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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
MAY
31
2016

 

Addison Crescent, W14
Addison Crescent consists of north and south sections. Both parts run from Holland Park to Addison Road, but the south part forms the link in the red route one-way system. This part is an extremely busy traffic route. The road itself is wide and tree-lined.

The street was named after Joseph Addison who lived at Holland House. He was an essayist and poet of the late 17th Century who’s main claim to fame now is as the founder of the Spectator.

The houses are mainly detached and semi-detached villas, 2 or 3 storeys with basements. Most of the house have painted facades at ground floor level and exposed brick at upper floor levels. The houses have attractive front gardens.

Nos. 1-13 Addison Crescent were built by James Hall over a period of several years from 1857. James Hall built about 120 houses in the estate in the 1850s. He also built extensively in the Chepstow Villas and Pembridge Place area.

The plots in Addison Crescent had 60-foot wide frontages and the buildings were la...
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MAY
30
2016

 

Irving Street, WC2H
Irving Street is named after Henry Irving, the popular Victorian actor. The street was originally named Green Street, as it led to a bowling green near Leicester Square.
»read full article


MAY
29
2016

 

Westway, W10
Westway is the A40(M) motorway which runs on an elevated section along the W10/W11 border. On 28 July 1970 the Westway, A40 Western Avenue Extension flyover between White City and Paddington, at two and half miles, the longest elevated road in Europe at the time, was opened by Michael Heseltine, the parliamentary secretary to the transport minister. The opening ceremony was famously accompanied by a protest over the re-housing of the last residents alongside the road. As demonstrators disrupted the ribbon cutting, a banner was unfurled on Acklam Road, looking on to the flyover, demanding: ‘Get Us Out of this Hell. Re-house Us Now’.

When the Portobello farmhouse was painted in 1864, shortly before its demise, the only other building on the lane north of the newly opened Hammersmith and City railway line was the Notting Barn Lodge at the future junction of Cambridge Gardens. Florence Gladstone wrote in ‘Notting Hill in Bygone Days’: ‘There seems to be a natural break where the railway embankment crosses Portobello Road. At this point the old lane was ...
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MAY
27
2016

 

Hyett’s hand-drawn 1807 map
William Hyett produced an amazingly accurate map of the London countryside in 1807, using just pen and paper. An interior decorator with royal patronage, Frederick Crace amassed some 1200 printed and hand-drawn maps charting the development of the city and its immediate vicinity from around 1570 to 1860.

A couple of these maps date from 1807 as William Hyett put pen and ink to paper and draw a remarkable accurate view of the than countryside around north and west London.

The individual settlements that make up this area of London are shown by red blocks, with boundary lines indicating the fields separating them. Shading and soft interlining indicate relief, neatly illustrated at Primrose Hill, the summit of which is left bare. The barracks at the edge of Hyde Park are illustrated at the very bottom of the map.

Please note that this map is only available at this zoom level - i.e. zooming in or out changes to a different set of mapping - this is in our special mapping section. Just in case you think things are acting a little weirdly.
»read full article


MAY
22
2016

 

St Bartholomew’s Hospital
St Bartholomew’s Hospital, also known simply as Barts and later more formally as The Royal Hospital of St Bartholomew, is a hospital located at Smithfield in the City of London and founded in 1123. Barts was founded in 1123 by Rahere, a favourite courtier of King Henry I. The Dissolution of the Monasteries did not affect the running of Barts as a hospital, but left it in a precarious position by removing its income. It was refounded by King Henry VIII in December 1546, on the signing of an agreement granting the hospital to the Corporation of London, which was reaffirmed by Letters Patent of January 1547 endowing it with properties and income entitlements.

The hospital became legally styled as the "House of the Poore in West Smithfield in the suburbs of the City of London of Henry VIII’s Foundation", although the title was never used by the general public. The first Superintendent of the hospital was Thomas Vicary, sergeant-surgeon to King Henry, and an early writer on anatomy.

It was here that William Harvey conducted his research on the circulatory system in the 17th century, Percivall Pott and John Abernethy developed important principles o...
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MAY
18
2016

 

Orange Hill Road, HA8
Orange Hill Road is named after a house which was built around 1818 and which stood on Abbots Road. Orange Hill House was rebuilt in 1912 and became the home of the famous aviator Claude Grahame-White, before becoming a Roman Catholic School, St. Roses Convent (Orange Hill House), in 1930.

The land directly to the east of Orange Hill Road, including parts of Watling Park, was called Shevesfield, a series of what were called common fields.

Common fields were fields divided into strips and rented out to a number of different tenants. These fields existed from medieval times right into the 1860s, with 33 acres divided between 46 different tenants, a bit like allotments.
»read full article


MAY
14
2016

 

Alton Estate
The Alton Estate is a historically significant municipal estate situated on Roehampton’s border with Richmond Park Much of the land constituted the grounds of Parkstead, a Palladian villa built in the 1760s for Lord Bessborough and later renamed Manresa House. Parts of its grounds were developed from around 1850 as a high-class suburban estate known as Coombe Park or Roehampton Park. Alton Lodge was an early-19th-century villa on the Kingston Road, occupied by Dr Thomas Hake from around 1854 until 1872.

In 1951 the architect’s department at the London County Council selected this area as the site for one of the largest and most radical housing developments ever undertaken in London. The best villas and some of the landscaping were preserved but 130 acres were otherwise totally cleared to make way for the project.

