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Featured articlesFlower and Dean Street, E1
Flower and Dean Street was a narrow street running east-west from Commercial Street to Brick Lane. Originally laid out in 1655 on land belonging to Thomas and Lewis Fossan by John Flower and Gowen Dean, Whitechapel bricklayers. The street was originally 16 feet wide and a mere 10 feet wide at its western end, a feature it maintained throughout its existence. The street also appears under the name ’Dean and Flower Street’ in maps of 1676 and 1682.
In 1657, a search conducted by the ’Tylers and Bricklayer’s Company’ showed that houses in Flower and Dean Street had been constructed using ’badd mortar using garden mould’ and such was the poor state of the properties that extensive rebuilding had to be undertaken by the mid-18th century. In Roque’s map of 1746, Flower and Dean Street was split by a large open square known as Broad Place, though it would seem this was a temporary feature brought about by demolition.
The construction of Commercial Street from 1844 caused a considerable shift in the local population which no doubt exacerbated o...
Ely Place, EC1N
Ely Place is a gated road at the southern tip of the London Borough of Camden. It is the location of the historic Ye Olde Mitre public house and is adjacent to Hatton Garden.
It is the last privately owned street in London, having been originally an exclave of Cambridgeshire the location of the medieval abbey at Ely for the Bishops of Ely, and is managed by its own body of commissioners and beadles.
Ely Place stands on land that had been the site of Ely Palace or Ely House, the London townhouse of the Bishops of Ely from 1290 to 1772. Land in the Holborn area was bought by John de Kirkby in 1280. He was appointed Bishop of Ely in 1286 and on his death in 1290, he left the estate to the see of Ely.
In medieval times, bishops of Ely frequently held high state office requiring them to live in London; Ely Palace was the bishop’s official residence.
References to Ely Palace grounds occur in Shakespeare’s plays. It was at the house that in King Richard II, the Bard had John of Gaunt – who was living th...
Stockwell is a district situated a couple of miles south-east of Charing Cross. Stockwell probably got the second half of its name from a local well; the other half is from stoc, which was Old English for a tree trunk or post. From the thirteenth to the start of the nineteenth century, Stockwell was a rural manor at the edge of London. It included market gardens and John Tradescant's botanical garden – commemorated in Tradescant Road, which was built over it in 1880, and in a memorial outside St Stephen's church. In the nineteenth century it developed as an elegant middle class suburb. Residents included the artist Arthur Rackham, who was born in South Lambeth Road in 1867, moving with his family to Albert Square when he was 15.
Stockwell station was opened on 4 November 1890 by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), as the most southerly station on the City & South London Railway (C&SLR) - London's first deep level tube railway. Passenger services began just over one month later on 18 December 1890.
Its social and arc...
Stockwell station (1930)
Clapham Road in 1930, showing Stockwell station. Binfield Road runs off to the right. Stockwell station was ceremonially opened on 4 November 1890 by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), as the most southerly station on the City & South London Railway (C&SLR) – London’s first deep-level tube railway. Passenger services began just over one month later on 18 December 1890.
The station was built with a single island platform with tracks on either side, an arrangement rarely used underground on the network, but which exists today at Clapham North and Clapham Common. Stockwell’s original platform was further north than the new ones, and trains pass them today. The other terminus of the C&SLR line was King William Street in the City of London. In 1900, when an extension to Clapham Common was opened, Stockwell ceased to be a terminus. A flight of stairs at the south end of the platform was also added to take passengers to a subway that passed over the new northbound tunnel and joined the lift shaft at a higher level.
The original bu...
Dorset Street, E1
Dorset Street was a small thoroughfare running east-west from Crispin Street to Commercial Street. Developed as a footpath across the south side of the ’Spital Field’ in 1674. Originally known as Datchett Street after the Berkshire home of the Wheler family who owned much land in this area, the name was soon corrupted to Dorset Street.
