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Featured · Queen’s Park ·
MAY
18
2022

The Underground Map is a project which is creating street histories for the areas of London and surrounding counties lying inside the M25.

In a series of maps from the 1750s until the 1950s, you can see how London grew from a city which only reached as far as Park Lane into the post war megapolis we know today. There are now over 85 000 articles on all variety of locations including roads, houses, schools, pubs and palaces.

You can begin exploring by choosing a place from the dropdown list at the top left and then clicking Reset Location.

As maps are displayed, click on the markers to view location articles.

You can also view historical maps of London - click on the "pile of paper" control on the top right of a page's map to change to a particular decade.

Latest on The Underground Map...
East India Dock Road, E14
East India Dock Road is an important artery connecting the City of London to Essex, and partly serves as the high street of Poplar It takes it name from the former East India Docks and its route was constructed between 1806 and 1812 as a branch of the Commercial Road. The road begins in the west at Burdett Road and continues to the River Lea bridge in the east in Canning Town.

It laid within the parish of Limehouse with the western end in the former Gravel Pit Field.

The westernmost end, west of Stainsby Road and Birchfield Street was built up between 1847 and 1853 (north side) and 1850 and 1860 (south side).

»more

FEBRUARY
14
2022

 

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.
»read full article


FEBRUARY
13
2022

 

Worgan Street, SE11
Worgan Street is the new name for the former Catherine Street in the Vauxhall Gardens Estate area Spring Gardens was established here in the reign of King Charles II. Here could be found live entertainers, food and drink. It was a venue for amorous liaisons, as regular visitor Samuel Pepys noted.

In 1729, the Vauxhall Spring-Gardens was sublet to the entrepreneurial Jonathan Tyers who saw an opportunity to provide a new style of entertainment for Londoners, charging an admission fee of one shilling to discourage the pickpockets and ’ladies of the night’. This became the first and best-known of London’s pleasure gardens. Over the next 130 years Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens played host to concerts, operas, firework displays, circus acts, balloon rides and more.

In 1859, the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens were closed and the area redeveloped into housing. Catherine Street was built here and the street was renamed Worgan Street in the late 1930s.

In the 1970s, the local houses - some badly war-damaged - were demolis...
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FEBRUARY
12
2022

 

Wilsham Street, W11
Wilsham Street was formerly known as St Katherine’s Road Charles Booth’s poverty map placed the Kensington Potteries among the "criminal and irreclaimable areas", largely on account of the overcrowded condition of its unsuitable and derelict houses.

Five short streets in the district became known as the "Special Area.": Bangor Street, Crescent Street and three roads that have been renamed. St. Clement’s, now called Sirdar Road, St. Katherine’s Road, now Wilsham Street, and William, now Kenley Street.

In 1899 an enquiry was undertaken at the instance of the London County Council, and it was found that nearly half the babies born in this area died before they were a year old.

In 1904 there was a public-house to every twenty-five dwellings in these streets, and about twenty-three common lodging-houses provided accommodation for over seven hundred persons, at a nightly charge of fourpence or sixpence.

Greater however than the evil of these licensed lodging-houses, w...
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FEBRUARY
11
2022

 

Golborne Mews, W10
Golborne Mews lies off of the Portobello Road, W10 The Mews is part of the ‘Oxford Gardens’ Conservation Area. Designated in 1975 to include the St Quintin Estate, Oxford Gardens, Bassett Road and Cambridge Gardens, the Conservation Area contains very few listed buildings and can be split into three districts containing developments spanning from 1897 to after 1905.

Originally the stable house accommodation for the main houses on the surrounding streets, the primary purpose of the Mews properties is now residential.
»read full article





LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Comment
Watts   
Added: 17 May 2022 20:29 GMT   

Baeethoven St School, also an Annex for Paddington College of FE.
In the early 70’s I took a two year science course at Paddington CFE. The science classes were held on weekday evenings at Beethoven Street school, overseen by chemistry teacher, Mr Tattershall.