The Scandinavian-inspired Alton East was completed in 1955 and it was followed four years later by the much larger Alton West, which was influenced by the high-rise creations of the French architect Le Corbusier. Both stages include a mix of tower blocks, m...
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MAY
11
2016

 

Allum Hall
Allum Hall was a community centre and lately a venue. Allum Hall was built as Elstree Manor House, probably with 17th century origins.

The Grade 2 listed building has records of residents living here as early as 1827 when Thomas Jemmitt lived here, over the next 100 years the house stayed as private residence where many different families called the manor house home including army captains.

In the 1940s it was decided a community centre was needed in Elstree and Borehamwood and, after many years of discussions, in July 1953 Allum Hall filled this purpose.
»read full article


MAY
9
2016

 

Shenley Road (1930s)
Shenley Road, Borehamwood in the 1930s In this 1930s view, we are looking along the line of Shenley Road when the road featured houses rather than shops.

All Saint’s church (built in 1910) is just out of shot on the right. Central Garage is likewise out of shot but outside of it is roughly where the camera is positioned.

A stench pipe can be seen running along the road.

The near-left hand side on a 2015 view would be dominated by a branch of Nando’s.
»read full article


MAY
6
2016

 

ABPC Elstree Studios
British National Pictures Ltd purchased 50 acres of land on the south side of Shenley Road and began construction of two large film stages in 1925. The first film produced there was Madame Pompadour in 1927. British International Pictures Ltd (BIP) took over the studios in 1927 and the second stage was ready for production in 1928. In 1929 Blackmail, the first British talkie to go on release, was produced at the studios. With the death of silent films came the construction of 6 new sound stages on the site and three of these were sold on to the British and Dominions Film Corporation with BIP retaining the remaining stages. BIP were absorbed into the Associated British Picture Corporation (ABPC) in the early 1930s.

In 1946 Warner Brothers acquired a substantial interest in ABPC, appointed a new board and decided to rebuild the stages. The rebuild was completed in 1948 and work began on Man On The Run followed by The Hasty Heart starring Richard Todd and Ronald Reagan. In 1968 Electrical and Musical Industries (EMI) bought control of ABPC and the studios were renamed EMI Studios, later Thorn-EMI Studios. In 1985 they were put up for sale. Under Herron-Cannon Group ownership,...
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MAY
5
2016

 

66 Shenley Road, WD6
66 Shenley Road used to lie on the corner of Furzehill Road.
»read full article


MAY
3
2016

 

Nine Elms Lane, SW8
Nine Elms Lane was named around 1645, from a row of elm trees bordering the road. In 1838, at the time of construction of the London and Southampton Railway, the area was described as “a low swampy district occasionally overflowed by the Thames [whose] osier beds, pollards and windmille and the river give it a Dutch effect”.

Nine Elms railway station opened on 21 May 1838 as the first London terminus of the London and South Western Railway. The station was closed in 1848 when the L&SWR opened its metropolitan extension from Nine Elms to Waterloo. The area adjacent to the station housed the L&SWR’s carriage and wagon works until their relocation to Eastleigh in 1909. In 1941 the building was damaged by German bombs and it was demolished in the 1960s. The site became the flower section of the New Covent Garden Market in 1974.

Gasworks were established in 1853, close to the existing waterworks of the Southwark and Vauxhall Waterworks Company. Later Battersea Power Station was built on this site.
»read full article


MAY
3
2016

 

Royal Artillery Memorial
The Royal Artillery Memorial is a stone memorial at Hyde Park Corner, dedicated to the First World War casualties of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. The memorial was designed by Charles Jagger and Lionel Pearson, and features a giant sculpture of a BL 9.2-inch Mk I howitzer upon a large plinth of Portland stone, with stone reliefs depicting scenes from the conflict. Four bronze figures of artillerymen are positioned around the outside of the memorial.

The memorial is famous for its realist contrast with other First World War memorials, such as the Cenotaph designed by Edwin Lutyens, and attracted much public debate during the 20th century.
»read full article


MAY
2
2016

 

St Pancras and Islington Cemetery
St Pancras and Islington Cemetery is actually two cemeteries, owned by two other London Boroughs, Camden (formerly St Pancras) and Islington. Following the Metropolitan Burials Act 1852 and later acts which were designed to alleviate serious health and other problems caused by over-crowded burial grounds and lack of management and accountability, the cemetery was established in 1854 as the first municipally owned cemetery in London when the St Pancras Burial Board bought 88 acres of the former Horseshoe Farm on Finchley Common. A further 94 acres were annexed in 1877 and the total area was divided between Islington and Camden, the former having two areas to the north-west and east, the latter having the remainder. A bank and ditch along the eastern edge marks the parish boundary between Finchley and Hornsey. To the south the cemetery is bordered by the ancient woodland of Coldfall Wood, to the north the North Circular road and to the west by the A1000 Great North Road. The cemetery features several chapels and a large crematorium built by Albert Freeman in 1937.

Although Brookwood Cemetery in Woking, Surrey, ...
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MAY
1
2016

 

Cranbourn Street, WC2H
Cranbourne Street was named after local landowner the Earl of Salisbury, Viscount Cranbourn (Cranbourne) after the town in Dorset. It was built in the 1670s.
»read full article


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