The Underground Map
Featured articlesOsborn Street, E1
Osborn Street is a short road leading from Whitechapel Road to the crossroads with Brick Lane, Wentworth Street and Old Montague Street. Originally a narrow continuation of Brick Lane, it once went under the name of ’Dirty Lane’, being paved and widened c.1778. It was named after the Osborn family of Chicksand Priory, Bedfordshire who were prominent landowners here.
Most of the street was destroyed during the Second World War and thus most surviving buildings are post-1945.
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Old Montague Street, E1
Old Montague Street is a thoroughfare running east-west from Baker’s Row (now Vallance Road) to Brick Lane. The western section of the street (as far as today’s Greatorex Street) was certainly in evidence by the 1670s (known simply as Montague Street) and was probably built up when the east side of Brick Lane was being developed in the 1650s. Much of the north side was rural at this time, however, with the south side comprising of scattered properties and gardens.
This state of affairs appeared to exist into the mid-18th century - the street was extended eastwards by this time but the newer pathways were as yet unnamed.
By the beginning of the 19th century, these easterly extentions were known as Rope Walk (later Chapel Lane) and Princes Row. This part eventually became Princes Street.
To the south of Princes Street was the Whitechapel Workhouse, built on Whitechapel Road by 1827 and abutting this was a burial ground, originally an overspill for St Mary Matfelon. Adjacent to the workhouse was the Davenant Foundation School which had been...
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 188...
Durward Street, E1
Durward Street is a narrow thoroughfare running east-west from Brady Street to Baker’s Row (today’s Vallance Road). Originally called Ducking Pond Row on account of a ducking pond being situated at the site of the Brady Street junction . First map appearance as Buck’s Row was c.1830., however the name had been in use for many years previously.
By 1870, the street was lined on its north side by the large Browne & Eagle warehouses and on its south by a row of terraced cottages which terminated at a ’National School for Boys and Girls’ (similar cottages stood in parallel Winthrop Street). The end of the terrace and the school were demolished c.1875 to make way for the East London Underground Railway and a new board school was constructed in 1876-7. The demolished houses on the terrace were replaced by a new structure, named New Cottage and Brown’s Stable Yard. Essex Wharf was also built on the opposite side of the street around this time.
Ripper victim Mary Ann Nichols’ body was found in front of the gateway of Brown’s Stable Yard. A...
Little Paternoster Row, E1
Little Paternoster Row was once known as French Alley. It was a narrow alleyway running north-south from Brushfield Street to Dorset Street where it emerged between Nos.35 (Crossingham’s Lodging House) and 36 Dorset Street. Entry from Brushfield Street was via a covered archway next to the Oxford Arms public house at No.62.
In 1888, Little Paternoster Row was lined on its west side by a row of tenements and on its east side by Crossingham’s.
Little Paternoster Row was classed as ’black’ (vicious, semi-criminal) in Charles Booth’s 1898 map of London Poverty. The surveyor’s original notebook entries describe it thus:
"2 & 3 storey common lodging houses. Ragged women, children, holey toeless boots; windows dirty patched with brown paper and broken. Prostitutes, thieves and ponces. Buildings owned by the notorious Jack McCarthy of Dorset Street."
It was demolished in 1928 along with the north side of Dorset Street to make way for extensions to Spitalfields Market.
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George Street, E1
George Street was a street running north-south from Flower and Dean Street to Wentworth Street, crossing Thrawl Street approx. half way along its length.. It was laid out by Thomas and Lewis Fossan c.1657.
As with the other streets in the neighbourhood, it had become known for its common lodging houses by the 1880s.
George Street was at the centre of the Flower and Dean Street rookery and consequently its slum buildings were completely demolished to make way for the Charlotte De Rothschild Dwellings and Lolesworth Buildings on its west side (1886), Ruth and Helena Houses (1895-7) on the east side and finally Keate and Spencer Houses (1908) also on the east side.
It was renamed Lolesworth Street on 11 July 1893.
After the demolition of the model dwellings (1973-80) and the building of the Flower and Dean Estate (1982-4) Lolesworth Street ceased to exist, though the present Flower and Dean Walk marks the approximate route. The Rothschild Buildings arch to the south of the estate stands at the former junction of George and Wentworth Streets.
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Breezer’s Hill, E1W
Breezer’s Hill is a short, narrow hill running between The Highway (formerly Ratcliffe Highway and St. George Street) and Pennington Street. Its west side was lined with the wool warehouses of Gooch & Cousens and on the east side were a number of small dwellings, numbered 1 to 5. Two pubs were situated on the street; ’The White Bear’ on the north east corner at 1 St. George Street and on the ’Red Lion’ on the south east corner at 60 Pennington Street.
Breezer’s Hill still exists and has warehouses on both sides.
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Black Lion Yard, E1
Black Lion Yard was a narrow thoroughfare running north-south from Old Montague Street (where it was accessible via a set of steps) to Whitechapel Road. Named after the Black Lion Inn which is mentioned by Charles Dickens in Barnaby Rudge (1840), it was certainly in existence by 1746, probably earlier. In 1888 it was (like much of the surrounding area, predominantly Jewish. The Jewish Soup kitchen was based here before moving on to Brune Street in 1902 and it was known for its kosher dairy which had its own herd of cows.
Black Lion Yard eventually became known for its jewellers, described as the ’Hatton Garden of the East End’. It was earmarked for clearance in 1966 and despite petitions and media coverage, it was demolished 1972-5.