By the mid 18th century, Dorset Street, like many others in the area, was the home of artisans and silk weavers, living and working in four-storey townhouses with attic workshops, however these prosperous times came to an end by the 1840s and many properties were turned into common lodging houses. A pub, the Blue Coat Boy, stood on the north side (first recorded in 1825, but thought to be considerably older), approximately half way along the street and is believed to be one of the first pubs to serve the nearby market. The Blue Coat Boy was later joined by two more pubs, The Horn of Plenty on the northern corner with Crispin Street and the Britannia, a beer house, on the corner with Commercial Street.
Kilburn Park Farm
Kilburn Park Farm was situated almost opposite the Red Lion along the Edgware Road. The farm buildings can be seen in a sketch dated 1865 which says that a farm lay "nearly opposite the ’Old Red Lion’ Edgware Road, Paddington, and immediately adjoining Verry’s Brewery." The path seen in front of the barn leads on to Willesden
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Bow lies at the heart of London’s East End. The area was formerly known as Stratford, and "Bow" is an abbreviation of the medieval name Stratford-atte-Bow, in which "Bow" refers to a bridge built in the early 12th century. Bow is adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and a section of the district is part of the park.
Old Ford, and with it Fish Island, are usually taken to be part of Bow, but Bromley-by-Bow (historically and officially just ’Bromley’) immediately to the south, is a separate locality. These distinctions have their roots in historic parish boundaries.
Stratforde was first recorded as a settlement in 1177. The ford originally lay on a pre-Roman trackway at Old Ford about 600 metres to the north, but when the Romans decided on Colchester as the initial capital for their occupation, the road was upgraded to run from the area of London Bridge, as one of the first paved Roman roads in Britain. The ’paved way’ is likely to refer to the presence of a stone causeway across the ...
Winthrop Street, E1
Winthrop Street was formerly a narrow street running east-west from Brady Street to Durward Street. Originally part of Ducking Pond Row, it started being built up in the first decades of the 19th century when it was known as Watson’s Buildings. Running from its south side were Wood’s Buildings, Hope Place, Gossips Gardens and North Place; its north side was the site of several separate small properties.
By 1873, it had been renamed Little North Street - Brady Street was called North Street at this time - and had been subject to much rebuilding. A ’National School for Boys and Girls’ stood at the western end (north side) and continued with a row of terraced cottages identical to and backing on to those in Buck’s Row.
Following the construction and opening of Whitechapel Underground Station in 1876 and the excavation of ground to accommodate the new railway lines, the school was replaced by a new Board School, constructed in 1876-7. On the south side, as well as a small row of dwellings, was the premises of Harrison, Barber &...
The story of the building of a suburb. Westbourne Green had only a few houses by 1745, mostly south of the point where Harrow Road had a junction with Westbourne Green Lane (also known as Black Lion Lane) running northward from the Uxbridge Road. A footpath later called Bishop’s Walk (eventually Bishop’s Bridge Road) provided a short cut to Paddington Green. The Red Lion, where Harrow Road bridged the Westbourne, and another inn were recorded in 1730. The second inn was probably one called the Jolly Gardeners in 1760 and the Three Jolly Gardeners in 1770, near the Harrow Road junction, where it probably made way for the Spotted Dog.
The early 19th-century village contained five notable residences: Westbourne Place, west of Black Lion Lane at its junction with Harrow Road, and, from south to north on the east side of Harrow Road, Desborough Lodge, Westbourne Farm, Bridge House, and Westbourne Manor House. Bridge House was built c. 1805 by the architect John White, owner of Westbourne Farm.
Page Green Common
Page Green Common is a much reduced area of common land. Page Green Common is former common land was gifted to Tottenham Urban District Council by the Townsend Trust, the owner of the last manorial land in Tottenham. It was laid out in 1897 as a public garden by Tottenham UDC, who had commissioned F F McKenzie, then Superintendent of Epping Forest, to advise on how the various Tottenham commons might be improved. He recommended Page Green be laid out as a garden with a gravel circle and seats around the existing feature of the Seven Sisters trees, which originated as a circle of seven elm trees.
