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Featured articlesHendon Central
Hendon Central tube station is on the Edgware branch of the Northern Line. Hendon Central, like all stations north from Golders Green, is a surface station (although the tracks enter twin tunnels a short distance further north on the way to Colindale). When it was built it stood in lonely glory amid fields, as one writer puts it, south of the old village of Hendon, which has since been swallowed up by London's suburbs.
The station is a Grade II listed building, designed in a neo-Georgian style by Stanley Heaps, who also designed Brent Cross tube station in a similar style, with a prominent portico featuring a Doric colonnade.
The fact that the area was largely undeveloped allowed a hitherto unusual degree of coordination between the station and the surrounding buildings that were constructed over the next few years. The station was intended to be the centre and a key architectural feature of a new suburban town; it faces a circus 73 metres in diameter that is intersected by four approach roads which provide access to all ...
Kersley Mews, SW11
Kersley Mews is a rare survival of a local mews and built to serve the residents of Foxmore Street and Kersley Street. The mews is open at both ends and has a historically valuable original cobbled surface that is equally rare in Wandsworth borough.
Key features of the retained mews buildings include their external stock brick structure and pitched roof; the large pair of double side hung timber doors which would have given access to horses and carriages; and windows to the grooms’ accommodation above.
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Mellitus Street, W12
Mellitus Street is a road in the W12 postcode area Mellitus (died 24 April 624) was the first Bishop of London in the Saxon period, the third Archbishop of Canterbury, and a member of the Gregorian mission sent to England to convert the Anglo-Saxons from their native paganism to Christianity.
He arrived in 601 AD with a group of clergy sent to augment the mission, and was consecrated as Bishop of London in 604. Mellitus was the recipient of a famous letter from Pope Gregory I known as the Epistola ad Mellitum, preserved in a later work by the medieval chronicler Bede, which suggested the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons be undertaken gradually, integrating pagan rituals and customs. In 610, Mellitus returned to Italy to attend a council of bishops, and returned to England bearing papal letters to some of the missionaries.
Mellitus was exiled from London by the pagan successors to his patron, King Sæberht of Essex, following the latter’s death around 616. King Æthelberht of Kent, Mellitus’ othe...
Coulsdon Common lies near to Old Coulsdon. The threat of enclosure led to it being taken over by the Corporation of London in the early 1880s.
At 51 hectares, it forms part of a larger area of open countryside within the London green belt that links London with the wider countryside of Surrey. Coulsdon Common lies in the North Downs Natural Area and virtually all of it is a Site of Nature Conservation Importance (Site of Metropolitan Interest) for its chalk grassland and wood pasture habitats.
This mosaic of open grassland, scrub and woodland contributes to an attractive landscape nestled amongst the residential housing nearby.
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Gallants Farm survived until 1936. At the time of its final demolition by developers Ideal Homesteads, Ltd, Gallants Farm was the nearest working farm to central London. 430 houses were built on the 45 acre site.
One of the provisions of the deal, was to preserve Russell-Lane - also called "Lovers’ Lane" - for the neighbourhood. They promised to build a road behind the existing lane of tall trees, and said that ’from the lane it will not be possible to see the new houses that are to be built’. An official of the company stated that the estate itself will be built on lines which will not offend the susceptibilities of anyone who knows the district as it is to-day.
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From the sixteenth century onwards, the Plough stood beside the Harrow Road. On the Harrow Road at the turn of the nineteenth century, there were "a few small houses, some in Kensington, some in Willesden parish, formed the picturesque hamlet of Kensal or Kellsall Greene". This part of the Harrow Road was little more than a country lane. It was reported to have been the scene of some of Dick Turpin’s exploits.
In the year 1820, the author Faulkner wrote: “At Kensal Green is a very ancient public house, known by the name of the ’Plough’, which has been built upwards of three hundred years ; the timber and joists being of oak, are still in good preservation.”
This wayside inn may go back as far as Faulkner suggests, for the Parish Registers show that “ Marget, a bastard childe, was borne in the Ploughe, and was baptised the 30th day of August, 1539-” A family named Ilford are said to have been landlords of the ’Plough’ for several generations.
The Plough was the oldest named building in North Kensing...
