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Featured · Queen’s Park ·
FEBRUARY
8
2023

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.

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

Latest on The Underground Map...
Northumberland Avenue, WC2N
Northumberland Avenue runs from Trafalgar Square in the west to the Thames Embankment in the east. In 1608–09, Henry Howard, 1st Earl of Northampton built a house on the eastern side of the former Chapel and Hospital of St. Mary Rounceval, at Charing Cross, including gardens running to the River Thames and adjoining Scotland Yard to the west. The estate became the property of Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland when he married Howard’s great-great niece, Lady Elizabeth, in 1642, whereupon it was known as Northumberland House.

In June 1874, the whole of Northumberland House was purchased by the Metropolitan Board of Works and demolished to form Northumberland Avenue, which would accommodate hotels. The road was part built on the parallel Northumberland Street.

Contemporary planning permissions forbade hotels to be taller than the width of the road they were on; consequently Northumberland Avenue was built with a wide carriageway. Part of the parallel Northumberland Street was demolished in order to make way for the avenue’s eastern...

»more

AUGUST
22
2022

 

Lover’s Walk, SE21
The walkway between Gallery Road and College Road has had many names There was a medieval field system between the two roads. In 1989, the Museum of London carried out an exploratory dig here to verify this. Amongt the fields, a path became known as Lovers Lane or Pensioners’ Walk.

In 1768 the right of way received an official name - The Grove. Grove Field lay on its south side.

Lover’s Walk had become its informal name by 1876 - in May that year, a news report recorded an incident here. In 2012, the Dulwich Estate agreed to calls for Lover’s Walk to be the formal name.

For cyclists it has yet another name - it is part of the Traylen Trail.


»read full article


AUGUST
21
2022

 

Vernon Yard, W11
Vernon Yard is a mews off of Portobello Road The name Portobello Road derived from the 1739 capture of Puerto Bello in Central America from the Spaniards by Admiral Vernon (1684-1757) with only six ships.

Vernon Yard is similarly named - it was known as Vernon Mews until 1932. It is a small L-shaped mews with its entrance under an archway between 117 and 119 Portobello Road. The terrace of houses in Portobello Road that backs onto the mews was originally called Vernon Terrace, and the mews served these houses.

Vernon Yard would have been built at the same time as Vernon Terrace, in the first half of the 1850s. The 1863 Ordnance Survey map shows two numbered units (Nos. 1 and 2) at the southern end of Vernon Yard; a further eight units (Nos. 3-10) along the western side) and one (No. 11) at the northern end. These were almost certainly stable blocks with accommodation above. On the eastern side, the map shows a number of unnumbered units which were probably warehouses or stabling belonging to the ad...
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AUGUST
20
2022

 

Rainham Road, NW10
Rainham Road, in Kensal Green, was laid out in 1895 The United Land Company bought a 6 acre triangle of land between Harrow Road and the Hampstead Junction railway in 1879, and an adjoining 21 acres from All Souls College in 1882. The whole area was laid out as high-density terraced housing and shops as far east as College Road.

The college leased 13 acres south of the L&NWR railway line to Edward Vigers, who by 1888 had laid out roads and started building 134 small terraced houses.

Rainham Road was let on building leases in 1895 and 30 houses had been built there by 1898.
»read full article


AUGUST
19
2022

 

Eton Avenue, NW3
Eton Avenue runs parallel with Adelaide Road, two blocks north From 1873 onward, William Willett and his son worked together as the chief building team in the area. In the early 1880s, they accepted the challenge of the Eton College estate by constructing Eton Avenue and surrounding roads.

The Willetts then moved on to both Lyndhurst Gardens and Wedderburn Road.

The houses set a precedent for aesthetic architecture in the speculative market. Drawing inspiration from English Queen Anne designs of the late 17th century, they were built with red brick, steep pitched roofs and tall chimneys. Dormers, gables, ornamental glass and ornamentation were other features that set them apart. Every single house was distinct.
»read full article





LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT


Scott Hatton   
Added: 30 Jan 2023 11:28 GMT   

The Beatles on a London rooftop
The Beatles’ rooftop concert took place on the rooftop of the Apple Corps building in London. It was their final public performance as a band and was unannounced, attracting a crowd of onlookers. The concert lasted for 42 minutes and included nine songs. The concert is remembered as a seminal moment in the history of rock music and remains one of the most famous rock performances of all time.

