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Featured · Hampstead Garden Suburb ·
December
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...
Elephant Field
The grazing elephants of Hampstead Garden Suburb... One of the last occupiers of nearby Park Farm was the circus proprietor Lord George Sanger, who retired there in 1904, and was notoriously murdered by a farm hand in 1911. His descendants continued the circus in operation until the 1960s.

When the circus was not touring, Sanger would put his elephants out of pasture in what would become, in a few years, Hampstead Garden Suburb.

An elderly former resident of Denman Drive - constructed in 1908 on what was once Westminster Abbey’s land - used to recall ‘elephants grazing’ in the field between Big Wood and Little Wood, before Denman Drive North and Denman Drive South - constructed in 1912 on what was once the Bishop’s land - were completed.

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OCTOBER
22
2021

 

East Street, SE17
East Street, famous for its market, is likely to have been the birthplace of Charlie Chaplin, although no birth certificate exists There had been street trading in the Walworth area since the 16th century, when farmers rested their livestock on Walworth Common before continuing to the city.

In the 17th century, the area through which East Street now runs was rural fields and common land where people could graze their animals. The area to the north was known as ‘Lock’s Field’ and, even in 1878, was described as little more than ‘a dreary swamp’.

Most of the land in the area was owned by the Church, but some was eventually sold or leased. By the 1770s, some land near the junction with Old Kent Road (known then simply as The Kent Road) was cultivated as a flower nursery by the Driver family, who were also responsible for commissioning the grand buildings at nearby Surrey Square.

A legal document from 1780 describes the sale of the land which led to the creation of East Street as a public highway, connecting Walworth Road wit...
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OCTOBER
21
2021

 

George Street, TW9
George Street is the high street in Richmond and was one of the first streets to be developed in the town Previously known as Great Street, George Street was renamed after King George III in 1769.

Buildings on the street include the Grade II listed Greyhound House, formerly the Greyhound Hotel in a building dating from the 1730s. The facade of the former General Post Office building at 70–72 George Street, now a retail store, incorporates the coat of arms of the former Municipal Borough of Richmond, which existed from 1890 to 1965.
»read full article


OCTOBER
20
2021

 

BT Tower, W1W
The BT Tower is a communications tower, previously known as the GPO Tower, the Post Office Tower and the Telecom Tower The main tower structure is 177 metres high, with a further section of aerial rigging bringing the total height to 191 metres. The building was designed by the architects of the Ministry of Public Building and Works: Eric Bedford and G. R. Yeats.

The structure was commissioned by the General Post Office (GPO) and its primary purpose was to support the microwave aerials then used to carry telecommunications traffic from London to the rest of the country. It replaced a much shorter tower which had been built on the roof of the neighbouring Museum telephone exchange to provide a television link between London and Birmingham. The taller structure was required to protect the radio links’ "line of sight" against some of the tall buildings in London then in the planning stage.

The narrow cylindrical shape was chosen because of the requirements of the communications aerials: the building shifts no more than 25 centimetres in high wind speeds. Initially, th...
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OCTOBER
19
2021

 

Kilburn Toll
The Kilburn Toll Gate dated from 1710 The main road out of London towards the northwest was Watling Street. It had fallen into serious disrepair given its important status. A new source of funds was needed to maintain the highway. In 1710, a turnpike was established improving the road quality tremendously. There was a toll gate at Kilburn Bridge to charge road users at the entrance to Willesden parish.

Kilburn Toll Gate was situated at the southern end of Kilburn High Road beside the junction with Kilburn Priory.

After 1827, the Metropolitan Turnpike Trust was the body responsible for maintaining the main roads in the north of the conurbation of London. The commissioners took over from fourteen existing turnpike trusts, including the one at Kilburn, and were empowered to levy tolls to meet the costs of road maintenance.