Petworth Street, SW11
Petworth Street was laid out in the late nineteenth century linking two bridge approaches - Albert Bridge Road and Battersea Bridge Road. In 1771 a bridge across the River Thames at Battersea had been built, but it was not until the construction of Chelsea Bridge in 1851-58 by Thomas Page and the opening of new railway lines, that development was galvanised south of the River Thames.
Meanwhile, by the middle of the nineteenth century, the marshy area known as the Battersea Fields had become an undesirable pleasure ground, where the Red House Tavern was notorious for illegal racing, drinking and gambling. London’s population was expanding rapidly, the industrial revolution was causing increasing pollution and epidemics and slums were the major concerns of the day. By this time, public parks were being recognised as the lungs of the city and part of the solution to overcrowding and illness.
In 1843 Thomas Cubitt and the Vicar of St. Mary’s Battersea, the Honourable Reverend Robert Eden proposed a large public park on Battersea Fields allocating 200 acres for a park and 100 acres for the b...
Lolesworth Close, E1
Lolesworth Close is a short cul-de-sac on the east side of Commercial Street which was originally the western extremity of Flower and Dean Street. It acquired its present form after the opening of the Clement Attlee adventure playground in 1980 and the construction of the Flower and Dean Estate in 1982-4.
It was named Lolesworth Close c.1983
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Yorkshire Grey Yard, WC1R
Yorkshire Grey Yard lies off of Eagle Street, WC1 Yorkshire Grey Yard is not quite the picture we would expect to find if purely relying on the illusion conjured up by its haughty sounding name. This dejected cul-de-sac which once sported one of the most fashionable taverns in town is now private and just a little grubby.
The Yorkshire Grey Tavern, named after the horses popularly used by many of the stage-coach companies, was probably built here around the beginning of the 18th century and demolished about the mid to late 19th century. Despite its standing among the upper crust of society there remains only a fragment in reference to its history.
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Baylis Road, SE1
Baylis Road runs between Westminster Bridge Road and Waterloo Road.
At its northern end Baylis Road continues as The Cut. The Old Vic Theatre is located on The Cut where the roads meet.
The road is named after Lilian Baylis (1874–1937), a theatrical producer and manager, who managed the Old Vic Theatre. Previously, the road was called Oakley Street, as first simply a cul-de-sac since when the route of the road has been moved at its northern end to merge with Lower Marsh.
On 16 November 1802, Colonel Edward Marcus Despard and his co-conspirators were arrested at the Oakley Arms public house at 72 Oakley Street for their part in the Despard Plot. They were charged with three counts of High Treason and tried before a Special Commission, for conspiring to capture and kill the King and overthrow the government. They had also planned to stop the mail coaches entering and leaving London and take over the Tower. Admiral Lord Nelson appeared in Despard’s defence and gave him an excellent character reference. Ho...
Ansdell Terrace, W8
Ansdell Terrace is a cul-de-sac off of Ansdell Street and was previously known as St Albans Road North.
In 1878, Thomas Hussey, a Kensington builder bought No. 13 Kensington Square. He built Ansdale Terrace as a cul-de-sac on the back garden. The houses were originally occupied by servants working in the main houses and local artisans.
Nos. 18-20 and Nos. 24-27 still survive.
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Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12
Shepherds Bush Green is the southern section of road lining Shepherd’s Bush Green itself. From the 17th century, the North High Way (Uxbridge Road), the main route from London to Oxford, ran along the north side of the triangular green known as Shepherds Bush, an area of waste land owned by Fulham Manor, The other two sides of the triangle led to Brook Green Lane (Shepherds Bush Road) and Gold Lock Lane (Goldhawk Road).
There was little development of the area beyond a few houses, and an inn, on the north side of the Common and Syndercombe Cottage, on the comer of Gold Lock Lane.
By the early 19th century the roads were much improved and the north side of the Common and the beginning of Wood Lane, up to Wood House, were lined with terraces. A development of semi detached houses, known as Lawn Place, lined the west side of the Green but the southern side remained open. It is unsure when a formal road lined the south side of the Common - in the 1860s, it is labelled "New Road".
By the mid 19th century the Common had been acquired ...