Black Lion House stands near the site today on Whitechapel Road.
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29 Aldgate High Street
29 Aldgate High Street is a demolished property, originally on the north side of Aldgate High Street.. These were premises in front of which Catherine Eddowes was found drunk by PC Louis Robinson.
According to PC Robinson’s inquest testimony, he was on duty in Aldgate High Street at 8.30pm, 29 September 1888 when he saw a crowd outside No.29 - he found Eddowes lying on the pavement. He picked her up and carried her to the side by some shutters and she fell sideways. He got assistance from PC George Simmons and they took her to Bishopsgate Police Station.
Officially, there was no 29 Aldgate High Street in 1888 and it does not appear in any census returns from 1871 to 1901; the numbering, though consecutive on that side, goes from 28 to 30. Research conducted by the late Adrian Phypers in 2001 managed to shed some light on the mystery:
In the late 1860s numbers 28 and 29 were both used by a wine importer. In about 1870 he sold up and the properties were taken on by a Henry Phillips, furniture warehouseman. A year or two later his Kell...
Dukes Place, EC3A
Duke’s Place was formerly called Duke Street. It a street running northwest-southeast as a continuation of Bevis Marks down to Aldgate. Originally known as Shoemaker Row, it had been renamed Duke Street by the end of the 18th century after the house of the Duke of Norfolk, which had been built by Sir T. Audley after he pulled down the priory of Holy Trinity, and which, coming to the Duke by marriage, was called Duke’s Place.
The area was an early settlement for Jews after they were permitted to enter Britain by Oliver Cromwell in 1657, resulting in the building of the Sephardic Bevis Marks Synagogue (1701) and the Ashkenazi Great Synagogue. The latter was established in 1620, subsequently rebuilt in 1766 and 1790 and was destroyed during an air-raid on 11th May 1942. The following year, a temporary structure was erected on the site and was used until 1958 when it moved to Adler Street, Whitechapel. The Adler Street synagogue closed in 1977.
Duke Street was renamed Duke’s Place in 1939 and...
St James’s Passage, EC3A
St James’s Passage was formerly known as Church Passage. Formerly a narrow passage leading from Duke Street (now Duke’s Place) to Mitre Square. In the 18th century it went by the name of ’Dark Entry’.
The passage tapered from 18 feet wide at its entrance in Mitre Square, to 5 feet wide within only a distance of a couple of paces. Above its entrance to Mitre Square hung a wall mounted gas lamp.
Church Passage was renamed St James’s Passage on 1st July 1939. A footbridge was added from the Kearley & Tonge warehouse on its north side to the warehouse opposite just after the Second World War. It was significantly widened c.1974 following the demolition of the buildings.
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Old Castle Street, E1
Old Castle Street runs north-south from Wentworth Street to Whitechapel High Street, the southern section of which incorporates the former Castle Alley, murder site of Ripper victim Alice McKenzie. Castle Alley appears (though unnamed) in maps as early as 1676, joining Castle Street via a narrow passage to Whitechapel High Street. By the mid-18th century, Castle Street had been given the ’Old’ prefix and the future Castle Alley was known as ’Moses and Aaron Alley’ a name it appears to have kept until c.1800. In 1830, it appears as ’Castle Court’. The name Castle Alley was certainly in use by the mid-19th century.
The Whitechapel Wash House (built 1846-51 in Goulston Street) backed onto Castle Alley, which at this time was extremely narrow and entered via a covered archway from Whitechapel High Street. Castle Alley was lined on its west side by warehouses and the Wash House and on its east side by smaller properties. The confluence of the alley and Old Castle Street took the form of a sharp bend which was to be the site of the Old Castle Street Board School, built 1873. The narrowest part of the alley was also earmarked for widening in 1876 as part of the Cross Act...
Henriques Street, E1
Henriques Street was formerly called Berner Street. It is a thoroughfare running north-south from Commercial Road to Boyd Street. It first appeared on Horwood’s map of 1807 when it was little more than an incomplete cul-de-sac. Possibly named after Charles Berner, a trustee of the vestry of St George-in-the-east, it had become fully developed by the 1830s. The northern and southern stretches either side of Fairclough Street were originally named Lower and Upper Berner Street respectively and the street ran south as far as Ellen Street. The two separately named halves were redesignated as simply Berner Street in 1868.
In 1888, Berner Street contained a variety of buildings, most notably a row of houses on the east side, broken by Sander Street and Dutfield’s Yard which divided Nos.40 and 42. No.40 was the International Working Men’s Educational Club, a wooden building that was very old, even by 1888. A small arch between Nos. 30 and 32 led to Batty’s Gardens, and opposite was a board school, built ...
Goulston Street, E1
Goulston Street is a thoroughfare running north-south from Wentworth Street to Whitechapel High Street. Goulston Street first appeared as a small passage in the 1730s, but within ten years had been widened and extended as far as Goulston Square, a former garden which sat half way between Wentworth and Whitechapel High Streets. The street was extended further north between 1800 and 1830, this part initially being called New Goulston Street. The ’New’ prefix was soon dropped.
The northern half of the street came under the scrutiny of the Metropolitan Board of Works when the Cross Act of 1875 earmarked it for demolition on account of its dangerous slum tenements. At the same time, properties in George Yard and the Flower and Dean Street area were also suggested for redevelopment. The resulting changes in Goulston Street meant that unsanitary dwellings in Three Tun Alley (on the west side) and Goulston Court (on the east) were wiped out, along with much of the west side of Goulston Street itself.