In 1619, a survey was made on behalf of the Earl of Dorset and produced a map of the Parish of Tottenham, Middlesex. South is on the top of this map - so it is upside down compared with most other maps. Hence Page Green depicted running left of the main road is shown on a modern map the other way around. The Seven Sisters trees are clearly shown.
The seven elms were planted in a circle with a walnut tree at their centre...
Vauxhall Cross, SW8
Vauxhall Cross is now known as the site of the MI5 headquarters. The area in front of the bus station was a large junction known as Vauxhall Cross. Upper Keenington Lane was a major thoroughfare linking Vauxhall Bridge with the Elephant and Castle with Vauxhall Cross the junction formed with roads coming from the south.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, it was the site of a turnpike.
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Cadby Hall was a major office and factory complex in Hammersmith, London which was the headquarters of pioneering catering company Joseph Lyons and Co. for almost a century. The name originated from Charles Cadby, piano manufacturer, who purchased 8.5 acres (34,000 m2) of land along the High Road (today named Hammersmith Road) in 1874. The location had formerly been known as the Croften Estate. Cadby allocated 1.5 acres (6,100 m2) on the site for his new piano factory and showrooms while the remaining 7 acres (28,000 m2) were set aside for smaller building plots.
Cadby Hall itself was designed by Lewis Henry Isaacs and constructed using Portland stone and red Fareham bricks, with terracotta panelling above the first floor windows, and carved portraits of famous composers. Reliefs on the sides of the entrance doorway depicted scenes celebrating music and poetry. Cadby called the building the Cadby & Company Pianoforte Manufactory.
The arrangement of buildings in the complex was designed primarily to prevent the spread of fire by confining it to one building should such an incident occur.
Cadby lived for a time i...
Earl's Court Farm
Earl’s Court Farm is pictured here as it was in 1867, before the opening of the underground station two years later. There was no church or ancient nucleus in Earl’s Court, although a malthouse or brewhouse belonging to a Matthew Child had stood somewhere near the present No. 185 Earl’s Court Road in about 1683–1703. The Rocque map of 1741–6 shows little building in the locality. What it does show is three paths coming from the north-east and east, corresponding very roughly to Marloes Road and (still more roughly) Cromwell Road and the line of Harrington Road and Harrington Gardens.
These converged towards the manor house and farm of the manor of Earl’s Court on the other side of Earl’s Court Road and in doing so brought potential customers past a well-placed tavern, the White Hart, which since at least 1722 had stood back from but facing Earl’s Court Lane, in what is now Hogarth Road, slightly forward and west of No. 2. It survived, not much modernised until 1869.
It was one of the last areas of southern Kensington to be developed. The farm, under sever...
Uxendon Shooting Grounds
Uxendon Shooting Grounds was the location of the clay pigeon shooting for the 1908 Olympics. A field just to the east of Uxendon Farm had been set aside for shooting at the end of the nineteenth century.
Uxendon on the western slopes of Barn Hill was first recorded in 1257 as a small settlement in a transaction concerning Hugh of "Woxindon". 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 brook at Forty Bridge. This settlement was known as Uxendon Forty, Wembley Forty or Preston Forty. In 1516 the Bellamy family acquired Uxendon through marriage. They remained staunchly Roman Catholic after the Reformation and sheltered Catholic priests. Because of their faith the Bellamys suffered considerably in the final years of the 16th century.
By 1608 their land was in the hands of the Page family, who had become the leading landowners in the Wembley area. The Bellamys had already enclosed a small amount of o...
Hippodrome Place, W11
Hippodrome Place was named after a lost racecourse of London. Land here was owned by the Ladbroke family and by 1821 had been inherited by James Weller Ladbroke, who initiated the house building. A landscape architect called Thomas Allason was appointed to layout the estate. The original plan was for a large central circus with radiating streets built around gardens. A financial crisis in 1825 forced his plans to be greatly scaled down, and this original vision was not fulfilled. However some fifteen of communal garden squares were built, and they give this area its unique character.