Princedale Road, W11
Princedale Road was formerly Princes Road. Before the development of the Ladbroke Estate, almost the only building in the area was a large house just west of the road which was the “handsome pleasant seat” of the owner of the Norland Estate.
Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy had owned the Norland Estate. In September 1838, taking advantage of land price rises due to the possible coming of railways to the area, Vulliamy began discussions with William Kingdom, a building speculator who was probably already active in the development of Westbourne Terrace and Hyde Park Gardens, Paddington.
In the end, Kingdom did not purchase the Norland estate. In January 1839 he assigned the benefit of his agreement with Vulliamy to a solicitor, Charles Richardson, for £5,932. The circumstances of the sale are obscure, but it appears that Kingdom’s assignment to Richardson was in payment of a mortgage debt, possibly on Kingdom’s property in Paddington.
Richardson became the freehold owner of all fift...
Regent Street, NW10
Regent Street, otherwise an obscure side street is one of the oldest roads in Kensal Green. As the common land was finally enclosed, Regent Street was run along the south side of the new enclosure during the 1830s. It ran westwards from Flowerhills Lane (now Kilburn Lane).
As other roads were built, its length become curtailed with Wellington Road built at the western end.
Two pubs were built along its short length in Victorian times - the Grey Horse about halfway along and, on the Kilburn Lane corner, the "Little Plough" (1892). The latter was known as the Little Plough in contrast to the Plough, situated not 100 yards away on the Kilburn Lane/Harrow Road junction.
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Peabody Square, SE1
Peabody Square was a traditional Peabody estate constructed in 1871 but subsequently modernised. By 1870 Blackfriars Road and the surrounding area had been overwhelmingly urban for more than 50 years. The population was at its peak and the population density was increasing as housing gave way to new railways from London Bridge to Charing Cross and Canon Street, and to expanding industrial concerns.
Strict tenancy terms and relatively high rents show that the landlords were not providing for the poorer section of the market and were careful to ensure a required return on their investment.
The quality of housing fell dramatically and the area had one of the worst records for unsanitary conditions and mortality rates.
Peabody Square was not the first example of purpose-built model dwellings built on a (part) philanthropic basis, but it was certainly the largest.
The grounds are particularly attractive - these were improved by Peabody in 2001.
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Bostall Hill, SE2
Bostall Hill was an old route leading east from Plumstead. The modern development of Bostall Hill dates from the early twentieth century.
The Bostall Estate was built as a result of Bostall Farm and Suffolk Place Farm being acquired by the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society in 1886 and 1899 respectively and then developed for housing.
Further east along the road, Bostall Heath and Woods is an area of 159 hectares of woodland with areas of heathland located adjacent to Lesnes Abbey Woods. The area to the south of the Bostall Hill is Bostall Woods and to the north is Bostall Heath. The wood is owned and maintained by the Royal Borough of Greenwich, with the exception of the Cooperative Woods, in the north east corner of the site which are owned by the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society.
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The London Necropolis Railway was opened in 1854 as a reaction to severe overcrowding in London’s existing graveyards and cemeteries. Waterloo station was originally the terminus for London’s daily funeral express to Brookwood Cemetery. Funerary trains bearing coffins (at 2/6 each - singles, naturally) left from the ’Necropolis Station’ just outside the main station. The Necropolis Station was totally destroyed during World War II.
It aimed to use the recently-developed technology of the railway to move as many burials as possible to the newly-built Brookwood Cemetery in Brookwood, Surrey. This location was within easy travelling distance of London, but distant enough that the dead could not pose any risk to public hygiene.
Although it had its own branch line into Brookwood Cemetery, most of the route of the London Necropolis Railway ran on the existing London and South Western Railway (LSWR). Consequently, a site was selected in Waterloo, near the LSWR’s recently-opened London terminus at Waterloo Bridge station (now London Waterloo). The building was specifically designed for ...
Canterbury Music Hall
The Canterbury Music Hall was established in 1852 by Charles Morton on the site of a former skittle alley adjacent to the Canterbury Tavern at 143 Westminster Bridge Road. It was the first purpose-built music hall in London, and Morton came to be dubbed the Father of the Halls as hundreds of imitators were built within the next several years. The theatre was rebuilt three times, and the last theatre on the site was destroyed by bombing in 1942.
