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Featured · Queen’s Park ·
JANUARY
16
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...
The 1912 streets of Spitalfields
The fascinating story of one man’s random walk in 1912 On Saturday 20 April 1912, a man by the name of C.A. Mathew - a resident of Brightlingsea, Essex - came out of Liverpool Street Station carrying his camera. There’s no telling why he decided to walk the streets of Spitalfields and take photographs on that day - it may well have been a commission but, over a hundred years later, nobody really knows.

NOTE: Many writers about C.A. Mathew’s tour of Spitalfields, including the gentle author, have assumed Liverpool Street station’s involvement in the story. This is a safe assumption - the London terminus of the route from Brightlingsea but is not a definite! But we’ll run with it too...

Matthew only took up photography in 1911, the previous year. Eleven years later, he died. He produced no other known work and little else is known about him.

»more

NOVEMBER
16
2021

 

Suffield Road, SE17
Suffield Road was laid out after the demise of the Royal Surrey Zoological Gardens The Royal Surrey Zoological Gardens grew out of a menagerie started by Edward Cross in 1831 - he had previously exhibited at Exeter Change in the Strand.

The gardens were designed by Henry Phillips and highly praised - they were compared favourably with the Regent’s Park Zoological Gardens. The land of the zoo had previously been the 19-acre Lorrimore Common.

Cages for lions, tigers and other animals were enclosed within a glasshouse, 300 feet in circumference.

The gardens covered roughly the area between Suffield Road on the north, Lorrimore Road to the south, Penrose Street and Borrett Road on the east, and Chapter Road/Delverton Road to the west.

Edward Cross retired in 1844 and, under the new management of William Tyler, fell under hard times. He sold the animals in 1855 in order to keep the enterprise afloat but in 1856 seven people were killed in a stampede during a sermon by a local Baptist minister. The resulti...
»more


NOVEMBER
15
2021

 

Bow Locks
Bow Locks is a set of bi-directional locks in Bromley-by-Bow Bow Locks link the tidal Bow Creek to the River Lee Navigation.

The first recorded mention of water control at the site was during the reign of Edward I. Henry de Bedyk of Halliwell Priory and owner of the nearby tide mills erected a structure some time before 1307. A description of its operation in 1416 indicates that it consisted of a dam with a navigable 18 feet wide channel through it. The owners of the mills rebuilt the structure - now referred to as a lock - in 1573.

With the river was important for trade, an engineer called John Smeaton was asked to recommend improvements in 1765. He suggested a cut from Bow Locks to Limehouse. The Limehouse Cut was opened in 1777, but the lock was not altered.

A pound lock was constructed between 1851 and 1852, to accommodate barges up to 108 by 20 feet. The trustees imposed a toll for using the lock but this was unpopular with the bargees. A compromise was reached, where use of the lock required t...
»more


NOVEMBER
14
2021

 

Highams Park Estate, IG8
The Highams Park Estate was an estate of 176 prefabs which existed between 1947 and 1961 In 1947 Walthamstow Council erected prefab homes in Highams Park - some of the layout of the roads is still visible in the park. These were erected in order to address the local post-war shortage of homes after bombing.

Three years earlier, the Churchill coalition government introduced the Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act to provide temporary houses - there was an anticipated shortfall of 200 000 homes. The proposal was to address the shortfall by building 500 000 pre-fabricated houses with a planned lifetime of ten years within a five year period. These became popularly known as ’prefabs’.

At the end of the war, the Labour government of Clement Attlee, agreed to deliver 300 000 units within a decade, within a budget of ÃÆ’Æ’Æ’ÃÆ’¢â‚¬ÅÃâ€...
»more


NOVEMBER
13
2021

 

Folgate Street, E1
Folgate Street, formerly White Lion Yard and White Lion Street, has 17th century origins The development of Folgate Street by the St John and Tillard Estate did not involve building a new street but repurposing an existing one - this older street ran from Wheler Street to Norton Folgate and had probably been developed from a yard, perhaps at about the same time that Wheler Street was built. In the late seventeenth century, Folgate Street was known as White Lion Yard.