Reply

Michael Upham   
Added: 16 Jan 2023 21:16 GMT   

Bala Place, SE16
My grandfather was born at 2 Bala Place.

Reply

   
Added: 15 Jan 2023 09:49 GMT   

The Bombing of Nant Street WW2
My uncle with his young son and baby daughter were killed in the bombing of Nant Street in WW2. His wife had gone to be with her mother whilst the bombing of the area was taking place, and so survived. Cannot imagine how she felt when she returned to see her home flattened and to be told of the death of her husband and children.


Reply
Lived here
Brian J MacIntyre   
Added: 8 Jan 2023 17:27 GMT   

Malcolm Davey at Raleigh House, Dolphin Square
My former partner, actor Malcolm Davey, lived at Raleigh House, Dolphin Square, for many years until his death. He was a wonderful human being and an even better friend. A somewhat underrated actor, but loved by many, including myself. I miss you terribly, Malcolm. Here’s to you and to History, our favourite subject.
Love Always - Brian J MacIntyre
Minnesota, USA

Reply
Lived here
Robert Burns   
Added: 5 Jan 2023 17:46 GMT   

1 Abourne Street
My mother, and my Aunt and my Aunt’s family lived at number 1 Abourne Street.
I remember visitingn my aunt Win Housego, and the Housego family there. If I remember correctly virtually opposite number 1, onthe corner was the Lord Amberley pub.

Reply
Comment
   
Added: 30 Dec 2022 21:41 GMT   

Southam Street, W10
do any one remember J&A DEMOLITON at harrow rd kensal green my dad work for them in a aec 6 wheel tipper got a photo of him in it

Reply
Comment
Fumblina   
Added: 26 Dec 2022 18:59 GMT   

Detailed history of Red Lion
I’m not the author but this blog by Dick Weindling and Marianne Colloms has loads of really clear information about the history of the Red Lion which people might appreciate.


Source: ‘Professor Morris’ and the Red Lion, Kilburn

Reply

BG   
Added: 20 Dec 2022 02:58 GMT   

Lancing Street, NW1
LANCING STREET

Reply


Click here to explore another London street
We now have 549 completed street histories and 46951 partial histories
Find streets or residential blocks within the M25 by clicking STREETS

APRIL
30
2015

 

Rillington Place, W11
Rillington Place is a small street with an infamous history. The macabre story of the post-war Rillington Place murders by John Christie are all over the internet. A film with Richard Attenborough in the leading role was made in 1970.

But, first built in 1869, the street spent nigh on one hundred years out of the limelight. A small cul-de-sac of tightly-packed houses with a factory at the end of it.

In recent years, you wouldn’t have found it on a modern printed map. The whole area was redeveloped in the 1970s and new streets laid on top of the old pattern.

Before the 1850s, two farmhouses stood alone in the fields, the only two buildings in what was to become North Kensington. One was called Portobello Farm and the other, Notting Barns Farm . Notting Barns Farm was largely given over to pasture and it stood where the modern St Mark’s Road and Basset Road meet.

During the 1860s, the Hammersmith and City Railway constructed a line between Paddington and Kensington. It split the fiel...
»more


APRIL
28
2015

 

Westbourne Farm
Westbourne Farm - an old farm with a theatrical connection. Westbourne Green was still considered a beautiful rural place in 1820. One of the buildings along the east side of the Harrow Road was Westbourne (or Westbury) Farm home of a Mr John White by 1801. The farmhouse was some 84 yards south of the canal but its lands, south of the Harrow Road, extended to the site of the future Kensal Town in the west and Paddington in the east

Once the Grand Junction Canal was dug in 1801, White, an architect, built Bridge House on the far bank of the canal in 1805.

Westbourne Farm became the home of the actress Sarah Siddons between April 1805 to Autumn 1817 and lived there with her daughter. Her brother Charles Kemble lived in a smaller house nearby for part of the time. Mrs Siddons was buried at St Mary’s Church, the main church of Paddington, on Paddington Green, where her grave can still be seen.

