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The Underground Map
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.

Explore old maps of London
VIEW LONDON IN THE 1750s
‘A plan of the cities of London and Westminster, and borough of Southwark’, surveyed by John Rocque and engraved by John Pine in 1746.
View the map.
VIEW LONDON IN THE 1800s
Richard Horwood’s ‘PLAN of the Cities of LONDON and WESTMINSTER the Borough of SOUTHWARK, and PARTS adjoining Shewing every HOUSE’ was produced between 1792 and 1799.
View the map.
VIEW LONDON IN THE 1830s
Greenwood's map of London, 1827, surveyed over the previous two years.
View the map.
VIEW LONDON IN THE 1860s
Edward Stanford's Library Map of London and its Suburbs, 1862.
View the map.
VIEW LONDON IN THE 1900s
Ordnance Survey Map of London, Five feet to the Mile, 1893-1896.
View the map.

Featured articles

MARCH
31
2015

 

Wood Lane, W12
Wood Lane runs from Shepherd’s Bush to Wormwood Scrubs and lies wholly in London W12. In the 1780s, the road was known as Turvens Lane after Turvens House located a short distance north of Shepherd’s Bush Green. By the 1830s it had received its current name.

In the 1860s the railway arrived with a line running parallel with Wood Lane but the area was still rural in character with the buildings of Wood Lane Farm and Eynam Farm to the east of the road and a plant nursery to the west covering the land east of present day Frithville Gardens and south of the BBC Television centre.

The coming of the Twopenny Tube - the Central London Railway opening between Shepherd’s Bush and Bank in 1900 saw the first industrial development as the company’s new depot, repair shops and power station located onto a 20 acre site at Wood Lane. The depot was also served by a single track spur from the West London Railway which was used to bring coal to the power station.

In 1905 the French Chamber of Commerce proposed holding a Franco-British Exhib...
»more


MARCH
30
2015

 

Lauriston Lodge
Lauriston Lodge, now the site of Dene Mansions, was a large house in West Hampstead. Germain Lavie, J.P. was a lessee of Lauriston Lodge and some 11 acres, part of Gilberts estate, from 1806. The house, later occupied by Sir William Woods, Garter King-at-Arms, was of red brick with stained-glass windows and a fine entrance.

Despite being situated just to the west of West End Lane, Lauriston Lodge had its own access - a path called Sweetbriar Walk which ran all the way to the Edgware Road before the Midland Railway tracks were laid.

In 1881, Dennington Park Road was constructed on the line of Sweetbriar Walk and 58 houses were built there between 1883 and 1888.

Three blocks of flats, named Dene Mansions after Little Dene, home of the Ripley family who had been the final owners of the house, replaced Lauriston Lodge in 1904.
»read full article


MARCH
29
2015

 

Bridge House
Canal side house in Westbourne Park When the Grand Junction Canal was dug, John White, the owner of Westbourne Farm and an architect, built Bridge House on the north bank of the new canal in 1805.
»read full article


MARCH
27
2015

 

Earl of Zetland
A pub in the Potteries The Earl of Zetland was a pub located in Princedale Road. It was also, in its time, called The Tuscan and Bar One One Six.

The address is now given as 116 Princedale Road, previously it was at 116 Princes Street.

After being derelict for quite a while, an application was made to demolish it but the borough turned this down. Instead it was converted into an office (basement, ground and first floor levels) and a two bedroom flat.

Some scenes of the 1966 film ’Blow Up’ by Michelangelo Antonioni were filmed nearby.
»read full article


MARCH
26
2015

 

Rackham Street, eastern end (1950)
The bombing of the Second World War meant that some whole streets were wiped off the future map. Rackham Street, in London W10, was one of them. This photo shows the corner of Ladbroke Grove looking west down Rackham Street just after the end of the Second World War. Just beyond the Rootes advert was the local doctor's surgery. (Rootes, an auto manufacturor, was taken over by Chrysler long after the war.) Beyond the surgery, the houses - three floors and a basement flat, would generally house four or more families each.