Later the tollgate was moved to Shoot Up Hill before the turnpike was abolished altogether in 1872 as the Metropolitan Turnpike Trust was disbanded. The toll s...
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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

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

STEPHEN ARTHUR JACKSON   
Added: 14 Nov 2021 17:12 GMT   

Lynedoch Street, E2
my father Arthur Jackson was born in lynedoch street in 1929 and lived with mm grandparents and siblings, until they were relocated to Pamela house Haggerston rd when the street was to be demolished

Reply

Sir Walter Besant   
Added: 11 Nov 2021 18:47 GMT   

Sir Walter adds....
All the ground facing Wirtemberg Street at Chip and Cross Streets is being levelled for building and the old houses are disappearing fast. The small streets leading through into little Manor Street are very clean and tenanted by poor though respectable people, but little Manor Street is dirty, small, and narrow. Manor Street to Larkhall Rise is a wide fairly clean thoroughfare of mixed shops and houses which improves towards the north. The same may be said of Wirtemberg Street, which commences poorly, but from the Board School north is far better than at the Clapham end.

Source: London: South of the Thames - Chapter XX by Sir Walter Besant (1912)

Reply
Comment
   
Added: 6 Nov 2021 15:03 GMT   

Old Nichol Street, E2
Information about my grandfather’s tobacconist shop

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Comment
tom   
Added: 3 Nov 2021 05:16 GMT   

I met
someone here 6 years ago

Reply
Comment
Fion Anderson   
Added: 2 Nov 2021 12:55 GMT   

Elstree not Borehamwood
Home of the UK film industry

Reply

SEPTEMBER
29
2017

 

Chalfont & Latimer
Chalfont and Latimer station is on the Metropolitan line. It is the junction between services to Amersham and Chesham. It is also on the Chiltern Railways line to Aylesbury. The station serves all three of the Chalfonts — Chalfont St Giles, Chalfont St Peter and, the nearest, Little Chalfont.

Little Chalfont is situated in the county of Buckinghamshire, on the edge of the Chiltern Hills and about 50 kilometres from central London.

The Metropolitan Railway reached Little Chalfont in 1889. However the village didn’t really develop until the 1920s when land was released for housing to become part of, as Sir John Betjeman styled it: Metroland. The present population is around 5000. The station is now served by London Transport Metropolitan line and by Chiltern Railways resulting in excellent transport to and from London; Marylebone station can be reached in little over 30 minutes.

The village has a post office and a building society as well as a pharmacy, a small supermarket and ab...
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SEPTEMBER
28
2017

 

Acton Town
Acton Town station was opened as Mill Hill Park on 1 July 1879 by the District Railway (now the District line). It remained as a terminus until on 1 May 1883 and 23 June 1903 the District Railway opened two branches from Acton Town to Hounslow Town and Park Royal & Twyford Abbey respectively.

On 4 July 1932 the Piccadilly line was extended to Acton Town. District line services to both the Hounslow and Uxbridge branches were withdrawn completely on 9 and 10 October 1964 after which operations were provided by the Piccadilly line alone.

The original brick-built station was built in 1879 and in February 1910 the station building was reconstructed.

On 1 March 1910 the station was given its present name.

In 1931 and 1932 the station was rebuilt again in preparation for transferring the Uxbridge branch service from the District line to the Piccadilly line.

The new station was designed by Charles Holden in a modern European geometric style using brick, reinforced concrete and glass.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
27
2017

 

Alba Place, W11
Alba Place is part of the Colville Conservation Area. Originally the stable house accommodation for the main houses on Lancaster Road, the primary purpose of the Mews properties is now residential.

Alba Place is located on the site of an original Mews but has been redeveloped to a degree that it no longer contains any surviving Mews properties. It is a gated cul-de-sac off Portobello Road in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, almost opposite Hayden’s Place (another redeveloped Mews). It contains 16 properties used for residential purposes.