Reply

   
Added: 25 Apr 2022 22:11 GMT   

Southover, N12
Everyone knows Central Woodside is the place to be. Ever since kdog moved from finchtown, Woodside has been thriving.

Reply
Born here
Bernard Miller   
Added: 12 Apr 2022 17:36 GMT   

My mother and her sister were born at 9 Windsor Terrace
My mother, Millie Haring (later Miller) and her sister Yetta Haring (later Freedman) were born here in 1922 and 1923. With their parents and older brother and sister, they lived in two rooms until they moved to Stoke Newington in 1929. She always said there were six rooms, six families, a shared sink on the first floor landing and a toilet in the backyard.

Reply

Brian Lynch   
Added: 10 Apr 2022 13:38 GMT   

Staples Mattress Factory
An architect’s design of the Staples Mattress Factory
An image found on the website of Dalzell’s Beds, in Armagh Northern Ireland.

Reply
Lived here
   
Added: 19 Feb 2022 16:21 GMT   

Harmondsworth (1939 - 1965)
I lived in a house (Lostwithiel) on the Bath Road opposite the junction with Tythe Barn Lane, now a hotel site. Initially, aircraft used one of the diagonal runways directly in line with our house. I attended Sipson Primary School opposite the Three Magpies and celebrated my 21st birthday at The Peggy Bedford in 1959.

Reply

Emma Seif   
Added: 25 Jan 2022 19:06 GMT   

Birth of the Bluestocking Society
In about 1750, Elizabeth Montagu began hosting literary breakfasts in her home at 23 (now 31) Hill Street. These are considered the first meetings of the Bluestocking society.

Reply
Comment
   
Added: 14 Jan 2022 03:06 GMT   

Goldbourne Gardens W 10
I lived in Goldbourne Gardens in the 50,s very happy big bomb site

Reply

Chris Nash   
Added: 10 Jan 2022 22:54 GMT   

Shortlands Close, DA17
Shortlands Close and the flats along it were constructed in the mid-1990s. Prior to this, the area was occupied by semi-detached houses with large gardens, which dated from the post-war period and were built on the site of Railway Farm. The farm and its buildings spanned the length of Abbey Road, on the south side of the North Kent Line railway tracks.

Reply

JANUARY
31
2015

 

Kilburn Park
Kilburn Park station was opened on 31 January 1915 as the temporary terminus of the Bakerloo line’s extension from Paddington. The area of Kilburn Park was developed in the 1850s somewhat south of the area then known as Kilburn in the fields west of the Edgware Road. The "Park" in the name was simply an invention by the developer, James Bailey.

Bailey had teamed up in a consortium of five developers who in 1850 bought 47 acres from owner the Reverend Edward Stuart. The consortium laid out roads and sewers and divided the site among themselves, subletting to smaller firms who built a few houses each.

The isolated, muddy location failed to attract many buyers and the estate remained incomplete for several decades. Properties were soon subdivided, some containing as many as six households in the 1870s.

The suburb of Kilburn Park was finally complete in the late 1880s.

Kilburn Park station was opened on 31 January 1915 as the temporary terminus of the Bakerloo line’s extension from Paddington  towards Queen’s Park.

The origin...
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JANUARY
30
2015

 

Treherne House
Treherne House was built in the mid eighteenth century, The house had been built on Treherne Croft. a triangular shaped piece of land, four acres in extent. It was leased out as early as 1353 to Geoffrey le Fowler and then went through many hands until the eighteenth century.

By 1704 Treherne Croft was associated with Hillfield, to its north, and was held by Charles Herriott who conveyed the estate, a house, garden, and nearly 17 acres to Henry Binfield in 1720.

Treherne House was built sometime between 1720 and 1762. It was probably rebuilt in the late 18th or early 19th century when it became a grand house, having a seven-bayed main section with attics and central porch and a large b ay-windowed wing.

By 1807, Thomas Kesteven occupied Treherne House.