Building work all but stopped in the 1830s but some of the undeveloped land was leased in 1837 to a man called John Whyte. Whyte built a racecourse, the [[2497|Kensington Hippodrome]], but it was not a financial success and it closed in 1842. By then financial conditions had improved and the land was soon developed by Ladbroke who had crescents of houses built on Whyte’s former race course. So all we have left to remind us of the short lived raceco...
Hall Place Crescent, DA5
Hall Place Crescent was built between 1951 and 1953. In the late 1930s Bexley Urban District Council acquired part of the Halcot and Hall Place Estates for house building to the north of Bourne Road. Bexley Borough Council was then in the country of Kent, put up the "Halcot No.2 Estate" after the Second World War.
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Hundred Elms Farm
There was a farm on this site, on the northern edge of Sudbury Common, since at least the time of Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century. Hundred Elms Farm was probably named after the avenue of elm trees which used to line the sides of Elms Lane from the Harrow Road up to the farm.
The Greenhill family were tenants of the farm from 1817 until the early 20th century, and the 1881 census shows Charles Greenhill, a farmer of 147½ acres, living at "100 Elms Farm”.
His father, William Greenhill, had made it a dairy farm (keeping cows to produce milk) by the 1860s. This type of farming needed more workers, so cottages were built for them to live in, including Keppel Cottages (now 920-930 Harrow Road) which can still be seen at the corner of Elms Lane.
By the 1890s the farm was selling its milk, cream and butter through a dairy shop in Harrow. Adverts for the shop invited customers to visit the farm at any time to see how its milk was produced. Cleanliness at the shop was ensured by its spotless tiled surfaces, and a specially painted tile mural adorned one of its walls.
The Kensington Hippodrome was a racecourse built in Notting Hill, London, in 1837, by entrepreneur John Whyte. The year of Queen Victoria's accession, 1837, saw the inauguration of a new venture in West London - an attempt to establish a race-course which would rival Epsom and Ascot in its attractions. The prospectus, issued in 1836, stated that 'an extensive range of land, in a secluded situation, has been taken and thrown into one great Park, and is being fenced in all round by a strong, close, high paling. This Park affords the facilities of a STEEPLE-CHASE COURSE, intersected by banks and every description of fence; and also of a RACE-COURSE distinct from the Steeple-Chase Course; and each Course is capable of being suited to a Four Mile Race for Horses of the first class.'
The founder of this enterprise was a Mr John Whyte of Brace Cottage, Notting Hill, who had leased about 200 acres of ground from Mr James Weller Ladbroke, the ground landlord. The course as originally laid out was bounded approximately by Portobello Road, Elgin Crescent, Clarendon Road and the south side ...
Robert Street, WC2N
Robert Street is named after Robert Adam, who built the Adelphi development with his brother John in the 1760s. When the Adelphi scheme was first planned, Mr. Coutts, of the Strand, being anxious to preserve the fine prospect over the Kent and Surrey hills, which the back windows of his banking house then afforded, purchased a share of the Durham Gardens property, and arranged with the Adam brothers that the streets should be so laid out as to preserve their vista, and Robert Street was accordingly so planned as to form a frame for the wealthy banker@@@s landscape. The piece of land between William Street and John Street was at that time occupied by his strong rooms, connected underground with the office, and built up only to the level of the Strand. When it became necessary to enlarge his premises he procured a special Act of Parliament for throwing an arch over William Street.
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Horbury Crescent, W11
Horbury Crescent is a short and handsome half-moon shaped street between Ladbroke Road and Kensington Park Road, W11. In 1848 the site (which was then agricultural land) was leased by Felix Ladbroke (the heir of James Weller Ladbroke who had begun the development of the Ladbroke estate) to William Chadwick in 1848. Chadwick, although he described himself variously as an architect and a builder, was in fact what we would now call a developer, who also developed part of Ladbroke Road and several other nearby streets. Building of Horbury Crescent was in fact begun in 1855 by his heir W.W. Chadwick, and by 1857 sixteen houses were in the course of erection.