Morton and Frederick Stanley, his brother in law, purchased the Canterbury Arms, in Upper Marsh, Lambeth, in 1849. Morton was experienced in presenting ’Gentlemen Only’ entertainments in his other pubs, and he had been impressed with the entertainments at Evans Music-and-Supper Rooms in Covent Garden and decided to offer a harmonic meeting, held on Saturdays, in the back room of the public house. He brought in smart tables, with candlesticks, allowing audiences to sit and eat comfortably while watching concerts known as ’Sing-Songs’ or ’Free and Easys’ on Mondays and Saturdays. Soon, a Thursday evening programme was added to accommodate the crowds. Morton encouraged women to attend the ...
Until the coming of the Underground railway, Alperton was a tiny hamlet. The name Alperton means "farmstead or estate associated with a man named Ealhbeorht", deriving from an Anglo-Saxon personal name and tun, meaning farmstead or village in Old English.
Perivale Alperton was opened on 28 June 1903 by the District Railway (DR, now the District line) on its new extension to South Harrow on electrified tracks from Park Royal & Twyford Abbey. Park Royal & Twyford Abbey had itself opened five days earlier. This new extension was, together with the existing tracks back to Acton Town, the first section of the Underground’s surface lines to be electrified and operate electric instead of steam trains. The deep-level tube lines open at that time (City & South London Railway, Waterloo & City Railway and Central London Railway) had been electrically powered from the start.
The station was subsequently renamed Alperton on 7 October 1910.
On 4 July 1932, the Piccadilly line was extended to run west of its original terminu...
Green Street, E13
Since the 15th century, Green Street has marked the boundary of the ancient parishes of East Ham and West Ham, from the Romford Road to the marshes near the River Thames. The upper portion approaching Forest Gate was at one time called Gypsy Lane as it was once an area frequented by gypsies.
The southern portion of the road was the location of the Boleyn Ground, home to West Ham United. Due to the location of the football ground, Green Street was often the scene for football hooliganism and fan related violence including the 2009 Upton Park riot involving fans of West Ham and Millwall.
At the nearby junction with Barking Road, there is a Champions statue commemorating West Ham’s players who helped win the 1966 World Cup: Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters.
Near Upton Park Underground station, the road becomes a regional centre for retail in food, jewellery and fabrics, and the location of Queens Market. The road has an array of shops specialising in primarily South Asian goods, catering to those with strong cultural and familial ties to Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. The street also has a smaller...
Our Lady of Lourdes, Wanstead
Our Lady Of Lourdes church is the Catholic parish church of Wanstead, and is part of the Diocese of Brentwood. A mass centre was opened in Wanstead in 1910 by the parish priest of Walthamstow. In 1918 it was transferred to the hall of the newly opened St. Joseph’s convent school, Cambridge Park. Wanstead became a separate parish in 1919, and the church was opened in 1928, and completed in 1934.
The church was built in the Neo-Gothic style. The church exterior is of red brick with cream stone edgings. Inside, the plan is that of a nave and two aisles on either side. At the back, over the entrance, there is the choir balcony, on which a new organ has been constructed. The interior walls are simply whitewashed, excluding the stonework. Behind the altar is an elaborate stone gothic altarpiece. Two stained glass windows have been inserted in the left aisle.
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Willesden Junction station is both on the Bakerloo line and London Overground. Willesden Junction is a Network Rail station in Harlesden, north-west London, UK. It is served by both London Overground and the Bakerloo line of the London Underground.
The West Coast Main Line (WCML) station was opened by the London & North Western Railway on 1 September 1866 to replace the London and Birmingham Railway’s Willesden station of 1841 which was 0.5 miles (0.80 km) to the northwest. Passenger services ended in 1962 when the platforms were removed during electrification of the WCML to allow the curvature of the tracks to be eased. Later the bridges for the North London Line (NLL) were rebuilt.
The High-Level station on the NLL was opened by the North London Railway in 1869 on a track crossing the WCML roughly at right angles. In 1894 a new high level island platform was built, together with a new entrance. By 1897 199 passenger and 47 goods trains passed through the High Level station each day.
