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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

MAY
30
2015

 

Coach and Horses
The Coach & Horses was situated at 108 Notting Hill Gate. Mr Drinkwater, landlord of the Coach and Horses, then ‘still a small and primitive tavern’ was prosecuted for selling spirits at the Kensington Hippodrome in the 1830s.

In "Bygone Days", Florence Gladstone added in his defence, ‘the tavern itself was reputed to be quiet and respectable, instead of being a refuge for highwaymen as of old.’

The pub closed in 1957 and has now been demolished.

By 2015, the site was occupied by McDonald's beneath Campden Hill Towers.
»read full article


MAY
29
2015

 

Mercury Theatre
The Mercury Theatre was situated at 2a Ladbroke Road, next to the Kensington Temple. The Sunday School of the Horbury Chapel was erected in 1851, and began life as a school. The architect was John Tarring, who also designed the chapel. It was subsequently used as a church hall (“Horbury Hall”), and then briefly in the early 1920s the “Horbury Rooms” were occupied by the Kensington Local Pensions Committee. In the second half of the 1920s, the building was the studio of the Russian-Canadian sculptor Abrasha Lozoff (1887-1936), whose woodcarving Venus and Adonis, now in the Tate Collection, was almost certainly created there.

In 1927, Horbury Hall was purchased by Ashley Dukes, a successful West End playwright and theatrical impresario and the husband of Marie Rambert (later Dame Marie). The Russo-Polish ballerina had run a ballet school in Notting Hill Gate since 1919, and the hall was first used as studios for the school.

In 1930 Rambert founded the “Ballet Club” to give performances to the public, forming a dance troupe from her own pup...
»more


MAY
28
2015

 

Horbury Chapel (Kensington Temple)
In September 1849, the Horbury Chapel, Notting Hill was officially opened. It was established to serve this fast developing area of London by the Hornton Street Congregational Church situated in nearby Kensington. This original church donated significant sums of money for the project.

The new church grew to around 600 people with a Sunday school of 200 and a day school of 300. The church was socially-minded and ministered effectively to the poor in the area.

It had a pastor, Rev. William Roberts, BA who was described as an "earnest, thoughtful and evangelical" minister. The church also had a strong missionary emphasis supporting many overseas missions. Gladys Aylwood, a missionary to China, found Christ following one of the services at Horbury Chapel and Rev. Charles Spurgeon, the great Baptist minister preached there.

After the First World War, significant decline set in, in many British churches, including Horbury Chapel. For this reason, it was rented out and in 1931 finally sold to a new and growing movement k...
»more


MAY
27
2015

 

Ladbroke Road, W11
Ladbroke Road is a street in Notting Hill. Ladbroke Road was one of the new streets in the grand plan for the Ladbroke estate drawn up in 1823 by Thomas Allason, the surveyor-architect employed by James Weller Ladbroke when he decided to develop the farmland he had inherited from his uncle in 1819. However, nothing was actually built in the new road until the 1840s.

In 1840, James Weller Ladbroke gave a lease of the land around what is now the intersection of Ladbroke Road and Kensington Park Road to the speculator/developer William Chadwick. The latter began, as developers so often did, by building a public house, the Prince Albert, in 1841, before moving on to erect a number of houses at the southern end of Ladbroke Road.

The road was originally called Weller Street East and Weller Street West, after James Weller Ladbroke, and several of the terraces had their own names and numbering systems. This was all rationalised in 1866, when the street was formally renumbered and the terrace numbers abol...
»more


MAY
26
2015

 

Albert Hotel (1900s)
The Albert Hotel, on the corner of All Saints Road and Cornwall Road (now Westbourne Park Road). This photo was taken in the early 1900s in the heart of the Colville area of Notting Hill.
»read full article


MAY
25
2015

 

Mary Place Workhouse
Notting Dale Workhouse stood on the site of what is now Avondale Park Gardens, The Mary Place Workhouse, as it was official known, was supposed to be the cruellest in London. To it were sent the difficult cases from all other workhouses and the threat to send inmates to it was an effective method of discipline to others.

The cruel prison discipline included task work and a starvation diet.
»read full article


MAY
24
2015

 

Rosslyn House
Rosslyn (Roslyn) House, which stood between Wedderburn and Lyndhurst Roads, was one of the last of the famous old Hampstead houses to be destroyed. Mulys, later called Grove House, Shelford Lodge, and Rosslyn House, was occupied by the Fellows family from c. 1723 to c.1777.