Alba Place was Albion Place until 1937, one of the many patriotic names dating from the period immediately following the Crimean War.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
26
2017

 

St Mary-le-Bow
St Mary-le-Bow is an historic church rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1666 by Sir Christopher Wren. According to tradition a true Cockney must be born within earshot of the sound of Bow Bells. Archaeological evidence indicates that a church existed on this site in Saxon times. A medieval version of the church had been destroyed by the London Tornado of 1091, one of the earliest recorded (and one of the most violent) tornadoes in Britain, although the newly completed arched crypt survived.

During the later Norman period the church, known as ’St Mary de Arcubus’, was rebuilt and was famed for its stone arches. At that period the 12 feet 6 inches high vaulted crypt although only accessible from within the church had windows and buttresses visible from the street.

From at least the 13th century, the church was a peculier of the Diocese of Canterbury and the seat of the Court of Arches, to which it gave the name. The ’bow bells’, which could be heard as far away as Hackney Marshes, were once used to order a curfew in the City of London. This building burned in the Great Fire of London of 1666.

The church with its steeple ha...
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SEPTEMBER
24
2017

 

Bransford Street, W10
Bransford Street became Porlock Street before vanishing altogether. Porlock Street is now simply a stump of a street, a cul-de-sac without its own name. Before the 1960s it ran up to Barlby Road from Treverton Street.

Formerly Bran(d)sford Street, it had become Portlock Street in 1917. After the Second World War, it became Porlock Road for a while.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
22
2017

 

Cromwell Curve
The Cromwell Curve was a short section of railway line between Gloucester Road and High Street Kensington stations. The line was opened by the District Railway (DR) on 5 July 1871. The tracks formed a triangle across the end of the v connecting the District’s existing routes from Earl’s Court station to Gloucester Road and High Street Kensington, and ran in a cutting parallel to the Metropolitan Railway (MR). The name derives from Cromwell Road which is immediately south of the site of the curve.


The track was opened without Parliamentary authority in an attempt by the DR to increase its share of the revenues from the Inner Circle (now the Circle line), which were divided on the basis of mileage of track owned by the DR and the MR. Sir John Fowler arbitrated the dispute, ruling on 27 July that Inner Circle receipts were to be divided 67% to the Metropolitan and 33% to the District (revised to 50:50 in 1878, due to increased traffic from the District’s western lines). Although the Cromwell Curve was used only occasionally, the dispute between the two companies continued ...
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SEPTEMBER
21
2017

 

West Acton
West Acton is a station between Ealing Broadway and North Acton on the Ealing Broadway branch of the Central line. The Great Western Railway built its Ealing Broadway branch and opened it for freight trains in April 1917.

The Central London Railway subsequently abandoned its policy of no through running with any other railway and secured powers to build a short extension from its terminus at Wood Lane to connect with the new Great Western Railway branch.

Central trains used the line from 3 August 1920. West Acton and North Acton were built and owned by the Great Western Railway and both opened on 5 November 1923.

The current station - replacing the original building - was designed by the Great Western Railway on behalf of London Transport as part of the 1935-40 New Works Programme. The design was by the GWR’s architect Brian Lewis and it was completed in 1940. The station is a Grade II listed building.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
17
2017

 

Forty Farm
Forty Farm was situated where the Sudbury to Kingsbury road crossed the Lidding at Forty Bridge. In the 14th or 15th centuries, people, including the Uxendon family from Uxendon Farm, moved south to form another small community at Forty Green.

This settlement was known as Uxendon Forty, Wembley Forty or Preston Forty. The farm at Forty Green was at first called Pargrave's, and later South Forty Farm.

Even as late as the 19th century, the area had not changed significantly. London's growing need for hay meant that Forty Farm had converted to hay farming by 1852 and indeed was noted for its horses. In the 1831 census, Forty Farm housed 10 people

The construction of the Metropolitan Railway in 1880 effectively destroyed Forty Green, although South Forty Farm continued into the 20th century. In 1928 the farm became the headquarters of the Century Sports Ground. The celebrated gunsmiths Holland & Holland had a shooting ground nearby. As Forty Farm Sports Ground the site of the farm remains green to this day.