In 1886/7, Brunswick Buildings were built on the west...
Fashion Street, E1
Fashion Street is a thoroughfare running east-west from Brick Lane to Commercial Street. Fashion Street marks the northern boundary of the original Fossan Estate, owned by brothers Thomas and Lewis Fossan. The southern side was laid out c.1655 and it was originally known as Fossan Street, which was later corrupted to Fashion. The northern side was built by trustees of the Wheler estate in about 1669. White’s Row was at one time depicted as a natural continuation of the street and was known as New Fashion Street in the 17th century.
By the late-Victorian era, Fashion Street had fallen into decline alongside other streets on the estate and was considered part of the area’s worst slums, especially the south side which was connected to notorious Flower and Dean Street by a number of squalid courts and passages. There were also pubs at each end of the street; the Queen’s Head on the northern corner with Commercial Street, the ’George and Guy’ on the northern corner with Brick Lane and the ’Three Cranes’ opposite - none o...
Chamber Street, E1
Chamber Street is a thoroughfare running east-west from Leman Street to Mansell Street. The north side of Chamber Street originally included buildings of the London Infirmary (then based in adjacent Prescot Street) until 1757 when it moved to Whitechapel Road and became the London Hospital.
Chamber Street has been extensively rebuilt and includes the Aldgate East Travelodge (which sits over Abel’s Buildings) and the English Martyrs’ Club. Most of the railway arches on the south side are garages and private lock-ups.
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Brushfield Street, E1
Brushfield Street is a thoroughfare running east-west from Commercial Street to Bishopsgate. Depicted in 1676 as an unnamed road on the south side of the ’Spittlefield’ running between Crispin Street and Red Lion Street. By the beginning of the 18th century it had acquired the name Little Paternoster and later Paternoster Row.
It was extended west to Bishopsgate in the latter half of the 18th century, the new extension cutting through Crispin Street, Gun Street, Steward Street and Duke Street (later Fort Street). This new section was called Union Street.
The north side of the street was (and to some extent still is) dominated by the buildings of Spitalfields Market. It was renamed Brushfield Street on 25 February 1870 in honour of Thomas Brushfield, a Justice of the Peace, trustee of the London Dispensary in Fournier Street and a prominent Vestryman. Thomas Tempany, owner of Mr. Tenpenny’s Lodging House in Gun Street, was recorded as residing at 6 Paternoster Row before the name-change.
The Prince Albert pub stood...
Brady Street, E1
Brady Street is a road running north-south from Three Colts Lane to Whitechapel Road. Brady Street began its existence as Ducking Pond Lane, a short pathway to the ducking pond which stood at the junction with Ducking Pond Row (later Buck’s Row). By 1800 it had been renamed North Street and was extended northward as Upper North Street during the early 19th century.
The entire thoroughfare was renamed Brady Street on 7th May 1875.
Brady Street Dwellings were built on the western side of the street, to the north of Buck’s Row / Durward Street, in 1889-90. The buildings were demolished in 1979.
Much of Brady Street now consists of early-mid 20th century estates. Mocatta House was built in 1905 by the Four Per Cent Industrial Dwellings Company and was converted into flats in 1980. Much of the southern end is dominated by a Sainsbury’s superstore (1990s, new additions 2010) and Swanlea School (1994). The Roebuck public house, formerly a beershop, stood at No.27 at the corner with Durward Street and was demolished in 199...
Aldgate High Street, EC3N
Once the route to one of the six original gates of the Wall of London, Aldgate High Street has an important place in medieval London’s history. Aldgate High Street was closely located to where the eastern part of the original Roman Wall, and in the medieval period, it led to town of Colchester in Essex.
Because of its connection to places outside London, Aldgate High Street was vital to the geography of medieval London. Unfortunately, any archaeological remnants of the Roman gate have been obscured, and there is no evidence of its precise location, but is believed to have straddled Aldgate High Street, the gate’s northern edge beneath the pavement of current address of 1-2 Aldgate High Street, and its southern edge beneath 88-89 Aldgate High Street.
There is some dispute over the etymology and meaning of "Aldgate," but various historians have provided some theories. The earliest record of Aldgate has it listed as East Gate, which makes sense, given its location as the easternmost gate on the Wall.
Another interpretation of its current name, "Ale Gate," indicates that an ale-hous...
Holles Street, W1C
Holles Street runs north from Oxford Street, on the east side of the John Lewis store. John Holles, Duke of Newcastle, who bought much of the land of the area. In 1711 that land passed to his daughter Henrietta Cavendish Holles who later married Edward Harley, second Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer. This meant that Henrietta Harley held the titles of Countess of Oxford and Countess Mortimer. As a family they were hardly ‘shrinking violets’ because, if you look at the surrounding land, the name of every family member is perpetrated by the streets and squares nearby.
The street was one of those laid out around 1729 when the area north of Oxford Street was urbanised on a grid pattern.
Once the location of small shops and houses, the street is now almost entirely taken up the John Lewis department store on the western side and the former British Home Stores department store (1962-63) and other commercial units on the east, both of which have their main entrances on Oxford Street. The John Lewis store was started in 1936 but damaged by bombing...