Kensington Temple was originally a Congregational chapel called Horbury Chapel after Horbury in Yorkshire, the home town of its deacon in the 1850s, and this name was also given to Horbury Crescent and Horbury Mews.
Originally, the houses were numbered consecutively, starting from the Ladbroke Road end and running along the western side and then back along the eastern side (so the present 13 was No. 1), but in 1863 it ...
Adam and Eve Tearooms
The Adam and Eve Tearooms were a fashionable Georgian watering hole. The Adam and Eve Tearooms existed at least as early as 1718 on the site of the manor house at the northern end of Tottenham Court Road. In the 18th century it had a long room with an organ, bowling alleys and extensive gardens with arbours for tea drinking. It was famous for its quiet orchards of wild fruit trees and its location beside the toll booth for the Hampstead Road turnpike going north helped trade no end.
William Hone, in his Yearbook (1832), remembered the Adam and Eve “with spacious gardens at the side and in the rear, a fore-court with large timber trees, and tables and benches for out-door customers.” He speaks of the bowers and arbours for tea-drinking parties in the garden. The name of the inn goes back to 1718 and it is to be seen in Hogarth’s March of the Guards to Finchley in 1745 and it may be this inn to which George Wither, in Britain’s Remembrancer (1628), refers when he speaks of people resorting to Tottenham Court for cakes and cream.»more
Pember Road, NW10
Pember Road is one of the side streets to the west of Kilburn Lane, NW10 The district around Pember Road remained completely rural until about 1850.
Kensal Green manor house, which was roughly situated where Wakeman Road joins the Harrow Road, was pulled down in the 1860s.
From about 1860 the lands to the west of Kilburn High Road began to be built upon and in the 1870s the sale of Banisters Farm led to the building of many present day streets.
By 1880, the rapid build up of the area caused official concern. Many houses had no regular sewers and privies drained into old, broken down pipes.
During the Second World War, Pember Road was the location for a aggregate night time bomb which fell during the Blitz.
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Seven Sisters’s name is derived from seven elms which were planted in a circle with a walnut tree at their centre on an area of common land known as Page Green.
In his early seventeenth-century work, Brief Description of Tottenham, local vicar and historian William Bedwell singled out the [[42066|Page Green]] walnut tree for particular mention. He wrote of it as a local ’arboreal wonder’ which ’flourished without growing bigger’. He described it as popularly associated with the burning of an unknown Protestant. There is also speculation that the tree was ancient, possibly going back as far as Roman times, perhaps standing in a sacred grove or pagan place of worship.
The walnut vanished at some point, leaving the circle of elms. These were first recorded as the Seven Sisters in 1732.
The location of the seven trees can be tracked through a series of maps from 1619 on. From 1619 they are shown in a position which today corresponds with the western tip of Page Green at the junction of Broad Lane and the High Road. With urbanisation radically changing the area, the ’Seven Sisters’ had been replanted by 1...
Shillibeer Place, W1H
Shillibeer Place commemorates pioneer busman George Shillibeer. Shillibeer Place is a small street off Marylebone Road and almost opposite the entrance to Lisson Grove. It was named after the 19th-century horse bus operator George Shillibeer and operated from outside the Yorkshire Stingo public house at what became Shillibeer Place.
George Shillibeer was born in St Marylebone and christened in St Mary’s church, St Marylebone, on 22 October 1797. He worked for the coach company Hatchetts, in Long Acre which was the centre for coach-building in London.
In the 1820s Shillibeer was offered work in Paris where he was commissioned to build a much larger horse-drawn vehicle than a normal stage coach. He was asked to build a coach capable of transporting over 20 people within the vehicle. His design was very stable and was introduced on the streets of Paris in 1827.
Once back in London Shillibeer was commissioned to build a vehicle, similar to the one in France, for the Newington Academy for Girls, a Quaker s...
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