It changed to its final name when it became the property of Alexander Wedderburn, first Earl of Rosslyn, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain in 1793.

He added a large oval room which held the library and disguised the shape of the original house. Rosslyn left in 1803 and in 1808 the house, a newly planted orchard, and 21 acres, were occupied by Robert Milligan (d. 1809), a West India merchant. There were also houses for a gardener and a coachman.

It was noted for its magnificent avenue of Spanish chestnuts said to have been planted in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Elizabethan relics have been found in the vicinity.

Rosslyn House was sold in 1816 to the undertenant and remained in parkland until it was demolished between 1896 and 1909.
»read full article


MAY
23
2015

 

Rainham Road, NW10
Rainham Road, in Kensal Green, was laid out in 1895. The United Land Company bought a 6 acre triangle of land between Harrow Road and the Hampstead Junction railway in 1879, and an adjoining 21 acres from All Souls College in 1882. The whole area was laid out as high-density terraced housing and shops as far east as College Road.

The college leased 13 acres south of the L&NWR railway line to Edward Vigers, who by 1888 had laid out roads and started building 134 small terraced houses.

Rainham Road was let on building leases in 1895 and 30 houses had been built there by 1898.
»read full article


MAY
20
2015

 

Admiral Blake (The Cowshed)
The Admiral Blake was situated at the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Barlby Road. It had the alternative name the Cowshed because it stood near to the site of former cowsheds.

Admiral Mews was occupied by a series of sheds for cows. Drovers bringing their cattle to the London markets would house them in these sheds for the night, whilst they themselves found shelter and refreshment in the neighbouring tavern.

By the turn of the 21st century the pub had actually been renamed as "The Cowshed".

The exterior of the pub was featured in the early 2000s pub-based sitcom, "Time Gentlemen Please", written by Richard Herring and Al Murray.
»read full article


MAY
18
2015

 

St. Joseph's Home
St Joseph's dominated a part of Portobello Road up until the 1980s. In 1864 Portobello farmhouse was sold to the Little Sisters of the Poor, who originated in Brittany. On the site of the farm's orchard, they built St Joseph’s Convent, a home for the aged and infirm, by 1869.

Three years later this was described as a 'large brick edifice, giving the impression of a workhouse hospital', in which over two hundred residents were accommodated. It was considerably enlarged in 1882 to designs by F. W. Tasker, who may also have designed the original building.

Contemporary accounts tell of a charitable and relaxed regime. The old and ill of both sexes were housed in large airy dormitories with patchwork quilts on the beds.The home was well supported by the local community. The Sisters were a familiar sight in the area until the late 1970s. They regularly collected foodstuffs from the market stalls and local shops.

Latterly, the home consisted of a large group of outwardly utilitarian three-storey buildings with s...
»more


MAY
17
2015

 

Kensal Rise (1907)
Motor buses at Kensal Rise station. This is an old postcard showing Kensal Rise. It is postmarked 30 August 1907.

In those days, the urban area stretched only as far as the railway at Kensal Rise - beyond it lay fields.

You can see the spread of development by switching between the 1900 and 1910 mapping.
»read full article


MAY
16
2015

 

William Miller's Yard
William Miller's Yard stood in Chapel Place, West Row. William Miller lived at 4 South Row and kept chickens and a pig in the back.

The yard was situated behind Pollock House. Thomas (Old Tom) Sivers, who lived at 6 West Row, later had the yard for use of totters in the 1950s. A family called Newman also had horse and carts there then.

Middle Row School, opened in 1878, can be seen in the background.
»read full article


MAY
15
2015

 

Queen Victoria/Narrow Boat
The 'Vic' was the first building on the right when crossing the canal going north along Ladbroke Grove. Its start date as a hostelry is unknown - the name (both "Victoria Arms" and "Queen Victoria") suggests that it was of 19th century origin though it is not marked as a pub on the 1900 map.

A very small establishment, it stood just next to a "dingy" staircase and alleyway which formed a short cut between Ladbroke Grove and what was Church Place - handy for the bus stop for the number 18 bus along the Harrow Road. Down the stairs were the toilets of the pub and a small beer garden.

Church Place is now called St John's Terrace and the right of way is still there.

In later years it became called "The Narrow Boat" and was a Fullers pub. It was a regular in the Good Beer Guide.

It fell into disrepair when the landlord, known as Wally, retired, then it fell down.

A 1984 episode of the TV series "Minder" (Season 4, Episode 6, If Money Be the Food of Love, Play On) was shot there.