48 Belgrave Square
48 Belgrave Square was occupied for the same family for 170 years. The house was bought in 1840 by Col. Christopher Hamilton MP from the Grosvenor Estate and was the Hamilton family's main London house, the house eventually passed to his granddaughter Sarah Winter in 1890 who continued to live there until her death in 1945. During Mrs Sarah Winter's ownership the house, under the name Hamilton House was the setting for some of London's biggest social events, the annual Hamilton House Christmas Ball was a key feature in the London social calendar. The house was also linked to huge controversy in the run up to the Second World War, Mrs Winter, a known Nazi supporter, used the house as a way of raising money for the Anglo-German Fellowship.
The house was not retained after the war instead being rented out, the family retained a flat in the service part of the house.
It currently serves as the residence of the Mexican Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
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St Mary’s Harrow Road
St Mary’s Harrow Road was built as the infirmary for the Paddington Workhouse. In 1847 a new workhouse was built by the Paddington Guardians to house its poor, as the neighbouring Kensington workhouse, which had been used until then, had become too crowded.
The Paddington workhouse was located on the north bank of the Grand Union Canal, to the south of Harrow Road. In 1868 its sick wards were extended and new offices and a dispensary also added.
In 1883 work began on a separate infirmary building, which was sited between the workhouse and the adjacent Lock Hospital. It would cost £1,100 and contain six wards, including a lying-in ward and a lunatic observation ward, as well as a dispensary. A midwife was engaged and a Relieving Officer for the dispensary, but the contractors went bankrupt and the infirmary was not completed until 1885.
The Paddington Infirmary opened in 1886. It was a long 4-storey building with a basement, and lay on a north-south axis. It contained 284 beds, although some sick beds remained in...
St Mary Abbot’s
St Mary Abbot’s Hospital operated from 1871 to 1992. From 1846 to 1869 the site housed the Kensington Parish Workhouse. The hospital had both medical and surgical wards and the medical wards held forty beds and included dementia patients.
The grounds had two nurses homes: one for the incoming trainees and one for nurses who had completed the three month preliminary training and a nurses training school. There were operating suites a laboratory with area for postmortems, emergency dept and out patients. There was an administration building which also held doctors quarters. Everything was spread out over quite a large area. The hospital’s school of Midwifery was also in the grounds.
The hospital was badly bombed in 1940 which resulted in an open bomb site within the hospital grounds. Four people were killed and a block destroyed. In 1944 a V-1 flying bomb scored a direct hit. The south end of the 1847 main block, Stone Hall, and 1871 infirmary were destroyed. Five nurses, six children and seven adult patients died. The other 33 casualties were transferred to St Georg...
Paddington Green Children’s Hospital
The Paddington Green Children’s Hospital opened in August 1883. In 1862 Drs Eustace Smith and T.C. Kirby established the North West London Free Dispensary for Sick Children at 12 Bell Street, Edgware Road, as a charity for children of the poor. The Dispensary provided medical treatment for any child without notice or recommendation.
The premises at Bell Street soon became too small and, in the early 1880s, £7,000 was raised to buy two houses in Church Street on the northeast corner of Paddington Green. These were converted into a hospital.
The Paddington Green Children’s Hospital opened in August 1883. In 1888 an iron hut was built in the grounds to serve as an Out-Patients Department and waiting room.
By 1892 the Hospital had 27 beds for boys up to the age of 12 years and girls up to the age of 14. In 1893 a serious outbreak of diphtheria, the source of which could not be traced, caused the Hospital to close and the main buildings to be demolished. It was then discovered that two old cesspits...
Princess Louise Hospital
The Princess Louise Hospital for Children was opened by King George V and Queen Mary in 1928. It had 42 beds, an Out-Patients Department and Dispensary for Sick Women. The origins of this Hospital lay in the Kensington Dispensary, which opened in 1815 at 13 Holland Street. By 1845 the premises were becoming too small for the increasing number of patients and, in 1849, the Dispensary moved to 49 Church Street, where it remained for the next 75 years
The proportion of children attending the Dispensary had steadily increased and the Medical Board decided what was really needed was a Children’s Hospital. In 1924 Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Louise, who was President of the Kensington Dispensary, held a conference about this in her home in Kensington Palace. During this meeting it was decided that the Dispensary should move to North Kensington as the Church Street site was at least two miles away from its neediest patients.
A site on the War Memorial playing field was purchased in 1925 and the foundation stone laid a year later by the Princess. The new road of Pangbourne Avenue was created to serve it.»more
St Mary’s Hospital, London
St Mary’s Hospital is a hospital in Paddington, founded in 1845. St Mary’s Hospital first opened its doors to patients in 1851, the last of the great voluntary hospitals to be founded.
With the shift towards community healthcare delivered in the early 20th century, partly due to the social medicine revolution, pressure on bed occupancy relaxed, and with the formation of the National Health Service in the 1940s, many of the local hospitals of the St Mary’s teaching hospital group eventually closed and relocated services to the Paddington basin site.
The hospital site incorporates the private Lindo wing where several celebrity and royal births have occurred. The wing is named after Frank Charles Lindo, a businessman and board-member of the hospital, who donated £111,500 before his death in 1938.
The laboratory where Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin has been restored to its cramped condition of 1928 and incorporated into a museum about the discovery and his life and work.
