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Featured · Greenwich ·
MAY
8
2021

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...
Greenwich
Greenwich is a town, now part of the south eastern urban sprawl of London, on the south bank of the River Thames. Greenwich is notable for its maritime history and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian (0° longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time. The town became the site of a royal palace, the Palace of Placentia from the 15th century, and was the birthplace of many Tudors, including Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The palace fell into disrepair during the English Civil War and was demolished to be replaced by the Royal Naval Hospital for Sailors, designed by Sir Christopher Wren and his assistant Nicholas Hawksmoor. These buildings became the Royal Naval College in 1873, and they remained a military education establishment until 1998 when they passed into the hands of the Greenwich Foundation. The historic rooms within these buildings remain open to the public; other buildings are used by University of Greenwich and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

The town became a popular resort in the 18th century and many grand houses were built there, such as Vanbrugh Castle es...

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APRIL
17
2021

 

West Smithfield, EC1A
West Smithfield is the oldest street of the Smithfield area Smithfield and its market was founded in 1137. The ancient parish of St Sepulchre extended north to Turnmill Street, to St Paul’s Cathedral and Ludgate Hill in the south, and along the east bank of the Fleet (now the route of Farringdon Street). St Sepulchre’s Tower contains the twelve ’bells of Old Bailey’, referred to in the nursery rhyme "Oranges and Lemons". Traditionally, the Great Bell was rung to announce the execution of a prisoner at Newgate.

A livestock market was in the area as early as the 10th century.

As a large open space close to the City, Smithfield was a popular place for public gatherings. In 1374 Edward III held a seven-day tournament at Smithfield. Possibly the most famous medieval tournament at Smithfield was that commanded in 1390 by Richard II.

The Priory of St Bartholomew had long treated the sick. After the Reformation it was left with neither income nor monastic occupants but, following a petition by the C...
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APRIL
16
2021

 

Old Ford Road, E3
Old Ford Road stretches two and a quarter miles from Bethnal Green to Bow Old Ford Road represents two separate ways from different points to the sometime passage across the Lee, one being from the west, the other from the south, which in meeting converged with a third from the north which is known now as Wick Lane, the communication with Hackney.

In ancient times the estuary of the river Lee extended as far as Hackney Wick, and during the period when the Romans were in Britain the marshes which lay above it and on either side were crossed in the direction of Leyton by a stone causeway of which portions have been found, but of any contemporary road leading to it no traces have been discovered, although Roman remains were unearthed in 1868 in the coal and goods yard attached to Old Ford Station. The probability is that there was no military highway of massive construction such as those found elsewhere, but a track formed by use which led through woods and over the open fields to the first fordable place on the river Lee or Lea, a name derived ...
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APRIL
15
2021

 

Crossharbour
Crossharbour is a station on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) Bank-Lewisham Line in Cubitt Town The station opened as ’Crossharbour’ on 31 August 1987 but was renamed in 1994 to ’Crossharbour and London Arena’. After the neighbouring London Arena was demolished in 2006, the original name was reinstated. Just to the north of the current station, the London and Blackwall Railway built Millwall Docks station. This operated between 1871 and 1926.

The ’cross harbour’ name refers to the nearby Glengall Bridge across Millwall Inner Dock. The bridge’s construction was a neccessity for the developers to obtain planning approval for the dock when it was built in 1868.

In 1969 Tower Hamlets council completed the St John’s estate on the Cubitt Town side of the station. The project was begun 17 years earlier by Poplar Borough Council.
»read full article


APRIL
14
2021

 

Narrow Street, E14
Narrow Street is a road running parallel to the River Thames through the Limehouse area Many archaeologists believe that Narrow Street represents the line of the medieval river wall. This wall was built to reclaim riverside marshland and to protect it from the tides.

A combination of tides and currents made this point on the Thames a natural landfall for ships. The first wharf was complete in 1348. Lime kilns or oasts (’lymehostes’) used in the production of mortar and pottery were built here in the fourteenth century.