During the night of 27/8 September 1940, after Nazi incendiary bombs, the central part of Rackham Street become a huge crater (though only one person was killed).

As the Luftwaffe aimed for the railway line and gas works, the nearby Princess Louise Hospital was also bombed three times and around a hundred incendiaries hit the St Charles convent and grounds.

In the early 1950s, the rest of Rackham Street was demolished to make way for the Balfour of Burleigh estate. Rackham Street left no trace - not even a name.
»read full article


MARCH
22
2015

 

East Row, W10
East Row is a road with a long history within Kensal Town. The first settlements of Kensal New Town were in place by 1840, including East Row, Middle Row, West Row and South Row. At the beginning, the area was known as a laundry colony, that being the main occupation of the neighbourhood.

Kensal New Town in those days had something of a rural character, with many people keeping pigs.

The village had six public houses.

Things began to change quickly after the opening of the Hammersmith and City Railway and the station on Ladbroke Grove (originally called Notting Hill) in 1864. That meant that people who were working in the City could now commute from Notting Hill and this stimulated the building of houses, shops and pubs on the farmland to the south.

In the 1870s, what had been a footpath leading from Portobello Road to Kensal Road was turned into a road which became Golborne Road.

The cottages depicted in the photograph were unusually run-down and small, e...
»more


MARCH
19
2015

 

St Quintin Park Cricket Ground (1890s)
Before the turn of the 20th century, west of present day North Kensington lay fields - the future Barlby Road was the site of the St Quintin Park Cricket Ground. In this photo, we see a view which is roughly taken from the site of what became the Clement Talbot (Rootes) Motor Works, about ten years later.

To the left of the St Marylebone Infirmary (now St Charles Hospital) is a building that is now on the corner of Exmoor St and Barlby Road, marked on the 1900 map as the Color (sic) Printing Works. Beyond that is Edinburgh Road School (later Barlby Road School), built in 1880. This building was demolished in the early 1970s as part of the redevelopment of the streets to the south of the school and the new school was built further towards the junction with Ladbroke Grove.
»read full article


MARCH
18
2015

 

Earlsfields
Between Thorplands on the east and Shoot Up Hill on the west lay several fields called Earlsfields. Pastureage sold in 'Erlesfeld' was listed among the issues of the Hampstead manor in 1322. It is unlikely that Earlsfield was part of the original manorial demesne because of its position. It may have originated in assarted land that was later leased or granted out or it may have been tenant land which had escheated to the lord.

In 1632 John Kemp leased a cottage at Shoot Up Hill and two crofts called Earlsfield (6 acres). They, together with two cottages and a small close at Kilburn, passed on John's death in 1643 to his brother Francis Kemp of Willesden,

By the turn of the nineteenth century, the Greenhill family held Earlsfield. The estate was identifiable as two fields south of Mill Lane, forming a long strip of 7 acres, copyhold and heriotable. It passed to Samuel Hoare and his son Joseph, who sold it to the Midland Railway Company in 1867.

The other two long fields to the east were freehold, comprising a house and 14 acres in 1705. By...
»more


MARCH
16
2015

 

Cholmley Lodge
Cholmley Lodge, a two storeyed stuccoed house, was built in 1813. A National school and cottage for the schoolmistress was built on the north side of the village, on part of the grounds of Cholmley Lodge, in 1844.

In the early 20th century the property came under the ownership of Captain Henry Wilkes Notman, a wealthy Scot who had made his fortune in the railways.

Cholmley Lodge was demolished in 1921. On its grounds was then built seventeen blocks of flats fronting the four boundary roads: Mill Lane, Aldred Road, Hillfield Road, and Fortune Green Road. These blocks were put up between 1922 and 1927 and constituted Cholmley Gardens. Parts of the original lodge are still to be found in the extensive gardens of that latter road.

