 and 1931. The estate was built to rehouse those poor who were not being served by the LCC’s new suburban estates, and was significantly denser to suit the urban site. It was located on the site of the Somers Town slum, between Euston and St Pancras stations. The original proposal made in 1925 was for 9-storey blocks on the American model, which would have required lifts, and with more expensive flats for private tenants on the highest floors. This was rejected and the height reduced to a maximum of 7 storeys, with fewer lifts and no private flats. The provision of central heating was also eliminated, but the buildings were unusual in providing electricity from the start, and Levita House had the first central heating system installed by the LCC.
The design, by G. Topham Forrest, chief architect of the LCC, and his assistants R. Minton Taylor and E.H. Parkes, was influenced by Viennese modernist public housing such as Karl Marx-Hof, which Forrest had visited. The estate consists o...
Wood Lane (1914)
Wood Lane - apparently London’s "go-to" station. There was a bewildering confusion of station names in the area, because the London & South Western Railway, which ran trains along the tracks of the West London Railway through Addison Road, in 1869 constructed a branch line which curved westwards from Addison Road down to Richmond with stations eventually opened at Shepherd’s Bush (in Shepherd’s Bush Road south of the Green), Hammersmith in Grove Road, and Shaftesbury Road (later renamed Ravenscourt Park). In 1868 the Metropolitan line Hammersmith station was moved further south, nearer to the Broadway, and to compound the duplication of names, the District line in 1874 extended its track from Earls Court and formed another Hammersmith station on the south of the Broadway.
This was not, however, the last Hammersmith station, because the Piccadilly line opened theirs in 1906 and at the same time the District line, which had previously run their trains through to Richmond on the branch line of the UzSWR took over respons...
Park Village East, NW1
Park Village East was part of a proposed canal-side village. Nash’s Regent’s Park development incorporated an entire range of house sizes and styles. Within the Park were large villas set in their own grounds for the very rich, and imposing stucco terraced palaces for the wealthy. Outside the Park were middle class villas in Park Village and the markets and barracks, each with their working class housing, near the Cumberland Basin. It was built as a complete new town on the edge of London.
John Nash saw the romantic possibilities of the new Regent’s Canal which was being built around the northern edge of his new Regent’s Park. On the way to the new hay market which he was planning in Cumberland Basin, would be a secluded, peaceful valley bordering the canal. He envisaged a pretty ‘village’ on its banks, as an annexe to his noble Corinthian terraces in Regent’s Park itself. In stucco, with tall windows leading out to wooded gardens overlooking the canal. On the edge of London, they would be the equivalent of Blaize Hamlet, which ...
Raymede Street, W10
Raymede Street, after severe bomb damage in the area, disappeared after 1950. For some years after the construction of the Hammersmith and City Railway, cricket fields lay to the north of the railway embankment. Here on one occasion the Notting Hill Flower Show and Home Improvement Society held its Exhibition, and the Duke and Duchess of Teck, accompanied by their young daughter, distributed the prizes. But in the middle seventies a series of residential roads were planned running parallel with the railway, and as these roads were continued east across Ladbroke Grove, they linked up this district with the smaller houses of the Portobello Road area.
The plan of 1865 shows that building plots along the south end of Ladbroke Grove had been leased by Colonel St. Quintin to Charles H. Blake, Esq., who already owned much property on the top of St. John’s Hill.
Shortly after the St Michael and All Angels church was opened, the freehold of eleven acres of Portobello Estate was obtained for St Charles’s College, and by 1874 a handsome rang...
Yorkshire Road, CR4
Yorkshire Road is part of Pollards Hill. Pollards Hill is a residential district crossing the border of the south London boroughs of Croydon and Merton between Mitcham and Norbury. It is the name of a council ward in Merton. The district is bisected by the Croydon/Merton boundary along Recreation Way. With no road connections between the Croydon and Merton portions of the district, they retain very different characteristics.
Mitcham Borough Council’s solution to the post-war housing shortage was to build prefabricated ‘Arcon’ bungalows at Pollards Hill. The first bungalows were ready as early as January 1946, and were meant to last about 10 years; in fact, many were still in use in the mid-1960s.