By 1861, Westbourne Farm had made way for Clarendon, Woodchester, and Cirencester streets.
»read full article


APRIL
27
2015

 

St Quintin Park & Wormwood Scrubbs
St Quintin Park & Wormwood Scrubbs - two spellings missing from the modern map. Opening in 1864, the West London Joint Railway was an immediate success, attracting many passengers since it connected London, Kengington, Richmond and Acton.

Because of this, a station was opened as Wormwood Scrubbs (with a double B in 'Scrubbs') on 1 August 1871. The station was built on an embankment, entirely of timber to avoid excessive weight, with the platform supported on brick pillars. It was renamed St Quintin Park & Wormwood Scrubbs on 1 August 1892 and was resited to the north side of North Pole Road on 1 November 1893.

All the station buildings were located on the platforms with a booking office on each platform with long access ramps from North Pole Road. Both platforms had a canopy. North Pole Junction signalbox was located on the east side of the line at the north end of the station.

Despite the early heavy passenger numbers use of the line dwindled with the construction of the deep-level underground network an...
»more


APRIL
26
2015

 

Desborough Lodge
Desborough Lodge was a house which was one of five grand houses in the village of Westbourne Green. A short terrace had been built between the house and Harrow Road.

By 1861 Desborough Lodge and neighbouring Westbourne Farm had made way for Clarendon Street, Woodchester Street and Cirencester Street.
»read full article


APRIL
25
2015

 

Western Arms
The Western Arms was a pub situated on the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Kensal Road. To locals, it was generally known as the "Souse" after the landlady Mrs South who took over around 1943.

It originally had a public bar, saloon bar and a smokers’ bar around the corner in an alleyway (which also led to the gents’ toilets). The smokers bar also had a nickname: "The Iron Lung".

Before changes in local licensing laws after the Second World War, it was notable in the past for being the last pub in Kensington where pubs shut at 10.30pm during the week. North of here, the Harrow Road area lay in the Borough of Paddington, whose pubs shut at 11pm, causing a sudden exodus of customers from the ’Western’.

The nearby gas works supplied gas to the local area by means of an underground pipe system. One of the main pipes ran just adjacent to the beer cellar of the Western and cooled the beer stored there. The pub was formerly reknowned, because of this, for the quality of its ale (probably due to the cooling effect of this gas p...
»more


APRIL
24
2015

 

St Charles Square ready for redevelopment (1951)
Photographed in 1951, the corner of St Charles Square and Ladbroke Grove looking northwest just after the Second World War. The view is of allotments and prefabs taking the place of the houses and shops which stood here before the war.

The following year, a new development would again completely alter the scene.
»read full article


APRIL
23
2015

 

Ladbroke Grove looking north (1900)
This early 1900s image was taken just south of the junction of Ladbroke Grove and Treverton Street. Looking north, the "Cowshed pub" can be seen on the left, further ahead.
»read full article


APRIL
20
2015

 

Sixth Avenue, EN1
Sixth Avenue began life in 1883 with plans for forty-one cottages. It disappeared in 1974 when a new housing estate was built over the top of it.
»read full article


APRIL
19
2015

 

Franco-British Exhibition
In 1908, the Franco-British Exhibition was constructed over a 140-acre site at White City in London. The ’flip-flap’ and the Elite Garden can be seen here with a bandstand in the foreground.
»read full article


APRIL
15
2015

 

Jack of Newbury
The Jack of Newbury stood at the corner of East Row and Kensal Road until it was bombed on 2 October 1940. The licencees at the time of the bombing were Mr & Mrs William Bond who were killed in the raid.
»read full article


APRIL
14
2015

 

Thorplands
Thorplands was an estate south of Mill Lane. There was a house on the estate possibly by 1244. Then called Rudyng, Thorplands had been leased to William Wylde in 1534 and was part of the lands granted to Warwick in 1547.

Thorplands was after that owned by John Thorpe of St Martins in the Fields, Surveyor General to Queen Elizabeth I. His home village was Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire. He lived for most of his adult life in the parish of St Martin’s in the Fields, and died in February 1654/5 in Covent Garden. He was buried at St Paul’s, Covent Garden on 14 Feb 1654/5. He did not leave a will, or if he did it has not survived.