The western end of the street is shown in the Hollar map dating after the Great Fire. In the 1675 tax returns, sixty houses were listed as being in White Lion Yard. The street was most likely completely rebuilt by the mid-eighteenth century.

One of more building leases were granted in 1697 and in 1704 White Lion Yard was "a certain place - commonly called White Lyon Yard intended to be rebuilt and called White Lyon Street". On plans of 1711-12, the lower part of Blossom Street, shown as Sote’s Hole, is in existence. Some of the buildings on the north side of White L...
»more





LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

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

Roy Batham   
Added: 7 Jan 2022 07:17 GMT   

Smithy in Longacre
John Burris 1802-1848 Listed 1841 census as Burroughs was a blacksmith, address just given as Longacre.

Source: Batham/Wiseman - Family Tree

Reply

Roy Batham   
Added: 7 Jan 2022 05:50 GMT   

Batham Family (1851 - 1921)
I start with William Batham 1786-1852 born in St.Martins Middlesex. From various sources I have found snippets of information concerning his early life. A soldier in 1814 he married Mary Champelovier of Huguenot descent By 1819 they were in Kensington where they raised 10 children. Apart from soldier his other occupations include whitesmith, bell hanger and pig breeder. I find my first record in the 1851 English sensus. No street address is given, just ’The Potteries’. He died 1853. Only one child at home then George Batham 1839-1923, my great grandfather. By 1861 he is living in Thomas St. Kensington with his mother. A bricklayer by trade 1871, married and still in Thomas St. 1881 finds him in 5,Martin St. Kensington. 1891 10,Manchester St. 1911, 44 Hunt St Hammersmith. Lastly 1921 Census 7, Mersey St. which has since been demolished.

Source: Batham/Wiseman - Family Tree

Reply
Born here
sam   
Added: 31 Dec 2021 00:54 GMT   

Burdett Street, SE1
I was on 2nd July 1952, in Burdett chambers (which is also known as Burdett buildings)on Burdett street

Reply
Lived here
John Neill   
Added: 25 Nov 2021 11:30 GMT   

Sandringham Road, E10 (1937 - 1966)
I lived at No. 61 with my parents during these years. I went to Canterbury Road school (now Barclay Primary) and sang as a boy soprano (treble) in the church choir at St Andrew’s church, on the corner of Forest Glade.
Opposite us lived the Burgess family. Their son Russell also sang in my choir as a tenor. He later became a well-known musician and the choirmaster at Wandsworth Boys’ School.
Just at the end of WW2 a German rocket (V2) landed in the grounds of Whipps Cross Hospital, damaging many of the houses in Sandringham Road, including ours.

Reply
Comment
Tim Stevenson   
Added: 16 Nov 2021 18:03 GMT   

Pub still open
The Bohemia survived the 2020/21 lockdowns and is still a thriving local social resource.

Reply
Comment
STEPHEN JACKSON   
Added: 14 Nov 2021 17:25 GMT   

Fellows Court, E2
my family moved into the tower block 13th floor (maisonette), in 1967 after our street Lenthall rd e8 was demolished, we were one of the first families in the new block. A number of families from our street were rehoused in this and the adjoining flats. Inside toilet and central heating, all very modern at the time, plus eventually a tarmac football pitch in the grounds,(the cage), with a goal painted by the kids on the brick wall of the railway.

Reply

DECEMBER
25
2016

 

St Mary Axe
St Mary Axe was a medieval parish in the City of London whose name survives as that of the street which formerly occupied it. The Church of St Mary Axe was demolished in 1561 and its parish united with that of St Andrew Undershaft, which is situated on the corner of St Mary Axe and Leadenhall Street. The site of the former church is now occupied by Fitzwilliam House, a fact acknowledged by a blue plaque on the building’s façade. Nearby parishes include the medieval Great St Helen’s (1210) and St Ethelburga (14th century).

The street name may derive from a combination of the church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and a neighbouring tavern which prominently displayed a sign with an image of an axe, or simply from the church name itself, which may have come from the axes used by the Worshipful Company of Skinners, who were patrons. The sign of an axe is reported to have been present over the east end of the church.