The Holland & Ho...
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SEPTEMBER
15
2017

 

Cranes Farm
Cranes Farm was a farm in Boreham Wood. Cranes Farm was situated just behind the modern location of the Bull and Tiger pub (a.k.a. The Directors’ Arms).

Cranes Way was laid out nearly on the line of the farm track.

The final tenant farmer of Cranes Farm, as compensation, was given one of the new houses Laings built in Manor Way at a low-rate, long-term fixed rent.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
14
2017

 

Ilchester Place, W14
Ilchester Place runs between Abbotsbury Road and Melbury Road, immediately adjacent to the southern boundary of Holland Park itself. Ilchester Place was built in 1929 as a set of small mansion blocks, designed by the architect L Martin.

It takes its name from Edward Fox-Strangways, the Fifth Earl of Ilchester, who bought the estate from Lady Holland in the late 19th century, and continued the process of development on the estate. (See ’History’).

The street is considered to be ‘prime residential’ and consists of large neo-Georgian 3-storey brick-built family houses. It is wide, tree-lined and very quiet. The houses have attractive small front gardens, often with neatly trimmed hedges and well cut lawns, and sub-basement garages. Some of the houses are attractively covered in creeper.

The road is particularly convenient for all the facilities in nearby Holland Park although the houses also have very decent-sized rear gardens.

Due to the width of the road Ilchester Place has a particular feeling of spaciousness.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
11
2017

 

Apex Corner (1920s)
This view of the Apex Corner roundabout shows the original Apex Garage. The Northway Circus roundabout was built as part of general improvements to the road system in the 1920s.

These improvements, along with the North Circular Road, created the Barnet Bypass (A1) and Watford Bypass (A41) which met at the roundabout.

To serve the traffic which passed, a garage called Apex Garage was built on the roundabout. Such was its distinctiveness that 'Northway Circus' began being called 'Apex Corner'.

In time, Apex Corner took over as the name - it is now semi-official, used by Transport For London as the destination on bus routes.
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SEPTEMBER
10
2017

 

Brentford
Brentford was the historic county town of Middlesex. Brentford's economy has diverse company headquarters buildings which mark the start of the M4 corridor; in transport it also has two railway stations and the Boston Manor tube station on its north-west border with Hanwell.

Brentford at the start of its 21st century attracted regeneration of its little-used warehouse premises and docks including the re-modelling of the waterfront to provide more economically active shops, townhouses and apartments, some of which comprises Brentford Dock.

A 19th and 20th centuries mixed social and private housing locality: New Brentford is contiguous with the Osterley neighbourhood of Isleworth and Syon Park and the Great West Road which has most of the largest business premises.

Brentford station was opened in 1849 by the London and South Western Railway.

Between 1950 and 1980 was named Brentford Central.
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SEPTEMBER
7
2017

 

Chingford Lane, E4
Chingford Lane is a main road skirting Woodford Golf Club. Chingford Lane shows some early Warner Estate development with terraced housing dating from the late 1870s.

St.Andrew’s Church of England opened in 1880 with services held in the Working Men’s hall and then in a room nearby. An iron church was erected in 1888. In 1923 the iron was replaced with cement and the frame had moved north to make room for a hall, and kitchen. The original wooden bell-tower was also removed.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
6
2017

 

Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is the official London residence and principal workplace of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focus for the British people at times of national rejoicing and crisis.

Originally known as Buckingham House, the building which forms the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1705 on a site which had been in private ownership for at least 150 years. It was subsequently acquired by George III in 1761 as a private residence for Queen Charlotte, and known as The Queen's House. During the 19th century it was enlarged, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, forming three wings around a central courtyard.