It closed around 1989 and has since been demolished.
»read full article


MAY
13
2015

 

Western Arms
The Western Arms was a pub situated on the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Kensal Road. To locals, it was generally known as the "Souse" after the landlady Mrs South who took over around 1943.

It originally had a public bar, saloon bar and a smokers' bar around the corner in an alleyway (which also led to the gents' toilets). The smokers bar also had a nickname: "The Iron Lung".

Before changes in local licensing laws after the Second World War, it was notable in the past for being the last pub in Kensington where pubs shut at 10.30pm during the week. North of here, the Harrow Road area lay in the Borough of Paddington, whose pubs shut at 11pm, causing a sudden exodus of customers from the 'Western'.

The nearby gas works supplied gas to the local area by means of an underground pipe system. One of the main pipes ran just adjacent to the beer cellar of the Western and cooled the beer stored there. The pub was formerly reknowned, because of this, for the quality of its ale (probably due to the cooling effect of this gas pipe).»more


MAY
12
2015

 

Queen's Cinema
This cinema was situated at the top of Queensway, on the corner of Bishop's Bridge Road. The Queens Cinema opened on 3 October 1932 and was designed in the contemporary style by architects Stanley Beard and Clare. It was built for and operated by W.C Dawes' Modern Cinemas, a small independent circuit which had cinemas in the west of London.

It was taken over by the ABC chain on 19 February 1935 and remained under their ownership for the following fifty years. In 1975 it was converted into a three screen cinema.

Cannon Cinemas ran it between 1986 and 1988 but closed that year. "Coming to America" was the final movie.

It was a restaurant between 1995 and 2007. When that in turn closed, the auditorium was demolished but the facade kept once converted into flats.
»read full article


MAY
11
2015

 

Adela Street, W10
Adela Street is a small cul-de-sac in Kensal Town. Adela Street had a brief starring role in the seminal 1972 movie Steptoe and Son as it doubled up as the location of Oildrum Lane, the site of their scrapyard.

As depicted in the film, Adela Street looks run down, but since the 1970s it has undergone a bit of a transformation. It is now the site of some expensive real estate.
»read full article


MAY
10
2015

 

West End Lane, NW6
West End Lane is the main road running through West Hampstead. West End Lane is one of the West Hampstead’s oldest roads. West End Lane and Mill Lane (Shoot Up Hill Lane and Cole Lane), probably existed as access in the Middle Ages since they formed the boundaries of several ancient estates.

It is possible to trace most of West End Lane’s bends and twists from the earliest maps on the modern street plan.

As late as the 1860s it was still a true country lane with high banks, "hedged irregularly for the greater part of its length, and enshrined too by the embracing branches of the majestic oak, elm and other forest trees, through which a sunny gleam here and there broke." according to Dick Weindling and Marianne Colloms in Kilburn and West Hampstead Past.

West End Lane led westwards from Hampstead and then southwards to Kilburn. Where it took this sharp turn from running west to running south, a hamlet grew up. The hamlet was originally known as "le Rudyng" (indicating a woodland clearing) in the mid-13...
»more


MAY
9
2015

 

Westbourne House
Two hundred years ago, the biggest house hereabouts... The largest of the five main houses at Westbourne Green in the 1830s was Westbourne Place or Westbourne House, which was rebuilt in 1745 by the architect Isaac Ware as an elegant Georgian mansion of three storeys with a frontage of nine windows divided into three parts.

The central third was topped by a large pediment and contained the main door, which also had a pediment over it. The lower two storeys were formed into bays at each end, which contained three windows each. Amongst the well-known residents of this house were Sir William Yorke, baronet; the Venetian ambassador; the architect Samuel Pepys Cockerell (a great great nephew of the diarist Samuel Pepys); and the General Commander in Chief of the Army, Viscount Hill, who left in 1836 (and who gave his name to the modern road bridge north of Westbourne Grove called Lord Hill's Bridge).

The house was demolished in 1836 to make way for the houses and gardens of what is now Westbourne Park Villas.
»read full article


MAY
7
2015

 

Chamberlayne Farm
Chamberlain (Wood) Farm developed out of the manor of Chambers, named after Richard de Camera, an early 13th century cleric. Its was separated from its farmland by the building of the railway in the 1850s with a bridge over the new railway built. Immediately to the east of the bridge was the Lower Farm.

Its dairy business expanded greatly after the 1864 Act of Parliament which made it illegal to keep cattle within the City of London. Although by the late 1800s residential development had greatly reduced the farmland, still in the 1890s many sheep and pigs were raised in the district.