His son went for most of his life by the name of John Greene alias Thorpe, which probably indicates illegitimacy and has thrown researchers off his scent. He was almost certainly the eldest of the family, probably born to Rebecca Greene, first wife of John senior, before their marriage. He clearly inherited property that had been his father’s, so he must hav...
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APRIL
10
2015

 

Museum of London Docklands
The Museum of London Docklands, based in an 1802 warehouse, tells the history of London’s River Thames and the growth of the Docklands. The museum is part of the Museum of London and opened in 2003 in early-19th century Georgian "low" sugar warehouses.
»read full article


APRIL
9
2015

 

190 Bishopsgate
A 1912 view of the City. The City of London has always been dedicated to commerce. Buildings come and go; fashions change and the economic cycle governs us all.

Look at the image and you’ll be presented with a variety of businesses which would fail in the modern world - artificial teeth, a company which only trades with South Africa. But the wheel of industry turns and some of today’s occupants of the same address will come and go like their predecessors.
»read full article


APRIL
8
2015

 

Albert Court, SW7
Albert Court, a residential block for the "upper classes", was constructed in 1890. The mansion block Albert Court was originally conceived by the freeholders, the 1851 Commissioners, as the first stage of a larger private development involving the erection of four blocks of flats on either side of Prince Consort Road, flanking the Royal Albert Hall to the north and the Royal College of Music to the south.

Building began on Albert Court in 1890 to the designs of Frederick Hemings but, following the collapse of developer George Newman’s backers, the liberator Building Society, in 1892 and the death of Hemings in 1894, the building had only reached 3rd floor level; Albert Court was leased for completion to the Albert Court Syndicate and finished to R.J. Worley’s designs between 1896 and 1900.
»read full article


APRIL
8
2015

 

Finchley Road
Finchley Road is on the Jubilee line, between West Hampstead and Swiss Cottage and on the Metropolitan line between Baker Street and Wembley Park. Just five years after opening, the Metropolitan Railway intended to open a line from Baker Street to the London and North Western Railway station at Finchley Road & Frognal. Instead, in April 1868, a single-track railway opened between Swiss Cottage in a tunnel to new platforms it had built at Baker Street. The new line had intermediate stations at St John’s Wood Road and Marlborough Road. A train service was run every 20 minutes.

However, by the early 1870s, passenger numbers were disappointing and a solution was to extend the line northwards to generate new traffic. Edward Watkin, in charge of the ’Met’ proposed that the cost of construction would be lower than in built-up areas and traffic could also be fed into the main railway. In 1873, the company was given authority to extend to Neasden, a remote settlement in the Middlesex countryside at Neasden. With the nearest larger place to Neasden being Harrow it was decided to build the line over three miles further...
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APRIL
7
2015

 

Wood Lane, W12
Wood Lane runs from Shepherd’s Bush to Wormwood Scrubs and lies wholly in London W12. In the 1780s, the road was known as Turvens Lane after Turvens House located a short distance north of Shepherd’s Bush Green. By the 1830s it had received its current name.

In the 1860s the railway arrived with a line running parallel with Wood Lane but the area was still rural in character with the buildings of Wood Lane Farm and Eynam Farm to the east of the road and a plant nursery to the west covering the land east of present day Frithville Gardens and south of the BBC Television centre.

The coming of the Twopenny Tube - the Central London Railway opening between Shepherd’s Bush and Bank in 1900 saw the first industrial development as the company’s new depot, repair shops and power station located onto a 20 acre site at Wood Lane. The depot was also served by a single track spur from the West London Railway which was used to bring coal to the power station.

In 1905 the French Chamber of Commerce proposed holding a Franco-British...
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APRIL
7
2015

 

Frognal Bridge
Where Frognal meets the Finchley Road, there is an indiscernible dip... The road called Frognal follows the course of a long-buried river, the Kilbourne. Downstream this becomes the Westbourne, one of the major "lost" rivers of London.


»read full article


APRIL
6
2015

 

River Westbourne
The easternmost branch of the River Westbourne rises just south of the centre of Hampstead, There is another branch which rises at Whitestone Pond, Hampstead Heath which flows approximately southward.

