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The New Blue Hall Cinema opened on 10 December 1912 with a seating capacity of 1300. It was built and operated by Blue Halls Limited. It was such a success that a second cinema known as the Blue Hall Extension was opened on 26 December 1913 at the rear of the original Blue Hall. This second cinema had a seating capacity of 1743 and was designed by architect John Quilter & Sons.
By 1918 the Blue Halls were operated by A.E. Abrahams and were soon leased out to Favourite Cinemas Ltd.
By 1930 the cinemas were known as the Blue Hall Cinema with a seating capacity of 1,241 and the Blue Hall Annexe Cinema with a seating capacity of 1,743 and they had been taken over by Associated British Cinemas (ABC). Both cinemas showed different programmes.
In 1935 ABC were planning a new cinema for Hammersmith and the Blue Hall Cinema was demolished to be replaced by the Regal Cinema. The Blue Hall Annexe continued to operate while the new Regal Cinema was being built. When that opened on 14 September 1936 the Blue Hall Annexe was closed and d...
Richmond Lock and Footbridge
Richmond Lock and Footbridge is the furthest downstream of the forty-five Thames locks. It was opened in 1894 and connects the promenade at Richmond with the neighbouring district of St. Margarets on the west bank during the day and is closed at night to pedestrians. At high tide the sluice gates are raised and partly hidden behind metal arches forming twin footbridges.
It was built to maintain the lowest-lying head of water of the forty-five navigable reaches of the Thames above the rest of the Tideway. Below the structure for a few miles, at low tide, the navigable channel is narrow and restricts access for vessels with the greatest draft.
When the London Bridge of 1209 to 1831 was demolished the removal of its bulky and elaborate piers resulted in the tides upstream returning to the rapid flows as they were downstream and before its forming of a near-barrier. That bridge was particularly dam-like when it housed 200 buildings in the Tudor period and in depictions at the time of the Great Fire of London which spared the bridge. This change...
Woburn Square, WC1H
Woburn Square is just north of the centre of Bloomsbury. This area was undeveloped and marshy land until the end of the eighteenth century before Woburn Square was built by James Sim and family in 1821–1828 and also known as Rothesay Square.
It was finally named after Woburn Abbey, the seat of the Dukes of Bedford.
Christ Church was built to a design by Lewis Vulliamy on the east side of the square in 1831–1833 as a chapel of ease to St George’s, Bloomsbury.
The Post Office directory for 1881 shows a respectable square, with residents including clergymen, a surgeon, and (at no. 11) Charles Critchett, friend and correspondent of the artist Whistler.
The whole Square was sold to London University by the Bedford estate and after the square was bombed in World War II, it was subsequently overwhelmed by the development of surrounding University buildings. A few original houses survive at nos 10–18.
Christ Church was demolished in 1974.
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Balham is a neighbourhood in inner South London. Balham is now a suburb possessing many well-built Victorian terraced houses now highly valued as family homes.
It has been settled since Saxon times and large country retreats for the affluent classes were built here in the eighteenth century,. However, most development occurred after the opening of Balham station in 1856.
Balham is situated between four south London Commons, Clapham Common to the north, Wandsworth common to the west, Tooting Graveney Common to the south, and the adjoining Tooting Bec Common to the east - the latter two historically distinct areas are referred to by both Wandsworth council and most local people as Tooting Common. These give it a green feel and a distinct boundary that makes it stand out as a district in the area.
It possesses a railway to tube interchange (the origin of the phrase "Balham-Gateway to the South" was reputedly a genuine Southern Railway advertisement from the 1926 opening of the tube stati...
Winn’s Common is a public open space in Plumstead. Winn’s Common is said to have been settled by ancient Britons. Several Bronze Age burial mounds were found in the area, as well as Roman relics. One mound remains on Winn’s Common, the Winn’s Common Tumulus.
During World War II a line of barrage balloons were sited on Winn’s Common to deter enemy aircraft from attacking the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. At the end of the war many prefabricated houses were placed on the common to try to alleviate the displaced from all over London. The prefabs came down in the early 1950s to be replaced by open ground and football pitches. An old hut at the North End of the common, adjacent to Kings Highway, served as the changing rooms with a tin trough and cold taps supplying the only washing facility.
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Palmers Road, WD6
Palmers Road links Cowley Hill with Edulf Road. The road was one of the rare new roads of Borehamwood in that it was built before the Second World War.
Houses along Palmers Road were built to rent - the first tenants paying 1/6 per week. Being pre-war they were supplied with a outside toilet alongside their coal sheds.