The Chamberlain farmland was built over in the period 1894 - 1907.
»read full article


MAY
6
2015

 

Clifford Gardens, NW10
Clifford Gardens is a street just north of the railway at Kensal Rise. The All Souls’ estate now stretches from Kensal Green to Harlesden. Many of the houses were built by Charles Langler and Charles Pinkham in the last decade of the nineteenth century.

Their most noteworthy houses are those in Clifford Gardens built around 1897, the facades of which are decorated with quaint and curious stucco scenes. These were fashioned by an old Hampstead man employed by Langler and Pinkham.

Clifford Gardens ran originally beyond the southern boundary of the National Athletic Ground.
»read full article


MAY
5
2015

 

Rural Chamberlayne Road (1900s)
Until after the first world war, the area north of Kensal Rise was still fields. Chamberlayne Road was originally part of a footpath which ran from Kensal Green to Willesden Green.

As the nineteenth century wore on, a railway which later became the North London Line pushes east-west across the fields and Kensal Rise (a made up name) station was built.

The footpath of Chamberlayne Road was upgraded to a suburban street as far as the station.

In 1890, the National Athletic Grounds were built just to the north of the station and Chamberlayne Road leapt over the railway to serve it.

The land hereabouts belonged to All Soul’s College and who were keen to exploit it. But, they like the rest of London were affected by a slump in property prices after 1904 and lasting until the First World War.

North of the railway they built Clifford Gardens in 1897, designed by Charles Langler and Charles Pinkham, the facades decorated with quaint and curious stucco scenes. (Note that the "1900" map was actually ...
»more


MAY
3
2015

 

Carmelite Monastery of The Most Holy Trinity
Convent in North Kensington This convent was established by French Carmelite nuns, nine of whom came here in 1878, one of them being a sister of the fifteenth Duke of Norfolk, who appears to have bought the site from the freeholders.

Building began in Spring 1877 to the designs of F. H. Pownall, and the first stone of the chapel was laid by Cardinal Manning on 16 July of that year. The nuns entered the convent on 28 September 1878.Substantial additions were made to the buildings in 1893–4.
»read full article


MAY
2
2015

 

St Charles Square after bombing (1950)
A corner of St Charles Square looking north, just after the Second World War
»read full article


MAY
2
2015

 

Canning Town
Canning Town is a district in the West Ham area of the London Borough of Newham. Prior to the 19th century, the district was largely marshland, and accessible only by boat, or a toll bridge. In 1809, an Act of Parliament was passed for the construction of the Barking Road between the East India Docks and Barking. A five span iron bridge was constructed in 1810 to carry the road across the River Lea at Bow Creek. This bridge was damaged by a collision with a collier in March 1887 and replaced by the London County Council (LCC) in 1896. This bridge was in turn replaced in 1934, at a site to the north and today’s concrete flyover begun in smaller form in the 1960s, but successively modified to incorporate new road layouts for the upgraded A13 road and a feeder to the Limehouse Link tunnel, avoiding the Blackwall Tunnel. The abutments of the old iron bridge have now been utilised for the Jubilee footbridge, linking the area to Leamouth, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, on the western bank of the Lea.

The area is thought to be named for the ...
»more


MAY
1
2015

 

Western Iron Works
The Western Iron Works was the foundry business of James Bartle and Co. James Bartle was born in Camborne, Cornwall in 1826 and the 1851 census shows him working in Islington.

In 1854 he founded the iron foundry at at 236A Lancaster Road. It made coachwork and iron castings including manhole covers, lamp posts and railings. A great speciality for years was the complete equipment of gasworks plant, including in a number of cases the gasometers. Another feature of the foundry's work was cast-iron bridges, numbers of which were erected over London canals, including that over the "cut" at Ladbroke Grove. Members of the Bartle family lived at 3 Rillington Place.

By 1881 James Bartle was employing 62 men and 13 boys. He was a leading figure in the community and was made a Freeman by Kensington Vestry. Bartle died aged 70 at Camborne House, 236 Ladbroke Road in 1896 and the business was sold in 1910 to C S Windsor.

The new owner not only continued to produce cast iron products but also developed and manufactured th...
»more


MAY
1
2015

 

Blechynden Mews, W11
Blechynden Mews is a former side street in London W11. Before it was redeveloped, Blechynden Mews ran beside Silchester Road Baths. Sometimes also called Lancaster Road Baths or simply the Kensington Public Baths, the official name was Argyle Hall.
»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.