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Albert Dock Seamen’s Hospital
The Albert Dock Seamen’s Hospital was a hospital provided by the Seamen’s Hospital Society for the care of ex-members of the Merchant navy, the fishing fleets and their dependents. It was opened in 1890 as a branch of the Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital, Greenwich. The London School of Tropical Medicine was established here in October 1899, by Sir Patrick Manson with assistance from the British Secretary of State for the Colonies (Joseph Chamberlain). Together with the Hospital for Tropical Diseases they moved to Euston in February 1920.
The Hospital was relocated to a new site on nearby Alnwick Road (east of Felsted Road) in 1937-1938 and became part of Newham Health District under the City and East London Area Health Authority (Teaching) in 1974 and was converted from acute to orthopaedic use. It came under the direct control of Newham Health Authority in 1981 and subsequently became a homeward bound mental handicap unit which closed in 1993.
The hospital buildings were demolished in 1993 except for one range which retains its 1930s brown brick elevations and central rendered pediment, now converted to residential use
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Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital
Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital is one of the oldest maternity hospitals in Europe, dating from 1739, and until 1998 occupied a site in Goldhawk Road. The hospital strictly dates its foundation to 1739 when Sir Richard Manningham founded a hospital of lying-in beds in a 17-room house in Jermyn Street. This was called the General Lying in Hospital, and was the first of its kind in Britain. Some sources date the foundation to 1752, the year in which the hospital relocated from Jermyn Street to St Marylebone, and first became a teaching institution.
In 1809 Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III, became its patron, having been persuaded by her son to become involved. A Royal Charter was incorporated in 1885 and when this was amended in 1924 the present name came into use. The hospital subsequently merged with the Chelsea Hospital for Women and is now based at the Hammersmith Hospital site in West London to which it was relocated in 1998. The hospital was originally a voluntary hospital. At different times over the years the hospital has been located in Bayswater, on Marylebone Road and at Ravenscourt Park. The Chel...
St Charles Hospital
The St Marylebone workhouse infirmary was opened in 1881 on Rackham Street, North Kensington and received a congratulatory letter from Florence Nightingale. In 1876 potential sites for an infirmary for the sick poor of the parish of St Marylebone were being considered in the West End, Hampstead and Ladbroke Grove in North Kensington. The last site was finally chosen - a 3.5 acre site in Rackham Street costing almost £8100 - and the foundation stone was laid in 1879.
In 1881 the St Marylebone Union Infirmary was officially opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales. The building was three storeys high, with a central block and four pavilions. It had accommodation for 744 patients (372 males in the two pavilions to the west of the central block and 372 females to the east) and 86 resident staff (the Infirmary also had 82 non-resident staff).
The staff included a resident Medical Officer, whose annual salary should have been £500, but the Guardians managed to beat this down to £450, an Assistant Medical Officer, who earned £150 a year, a dispenser (£120 a year) and a Matron, who earned between £100-150. Th...
Hospital of St Thomas of Acre
The Hospital of St Thomas of Acre was the medieval London headquarters of the Knights of Saint Thomas. It was founded as a church in 1227 in the parish of St Mary Colechurch, birthplace of the order’s patron saint, Saint Thomas Becket. In the 14th century and after it was the main headquarters of the military order.
In 1512, the Worshipful Company of Mercers bought from the order a site by the church on which to build their hall, and in 1514 they formally became the patron to the order.
In 1538, during the Protestant Reformation, the order was dissolved and the properties were forfeit to the crown, but were subsequently acquired by the Mercers in exchange for various payments, rents, and undertakings.
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The Foundling Hospital in London was founded in 1741 by the philanthropic sea captain Thomas Coram. It was a children's home established for the education and maintenance of exposed and deserted young children. The word 'hospital' was used in a more general sense than it is today, simply indicating the institution's hospitality to those less fortunate.
The first children were admitted to the Foundling Hospital on 25 March 1741, into a temporary house located in Hatton Garden. At first, no questions were asked about child or parent, but a distinguishing token was put on each child by the parent. These were often marked coins, trinkets, pieces of cotton or ribbon, verses written on scraps of paper. Clothes, if any, were carefully recorded. One entry in the record reads, Paper on the breast, clout on the head. The applications became too numerous, and a system of balloting with red, white and black balls was adopted. Children were seldom taken after they were twelve months old.
On reception, children were sent to wet nurses in the countryside...
Tottenham High Road, N17
Tottenham High Road is the successor to Ermine Street, the Roman road from London to Lincoln and York. A settlement is recorded at Tottenham in the Domesday Survey of 1086, and a manor house existed by 1254, on or near the site of Bruce Castle. Known historically as Tottenham Street, the High Road was an important northern route into London, reflected in the number of inns that existed to service travellers. The linear settlement grew along the High Road and the village centre, as such, was marked by the adjacent Green and the High Cross, commemorating the medieval wayside cross that once stood there.
By the 16th century Tottenham was a favoured rural retreat for city merchants, a number of whom had mansions along the High Road. The High Road’s development over the next two centuries reflects Tottenham’s continuing attraction as a place of residence for wealthy Londoners. It also became noted for its schools, including several private boarding schools, and numerous charitable and religious foundations.
Thomas Clay’s map of Tottenham (1619) for the Earl of ...
Devonshire Hill Farm
Devonshire Hill Farm was part of the manorial land owned by the Curtis family. Formerly known as Clay Hill, in 1881, William Michael Curtis, and fellow trustees of the Curtis Settled Estates, enfranchised the Clay Hill land which was sold to the copyhold tenant, Frederick Alderton.