It meets this eastern branch in Kilburn - to skirt east of Hyde Park's Serpentine lake after about 3.3 miles, to Sloane Square, Chelsea after about 1 mile, passes centrally under the south side of Royal Hospital Chelsea's Ranelagh Gardens after about half a mile, then issues into the Inner London Tideway.

In common with several urbanised streams, its basin contributes to a network of storm drainage channels, with a sewer beneath its route.

The river was originally called the Kilburn (Cye Bourne – royal stream, 'Bourne' being an Anglo-Saxon word for 'river') but has been known, at different times and in different places, as Kelebourne, Kilburn, Bayswater, Bayswater River, Bayswater Rivulet, Serpentine River, The Bourne, Westburn Brook, the Ranelagh River, and the Ranelagh Sewer. It is of similar size to the Fleet.

Th...
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APRIL
5
2015

 

Jacksfield
Jacksfield was one of the smaller but well-documented copyhold estates in the West Hampstead area. It was a 'heritable copyhold' consisting of just eight acres and was first mentioned in 1387 as held by a Nicholas Fletcher.

Copyhold refers to the tenure of lands being parcel of a manor, 'at the will of the lord according to the custom of the manor', by copy of the manorial court roll.

Unlike freeholders, a copyholder could not just transfer their land to his heirs or a third party. If the copyholder died, their death would be entered in the manor court rolls. The heir(s) had to present to the manor court to seek admission as the new tenant and pay a sum of money known as a fine or relief. The admission was also noted in the court rolls.

Similarly if a copyhold tenant wished to transfer land to a third party, the surrender took place in court and was recorded with the admission of the new tenant. The new tenant was given a copy of the court roll entry to prove his title to the land - hence 'copyhold'.

Copyholders succeeding...
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APRIL
3
2015

 

Westbourne Manor
The Manor of Westbourne The monks of Westminster claimed to have been granted a small farm at Paddington in 959 and to have held 2 hides there in 1042. Although the early charters were spurious, Paddington, Knightsbridge, and Westbourne were probably part of the abbey's ancient endowment and among the 13½ hides at Westminster attributed to it in Domesday Book.

The estate known in the 19th century as the manor of Westbourne formed part of the abbey's lands in the parish. Together with all the lands in Paddington formerly devoted to the Lady chapel, they were leased for 99 years in 1542 to Sir Edward North. Thereafter the estate consisted mainly of the three fields in Westbourne, 6 acres further south in the common fields near the Uxbridge Road, and five closes west of Arnold's field, formerly of St. Mary's chapel and known by 1669 as Ashgroves. They were leased in 1631 to George Stonhouse, who in 1632 succeeded as Sir George Stonhouse, Baronet of Radley. Sir George settled the lease on his...
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APRIL
1
2015

 

Wood Lane cottages (1890)
Old cottages in Wood Lane, c. 1890. These cottages stood on a turning near the Shepherds Bush end of Wood Lane on the east side.

A drawing of the cottages appeared in the West London Sketcher, in July 1889, suggesting that they were ripe for improvement. It was about this time that a photographer was dispatched to record the scene before the inevitable demolition.
»read full article


APRIL
1
2015

 

Orchard Court
Orchard Court is an apartment block off of Portman Square in London. Known in French as Le Verger, it was used during the Second World War as the London base of F section of the Special Operations Executive (SOE). The spying industry had its professional origins during World War II - it had previously been quite an amateur affair.

As the war went on and SOE’s operational capacity grew, 64 Baker Street became its headquarters from October 1940 onwards. By 1943, various apartment blocks around the Baker Street area became an SOE hub.

In Orchard Court, SOE’s F section vetted new recruits for secret missions to France.

The F Section was commanded by Maurice Buckmaster, assisted by Vera Atkins, who are said to have been the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s ‘M’ and Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond stories. Vera Atkins was responsible for interviewing recruits, as well as organising their training and creating the cover stories for spies. Atkins has been much praised for her extraordinary work in the SOE. During her time at Orchard Court she sent 470 agents into France, including 39 women, 12 of whom were never to return.

In...
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