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Bevis Marks, EC3A
Bevis Marks is a short street (about 150 m long) in the ward of Aldgate in the City of London. The street name has been recorded as Bewesmarkes (1407), Bevys Marke (1450), Bevesmarkes (1513), Bevers-market (1630), and Beavis Markes (1677), prior to Bevis Marks (since 1720). The antiquarian John Stow believed the name to derive from the Abbots of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, in whose ownership this part of the city was until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. At that time, their possessions were passed to Sir Thomas Heneage, a gentleman of the Privy chamber in attendance on King Henry VIII. He is commemorated in the name of nearby Heneage Lane.
Bevis Marks is mentioned several times in Charles Dickens’s The Old Curiosity Shop as the street where solicitor Sampson Brass has his offices.
Bevis Marks is home to the Grade I listed Bevis Marks Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the United Kingdom still in use.
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St Katharine Cree
St Katharine Cree is a Church of England church on the north side of Leadenhall Street near Leadenhall Market.
The parish served by the church existed by 1108, when it was served by the Augustinian Holy Trinity Priory, Aldgate, also called Christ Church, which was founded by Maud, queen at the time of King Henry I. The parishioners used the priory church but this proved unsatisfactory and disruptive to the priory’s activities.
The prior partly resolved the problem in 1280 by founding St Katharine Cree as a separate church for the parishioners. The site of the present church was originally in the priory’s churchyard and it is possible that the church began as a cemetery chapel. It took its name from the priory, "Cree" being a corrupted abbreviation of "Christ Church". It was initially served by a canon appointed by the prior but this did not prove satisfactory either, so in 1414 the church was established as a parish church in its own right. The present tower was added about 1504.
The present church was built in 1628–30, retaining the Tudor tower of i...
Bevis Marks Synagogue
Bevis Marks Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in the United Kingdom. The synagogue was built in 1701 and is affiliated to London’s historic Spanish and Portuguese Jewish community. It is the only synagogue in Europe which has held regular services continuously for more than 300 years.
Services at a small synagogue in Creechurch Lane date to at least October 1663, when it was visited on the festival of Simchat Torah, by the diarist Samuel Pepys, who recorded his impressions of the service. In 1698 Rabbi David Nieto took spiritual charge of the congregation of Spanish and Portuguese Jews (also called Sephardim).
A considerable influx of Jews made it necessary to obtain more commodious quarters. Accordingly, a committee was appointed and on 12 February 1699, signed a contract with Joseph Avis, a Quaker, for the construction of a building to cost £2,650. On 24 June 1699, the committee leased from Sir Thomas and Lady Pointz a tract of land at Plough Yard, in Bevis Marks, for 61 years, with the option of renewal for a fur...
Conder Street, E14
Conder Street, now a tiny cul-de-sac once ran north all the way to Maroon Street. Before a change of name, parts of the street were known as James Street and Salmon Lane.
It was laid out sometime in the nineteenth century.
Much of the area was redeveloped to make way for local community housing. Similarly, all that remains of Condor Street is a 10-yard cul-de-sac, beyond which is a vast 1970s council housing estate.
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Ha Ha Road, SE18
Ha Ha Road in Greenwich is no laughing matter. A "ha ha" is a ditch which serves as a boundary between fields or properties. It is designed to be a recessed landscape design element that creates a vertical barrier while preserving an uninterrupted view of the landscape beyond. Ha has are also used in landscape design to prevent access to a garden, for example by grazing livestock, without obstructing views.
There’s also a "ha ha gate" which connects and provides access between the two areas and a "ha ha wall" which shores up the ditch.
The "ha ha" of Ha Ha Road, SE18 still exists. It flanks the Barrack Field of Woolwich Garrison.
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Chiswick High Road, W4
Chiswick High Road is the main road through Chiswick. Chiswick was a riverside village that got its name, rather unglamorously, from the Old English for ‘cheese farm’ because of an association with an annual cheese fair.
Chiswick was known chiefly for Chiswick House, near its centre, and for 18th- and 19th-century buildings at Chiswick village, referred to as Old Chiswick, and Strand-on-the-Green, respectively at the eastern and western ends of a loop in the Thames.
The parish’s main settlements, lying near its edges, were separated until the 19th century by fields, gardens, and parkland. Forerunners of the existing Chiswick House, which was created by the earl of Burlington (d. 1753) and enlarged by his Cavendish heirs, the dukes of Devonshire, lay between Chiswick village and, to the northwest, Little Sutton and Turnham Green.