At the turn of the twentieth century, Devonshire Hill Farm was reached by a winding lane from White Hart Lane passing Devonshire Hill Lodge, River House and terminating at Devonshire Hill Farm, owned by the New River Company. This lane eventually become a road, Devonshire Hill Lane.
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Horbury Mews, W11
Horbury Mews is a T-shaped mews in Notting Hill. This unusual and attractive Mews was built on the site of a nursery garden, the “Ladbroke Nursery”. A Mr W.J. Worthington sought planning permission in 1877 to build the mews, together with the two houses that are now Nos. 20 and 22 Ladbroke Road, presumably as a speculation to meet the demands for stabling and coach-houses from the inhabitants of Ladbroke Road and nearby streets. According to the original planning permission documents now in the Kensington Library’s Local Studies Centre, he undertook that “no barriers be erected or other obstructions caused to the free use by the public of the said mews”.
The mews seems to have been completed already by 1878, as that is the date proudly proclaimed on the central house at the end of the Mews.
The Mews is, unusually, T-shaped, perhaps because the shape of the plot with which the developer had to work. Only the end houses across the short arm of the T now retain uncovered their original quite attractive bri...
Upton Farm began in 1725 and was gone by 1839. The whole Bayswater district of streets, squares, terraces, and crescents sprung into existence in the course of about ten years, between 1839 and 1849.
Before Bayswater was built up, Hopwood’s Nursery Ground and the Victoria Gardens - famed for running-matches and other sporting meetings - faced the dull brick wall which effectually shut out the green glades and leafy avenues of Kensington Gardens from the view of passengers along the Bayswater Road.
Bayswater - derived from the name "Bayard’s Watering Place" - was noted of old for its springs, reservoirs, and conduits, supplying the greater part of the City of London with water. The running streams and gravelly soil were at one time highly favourable for the growth of watercress.
On a slanting grassy bank, about a hundred yards from the back of the line of houses now bearing the name of Craven Hill, stood until about 1820, an ancient stone-built conduit-house, whence the water-supply wa...
The Steelyard was the main trading base (kontor) of the Hanseatic League in London during 15th and 16th centuries. The word ’Steelyard’ derived from the Middle Low German Stalhof / Dutch Staalhof.
The Steelyard was located on the north bank of the Thames beside the outflow of the Walbrook, in the Dowgate ward of the City of London. The site is now covered by Cannon Street station and commemorated in the name of Steelyard Passage.
The first mention of a Hansa Almaniae (a "German Hansa") in English records is in 1282, concerning merely the community of the London trading post, only later to be made official as the Steelyard and confirmed in tax and customs concessions granted by Edward I, in a Carta Mercatoria ("merchant charter") of 1303.
The true power of the Hanse in English trade came much later, in the 15th century, as the German merchants, led by those of Cologne expanded their premises and extended their reach into the cloth-making industry of England. This led to constant friction over the legal position of English merchants in the...
Addison Avenue, W11
Addison Avenue runs north from Holland Park Avenue. The street was named after Joseph Addison who lived at Holland House. He was an essayist and poet of the late 17th Century who’s main claim to fame now is as the founder of the Spectator.
The southern section of Addison Avenue (up to Queendale Road) was built between 1840 and 1843. Nos. 18-36 (even) are on the east side and overlook Queensdale Walk at the back. Nos. 17-35 (odd) are on the west side. They are generally two-storey houses with stuccoed façades built in pairs.
The houses are not identical because individual plots were take by many different builders. These included: James Wood, a bricklayer from Hampstead (Nos. 18 and 20); Thomas and Christopher Gabriel, timber merchants from Lambeth (Nos. 22-28); James Livesey a plumber from Lisson Grove (Nos. 30-36); Charles Patch, a builder (Nos. 17 and 19); George Pratt (Nos. 21 and 23); John Cole Bennett (Nos. 25 and 27); Walter Hawkins and William Strong, plasterers from Rochester Row (Nos. 29 and 31...
Uxendon was once more important than Wembley. Uxendon, first recorded in a transaction concerning Hugh of Woxindon in 1257, was a small settlement on the western slopes of Barn Hill. The first part of the name is the same as that in the name Uxbridge and stems either from the Wixan, a 7th century Anglo-Saxon tribe, or from the Celtic for 'water'. The second part is the Old English for
Medieval Uxendon was very small, but in the 14th or 15th centuries some local people, including the Uxendon family, moved south to form another small community at Forty Green,
where the Sudbury to Kingsbury road crossed the Lidding at Forty Bridge. This settlement was known as Uxendon Forty, Wembley Forty or Preston Forty. The farm at Forty Green was at first called Pargrave's, and later South Forty Farm.
Uxendon became a submanor under the authority of Harrow Manor Court.
Richard Brembre, a grocer and Lord Mayor of London, lived at Uxendon. In 1388 he executed 22 prisoners w...
Wyld’s Great Globe
Wyld’s Great Globe was an attraction situated in Leicester Square between 1851 and 1862. It was constructed by James Wyld (1812–1887), a distinguished mapmaker and former Member of Parliament for Bodmin.
At the centre of a purpose-built hall was a giant globe, 60 feet 4 inches in diameter. The globe was hollow and contained a staircase and elevated platforms which members of the public could climb in order to view the surface of the earth on its interior surface, which was modelled in plaster of Paris, complete with mountain ranges and rivers all to scale. Punch described the attraction as "a geographical globule which the mind can take in at one swallow." In the surrounding galleries were displays of Wyld’s maps, globes and surveying equipment.