The sculptor Robert Shout was living at the house by 1835. In a letter to Sir Robert Peel (in which he fulminated against the high levels of land tax) he described himself as ‘possessed of independent property, consisting of land...
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JANUARY
29
2015

 

Cedars
A local West Hampstead builder, Thomas Potter, constructed Cedars in 1878. It was put up next to West End Green but under a decade later, new buildings were going up throughout West Hampstead. This corner, owner by Potter, became known as the Cedars Estate.

28 houses and a Methodist church were built on the estate fronting Mill Lane in 1886-7 and seven blocks of flats in West End Lane in 1894.

Holmdale Mansions were built in Holmdale Road in 1904 and Cavendish Mansions at the east end of Mill Lane about the same time, when the Cedars, which had become a school, was demolished.
»read full article


JANUARY
28
2015

 

Vauxhall Station early 1900s.
Vauxhall at the turn of the twentieth century. Vauxhall bus station, in the twenty first century, is a centralised area where all of the local buses serving Vauxhall may be boarded. And these days it has a photovoltaic roof supplying much of its electricity and is the second busiest London bus station, after that at Victoria.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Vauxhall was a gloomier affair. This photo, taken from roughly where the number 2 and 36 stop on their way to Victoria, shows the modern top of Bondway at its junction with South Lambeth Place.

The modern road system has transformed Vauxhall. The late nineteenth century road layout contains unfamiliar names: Bond Street, Archer Street. South Lambeth Road no longer curves up to the Vauxhall Tavern. The landscape abounds in breweries and pubs.
»read full article


JANUARY
27
2015

 

Bow Lane, N12
Bow Lane, which was named for its shape, was constructed in 1814 after the enclosure of Finchley Common. The route of the lane was originally part of a lengthy track leading across from Muswell Hill through Coldfall Wood to the northern portion of Church End.

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.
»read full article


JANUARY
26
2015

 

Cannon Hill, NW6
Cannon Hill is a road in Fortune Green, NW6 Charles Cannon, a dye merchant who lived at Kidderpore Hall, converted an old footpath into Cannon Hill, and West House and Wellesley House were built west of the junction of Finchley Road and West End Lane.

One of the tributaries of the Kilbourne (downstream becoming the Westbourne) ran beside the original footpath and this before it was culverted became known as Cannon Stream.

E. J. Cave, one of the district’s most prominent Victorian builders, built the Cannon Hill estate where Marlborough, Buckingham and Avenue Mansions were built in the triangle formed by Cannon Hill, Finchley Road, and West End Lane in 1896-1900.

Conductor Sir Adrian Boult lived at at 78 Marlborough Mansions on Cannon Hill and has a blue plaque to his memory there. Nigel Balchin, the novelist, died in 1970 also in Marlborough Mansions.
»read full article


JANUARY
25
2015

 

O2 Centre
The O2 Centre, an indoor shopping and entertainment centre was opened in 1998. Despite the same name and originally very similar logo, it is no relation to the O2 telecommunications brand, which was launched four years later. The name was chosen as reference to the spacious feel of the building, as O2 is the chemical formula for dioxygen.

The opening of the centre came after many years of the site remaining derelict. In the early 1990s the buildings along Finchley Road were demolished in preparation for the centre, but problems with planning permission, with concerns over traffic in particular, led to construction being delayed by many years. A great deal of consultation took place with local residents, including asking them to vote from a choice of three designs for the exterior of the building, relating to different kinds of periodic elements - and asking them to suggest a name.

The complex includes a cinema and a large supermarket.

The Kilbourne Stream runs underneath the supermarket site.
»read full article


JANUARY
25
2015

 

Wanstead
Wanstead is a suburban area in north-east London, forming part of the London Borough of Redbridge. The place name is probably of Saxon origin and is first recorded in a charter of 1065 as Wenstede. The first element appears to mean ’wain’ or ’wagon’ but the meaning of the full compound is not clear. An alternative explanation by the English Place-Names Society is that the place name derives from the Anglo-Saxon words meaning Wen, signifying a hill or mound, and Stead, a place or settlement. The main road going through Wanstead is the A12. Wanstead High Street includes pubs and independent retailers.