The parish had offered a country retreat for Henry VI and later for prelates in the 15th century and for courtiers and the scholars of Westminster from the 16t...
Aldgate was the easternmost gateway through the London Wall leading from the City of London to Whitechapel and the East End. It gives its name to a City ward bounded by White Kennet Street in the north and Crutched Friars in the south, taking in Leadenhall and Fenchurch Streets, which remain principal thoroughfares through the City, each splitting from the short street named Aldgate that connects to Aldgate High Street.
It is thought that a gate at Aldgate spanned the road to Colchester in the Roman period, when London Wall was constructed. The gateway – which probably had two circular towers – stood at the corner of the modern Duke’s Place, on the east side of the City, with a busy thoroughfare passing through it. It was rebuilt between 1108 and 1147, again in 1215, and reconstructed completely between 1607 and 1609 “in a more classical and less functional style”. Like London’s other gates, Aldgate was “fortified with porticullises and chained” in 1377 due to concerns about potential attacks by the French. The gate was finally removed in 1761; it was temporarily re-erected at...
Aldgate Pump is a historic water pump, located at the junction where Aldgate meets Fenchurch Street and Leadenhall Street. The pump marks the start of the A11 road towards Norwich and distances to locations in Middlesex, Essex and beyond were measured from here. This contributed to the pump’s status as the symbolic start of the East End of London. The metal wolf head on the pump’s spout is supposed to signify the last wolf shot in the City of London.
Aldgate Pump is a Grade II listed structure. As a well, it was mentioned during the reign of King John. As the City of London developed, it is thought to have been taken down and re-erected at its current location in 1876, as a drinking fountain, as streets were widened.
Served by one of London’s many underground streams, the water was praised for being "bright, sparkling, and cool, and of an agreeable taste". These qualities were later found to be derived from decaying organic matter from adjoining graveyards, and the leaching of calcium from the bones of the dead in many new cemeteries in north London through ...
Boar’s Head Theatre
The Boar’s Head Theatre was an inn-yard theatre in the Whitechapel area. The Boar’s Head was located on the north side of Whitechapel High Street. Berry notes that "it became a playhouse partly because of where it was — just outside the City of London … a few feet beyond the ordinary jurisdiction of the lord mayor and his aldermen."
The Boar’s Head was originally an inn, which was built in the 1530s; it underwent two renovations for use as a playhouse: first, in 1598, when a simple stage was erected, and a second, more elaborate renovation in 1599. In 1616, the lease of the space to Oliver Woodliffe, one of the men responsible for expanding the theatre, expired, and Charles Sisson surmises that this marked the end of the Boar’s Head’s days as a theatre space.
On 28 November 1594, Jane and Henry Poley, who owned the inn, entered a lease agreement with Oliver and Susan Woodliffe. The agreement began on 25 March 1595 and ended on 24 March 1616 and included a promise to spend £100 during the following seven years to b...
Orpington is a town and electoral ward in the London Borough of Bromley in Greater London and lies at the south-eastern edge of London’s urban area. Stone Age tools have been found in several areas of Orpington, including Goddington Park, Priory Gardens, the Ramsden estate, and Poverest. Early Bronze Age pottery fragments have been found in the Park Avenue area. During the building of Ramsden Boys School in 1956, the remains of an Iron Age farmstead were excavated. The area was occupied in Roman times, as shown by Crofton Roman Villa and the Roman bath-house at Fordcroft.
During the Anglo-Saxon period, Fordcroft Anglo-Saxon cemetery was used in the area.
The first record of the name Orpington occurs in 1038, when King Cnut’s treasurer Eadsy gave land at "Orpedingetune" to the Monastery of Christ Church at Canterbury. The parish church also pre-dates the Domesday Book. On 22 July 1573, Queen Elizabeth I was entertained at Bark Hart (Orpington Priory) and her horses stabled at the Anchor and Hope Inn (Orpington High Street). On the southern edge of Orpington, Green St Green is recorded as ’...
Willoughby Street, WC1B
Willoughby Street was formerly known as both Vine Street and Wooburn Street. Willoughby Street was laid out in the southwest of Bloomsbury, on the Duke of Bedford’s estate, running between Great Russell Street and Streatham Street.
Its line was then continued south by Charlotte Mews and subsequently by Vine Street
It was developed in the late seventeenth century as part of the development around Bedford Square (then Southampton Square) and on Horwood’s maps of 1799–1819, it is shown as Wooburn Street.