Wyld originally proposed that the globe should be constructed at the Great Exhibition, but its size and Wyld’s desire to run it as a promotional venture precluded it from being featured inside the Crystal Palace, so Wyld negotiated with the owners of the gardens of Leicester Square, and after much wra...
This article first appeared in ’A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9, Hampstead, Paddington’. The earliest settled area was probably Hampstead town, on the southern slopes of the heath, near the manor and church and on each side of the road to Hendon, later called [[19950|Hampstead High Street]]. The principal parish well, Kingswell, in the heart of the old town and probably associated with the town pond west of High Street, in which a woman drowned in 1274, gave its name to the Kingswell family (fl. 1281-1319) whose freehold property lay between High Street and the demesne on the west. Nearby was the copyhold Slyes and Popes. There was a group of medieval customary tenements in [[26490|Pond Street]], so named by 1484 after another pond which was filled in in 1835 to form South End Green. Four tenants were surnamed atte Pond on the earliest rental (1259) and other medieval tenements, those of the Aldenhams and Bertrams, were in Pond Street.
By the 15th century many of the customary tenements had passed to London merchants and gentry, some of whom began to occupy...
Adair Road, W10
Adair Road junction with Appleford Road, March 1964 Showing a shop
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The Hodford and Cowhouse estate consisted of a compact block of lands stretching from the Hampstead border to a point north of Golders Green station and from Cricklewood to Golders Hill. Westminster leased it out at all periods, although until the late 17th century it remained in direct control of the woodlands called Hodford Wood and Beecham Grove.
The estate totalled 434 acres in 1855 and was split into three farms known in 1889 as Hodford (or Golders) Green, Cowhouse (or Avenue), and Westcroft farms. There is no record of a manor house, although one was formerly thought to have stood on or near the site of the 18th-century Golders Hill House. A chapel on the abbot of Westminster’s manor of Hodford existed in 1321, when services were licensed by the Bishop of London, but was not subsequently recorded.
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Cressalls Farm was a Boreham Wood farm on Theobald Street. The farm would have stood opposite today’s junction of Theobald Street with Gateshead Road. Anthony Road was built through what would have been the farmyard.
The farm is shown on the 1900 map. By the 1940s, the buildings there before still exist but the complex has been renamed "The Beeches". Anthony Road was built in the late 1960s.
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Thift Farm (1960s)
A rare view of Thrift Farm, before the creation of the "Studio Estate". This is a shot from the series "The Prisoner". This view today would have these people running across Studio Way with the camera at a point hovering above the end of Niven Close.
Thrift Farm was purchased by MGM in the late 1940s when they incorporated it into their massive backlot. The farm continued to be used with sheep grazing on the front fields of the MGM studio. It closed in 1970 when the studio closed and was subsequently demolished. The foundations can still be seen in the foliage off the path behind the Toby Carvery/Hotel
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The Highway, E1W
The Highway was once the Ratcliffe Highway. In the early days of England’s rise to maritime power, when the foundations of the British Commonwealth were being laid by adventurous men whose courage made their own endeavours seem to themselves nothing but casual events in the life they lived, it was often said of the little vessels when they moored in the Lower Pool that they were "off Ratcliff."
Indeed they were, for the hamlet, which for several generations was the abode ashore of many fine seamen, once extended along the riverside westwards so far as to be separated from the Precinct of St. Katharine by the Tower only by Wapping Marsh, a watery waste consisting of 180 acres lying between the Hermitage and Foxes Lane. Towards the end of the sixteenth century, after much difficulty, it was effectually drained, and a new Wapping came into existence close behind the wall that embanked the Thames. The reclaimed land was recognised as being in the Hamlet of Wapping, or the Lower Hamlet of Whitechapel, in which parish...
Sudbury Park Farm
Sudbury Park Farm was opened by the Barham family in 1897, although its fields had been part of another farm, known as North Farm, by the mid-19th century. George Barham had founded the Express Dairy Company in the 1860s, to bring fresh milk to London from the country by train. Around 1880, the family moved into Crabs House (now part of the Barham Park buildings) on the Harrow Road, and bought the mansion in whose grounds it stood in 1895, renaming it Sudbury Park.
The Express Dairy was already supplying milk to Queen Victoria, but their new “model dairy farm”, across the road from Crabs House, with its pedigree herd of Jersey cattle, allowed George Barham, and his son Titus, to demonstrate the latest methods of dairy farming to other milk producers from around Britain and the world. Milk from the farm was very popular, and some of it was supplied to trans-Atlantic liners. When, the by then, Sir George Barham died in 1913, Titus Barham inherited the Express Dairy retail business and the farm, while his brother, Arthur, took over the Dairy Supply Company wholesale business (later United Dairies on [[38169|One Hundred Elms ...
Vale Farm was probably a mixed farm, growing crops and raising livestock for meat, run by a succession of tenant farmers.. Vale Farm existed, on the north-east edge of Sudbury Common, by at least the 18th century, when it was owned by the Lake family, and later by Richard Page of Wembley Park.
By 1875, the farm was owned by the biscuit magnate, Samuel Palmer, and before he died in 1898 it had changed to a dairy farm, with a herd of cows grazing its pastured fields to produce milk. The buildings put up at the time of this change included a new farmhouse.