The ’Willesden New Station’...
North Ockendon is the only area of Greater London which is outside the M25 orbital motorway. North Ockendon parish had an ancient shape that was elongated east-west. With the adjoining parishes this formed a large estate that is at least middle-Saxon or, perhaps, even Roman or Bronze age.
The parish church of St Mary Magdelene has a probably re-used Norman nave door on the south side of the nave. Its tower was used in the first accurate measurement of the speed of sound, by the Reverend William Derham, Rector of Upminster. Gunshots were fired from the tower and the flash thereof was observed by telescope from the tower of the church of St Laurence, Upminster; then the time was recorded until the sound arrived, from which, with an accurate distance measurement, the speed could be calculated.
To the east is a small area of fenland, which extends into Bulphan and the rest is clays and Thames alluvials. The land is very low lying. The field boundaries are wholly rectilinear. To the far north, beyond the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway, it borde...
Kenley Street, W11
Kenley Street, W11 was originally William Street before it disappeared. Avondale Park, directly to the north of William Street (Kenley Street) was opened in 1892 and known by the locals as the ‘Rec’. It housed a flower garden, a playground area for children and a bandstand with a public Mortuary Chapel.
In 1900, an act of the Kensington Borough Council purchased part of William Street. Houses for use as workmen’s flats and dwellings went up. District Nurses had a home erected in the same street for their use.
Five streets known as the ‘Special Area’ were Bangor Street, Crescent Street, St Clement’s Road, St Katherine’s Road and William Street. This area differed very little from the Potteries in terms of health and well being. But the ‘Special Area’ was especially overcrowded with a large number of pubs.
Lodging houses accommodated over 700 people, each paying about fourpence or sixpence a night. Houses for ‘ladies of the night’ were open from the evening till around mid morning, at a cha...
Cobley’s Farm, also known as Fallow Farm, stood near to the "elbow" of Bow Lane. The area of Fallow Corner and of Cobley’s (Fallow) Farm (so called by the 17th century) was first recorded in 1429. By the 18th century there was a small hamlet of houses and the access roads from these to the main road formed the distinct Bow Lane. The route of the road was originally part of a lengthy track leading across from Muswell Hill through Coldfall Wood to the northern portion of Church End. Bow Lane, which was named for its shape, was constructed in 1814 after the enclosure of Finchley Common.
Opposite Cobley’s Farm it diverged, the northern portion ultimately doubling back to the Great North Road from Fallow Corner in the form of a "bow," and the western portion proceeding across the fields of the farm to Church End, reaching Ballards Lane by the side of Willow Lodge. The northern of these two branches was known as Fallow Lane.
Fallow Farm was in the possession of the Cobley family in the year 1680. An earlier lease of the farm is in exis...
Wellgarth Road, NW11
Wellgarth Road connects North End Road with the Hampstead Heath Extension. Sir Raymond Unwin was a mining engineer turned architect who turned Dame Henrietta Barnett’s vision for Hampstead Garden Suburb into reality.
Wellgarth Road was designed as one of Unwin’s large-scale formal approaches to the Heath Extension.
Towards the Heath it was intended to build two pairs of grand houses designed by Parker and Unwin’s friend, Edgar Wood, the pioneer of the flat roof. Evidently there was no one courageous enough to build these Wood designs, and in their place there is a much safer mixture of individual houses.
Of the houses along Wellgarth Road, Threeways (19 Wellgarth Road) is of neo-Georgian design by C Cowles-Voysey.
Number 17, with its lively bay windows, is probably by T Phillips Figgis. Numbers 9 and 15 are excellent houses of the mid-twenties in the Parker and Unwin dark brick style designed in Soutar’s office by his chief assistant Paul Badcock. Parker and Unwin themselves designed in 191...
Park Farm, Finchley give much of its land to the later Hampstead Garden Surburb.
One of the last occupiers of Park Farm was the circus proprietor Lord’ George Sanger, who retired there in 1904.
Sanger was an English showman and circus proprietor who set up the enterprise with his brother John. The first show was in February 1854 at the King’s Lynn Charter Fair in Norfolk. His circus visited over 200 towns in a nine month season, giving two shows a day, every day except Sunday.