In particular, the main entrance steps and patio can still be found leading to the tennis court at the northern end of the gardens. Many of the retaining walls within the grounds were built using materials from the original house. Within the walls of the estate, one can find intere...
»more


MARCH
14
2015

 

New West End
New West End was created in the 1840s on the Finchley Road. Four houses were built on a field of Platt's estate which jutted westward south of Teil's estate. The cluster were optimistically named New West End but eventually the name fell out of favour.
»read full article


MARCH
13
2015

 

Ladbroke Grove looking north (1950)
Ladbroke Grove on the corner of St Charles Sqaure taken outside the Eagle public house, looking north, just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. This view would be utterly transformed after bombing and then subsequent redevelopment in the 1950s.
»read full article


MARCH
12
2015

 

Poplar House
Poplar House was occupied by one of the first developers of West Hampstead, Thomas Potter. Thomas Potter was the owner of Thorplands, an estate of 13 acres which was south of Mill Lane and west of West End Lane. Potter built about 15 houses fronting Mill Lane between 1873 and 1877 and the Elms and the Cedars next to the green by 1878.

Another 28 houses and a Methodist church were built on the estate fronting Mill Lane in 1886-7 and seven blocks of flats in West End Lane on what was called the Cedars estate in 1894. Some 49 houses were finally built in Inglewood Road on the site of Poplar House, in 1893-4.
»read full article


MARCH
10
2015

 

Notting Hill Barn Farm
Notting Barns Farm was one of two farms in the North Kensington area. The farm, also known as Notting Hiil Barns Farm and Salters Farm, stood within countryside that was recorded as ’densely wooded thickets, the coverts of game, red and fallow deer, boars and wild bulls’ once known as Middlesex Forest.

It was approached via a footpath that was known as Green’s Lane. There is a sketch of the manor house but the farmhouse seems not so substantial a building as to have been a grand house.

It remains clear that there were two ponds serving the farm and the source of water was derived from the springs that gave rise to the streams or marshes south of the higher ground.

In 1880 the farmhouse house was still standing although by then surrounded by new building.
»read full article


MARCH
9
2015

 

Rackham Street, western end (1950)
A bombed-out Rackham Street, looking down from the junction with Exmoor Street. The huge bomb crater which actually had its epicentre on the north side of St Charles Square, one block south, can be seen. This one bomb fell in September 1940 and caused so much destruction that it was decided, after the war finished, to redevelop the whole area. Most of the street plan was changed utterly.
»read full article


MARCH
8
2015

 

Orme's Green
Ormes Green was the former name for this part of Westbourne Park. In 1809, Edward Orme, a print seller of Bond Street, acquired the former Bell at Bayswater, called Elms House, with two houses behind it, formerly a single house, along with the Bayswater tea gardens. Soon he also held much property farther west along the Uxbridge Road, where he may first have made money from gravel. He turned to building and property speculation, mainly in the Bayswater area.

By the mid 1820s, he had been responsible for building Orme's Green - named after his family like much of what he built. He built a row of houses, later called Belsize Villas, standing alone in the fields on the south side of Harrow Road.
»read full article


MARCH
7
2015

 

Wedlake Street Baths
In a time when most had somewhere to live but few had somewhere to wash at home, public baths were the place to go... Baths and a laundry to serve Queen's Park had been built in 1898, where the boundary with Kensington ran slightly south of the canal along Wedlake Street to Kensal Road. They were built next to Halfpenny (Ha'penny) Steps which allowed access across the canal from the Harrow Road to the baths for people from the Queen's Park Estate.

Wedlake Street Baths housed both a swimming pool and public baths. Families would go there for their weekly bath. There was a distinct system in place to use the facilities - you would get a numbered ticket and sat until your number was called. While you were in the bath, you could shout out to the attendent if you wanted more hot or cold water. The steel changing cubicles, a local remembered, were all made of steel - even the door. 'It felt like you were in stir!', remembered one.