The street St Mary Axe is now most notable for the Baltic Exchange at No. 38, and the "Gherkin" at No. 30, a distinctively shaped skyscraper built on the sit...
»more


DECEMBER
21
2016

 

St John the Evangelist Friday Street
St John the Evangelist Friday Street was a church in Bread Street Ward of the City of London. The church stood on the south side of Bread Street, on the corner with Friday Street.

In the early 18th century, some years after the destruction of the church itself, the parish was described as covering "part of Watling Street", the number of houses being "24 and an half." The patronage of the church belonged to the prior and abbey of Christchurch, Canterbury until the dissolution, and then to the dean and chapter of Canterbury Cathedral.

In the early 1620s a debate was held between George Walker, the church’s puritan rector, and some Roman Catholics. The pastor argued that the Church of England was the "true church" and that the Church of Rome was "the whore of Babylon." The Catholic priests replied that "you Protestants in England, have no Church nor Faith." The debate, which was conducted mainly in a series of syllogisms, was published in a pamphlet.

The building was renovated at the cost of the parishioners in 1626, and in the same ...
»more


DECEMBER
18
2016

 

Little Guildford Street, WC1N
Little Guildford Street was the middle part of what is now Herbrand Street, between Great Coram Street and Bernard Street, on the western edge of the Foundling estate. It appears in rough outline on Horwood’s map of 1799, and fully developed, together with Mews to both sides, on his map of 1807

This area was undeveloped fields until the early eighteenth century

It was presumably named for its location near Guilford Street

No numbers appear on Horwood’s maps

There was a pub, the Red Lion, there in the 1820s (The Times, 3 June 1824); there were also livery stables (The Times, 10 June 1825)

At the end of the century, the pub was still there, but had become the Old Red Lion (The Times, 11 June 1883); there was also now a school, Christ Church School (The Times, 26 November 1888), presumably associated with nearby Christ Church, Woburn Square

By the latter part of the century the street had become a slum; in 1897 the leases fell in and the street was sold, along with Little Coram Street, to the LCC in 1898 (Donald Olsen, Town Planning in London, 2nd edn, 1984)

It was incorporated into the new Herbrand Street development in 1901.
»read full article


DECEMBER
16
2016

 

Whitfield Street, W1T
Whitfield Street runs from Warren Street in the north to Windmill Street in the south. Whitfield Street was named after George Whitefield who founded the chapel in Tottenham Court Road. It was formerly John Street (from Windmill Street to Howland Street), Upper John Street (between Howland Street and Maple, formerly London, Street) and Hertford Street for the remainder which lay in the Fitzroy estate. The street suffered severely from the air-raids during the war and most of the west side disappeared at that time. At the northern angle where Maple Street (formerly London Street) joins Whitfield Street stood Fitzroy Chapel, later St. Saviour’s Church.

The site between Grafton Way and Warren Street was almost wholly cleared. Fitzroy Market originally stood here, one of the little shopping centres that were frequently planned in connection with new residential schemes.
»read full article


DECEMBER
16
2016

 

Strawberry Vale, N2
Strawberry Vale is now simply a road - it was once an estate. The old name for the area was Brownswell. A well had been ’late re-edified’ for travellers on the Great North Road in 1593. A cottage stood there by 1623 and the Huntsman, by 1731 called the Green Man, by 1718. In 1754 there were some three buildings at Brownswell.

Meadow land fronting the common was advertised in 1796 as a delightful situation for building. By 1814 a few buildings stood on the west side of the Great North Road, north of the Green Man.

The enclosure of Finchley Common did not lead to a sudden spread of building. Some houses were built at Strawberry Vale east of the road near Brownswell by James Frost, who acquired an estate there in 1816.

In 1854, 87 acres allotted at enclosure to Bibbesworth were sold to the St. Pancras burial board, which sold 30 acres to that of St. Mary, Islington. In 1855 St. Marylebone opened a cemetery on 26 acres of farmland south of East End Road, between the demesne lands of Bibbeswort...
»more


DECEMBER
16
2016

 

Fitzroy Square, W1T
Fitzroy Square is one of the Georgian squares of London. The square, nearby Fitzroy Street, and the Fitzroy Tavern in Charlotte Street have the family name of Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton, into whose ownership the land passed through his marriage. His descendant Charles FitzRoy, 1st Baron Southampton developed the area during the late 18th and early 19th century.