The area was the site of a Roman villa, whilst Wanstead Manor was a Saxon and Norman manor and later formed part of the Municipal Borough of Wanstead and Woodford in Essex until 1965, when Greater London was created. The town has a largely suburban feel, containing open grasslands such as Wanstead Flats, and the woodland of Wanstead Park (part of Epping Forest). The park, with artificial lakes, was originally part of the estate of a large stately home Wanstead Hou...
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JANUARY
24
2015

 

Broadhurst Gardens, NW6
Broadhurst Gardens is in West Hampstead, NW6 Broadhurst Gardens may not be a household name, but back in the day it was the home of Decca Recording Studios which rivalled EMI’s Abbey Road Studios as the country’s leading recording facility.

Decca was founded on the original site of West Hampstead Town Hall at 165 Broadhurst Gardens, near the junction with West End Lane - built in 1886.

By the early 2000s, the building was home to the English National Opera.

From the late 1870s building spread on Spencer Maryon Wilson’s lands. Several roads, named after Maryon Wilson estates in other counties, ran from Finchley Road to Priory Road. Building began from the east end with 20 houses by Charles Kellond in Goldhurst Terrace, the most southerly of the roads, in 1879. The middle road was Canfield Gardens, where building began in 1881. The northern road, near the Metropolitan railway line, was Broadhurst Gardens, where 116 houses were built between 1882 and 1894. Fairhazel Gardens (or...
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JANUARY
24
2015

 

Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance
Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance is the traditional starting point for the Notting Hill Carnival. During a meeting of the London County Council on the 14 March 1911, the chairman read out a letter containing an offer from politician and ex-council member Emslie J. Horniman:

"Recently I have been able to secure nearly one acre of land, which I consider suitable to lay out as a public garden, with sand-pit, etc., and, having now completed the purchase, I have much pleasure in offering the same to your council, and am ready to make over the freehold, the only condition being that the land be dedicated in perpetuity to the people of London as a recreation-ground. I propose to clear the land and lay out same at my own expense."

Emslie Horniman lived in Chelsea but was inspired to create the park which today bears his name in North Kensington by Sister Ruth, a local nun who worked with the poor of Kensal Town. Emslie Horniman was interested in the arts and gave the commission to design the park to the architect Charles Voysey hence the name ‘Voysey Garden...
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JANUARY
23
2015

 

Flitcroft
Flitcroft was a 50 acre estate at Fortune Green and West End, named after its owner in the 18th century. At the core of Flitcroft was 28 acres of land left by Rachel Farby in 1626 to a certain William Clark. In 1756, it was bought by an agent for the architect Henry Flitcroft (or Fleetcroft).

Flitcroft farmhouse lay just north of West End Green but the estate was effectively managed by Flitcroft from his house at Frognal Grove, Hampstead.

By 1866, the estate has passed to Mary Ann Porter. The 20 acres north of Fortune Green was sold to the parish for a cemetery in 1874.

The rest of the estate was given over to the builders in the 1880s. Although the name Parsifal Road was approved in 1883, no houses went up there until the 1890s but Hackney or New College, a brick building with majolica dressings designed by W. P. Manning, was built at the eastern end in 1887.

The National Standard Land Mortgage and Investment Co. constructed Ingham and Burrard roads between Fortune Green Road and Finchley Road in 1885 and 64 small terraced hou...
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JANUARY
22
2015

 

Abchurch Lane, EC4N
Abchurch Lane was first mentioned as Abbechurche Lane in 1291. The name is perhaps a corruption of Upchurch as the church is on slightly rising ground.

In the early 17th century the lane was renowned for the cakes referred to in John Websters Northward Hoe (1607) and sold by Mother Wells who had her shop here.

In the later part of the century and in the early 18th century it was even better known for the French eating house Pontacks whose exact site is uncertain. This was patronized by Evelyn. Wren and Swift.