The four maisonette blocks were built by the Council in the 1950s on Yorkshire Road, beginning with Westmorland Square in 1950 and the final block, Bovingdon Square, in 1956; the other two were Hertford Square and Berkshire Square. The pre-fabs were mostly demolished in the 1960s, to make way for a new,...
Nokes Estate was an agricultural estate in the Earl’s Court area, formerly known as Wattsfield. Since at least the sixteenth century this area, reckoned as seventeen but in fact nearer eighteen and a quarter acres, had been known as Wattsfield.
Essentially, it included part of Earls Court Lane (now Earls Court Road) and Barrow’s Walk (now Marloes Road) and contained an orchard and several fields on which Abingdon Villas, Scarsdale Villas and neighbouring roads were later built .
In 1593 it was owned by Robert Fenn and remained in that family until Sir Robert Fenn sold it, with its advantage of a westward abutment on Earl’s Court Lane, to William Arnold in 1652. The Arnolds kept it until 1673, when it was bought by John Greene, and it remained with representatives of the Greene family until at least 1755.
Rocque’s mid-century map shows Barrows Walk bounding its eastern side, on the present line of Marloes Road.
By 1810 the owner was Samuel Hutchins, who in that year bought the enfranchisement from Lord Kensington for £...
Abingdon Road, W8
Abingdon Road stretches between Stratford Road and Kensington High Street. The present name recalls the parish connection with the abbey of Abingdon but the road began its life as Newland Street in 1817.
The street is tree-lined and very attractive.
The east section of Abingdon Road between Cope Place and Abingdon Villas was developed in 1852-4. Nos. 40-50 (even) were probably built by Richard Anderson, a builder from Plaistow who had a brickfield in the area, and No. 52 by Barnabas Jennings and William Stevenson. These were all builders involved in other parts of the Abingdon Villas and Scarsdale Villas area.
Ilchester Mansions was built by James Turner and Charles Withers in 1892-3. The designs were by George Eves. Eves was the estate surveyor for the Allen-Stevens Estate which owned much of the land in this area.
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Ossington Street, W2
Ossington Street leads from Moscow Road at its north end to the Bayswater Road at its south end. Ossington Street was originally laid out from the then Uxbridge Road to Moscow Road on part of Gravel Pit field in the 1830s. It was known at the time as Victoria Grove, and was renamed to Ossington Street in 1837 and transferred to Kensington. It is possible that the street was named after Viscount Ossington.
The buildings to the west side were in the form of terraced cottages of two storeys and basement, with a mews behind. Victoria Grove Mews retains its name to this day.
Several of the terraced houses to the south were leased to William Ward, a Marylebone builder, who also filled a space along the Uxbridge Road between Victoria Grove and the then boundary of Paddington with an inn and five shops, nos. 1 to 6 Wellington Terrace, around 1840.
By 1865, almost all of Bayswater had been built up and the only sites for infilling were south of Moscow Road and in particular along the east side of Victoria Grove. This was built up as Palace Cou...
Blackbird Hill Farm
Blackbird Hill Farm was situated on the corner of Birdbird Hill and Old Church Lane. It is unknown when Blackbird Hill Farm was first established. 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, but old records suggest that many local inhabitants died during the Black Death plagues of the mid-14th century. About 100 years later, in 1442, there is a mention of what may have been a farm on this site, and when a detailed map of the parish was drawn in 1597 it clearly showed a property called Findens here, a group of buildings around a yard with a strip of land, just over an acre, attached.
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. In 1640, Findens was a 12-acre smallholding.
By the time of John Rocque’s map of 1745, there were farm buildings and o...
Chandler’s Cross is a hamlet south of Sarrat, Hertfordshire. Its pub, the Clarendon Arms, became a restaurant in the 2000s.
A nearby hotel is The Grove, set in 300 acres. This has hosted major events such as the G20 London summit and the 2013 Bilderberg Conference. As a house, it was remodelled by various architects including Surveyor of the King’s Works, Robert Taylor on the site of a medieval manor house as a home for the Earls of Clarendon, second creation, the Villiers family who downsized their estates to one they have long held at Swanmore, Hampshire following the 1914 increase of estate duty.
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