Fitzroy Square was a speculative development intended to provide London residences for aristocratic families, and was built in four stages. Leases for the eastern and southern sides, designed by Robert Adam, were granted in 1792; building began in 1794 and was completed in 1798 by Adam’s brothers James and William. These buildings are fronted in Portland stone brought by sea from Dorset.

The Napoleonic Wars and a slump in the London property market brought a temporary stop to construction of the square after the south and east sides were completed. According to the records of the Squares Frontagers’ Committee, 1815 residents looked ...
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DECEMBER
12
2016

 

Shipley’s Drawing School
101 The Strand was an art school from 1750 until 1806. The drawing school was established by William Shipley and attended by such notable figures as William Blake, Richard Cosway and Francis Wheatley.
»read full article


DECEMBER
12
2016

 

Ackermann’s
Rudolph Ackermann (20 April 1764 in Stollberg, Saxony – 30 March 1834 in Finchley) was an Anglo-German bookseller, inventor, lithographer, publisher and businessman. Ackermann worked as a saddler and coach-builder in different German cities, then moved to Paris, working for famous Paris carriage maker Antoine Carassi before moving to London about 1784.

He continued to make designs for British coach-builders and probably in the process became interested in the making of prints (for the coach designs).

In 1795 he established a print-shop and drawing-school in the Strand. After a year, he took over a drawing school previously established by William Shipley (which lasted until 1806) at 101 Strand. Thus began the Ackermann print business which lasted over two hundred years.

In 1797, Ackermann moved his shop to the premises at 101 Strand, which he named as "The Repository of Arts" the following year. In 1827, Ackermann moved to 96 Strand, In this shop he sold not only prints and illustrated books, but also paper, art supplies (some manufactured by Ackermann himself), old master paintings, miniatures, and man...
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DECEMBER
12
2016

 

101 Strand, WC2R
This shop was one of the first in London to have gas lighting fitted. The print seller Rudolph Ackermann lived and worked here at No. 101 The Strand between 1797 and 1827.
»read full article


DECEMBER
9
2016

 

Northumberland Avenue, SW1A
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...
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DECEMBER
8
2016

 

Kilburn Wells
Kilburn Wells. a medicinal spring, existed between 1714 and the 1860s. The fashion for taking ‘medicinal waters’ in the 18th century came to Kilburn when a well of water impregnated with iron was discovered near the Bell Inn in 1714. In an attempt to compete with the nearby Hampstead Well, gardens and a ‘great room’ were opened to promote the well, and its waters were promoted in journals of the day as cure for ‘stomach ailments’.

By the 1860s, the Wells had declined completely.
»read full article


DECEMBER
7
2016

 

Millfield Nursery
An article about "nurserymen" from Jim South written in March 1977. The Nursery industry grew out of the market gardening that supplied London via Covent Garden. The Lea Valley was "natural" for this development. Within easy reach by horse drawn vehicles travelling by night, with "chain" horses stationed at places like Stamford Hill.

The alluvial soil that served market gardens of fruit growers was also level and suited the constructors of early "Vine" type glass houses. Water was available, boring wells was like putting a pin into a plastic pipe and, for example, ballast pits filled up as soon as they were abandoned.

Transport was well served by rail, road and canal. The main road, following roughly the Roman Ermine St. was the only access to London from much of East Anglia. The railways were built during the 19th century and the Lea canal carried coal, coke and timber. When I left Goffs Oak some coke was still carried by barge up the Lea. Until 1940 a great deal of coke came over from Belgium via this route.

»more


DECEMBER
3
2016

 

Eastcastle Street, W1T
The portion of Eastcastle Street to the east of Wells Street originally belonged to the Berners Estate. The Berners Estate section of the street was not developed until the 1760s though it was laid out in the late 1730s. Originally it was Castle Street East.
»read full article


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