The new King William Street which was built in the 1830s cut the lane in two.

In 1855 excavations for a sewer revealed an 11-metre length of Roman ragstone wall, probably running northwards up the middle of the lane from its junction with Nicholas Passage.
»read full article


JANUARY
21
2015

 

The Railway
The Railway pub is a standard Victorian pub with a musical secret. Returned to the original name of The Railway after a change to the Rat & Parrot for a few years it is located on the corner of Broadhurst Gardens and West End Lane.

In the legendary Klooks Kleek venue above the pub, Jimi Hendrix jammed on stage, Stevie Wonder played to packed crowds, Tom Jones drank and Eric Clapton had his guitar stolen there. The club was a key component of the capital's early 1960s - the Rolling Stones played and supergroup Cream recorded its first live album there.

Klooks was an old Victorian drawing room, some 20 metres square and unlike other venues had no stage at all.

In the 1970s, the club was renamed The Moonlight and U2 played their first gig outside Ireland there.

The venue is no longer used for music.
»read full article


JANUARY
20
2015

 

Fortune Green
Fortune Green lies to the north of the ancient village of West End. The first recorded mention of the green itself came in 1646 as a small area of manorial 'waste' where local residents had the right to graze animals, dig turf and play sports.

In 1820 about a third of the land in the north east corner was enclosed. Nine cottages were built for labourors and laundresses, who were allowed to keep drying poles on the Green for fourpence a year. At the southern tip of the Green is a fountain erected by the Cattle Trough and Drinking Fountain Association. Even as late as 1870 the Green was still surrounded by open fields; however, the expansion of London was beginning to encroach. By the 1880s a local residential building boom was underway after the opening of West Hampstead's underground station (1879) and overground station (1888).

In 1891 the Green was put up for sale for development. But local residents formed the Fortune Green Preservation Society to prevent it being sold, and to maintain the residents' rights of recre...
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JANUARY
19
2015

 

Pickering Place, SW1Y
Thought to be the smallest public open space in London, Pickering Place is perhaps most famous for being the location of the last public duel in England. The courtyard still contains original gaslights and has an unspoilt Georgian feel. In the 18th century this square was notorious for its gambling dens, bear baiting and duels. Rumour has it that Beau Brummel, close friend to King George IV, once fought here.

Berry Brothers and Rudd, located here, is thought to be Britain’s oldest wine and spirit merchant, having traded from the same shop for over 300 years. Berry’s was established in 1698 by the Widow Bourne, whose son-in-law, James Pickering built Picking Court as it was then known in 1731.

Pickering Place was the final location for the embassy of the Republic of Texas. The Republic of Texas then covered modern-day Texas as well as parts of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming and existed from 1836 to 1846 when it was annexed by the United States.

Other residents have been the author Graham Greene who kept a set of rooms overlooking the courtyard and Lord Palmerston who ...
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JANUARY
18
2015

 

Two streams meet
Somewhere beneath the basement of 16 Frognal, NW3 two tributaries of the River Westbourne meet. The road called 'Frognal' follows the route of one of main branches of the River Westbourne - this branch being called the 'Kilbourne'.

Downstream it will flow through Kilburn, Bayswater and Knightsbridge - giving each of those places, indirectly, their names.

But up here in the hills of Hampstead, the infant river flows beneath modern residents of 19th century houses.

Below the house with the address of 16 Frognal, the lay the junction where the main Kilbourne stream, flowing downhill beside Frognal, met a smaller tributary which began in a boggy area beneath the future Netherhall Gardens.

This can be seen on the 1870 map where the marker shows the spot.

Further along its course, the Kilbourne will meet the Cannon Stream flowing down from Whitestone Pond and, combined, form the Westbourne.
»read full article


JANUARY
17
2015

 

Cock and Hoop
The Cock and Hoop Inn was standing on the corner of West End Lane and Fortune Green Road by 1723. Before the 1880s, this area was known as West End. The census shows a gradual population increase in West End from 212 residents in 1801 to 563 people in 1871.