Earlier times, people would leave their clothes unattended in the cubicle with the half door and a curtain on the top. Then it turned modern and the...
»more


MARCH
6
2015

 

Portobello Arms
The Portobello Arms was a former pub in Kensal Town, established in 1842. The 1911 census lists it as the licensee being called "Marshall" and situated at 248 Kensal Road. It was also listed as the headquarters of the Jubilee Angling Society.

The members of the Court Pleasant union regularly met there in the nineteenth century.

The Paddingion Mercury publishes the following correspondence in 1884:

Sir, I forwarded a petition to the Registrar General in October last drawing his attention to what we considered the nuisance of having to attend at a public house in Kensal Town known as the Portobello Arms for the purposes of registering the births and deaths of any of our children or relations and asking that the Registrar for the sub district might be removed to the new Vestry Offices in Kensal Road.

Not receiving an answer I wrote again on the 22nd of this month and received the following letter which I shall be glad if you will kindly publish.
»read full article


MARCH
5
2015

 

Ladbroke Grove railway bridge
Looking north over Bartle Bridge in the 1950s The iron bridge was built over the Great Western Railway with the notable feature of a separated road and pedestrian walkway.

This image dates from the 1950s. The bridge was later the site for the 1999 Ladbroke Grove rail crash.

From a series of photos of locations used in the film The Blue Lamp.
»read full article


MARCH
4
2015

 

Kilburn High Road
What was Watling Street in earlier times, became Edgware Road and finally Kilburn High Road. It is a varied street. AA Milne lived at one end of the High Road and WH Smith at the other. Dickens once drank in The Black Lion. Ella Fitzgerald once sang in The Gaumont State Theatre, later a bingo hall, later still, a church. Ian Dury's original band was called "Kilburn And The High Roads".

Kilburn High Road railway station opened in 1852 as Kilburn & Maida Vale station by the LNWR. The current footbridge and street-level buildings are not so much the result of modernisation but of three or four major fires which have occurred here since the early 1970s. It is now part of the London Overground.
»read full article


MARCH
3
2015

 

Scratchwood
Scratchwood is an area on the edge of North London. It was the former name of the London Gateway Services, named after woodland lying between the present M1 and A1.

One of the apocryphal stories of London is that the guns of HMS Belfast, moored next to City Hall, are trained on Stratchwood Services.
»read full article


MARCH
1
2015

 

Hinde Street, W1U
Hinde Street was built from 1777 by Samuel Adams and named after Jacob Hinde who was the son-in-law of the landwoner Thomas Thayer. Hinde Street is home to a number of notable buildings. The Hinde Street Methodist Church, a grade II listed building with Historic England. It was built 1807-10, and rebuilt in the 1880s.

Number 2 on the south side is a Portman Estate development terraced town house built around 1790. The building is grade II listed and occupied on the ground floor by Bishop Instruments and Bows.

Numbers 11 and 12 on the north side between Manchester Square and Thayer Street are also Portman Estate terraced town houses that have shops on the ground floor and flats above. Both are grade II listed.

The novelist Rose Macaulay (1881-1958) lived at Hinde House on the north side from 1941 until her death.
»read full article


MARCH
1
2015

 

Kilburn High Road (1880s)
This photo was taken on the corner of Kilburn High Road and Eresby Road, which has since disappeared. Some of Kilburn remained quite rural in feel until the turn of the twentieth century.

The photo dates from the 1880s and shows the junction between Kilburn High Road and a road called Eresby Road. This ran from Kingsgate Road to Kilburn High Road with a turning for Kingsgate Place about halfway down.

Eresby Road was laid out in 1879 - across the southern part of the Little Estate, owned by the Powell-Cotton family. 26 houses were built there between 1883 and 1885. 12 more were built between 1891-2.

The cottages to be seen in the photo - called Clarence Place backed onto a small lane. They were demolished in the 1890s as Kilburn High Road developed. It is likely that the photographer - Alexander Dron - was inspired to picture the scene before it disappeared forever.

Eresby Road disappeared with the building of a new housing estate in the 1970s and Kingsgate Place was diverted to run along the side of the new estate and emerge here.
»read full article


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.