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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

AUGUST
30
2015

 

Princess Frederica School
Princess Frederica School on the corner of College Road and Purves Road, NW10. The Princess Frederica School was opened as a National School by the Church Extension Association, working through the Anglican community of the Sisters of the Church in 1889 for boys, girls and infants. It was financed by a parliamentary grant, voluntary contributions, and school pence – and opened by Princess Frederica who was a patron of the Association and a cousin of Queen Victoria. It was reorganised by 1948 and in 1965 was passed to the London Diocesan Board of Education.

It was extended and modernised in 1975 and reorganised again in 1978.
»read full article


AUGUST
27
2015

 

Ladbroke Square Garden
Ladbroke Square communal garden lies in Notting Hill. The huge Ladbroke Square communal garden is unusual on the Ladbroke estate in being part communal garden accessed from the backs of the houses lining it (on its north side) and part traditional London Square with roads between the houses and the square. It is bordered by Ladbroke Grove on its west side, Kensington Park Road on its east side, and the road called Ladbroke Square on its south side – so the latter is something of a misnomer, being a single long road.

It is one of the largest private garden squares in London and is Grade II listed by English Heritage.
»read full article


AUGUST
26
2015

 

Kensington Park Road, W11
Kensington Park Road is one of the main streets in Notting Hill. Kensington Park Road was built over a long period between the early 1840s and the 1870s. It was built in fits and starts by a variety of different developers, so the history of the street is somewhat complicated.

Originally, there was no north-south road parallel to Portobello Lane (as Portobello Road was known). In 1840, after the failure of the Hippodrome racecourse (the main entrance of which was about where Kensington Temple now is), James Weller Ladbroke signed an agreement with a developer, Joseph Connop, under which Connop agreed to develop a large portion of the estate between Portobello Road and roughly what is now Ladbroke Grove. The deal was that Connop would arrange for the building of roads, sewers and houses and Ladbroke undertook then to give him 99-year leases of the houses for a small ground rent; Connop would then recover his costs through letting the houses.

“Kensington Park” was the name chosen by the developer Pearson Thompson when i...
»more


AUGUST
24
2015

 

Kensington Park Gardens, W11
Kensington Park Gardens is a street in Notting Hill. Kensington Park Gardens is a broad, open street, connecting Ladbroke Grove to Kensington Park Road at the apex of Notting Hill, with a magnificent vista to St John’s church at the western end. Both sides of the street back onto communal gardens, and St John’s Church was built on its chosen site to close the vista at the west end of the street.

The housing was built in the 1850s during the second great wave of construction on the Ladbroke estate. In the filthy atmosphere of London in the 19th century, a considerable premium was put on being high up, and the land on which Kensington Park Gardens now stands was amongst the most valuable on the estate. The street contains some of the most important and grandest houses in the Ladbroke area.

The original layout plan for the area and designs for the houses in Kensington Park Gardens had been drawn up by the Ladbroke family’s architect and surveyor Thomas Allason in 1849, but he died before it could be fully ...
»more


AUGUST
23
2015

 

Lismore Circus, NW5
Lismore Circus was a former Victorian circus with six streets radiating from it. Lord Mansfield, Lord Southampton and Lord Lisburne were the local landowners and plans were drawn up for six streets radiating from Lismore Circus. Houses here were built by 1853.

From 1868 the Midland Railway ran trains from Bedford to its own terminus at St. Pancras with the railway tunnel running underneath the southern half of the Circus. And also in 1868, Haverstock Hill station opened and was situated in the southwest of the circus (partially closing in 1916 but only finally decomissioned in 1983).

In 1870 St Pancras Vestry took over the central area following a memorial that it should be laid out as a garden. It opened to the public in 1871, a circular garden surrounded by privet hedge with grass, shrubs and trees.

The area was devestated by bombing during the Second World War. On 15 October 1940, a bomb demolished the Lismore Circus bridge over the railway, blocking it.

The housing estate surrounding Lismore Circus w...
»more


AUGUST
22
2015

 

South End Green
South End Green is the focus of a distinct Hampstead community. South End Green has been marked as such on maps since the 18th century, going simultaneously by another name - Pond Street.

The area took more shape along the rough edges of Hampstead Heath in 1835, when the small puddle at the bottom of aptly-named Pond Street was filled in. Much like Parliament Hill on the opposite side of the Heath, the arrival of a tram terminus brought people, shops, roads, homes and large public houses to this once sleepy hamlet by mid-century.
»read full article


AUGUST
21
2015

 

Bridge Approach, NW1
Bridge Approach was once a busy thoroughfare connecting Regents Park Road with the world. Regents Park Road was a major east west route from central London to the east was very busy. To the north lay Bridge Street.