Both the St Giles parish map of 1720 and Rocque’s map of 1746 call the whole street Vine Street, from Broad Street to Great Russell Street
It was renamed after Mr Willoughby, Holborn’s Mayor, in 1904. Further into the twentieth century, it remained a quiet street with few buildings.
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Woburn Walk, WC1H
Woburn Walk was also known as Woburn Buildings. It was developed by Thomas Cubitt in 1822, and named after the Bedford family seat. Woburn Walk is situated in the north of Bloomsbury, on the north-eastern edge of the Duke of Bedford’s estate.
It was built as a parade of shops with living accommodation above, which it remains today. No. 1 was the home of radical and reformer George Jacob Holyoake; he is listed there in the 1851 and 1861 censuses. No. 5 (now part of the Ambassadors Hotel) was the home of W. B. Yeats from 1895 to 1919, as commemorated by a blue plaque.
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Ireland Yard, EC4V
Ireland Yard is an alleyway leading off of Playhouse Yard. When the Black Friars monastery was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1538, most of the buildings were left to decay, whilst some of those occupying the outer fringes of the grounds were given to people who happened to be in the King’s favour at the time. One such beneficiary was Sir Thomas Carwardine who on a nod and a wink came away from the royal chamber clutching the title deeds to the priory church and east gatehouse.
Having little regard for ancient buildings he promptly pulled down the church and was on the verge of doing the same with the gatehouse, but on seconds thoughts decided to make it his home. Later in the century the refurbished ’house’ was sold to William Ireland, a City haberdasher, who stepped out of his door one day only to be frightened out of his wits by a bearded gentleman cuddling a skull and spouting forth about ghosts. He was not aware of it at the time but this petrifying fellow was none other than William Shakespeare who, to Ireland’s disma...
Argyll Road, W8
Argyll Road was built as part of the development of the Phillimore Estate. Many of the other roads in the estate run between Phillimore Gardens and Argyll Road. Argyll Road is broken up by these roads on its west side, but the east side is virtually one long, undivided terrace. The slope of the road means that the terrace is stepped every four houses or so. There is a generous area and forecourt (or garden) in front of the houses.
Almost the whole of the east side was built by Jeremiah Little between 1858 and 1862. James Jordan built Nos. 2-4, 6 and 7.
On the west side, the houses were all apparently built by Henry Little between 1860 and 1862.
The houses are not all in the same style. Below Stafford Terrace are Nos. 1 to 7 (consec) they are relatively small, being on four floors (basement to second) with a dormer room in some instances. The houses were designed in a Georgian style, so they have no bay windows. Instead they generally have porches supported by plain Doric-style columns which extend beyond the front...
Jubilee Crescent, E14
Jubilee Crescent was built in 1935 by architect G R Unthank. Local ship repairing firm, R. & H. Green & Silley Weir Ltd were based in Blackwall and were part of a long shipbuilding tradition. R. and H. Green Ltd was formed from the long-established Blackwall firm of Wigram and Green who were famous shipbuilders in the 19th century, however with the decline of Thames shipbuilding in the early 20th century, R. & H. Green became part of a ship repairing partnership called R. and H. Green and Silley Weir.
It was the chairman of the firm, John Silley, who was determined to provide homes for retired workers of the shipbuilding and repairing industries. John Silley was a committed Christian who contributed toward the YMCA and numerous other charities. Silley had already built some dwellings for his workers in Falmouth and chose the Isle of Dogs to build a series of dwellings.
Silley approached the Port of London Authority and persuaded them to give him 1.5 acres on the edge of the Mudchute in exchange for some land ow...
St Paul’s Church
St Paul’s Church is an Anglican church of the Anglo-Catholic tradition located at 32a Wilton Place. The church was founded in 1843, the first in London to champion the ideals of the Oxford Movement, during the incumbency of the Reverend W. J. E. Bennett. The architect was Thomas Cundy the younger.
A memorial in St Paul’s Church commemorates 52 members of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry who died on active service in World War II, carrying out secret intelligence work for the Special Operations Executive in occupied countries as well as providing transport drivers for the ATS. It includes three holders of the George Cross.
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Silk Stream (1916)
The Silk Stream was the stream which fed the Welsh Harp reservoir. The photographer is standing on an embankment on Colindeep Lane where it bridges the stream. The view looks south along the stream towards the bridge in the far distance which carries the Edgware Road over the start of the Welsh Harp. The expanse of water of the reservoir can be seen beyond that.
