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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
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 site ...
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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 ...
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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

 

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...
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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.
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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.

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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.
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