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Featured articlesMelrose Avenue, WD6
Melrose Avenue was the first built of Borehamwood’s ’poet’ roads. The ’poets’ roads of Borehamwood were named by David Scott-Blackhall, Chief Housing Officer of the Elstree Rural District Council and himself a published poet.
He wanted to name a road after Sir Walter Scott by calling one Scott Avenue. However, as David’s surname was ’Scott-Blackhall’, he was afraid that people might think he had immodestly named the road after himself.
Therefore it became Melrose Avenue, after Sir Walter Scott’s connections with Melrose Abbey ,in the Scottish Borders.
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Lullington Garth, N12
Lullington Garth is an oddly named road in Woodside Park. In the late 1920s, Mr FCJ ("Fred") Ingram conceived the creation of a new housing estate served by its own cluster of shops and near to Woodside Park station. He began buying land on the western side of the Dollis Brook and as far north as the confluence of Folly Brook with Dollis Brook. He promoted the proposed development as a 100-acre "garden suburb" with a maximum of eight houses to the acre.
He named the new roads after rural areas of Sussex where frequented in his youth. The three-bedroom semi-detached houses were to be of consistent but not uniform design. The roads were to be laid out with ornamental trees and grass verges and the built-up area was to be surrounded by parkland and open fields, with footpath access to the beautiful Totteridge Valley.
Lullington Garth was ultimately named after the village of Lullington in Sussex whereas a garth is the cloister garden of a medieval monastery.
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Wilton Crescent, SW1X
Wilton Crescent is notable for its affluent and politically important list of residents, present and historic. Wilton Crescent was created by Thomas Cundy II, the Grosvenor family estate surveyor, and was drawn up with the original 1821 Wyatt plan for Belgravia. It was named at the time of Thomas Egerton, 2nd Earl of Wilton, second son of Robert Grosvenor, 1st Marquess of Westminster on whose estate the road was built in 1825.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, it was home to many prominent British politicians, ambassadors and civil servants. Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1900–1979) lived at 2 Wilton Crescent for many years, marked today by an attributive blue plaque. Akin to nearby developments, Wilton Crescent is characterised by grand terraces with lavish white houses which are built in a crescent shape, many of them with stuccoed balconies, particularly on the southern part of the crescent. The Portland stone-clad, five-storey houses toward the north are high and were refaced between 1908 and 1912 via architects Balfour and Turner. Most of the houses had o...
Hyde Park Corner, W1J
Hyde Park Corner is a major road junction at the southeastern corner of Hyde Park. Six streets converge at the junction: Park Lane (from the north), Piccadilly (northeast), Constitution Hill (southeast), Grosvenor Place (south), Grosvenor Crescent (southwest) and Knightsbridge (west).
Hyde Park Corner tube station, a London Underground station served by the Piccadilly line, is located at the junction, as are a number of notable monuments.
Immediately to the north of the junction is Apsley House, the home of the first Duke of Wellington; several monuments to the Duke were erected in the vicinity, both in his lifetime and subsequently.
In the mid-nineteenth century, the space that is now the Hyde Park Corner traffic island was not entirely surrounded by roadway. In its centre stands the Wellington Arch (or Constitution Arch), designed by Decimus Burton and planned as a northern gate to the grounds of Buckingham Palace. In execution it was laid out as a gate into the Green Park, and was originally sited directly opposite Bur...
Island Gardens is an area of the Isle of Dogs opposite Greenwich. The 1.12-hectare waterside park at Island Gardnes is notable for its spectacular cross-river view of the classical buildings of the former Greenwich Hospital, the Cutty Sark and the National Maritime Museum, with Greenwich Park forming a backdrop. The northern entrance of the Greenwich foot tunnel is also within the park. It is almost certain that the view from this location is the one that the Canaletto painting ’Greenwich Hospital from the North Bank of the Thames’ is taken from, though whether Canaletto himself actually visited the site is in doubt. The park was formally opened on 3 August 1895 by local politician Will Crooks.
The 19th century name for the area was North Greenwich. It was named for the now defunct North Greenwich railway station (1872), that served a former passenger ferry to Greenwich and stood near the later Island Gardens (1897) and Greenwich foot tunnel (1902).
The park gave its name to Island Gardens DLR station. This opened i...
Mudchute Park and Farm is a large urban park and farm just south of Canary Wharf on the Isle of Dogs. It is a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. The name of the site is a testament to the engineering overspill when Millwall Dock was being constructed in the 1860s. Spoil from the excavation of the Dock, and silt from its channels and waterways were dumped on nearby land, using a conveyor system.
The park now covers 13 hectares, and the local authority describes the farm as the largest urban farm in Europe.
The Millwall Dock Company owned a huge swathe of land across the Isle of Dogs as it intended to extend the docks to meet the Thames in the east one day, when there was enough business to justify it. Until then, the company kept the land undeveloped, mostly leasing it out for pasture. This was also the case of the later Mudchute (or ’Mud Shoot’ as it was originally spelled in official documents).