Buckingham Palace finally became the official royal palace of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. The last major structural additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the East front, which contains the well-known balcony ...
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SEPTEMBER
5
2017

 

Garden Museum
The first museum in the world dedicated to the history of gardening. The Garden Museum is based in the deconsecrated parish church of St Mary-at-Lambeth adjacent to Lambeth Palace. The church originally housed the 15th and 16th century tombs of many members of the Howard family, including now-lost memorial brasses to Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk (died 1524), his wife Agnes Tilney, Duchess of Norfolk (died 1545) and is also the burial place of Queen Anne Boleyn's mother Elizabeth Boleyn, formerly Howard.

St Mary's, which was largely a Victorian reconstruction, was deconsecrated in 1972 and was scheduled to be demolished. In 1976 John and Rosemary Nicholson traced the tomb of the two 17th century royal gardeners and plant hunters John Tradescant father and son to the churchyard, and were inspired to create the Museum of Garden History.

The museum's main gallery is the main body of the church. The collection comprises tools, ephemera and a library. The tool collection includes items purchased at auction and donations f...
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SEPTEMBER
4
2017

 

Abbey Street, SE1
Abbey Street takes its name from Bermondsey Abbey which was situated between Bermondsey Square, Grange Walk and Long Walk. Forerly Great George Street, the street lies on the line of the nave of the abbey church.

The names Abbey Street, Grange Walk and Spa Road give an indication of the earliest defining features of the area. Bermondsey Abbey was demolished shortly after its dissolution in the mid-16th century. The street pattern around it, however, retained key elements of its layout.The eastern gateway in Grange Walk was demolished in 1760 with the road being extended eastwards some years later.

Neckinger Mills. formerly Bevington & Sons Leather Mills. was one of the most famous tanneries in Bermondsey producing light leathers for shoes and fancy goods. The tanning pits were located beside the River Neckinger.

It was said that the fish oil used in the tanning process did wonders for the hair and skin of the (largely female) leather workers.

The mills opened in 1801 and continued production until 1981.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
3
2017

 

Doughty Street, WC1N
Doughty Street is a broad tree lined street in the Holborn district. The southern part is a continuation of the short John Street, which comes off Theobalds Road. The northern part crosses Guilford Street and ends at Mecklenburgh Square.

The street contains mainly grade II listed Georgian houses built between 1790 and the 1840s. Many of the houses have been converted into offices and are popular with companies in the legal profession and the media. In the last few years, many of these have been converted back to family homes.

In the nineteenth century, it was an exclusive residential street and had gates at either end to restrict entry and these were manned by porters.

"It was a broad, airy, wholesome street - none of your common thoroughfares, to be rattled through by vulgar cabs and earth-shaking Pickford’s vans; but a self-included property, with a gate at each end, and a lodge with a porter in a gold-laced hat and the Doughty arms on the buttons of his mulberry coat, to prevent any one, except with a m...
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SEPTEMBER
1
2017

 

Hendon Park
Hendon Park, totalling 12 hectares, between Queens Road (formerly Butchers Lane) and Shire Hall Lane was created by Hendon Urban District Council in 1903. Hendon Park was part of a medieval estate known as the Steps Fields and owned by the Goodyer family. From 1868 till 1903 it was owned by the Kemp family when Hendon Council opened the park to the public.

The park has a Holocaust Memorial Garden, which contains a pond, many plants and is enclosed by large hedges. The Childrens’ Millennium Wood planted in 2000 is a native tree and grassland area. The rest of the park is mainly informal parkland, with mown grass and mature trees, especially London plane and lime. It is a good spot for watching pipistrelle bats on a summer evening.

The landscape includes one of the largest specimens of Acer palmatum in London. Many mature trees survive from the original planting, despite damage caused by the Great Storm of 1987 during which many trees were uprooted and destroyed.

"Rout the Rumour", a large propaganda rally was held in Hendon Park on Sunday, 21 July 1940. The rally included songs, music and sk...
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