In the 1960s, two children were knocked down and killed at the railway bridge. As a result the bridge was closed to traffic and one of the five entry points into Primrose Hill was blocked to cars whilst still allowing pedestrian access. The road was renamed Bridge Approach.

Regents Park Road was no longer a through route. The massive decrease in traffic flows encouraged restaurants and shops to settle and form a more vibrant Primrose Hill. Although they have many attributes, the presence of busy through routes ultimately prevents the formation of a relaxed village neighbourhood which Primrose Hill has susequently become.
»read full article


AUGUST
20
2015

 

Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath railway station has been part of the London Overground since 11 November 2007. In the nineteenth century up to 100,000 people per day used the station at weekends and on public holidays as the Heath was a popular holiday destination for Londoners. The station was rebuilt, after Second World War bomb damage, and in the 1990s in conjunction with works to allow Eurostar trains to use the North London Line.
»read full article


AUGUST
19
2015

 

South Hill Park, NW3
South Hill Park is a street in NW3 - some of its houses overlook Hampstead Heath. In 1878, landowner the Dean of Westminster made a building agreement with Joseph Pickett, the tenant of South End Farm, and John Ashwell, a Kentish Town builder, for the 15 and a half acres north of the Hampstead Junction Railway. South Hill Park Road (later Parliament Hill Road) and Nassington Road were laid out in 1878 and 90 houses built between 1879 and 1892. The planned extension of the roads into Lord Mansfield’s lands in St. Pancras was halted by the addition of Parliament Hill Fields to the heath in 1889. Tanza Road was made instead, to connect the existing roads, and building began there in 1890. Ashwell withdrew in 1881 and Pickett, who by then described himself as a master builder and lived in South Hill Park, was under-financed and built cheaply, mostly semi-detached and terraced tall but cramped redbrick houses for the middle class.

The last woman to be hanged in Britain, Ruth Ellis, was sentenced to death for a murder committed on South Hill Park. She shot...
»more


AUGUST
18
2015

 

Benevolent Institution for the Relief of Aged and Infirm Tailors
The Benevolent Institution for the Relief of Aged and Infirm Journeymen was founded on 10 February 1837. The work originated with a Mr Stulz, the President of the Society, who, at one of the anniversary meetings, announced to the members that he would present them with a piece of land as a site for an asylum.

Accordingly, upon the sale of the Southampton estate, he made the purchase; and, at his sole cost and charge, erected the chapel, and six of the adjoining houses.

The Asylum was built in the old English style, from the design of Mr. T. Meyer. The first stone was laid by the Marquis of Salisbury, on the 31 May 1842; and the chapel was consecrated by the Bishop of London, on the 24 June. The chapel was endowed by Mr Stulz; and the communion-plate, books, altar-screen, and furniture of the chapel presented by different master members of the institution.

The asylum consisted of the chapel and ten houses; the dwelling at the south end being appropriated for the chaplain. Each house consisted of eight rooms, two being allotted to each pension...
»more


AUGUST
17
2015

 

Shepherd’s Well
Shepherd’s Well, whose flow was thought to be nearly as pure as distilled water, is the source of the River Tyburn. Also known as The Conduit, the well provided a source of good quality soft drinking water for the residents of Hampstead. The walk to the nearest road meant that well carriers sold water by the pail or two pails because of the yoke needed for carrying the water. The spring never froze and only vary rarely ran dry.

There was an arch over the conduit, and rails stood round it.

At the close of the 1700s Lord Loughborough, its landwoner, tried to stop locals from obtaining the water, by enclosing the well. So great was the popular indignation, that an appeal was made to the Courts of Law, when a decision was given in the people’s favour, and so the well remained in constant use until well into the nineteenth century.

Hone’s Table Book, in the nineteenth century, writes the following about Shepherd’s Well:

The arch, embedded above and around by the green turf, forms a conduit-head to a beautiful spring; the specific grav...
»more


AUGUST
16
2015

 

Belsize Park Mews, NW3
Belsize Park Mews lies in the Belsize Park Conservation Area. The areas of mews to the north of Belsize Lane and either side of Belsize Crescent were
developed initially by Tidey (1850-1870) and later by Willett in the 1870s on a field formerly
associated with Belsize Farm.