The name "Mudchute" derives from it being the former dumping ground for mud dredged from the ...
The Greenwich Peninsula is bounded on three sides by a loop of the Thames, between the Isle of Dogs to the west and Silvertown to the east.
Formerly known as Greenwich Marshes and as Bugsby’s Marshes, it became known as East Greenwich as it developed in the 19th century, but more recently has been called North Greenwich due to the location of the North Greenwich tube station. This should not be confused with North Greenwich on the Isle of Dogs, at the north side of a former ferry from Greenwich.
The peninsula was drained by Dutch engineers in the 16th century, allowing it to be used as pasture land. In the 17th century, Blackwall Point (the northern tip of the peninsula, opposite Blackwall) gained notoriety as a location where pirates’ corpses were hung in cages as a deterrent to other would-be pirates. In the 1690s the Board of Ordnance established a gunpowder magazine on the west side of the peninsula, which was in operation by 1695 serving as the government’s primary magazine (where newly-milled powder was stored prior to being distributed, on board specially-equipped hoys, to wherever it ...
The Blackwall Tunnel is a pair of road tunnels underneath the River Thames. The tunnel links the London Borough of Tower Hamlets with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and forms part of the A102 road.
A tunnel in the Blackwall area was originally proposed in the 1880s. According to Robert Webster, then MP for St Pancras East, a tunnel would "be very useful to the East End of London, a district representing in trade and commerce a population greater than the combined populations of Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham." By this time, all road bridges in London east of the ferry at Chiswick were toll-free, but these were of little use to the two fifths of London’s population that lived to the east of London Bridge. The Thames Tunnel (Blackwall) Act was created in August 1887, which provided the legal framework necessary to construct the tunnel. The initial proposal, made by Sir Joseph Bazalgette, called for three parallel tunnels, two for vehicular traffic and one for foot, with an expected completion date of works within seven years. It was orig...
Shroffold Road, BR1
Shroffold Road takes its name from the former Shroffolds Farm. Shroffolds Farm itself was situated in Whitefoot Lane and was owned by the Earl of Northbrook.
The future Downham housing estate was built over the farmland between 1920 and 1923.
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St Michael Queenhithe
St. Michael Queenhithe was a church in the City of London located in what is now Upper Thames Street. First recorded in the 12th century, the church was destroyed during the Great Fire of London in 1666. Rebuilt by the office of Sir Christopher Wren, it was demolished in 1876.
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The back gardens of Hazelbank Road (1915)
The view from the rear of 133 Hazelbank Road in Lewisham across Shroffold’s Farm, 1915 While London seems to have surburbanised quickly between the world wars, it actually grew in sudden spurts between housing slumps. There were many slowdowns in building in the nineteenth century and, after the Wall Street crash, a slowdown in the twentieth century too.
Sometimes building speculation would part build an area, leaving gaps for a decade or two where the old farms would carry on.
This was true for areas now considered part of inner London such as Lewisham. Hazelbank Road stretched southwest-northeast but Shroffold’s Farm was still a going concern at the back of the new housing.
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Whitehouse Avenue, WD6
Whitehouse Avenue was originally to be called Cornwall Avenue. Whitehouse Farm was situated on Furzehill Road, dated to the 18th century and originally spread over 200 acres. It was owned by the Church of England.
After the railway became established in the area, the population grew and as new industries were introduced more houses and roads were required, Drayton Road being the first in Boreham Wood. Developers began buying plots of land, mainly off of Shenley Road and Whitehouse Farm began to shrink. Road building off the north side of Shenley Road reached by 1918 as far to the east as Clarendon Road.
Between the wars, the founding of the film studios and work starting on the Laings estate off Elstree Way, resulted in large areas of farmland being lost. Postwar, the London County Council needed land to house London’s ‘population overspill’ and made a compulsory purchase of Laing’s land off Elstree Way, as well as farmland to the east of Theobald Street.
Whitehouse Avenue was started in the la...
Ladbroke Grove, W11
Ladbroke Grove is the main street in London W11. The story of the first, southern part of Ladbroke Grove dates back to the 1820s.
Much of the area was owned by the Ladbroke family who also had holdings in Kensington. In 1821, a nephew of the family, James Weller inherited the estate, and according to the conditions of the will of his uncle was forced to change his name to James Weller Ladbroke. He put in train the project to build up the area with Victorian town houses for the gentry.
Large parts of this area became the scene of a layout quite unlike anything previously, or indeed subsequently, to be found in London. Building development was spread over some fifty years, between 1821 and the mid 1870s, but the most intense activity took place between 1840 and 1868. Half-a-dozen architects and a rather larger number of major speculators were all involved in the evolution of the layout.
Under the terms of his uncle's will James Weller Ladbroke could only grant leases of up to twenty-one ye...
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