By the early 20th century, much of Sudbury was still farmland, but the area was starting to be developed for housing, particularly after new railway lines opened (at Sudbury Town in 1903, and to Sudbury and Harrow Road station in 1906). A map given by Wembley’s first estate agent, George H. Ward, ‘for information of intending purchasers’ at this time, shows Vale Farm and some of the new roads for housing nearby.
In the early 1900s, the tenants of Vale Farm were the Panes family.
By 1910, the Val...
Rural Brondesbury (1894)
This photo says that it depicts the field where Mapesbury, Dartmouth, Teignmouth and Exeter Roads are now situated. Field containing horse drawn agricultural (threshing?) machine with two farm labourers. Fencing and trees in background.
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Whitechapel High Street, E1
Whitechapel High Street runs approximately west-east from Aldgate High Street to Whitechapel Road and is designated as part of the A11. Forming part of the main road from Aldgate to Essex and known originally as Algatestreet, it was paved as early as the reign of Henry VIII, although John Stow described its shabbiness as "no small blemish on so famous a city".
Owing to its importance as a major thoroughfare out of London, its sides were built up early and included many coaching inns and taverns. Although some remain (in name only), many of these hostelries were closed following the arrival of the railways in the 19th century.
Whitechapel High Street becomes Whitechapel Road after the intersection with Osborn Street and Whitechurch Lane. It was also the location of the Whitechapel Haymarket, first given its charter in 1708 and abolished in 1929.
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Commercial Street, E1
Commercial Street is a major thoroughfare running north-south from Shoreditch High Street to Whitechapel High Street. The first plans for a new street in Spitalfields and Whitechapel was made by a Select Committee on Metropolitan Improvements in August 1836. This Committee recommended the construction of a street ’from Finsbury Square to Whitechapel Church and the Commercial Road’, to run in a straight line from the Bishopsgate end of Middlesex Street to near the southern end of Osborn Street. An alternative scheme put to the Committee by the chairman of the Tower Hamlets Commissioners of Sewers was, however, closer to the line finally chosen.
By 1838, the proposed path of the new road was beginning to take shape after taking into consideration the opinions of various organisations and it was considered fortuitous that the road would cut through and remove numerous slums such as those in Rose Lane and Vine Street. Therefore, not only would it link northern routes to Commercial Road and thus the docks, but also achieve ’the destruction of a neighbourhood inhabited by persons addicted to...
White Conduit Fields
White Conduit Fields in Islington was an early venue for cricket and several major matches are known to have been played there in the 18th century. It was the original home of the White Conduit Club, forerunner of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). The cricket field was adjacent to the former White Conduit House, immediately south of the modern junction between Dewey Street and Barnsbury Road.
The earliest match known to have been played at White Conduit Fields was the controversial encounter on Monday, 1 September 1718 between London Cricket Club and the Rochester Punch Club. This game provoked a legal case when the Rochester players walked off in an attempt to save their stake money, London clearly winning at the time. The case focused on the terms of the wager rather than the rules of the sport and the judge ordered the game to be played out. It was concluded in July 1719 at the same venue and London won by 21 runs. London’s 21-run victory is the earliest known definite result of any cricket match.
The next known match was on Wednesday, 19 August 1719 between London and Kent. Kent won and the co...
Abbey Mills Pumping Station
Abbey Mills pumping station is a much-admired masterpiece of Victorian public works engineering, built in 1865–8 and nicknamed ’the cathedral of sewage’. The Abbey Mill was an ancient tidal watermill in West Ham, dating back to at least the 12th century.
It was sited on Channelsea Island in the Channelsea River and was one of the eight watermills on the River Lea recorded in the Domesday Book. The ’Abbey’ part of the name comes from its ownership by Stratford Langthorne Abbey, a Cistercian monastery founded in 1134 by William de Montfichet. The abbey disappeared during the reign of Henry VIII.
The area nearby the site of the original Abbey Mill is now known as Abbey Mills. There are several pumping stations located there, including the original Abbey Mills Pumping Station.
Abbey Mills Pumping Station was designed by engineer Joseph Bazalgette, Edmund Cooper, and architect Charles Driver. It was built between 1865 and 1868, housing eight beam engines by Rothwell & Co. of Bolton. With two engines on each arm of a cruciform plan, with an elaborate Byzantine style, it was described ...
Thrift Farm was a farm in Boreham Wood. In 1922 a P. J. Hambrook was farming Thrift Farm.
Thrift Farm was purchased by MGM in the late 1940s when they incorporated it into their backlot. The farm continued to be used but closed in 1970 when the studio closed and was subsequently demolished.
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Fournier Street, E1
Fournier Street is a street running east-west from Brick Lane to Commercial Street alongside Christ Church. The last street to be laid out on the Wood-Mitchell estate (which also included Princelet, Hanbury and Wilkes Streets), building began with the south side in 1726 as Christ Church was being built. Early depictions of the street reveal that its western end, the junction with Red Lion Street, was rather obstructed, which no doubt contributed to its desirability as a residential thoroughfare, especially since the properties on the south side are considered to be the finest on the estate. It was then called Church Street.
The building leases on several houses featured a restrictive covenant respecting its use for noxious trades, however silk-weaving and worsted-dying were not included and many of the properties became occupied (usually in part) by firms connected with the silk industry, some as early as 1743.
The rectory of Christ Church at No.1 Church Street (now 2 Fournier Street) was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor and John James and was built in 1726-9. Th...
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