In 1905 he sold off his zoo and some circus effects - these were auctioned by circus auctioneer Tom Norman. His descendants continued the circus in operation until the 1960s.
While he owned Park Farm, he allowed the circus animals to winter on his land. An elderly resident of Denman Drive - constructed in 1908 on what was once Westminster Abbey’s land - used to recall elephants grazing’ in the field between Big Wood and Little Wood, before Denman Drive North and Denman Drive South - constructed in 1912 on what was once the Bishop’s land...
North End Way, NW3
North End Way is the name for the southernmost section of North End Road - running from Hampstead to Golders Green. North End Way runs through an area once known as Littleworth.
The advertisement for Old Court House in 1839, a detached residence with extensive views, suitable for a ’family of respectability’, could have applied to any of the houses along North End Way. Old Court House was used as an estate office during the 1850s and 1860s although there is no evidence that courts were held there but the other houses continued as substantial family homes.
In 1841 the inhabitants of the former Littleworth in other houses included merchants at Fern and Heath lodges, a banker at Hill House, a clergyman at Camelford Cottage, a solicitor at Crewe Cottage, and several described as ’independent’. A major-general lived in Fern Lodge in 1851 and his widow and daughter were still there in 1890.
From 1872 until 1890 or later Heathlands was the home of Hugh M. Matheson, the Far Eastern merchant.
By 1890 Sir Richard Temple, Bt., had built Heat...
Burgess Hill, NW2
Burgess Hill runs off of Finchley Road. By the mid 18th century the Hampstead part of Childs Hill was divided in two by the road later called Platt’s Lane, which ran from West End and Fortune Green to the heath, Hampstead town, and Hendon. It was entirely occupied by two estates, both of which may have originated as land of the Templars.
The arrival of the Finchley Road lessened the area’s isolation. A house called Temple Park was built on the smaller Temples estate probably in the 1830s by Henry Weech Burgess, a prosperous Lancastrian. About the same time farm buildings were erected on Platt’s estate fronting Platt’s Lane.
Some nine and a half acres of Henry Weech Burgess’s estate had become a brickfield by 1864 and Temple Park had become the Anglo-French College by 1873. A few houses had been built in what became Burgess Hill by 1878 and in 1880 Weech Road was constructed between Fortune Green Road and Finchley Road on the portion of Teil’s estate purchased by the Burgesses in 18...
Childs Hill, now a select area, was formerly reknowned for bricks and laundering. It was the south-easternmost point of the ancient parish of Hendon. The settlement at Childs Hill is certainly medieval, possibly the 10th century settlement Codenhleawe (which has come down to us as Cowhouse), and was owned by Westminster Abbey.
Although a John Knot de Childes Hill is associated with the Peasants’ Revolt, the earliest known use of the place name Child’s Hill is 1593. The name is probably taken from a family of the same name who held land in Hendon in the 14th century. It has been suggested that the Castle Inn was a small Civil War (1642-49) gun emplacement guarding the Edgware Road. The first record of the Castle Inn however is 1751.
Child’s Hill was a centre for brick and tile making during the second half of the 18th century, supplying material for building Hampstead (which is to the east nearby), and run by a Samuel Morris. Being more than 259 ft above sea level (at the Castle Inn), Child’s Hill is visible for miles ...
Harrow Road, W10
Harrow Road is a main road through London W10. Harrow Road is an ancient route which runs from Paddington in a northwesterly direction towards Harrow. It is also the name given to the immediate surrounding area of Queens Park and Kensal Green, straddling the NW10, W10 and W9 postcodes. With minor deviations in the 19th and 20th centuries, the route remains otherwise unaltered. There are dozens of other existing roads throughout the United Kingdom using the same name which do not lead to or from Harrow but merely use the name of the town or, in some cases, a person of that name.
Before urbanisation the entire road was known as the "Harrow Road" but, as various local authorities came into existence and imposed independent numbering schemes and more localised descriptions on the parts of the road within their respective boundaries, the principal name was replaced in a number of places along its course.
Starting at the junction of Harrow Road and Edgware Road at Paddington Green, Harrow Road (A404) passe...
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