Houses were then built, on the wall itself at first, but then outwards onto the foreshore by a process of encroachment. Indeed, the eastern end of Narrow Street was previously known as Fore Street.

The area grew rapidly in Elizabethan times as a centre for world trade. The neighbourhood supplied ships with ropes and other necessities; pottery was also made here for the ships. Ship chandlers settled here building wooden houses and wharves in the cramped space between street and river.

By the t...
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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT


Comment
Carol   
Added: 7 May 2021 18:44 GMT   

Nan
My nan lily,her sister Elizabeth and their parents Elizabeth and William lived here in1911

Reply

   
Added: 4 May 2021 19:45 GMT   

V1 Attack
The site of a V1 incident in 1944

Reply
Comment
David Gibbs   
Added: 3 May 2021 16:48 GMT   

73 Bus Crash in Albion Rd 1961
From a Newspaper cutting of which I have a copy with photo. On Tuesday August 15th 1961 a 73 bus destined for Mortlake at 8.10am. The bus had just turned into Albion Road when the driver passed out, apparently due to a heart attack, and crashed into a wall on the western side of Albion Road outside No 207. The bus driver, George Jefferies aged 56 of Observatory Road, East Sheen, died after being trapped in his cab when he collided with a parked car. Passengers on the bus were thrown from their seats as it swerved. Several fainted, and ambulances were called. The bus crashed into a front garden and became jammed against a wall. The car driver, who had just parked, suffered shock.

Reply

Richard Eades   
Added: 3 May 2021 11:42 GMT   

Downsell Primary School (1955 - 1958)
I was a pupil at Downsell road from I think 1955 age 7 until I left in 1958 age 10 having passed my "11plus" and won a scholarship to Parmiters school in bethnal green. I remember my class teacher was miss Lynn and the deputy head was mrs Kirby.
At the time we had an annual sports day for the whole school in july at drapers field, and trolley buses ran along the high street and there was a turning point for them just above the junction with downsell road.
I used to go swimming at cathall road baths, and also at the bakers arms baths where we had our school swimming galas. I nm y last year, my class was taken on a trip to the tower of london just before the end of term. I would love to hear from any pupils who remember me.

Reply
Lived here
   
Added: 1 May 2021 16:46 GMT   

Cheyne Place, SW3
Frances Faviell, author of the Blitz memoir, "A Chelsea Concerto", lived at 33, Cheyne Place, which was destroyed by a bomb. She survived, with her husband and unborn baby.

Reply

James Preston   
Added: 28 Apr 2021 09:06 GMT   

School
Was this the location of Rosslyn House prep school? I have a photograph of the Rosslyn House cricket team dated 1910 which features my grandfather (Alan Westbury Preston). He would have been 12 years old at the time. All the boys on the photo have been named. If this is the location of the school then it appears that the date of demolition is incorrect.

Reply
Comment
Tricia   
Added: 27 Apr 2021 12:05 GMT   

St George in the East Church
This Church was opened in 1729, designed by Hawksmore. Inside destroyed by incendrie bomb 16th April 1941. Rebuilt inside and finished in 1964. The building remained open most of the time in a temporary prefab.

Reply
Comment
   
Added: 21 Apr 2021 16:21 GMT   

Liverpool Street
the Bishopsgate station has existed since 1840 as a passenger station, but does not appear in the site’s cartography. Evidently, the 1860 map is in fact much earlier than that date.

Reply
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...
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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...
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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...
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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
18
2015

 

Wedlake Street, W10
Wedlake Street arrived as the second wave of building in Kensal Town was completed. Although a small street, Wedlake Street led first to a ferry which cost a halfpenny to cross the canal, and later to steps over the canal to the Harrow Road.

A night market was held on Saturdays on the site of Wedlake Street - it was notorious for rowdy scenes until an iron chapel was built on the site.

Wedlake Street baths was constructed in the street.
»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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