This very rural scene depicts a section of the stream which once widened to form the Welsh Harp earlier than now. This side of the Edgware Road the reservoir has been reclaimed to site industry.
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Beresford Square, SE18
Beresford Square was formed in the early 19th century and was named after the Anglo-Irish general William Beresford, Master-General of the Ordnance and Governor of the Royal Military Academy. Beresford Square was not a laid-out square but the result of a series of clearances. Therefore, some of the buildings are older than the square. In 1812-13, some "paltry buildings" around the road junction near the main entrance to the Arsenal were demolished for "encroachment on Crown land". The northern section of the road that wound down from Woolwich Common to Plumstead Road was called Green’s End.
The northernmost tip, now the west side of Beresford Square, was known as the High Pavement. Land to the east of this road was part of the Burrage Estate, named after its 14th-century owner, Bartholomew de Burghersh. The Salutation Inn stood almost at the northern end of the High Pavement. It had a tea garden and may have been Woolwich’s first theatre, mentioned in 1721. The garden later became Salutation Alley with about 20 timber cottages. In one of these Henry Maudslay was born in 1771. Living conditions here were appalling, as described in the Booth Surve...
Richmond lies on a meander of the River Thames, with a view protected by a specific Act of Parliament.
Richmond was founded following Henry VII's building of Richmond Palace in the 16th century, from which the town derives its name. (The Palace itself was named after Henry's earldom of Richmond, North Yorkshire.) During this era the town and palace were particularly associated with Elizabeth I, who spent her last days here. During the 18th century Richmond Bridge was completed and many Georgian terraces were built, particularly around Richmond Green and on Richmond Hill. These remain well preserved and many have listed building architectural or heritage status. The opening of the railway station in 1846 was a significant event in the absorption of the town into a rapidly expanding London.
Richmond was formerly part of the ancient parish of Kingston upon Thames in the county of Surrey. In 1890 the town became a municipal borough, which was later extended to include Kew, Ham, Petersham and part of Mortlake (North Sheen). The municipal borough was abolished ...
Purves Road, NW10
Purves Road is named after the solicitor of the United Land Company who were developers in this area. After 1888, when the surrender of a farm lease allowed construction north of the railway line, All Souls’ College began to exploit its lands. It built Chamberlayne Road, which connected Kensal with Willesden Green and eventually boasted a pleasant little shopping centre, as well as some light industry. This new area of development was given the name of Kensal Rise. Kensal Green station was renamed Kensal Rise in 1890.
The land for Purves Road was sold by All Souls College and the builders were Vigers. The All Souls’ estate now stretches from Kensal Green to Harlesden.
The road was the site of the Princess Frederica School.
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Saville Road, E16
Saville Road is famous as the street featured in the credits of the TV series "Call The Midwife". When originally laid out, Saville Road crossed Drew Road meeting the boundary of the dock. Drew Road School was situated in this ’lost’ section of Saville Road.
Saville Road is the setting for a famous photograph of the Dominion Monarch in the King George V Dry Dock, pictured immediately behind Saville Road’s dock fence. The ship was part of the Shaw Saville Line. The Dominion Monarch was launched in 1939 and broken up in 1962. It was in the King George V dock for a clean up of its bottom and a repaint.
The dock has now been partially filled in and the DLR station for the City Airport can now be seen from the street instead of the dock.
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Richmond Bridge is the oldest surviving Thames bridge in London. Richmond Bridge is an 18th-century stone arch bridge that crosses the River Thames at Richmond, connecting the two halves of the present-day London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It was designed by James Paine and Kenton Couse.
The bridge, which is a Grade I listed, was built between 1774 and 1777, as a replacement for a ferry crossing which connected Richmond town centre on the east bank with its neighbouring district of East Twickenham to the west. Its construction was privately funded by a ’tontine’ scheme, for which tolls were charged until 1859. Because the river meanders from its general west to east direction, flowing from southeast to northwest in this part of London, what would otherwise be known as the north and south banks are often referred to as the "Middlesex" (Twickenham) and "Surrey" (Richmond) banks respectively, named after the historic counties to which each side once belonged.
The bridge was widened and slightly flattened...
Caldwell Street, SW9
Caldwell Street was originally called Holland Street. It was built just before the 1830s dawned and was named Holland Street after Henry Richard Vassall, the third Baron Holland who owned this area.
The road was once a shopping street and was renamed Caldwell Street in the 1930s.
Only a small section of the original street remains on the western side and a tiny cottage on the far eastern end by Brixton Road.
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