Not much had changed in the intervening years. The few mansions were still occupied by wealthy tenants. Meanwhile workers’ cottages and tenements clustered round the Green with the local farmhouse, the Old Black Lion beerhouse (established 1751) and Cock & Hoop pub nearby. The three drinking establishments were still only serving to a total population of just over 500 in the 1870s.

In 1896 the authorities closed the Cock and Hoop when it was discovered that the named licensee, Mr Robinson, had been dead for four years.

The Cock and Hoop was pulled down and Alexandra Mansions built on its site in 1902.
»read full article


JANUARY
16
2015

 

Orange Street, WC1R
Orange Street disappeared from the map to be replaced by St Martin’s College of Art (now Central Saint Martins). It was in the south-east of Bloomsbury, originally leading diagonally from Red Lion Square to Vernon Place across Kingsgate Street The actor and author Francis Waldron died at his home here in 1818.

At 9 Orange Street (later renumbered 20 Orange Street) was a pub called The Three Kings. By 1900, a fire station had appeared on the Theobalds Road junction.

The creation of Kingsway in 1905 did for one half of Orange Street as Kingsgate Street disappeared under new buildings.

Andrew Johnstone’s London Commercial Guide, and Street Directory (Barnard & Farleg, 1818) lists Orange Street in its heydey:

ORANGE STREET—BLOOMSBURY
Length 110 yards —No. of Houses 10.
1 Deacon, Benj. Past. cook & confect.
2 M‘Crery, J. Carriage lamp manufactory
3 Ryley, Rowland, Fishmongers & sales.
4 George, Wm. Boot and shoe maker
5 Edwards, David, Writing desk maker
6 Denne, John, Watch & clock ma...
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JANUARY
15
2015

 

The Black Lion
The Old Black Lion was established in 1751 as a beer house. The village of West End had a beerhouse, the Old Black Lion, and surprisingly for such a small village, two pubs, The Black Horse established in 1751 and the Cock and Hoop.

Beerhouses differed from taverns in that they could on;y serve beer to their patrons.

The Black Lion was rebuilt in 1912 and outstayed both nearby rivals. The Black Horse fell out of the running in the 1860s with the Cock & Hoop closing in 1896.

As West Hampstead built up, newer rivals took their place. The Black Lion remains though.


»read full article


JANUARY
14
2015

 

Canterbury House
In the last half of the nineteenth century, a white house called Canterbury was built on the then southern fringes of West End. Two white Italianate houses were built in the 1860s by the Greenwood brothers, contractors working on the Midland Railway: Sandwell House near Lauriston Lodge and Canterbury House opposite, on Jacksfield.

House building began in the last years of the 1890s on the adjacent Treherne and Canterbury estates, both having been sold. Two large blocks of flats were subsequently built. Canterbury Mansions was built on the site of Canterbury House.
»read full article


JANUARY
13
2015

 

Decca Studios
Decca Studios was a recording facility in Broadhurst Gardens. The Beatles failed their audition with Decca Records here on 1 January 1962, and subsequently signed with Parlophone.

The site being the Town Hall originally, the building in Broadhurst Gardens London NW6 started off as The Falcon Works, an engineering company and was converted to a recording studios in 1933 for Crystalate Records. In 1937 the company was bought out by Decca and Broadhurst Gardens became the company's third and final home base. The building housed three main studios.

Many popular songs and albums were recorded at Decca Studios (for example, John Mayall's 1968 Blues from Laurel Canyon and five albums by the Moody Blues). Britain's leading Big Band, Ted Heath (bandleader) and his Orchestra recorded a succession of outstanding big band jazz records at Broadhurst Gardens for Decca during the band's peak years from 1945 until Heath's death in 1969. David Bowie recorded his first single, Liza Jane, at the studio in 1964. The studios al...
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JANUARY
12
2015

 

Fortune Green
Fortune Green was originally part of the district of Hampstead but became physically separated from it by the building of the new turnpike road (now Finchley Road) in the 1830s. The name of Fortune Green is derived from foran-tune meaning in front of the tun, probably an inn in the area.