The single-aspect, two storey mews terraces are built generally in London stock brick, with red brick detailing, fronting directly onto the narrow streets and courtyards. The properties are generally uniform in their simple elevational treatment providing a rhythm and consistency to the terrace.
»read full article


AUGUST
15
2015

 

Princess Mews, NW3
Princess Mews is a mews of Belsize Park. Princess Mews has been substantially remodelled but the overall scale remains appropriate to the original design.
»read full article


AUGUST
11
2015

 

Belsize Court Garages, NW3
Belsize Court Garages were built by Willett in around 1880 as livery stables. Moving with the times, Belsize Court Garages was originally called Belsize Court Stables and is alternatively called Belsize Court Gardens.

The street forms an attractive group of relatively intact mews terraces, many retaining original
features such as garage doors, sash windows, and a door at first floor to No. 6.

No. 9 has an overtly modern extension but this maintains the building line and scale.
»read full article


AUGUST
7
2015

 

Holland Park Avenue, W11
Holland Park Avenue is one of London’s most ancient thoroughfares. The Romans made Holland Park Avenue their main road into London from Silchester and the west, but it probably existed as an ancient British trackway long before that. In Roman times it ran through a densely forested area, part of the huge forest that was later known as the Forest of Middlesex (which according to a 12th century description was full of red and fallow deer, boars and wild bulls).

After the Romans left, the road appears to have deteriorated to such an extent that the then smaller parallel road to the south that is now High Street Kensington took over as the main way into London for travellers from the West of England. But the old road continued to be used by travellers from Oxford and Uxbridge, and until the 19th century it was known as the Uxbridge Road, or sometimes simply the “North Highway”.

From the Middle Ages onwards, the forest was gradually cleared, to be replaced by arable farmland and meadows. Gravel pits began to be worked at wh...
»more


AUGUST
4
2015

 

Limehouse Causeway (1936)
Limehouse Causeway photographed in November 1936. Limehouse Causeway runs from the junction of Narrow Street and Three Colt Street in the west to West India Dock Road in the east. On its northern side it is joined by Gill Sreet and Salter Street. On the south side it is joined by Milligan Street.

The street was the home to the original Chinatown of London. A combination of bomb damage during the Second World War and later redevelopment means that almost nothing is left of the original buildings of the street.
»read full article


AUGUST
3
2015

 

The Prince of Wales Cinema
The Prince of Wales Cinema was located at 331 Harrow Road. Located in Westbourne Park, the Prince of Wales’ Cinema was built on the site of an earlier Prince of Wales’ Picture Playhouse (1912-1934) which had 650 seats and was designed by architect M. Wilson. The new cinema was built for W.C. Dawes’ Modern Cinemas circuit, a small independent chain of cinemas in west London.

It opened on 27 October 1934 with Tom Walls in “A Cup of Kindness” and George Arliss in “The House of Rothschild”. Architects J. Stanley Beard and W.R. Bennett designed a pleasing Art Deco style cinema which was equipped for cine/variety programmes. The facade of the building was clad in cream faiance tiles and had three large windows in the centre which let in light to the large foyer. Seating was provided in stalls and balcony levels and the auditorium was illuminated by indirect lighting.

It was taken over by John Maxwell’s Associated British Cinemas (ABC) chain from 19 February 1935 and they continued to operate it throughout its uneventfu...
»more


AUGUST
2
2015

 

John’s Hill
The corner of Johns Hill and Pennington Street, Wapping, December 1906. The long range of late 17th century dwellings of Pennington Street stood directly opposite the towering walls and warehouses of London Docks, which they pre-dated - hence the raised level of road surface which provided access to the Docks.

By the early twentieth century, many older buildings such as these, offered rooms and lodgings for the working poor, who are gathered here outside their houses.
»read full article


AUGUST
1
2015

 

The Load of Hay
The Load of Hay was established by 1721. On Haverstock Hill the Load of Hay was so named by 1723 although it is said once to have been called the Cart and Horses.

It had a varying reputation. Its boisterous landlord Joe Davis (d. 1806) was widely caricatured in prints and patronised by the nobility, whereas Washington Irving remembered it for its rowdy Irish haymakers.

In 1863 the Load of Hay was rebuilt and from 1965 until 1974 it was called the Noble Art in honour of the Belsize boxing club and of a gymnasium behind used by the British Boxing Board of Control.

It was more recently called "The Hill".

Just opposite the Load of Hay lived Sir Richard Steele, in a picturesque two-storied cottage. The cottage was later divided into two and in 1867 was pulled down.
»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.