Originally Fortune Green was a patch of manorial waste, now in the north of the ward, where local residents had the right to graze animals, dig turf and play sports. The Green dwindled considerably in the 19th century when the lord of the manor granted enclosure rights for about a third of the area.

Lying on the south-west side of the Finchley Road, Hampstead town council decided to build its overflow cemetery here in the 1840s.

The arrival of the Midland Railway in 1871 brought rapid development and many large houses were demolished in favour of higher density buildings. Victorian residential buildings display considerable variety in their design and detail and there are a number of large distinctive red brick mansion blocks, most of which have remained unaltered.
»read full article


JANUARY
11
2015

 

Oaklands Hall
On the west side of West End Lane, Charles Spain bought 5 acres and between 1829 and 1838 built York Villa. Oaklands Hall was possibly built due to a sale of land behind York Villa in 1860:

To be sold, pursuant to a Decree of the High Court of Chancery, made in causes of Lance v. Aglionby, and Lance v. Elyard, with the approbation of the Master of the Rolls, by Messrs. Farebrother, Clark, and Lye, at Garraway's Coffee-house, Change-alley, Cornhill, on Tuesday, the 7th day of August, 1860, at twelve o'clock at noon : A. valuable freehold iuclosure of building land, situate in West-end-lane, Hampstead, about midway between the Edgware and Finchley Roads, sloping down from Westend-lane, to which it has a frontage of above 800 feet, and extending back for a depth of about 1056 feet to the rear of Royston Hall, Royston Lodge, and other residences and grounds in the Edgware-road and abutting on the grounds of York Villa and West End House, the whole containing 17A. SB. OF. The Hampstead and City Junction Railway passes close to the property.

London Gazette
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JANUARY
10
2015

 

West End Green
West End Green is situated on a corner of West End Lane, formerly the location of West End Fair. The daily routine of life in the village of West End was disrupted every summer by hundreds of Londoners who came for the amusements on offer at West End Fair. This three-day event started in a small way with toy and gingerbread sellers, but it spread from the Green into fields nearby, attracting many professional showmen. In 1819 a riot occurred, when a mob of about 200 rampaged through the Fair, robbing and beating anyone they met. Ten people were brought to trial: three young men were hanged and the others were deported to Botany Bay. Little trouble was reported the following year but 1820 proved to be the last time the Fair was held.

When house building started to take up all the available land in the area, the area nearly lost its Green in 1875 when it was granted to John Culverhouse by the Lord of the Manor. Intending to sell the land for building, he had a hoarding set up around it but the local people pulled this down. The situation remained until 1882 when a Mr...
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JANUARY
9
2015

 

Hampstead tunnel
Hampstead Tunnel, 1166 yards long, was built as part of the Hampstead Junction Railway, and opened on 2 January 1860. The Hampstead Junction Railway (HJR) "was intended principally to enable local passenger traffic on the North London railway to extend west to Kew and Richmond without the need to pass through Camden station and Primrose Hill Tunnel, where enormous traffic on the London and North Western's main line presented a serious obstacle to the running of local passenger trains at frequent intervals".

Congestion near Camden Town led to the promotion of the HJ.R which opened a northerly bypass through Gospel Oak and the central part of Hampstead to rejoin the main line at Willesden. Stations were opened in 1860 at Hampstead Heath and Finchley Road (from 1880 Finchley Road & Frognal). The line was tunnelled between Hampstead Heath and Finchley Road, burrowing under the hill of Hampstead, the highest point in the London area north of the Thames.

Gradients on the line rise from each end to a high point in Hampstead Tunnel. The steep rise in and out of Hampstead by roa...
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JANUARY
8
2015

 

Piecemeal building
The infant River Westbourne crossed, what in 1900, was still a boggy field. After the First World War, builders got themselves organised in suburban London. The Metropolitan Railway had bought vast swathes of adjacent land to its tracks and sold them on the developers to build “Metroland” estates. This pattern held sway throughout London, north and south.

Whether Kenton or Kenley, 1920s and 1930s housing looks very similar - homogeneous estates in a then-fashionable style which were well provided with bathrooms and other features inside and the areas designed with “all mod cons” too – shops, schools and parks.

The scale of suburban growth was staggering – the countryside started at Gospel Oak and White City before the First World War. Before the Second World War, just 25 years later, the new housing reached as far as Edgware and Hounslow.

It was not always this way. Before 1914, London was built one street at a time. Builders would not buy a whole farm but just a field – maybe two fields but maybe pa...
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JANUARY
7
2015

 

Ripley House
Jeremy Jepson Ripley built a house and coach house after 1814, with a large garden north of Lauriston Lodge. The Ripley estate was originally part of the Gilberts Estate, with its house at West End Lane still occupied in 1874 by Thomas Ripley.

It disappears from maps in the 1880s.
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JANUARY
6
2015

 

Coventry Street, W1D
Coventry Street is a short street connecting Piccadilly Circus to Leicester Square. On the London Monopoly board, it was named after the politician Henry Coventry, secretary of state to Charles II. There is historical evidence of a road linking Haymarket with Wardour Street in 1585, roughly in the present location of Coventry Street. This pre-dated Leicester Square, and ran as far as St. Martin’s Field, stopping short of St. Martin’s Lane.

Coventry Street was constructed in 1681 as a thoroughfare between the two places. Henry Coventry had previously built a house in this location, and renamed it Coventry House in 1670. The house was described as "a capital messuage with divers outhouses, Gardens, Yards. … capable of being greatly improved." Coventry died in 1686 and the house was demolished four years later, to be replaced by a group of smaller houses. The land to the north of the street was partly owned by Colonel Thomas Panton, and partly by the Earl of St Albans. John Ogilby’s 1681 map of London shows Coventry Street built up on both sides.

The street had been designed for commercial and entertainment purposes, rather than a place of resi...
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JANUARY
4
2015

 

Hampstead Cricket Club
Hampstead Cricket Club moved to its Lymington Road site in 1877. Cricket had been played in Hampstead for a long time before this ground was leased from the lord of the manor. A pavilion was built in 1879 and was replaced by a large clubhouse after the freehold had been bought in 1924. Hampstead Cricket Club limited its numbers to 200 full and 50 lawn tennis members in 1880.

It was considered the most important of the local recreative clubs by 1890, having already witnessed the highest score yet made, and in 1949 was claimed to have produced more fine players than any other noncounty club in England.
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JANUARY
3
2015

 

West End House
West End House, once in open countryside, became surrounded by railways. In 1655 William Hitchcock, merchant tailor, sold a new house, described in 1687 as a mansion house on the west side of West End Lane, to William Bennett, another London merchant. Bennett's house was probably also known as the "White House", which passed to Norwich Salisbury by 1692 and to Richard Limbrey in 1743.

To the north of it another house was held by three generations of Wachters, London merchants, possibly Jews, from 1649 to 1686.

The White House had by 1774 been replaced by West End House, which, as a result of the straightening of West End Lane, stood back from the road. The property, with other West End estates, passed in 1796 to Maria Beckford, whose family, which included William Beckford (1709-70), Lord Mayor of London, had occupied a house nearby since 1762 or earlier. The house was occupied by Miss Beckford from 1807 to 1810, by the marchioness of Headfort from 1815 to 1825, and by the Hon. Henry Frederick Compton Cavendish in 1842.
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JANUARY
2
2015

 

Mill Lane, looking east (1900s)
Mill Lane is one of the major thoroughfares of West Hampstead. Mill Lane was originally called Shoot-up-Hill Lane. The present name is derived from a mill which stood on the Edgware Road. It was burnt down in 1861, owing to the friction caused by the high velocity of the sails in a gale.

By the turn of the twentieth century, sections of Mill Lane had become filled with shops and small businesses.
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