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Featured · Queen’s Park ·
JANUARY
17
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...
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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...
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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€...
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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...
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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

MAY
31
2018

 

Loftus Road stadium
Loftus Road Stadium is a football stadium in Shepherd’s Bush and home to Queens Park Rangers. The ground was first used on 11 October 1904 by Shepherd’s Bush F.C., an amateur side that was disbanded during the First World War. QPR moved to Loftus Road in 1917, having had their ground at Park Royal commandeered by the army in 1915. At that time the ground was an open field with a pavilion. One stand from Park Royal was dismantled and re-erected forming the Ellerslie Road stand in 1919. This stand remained as the only covered seating in the ground until 1968 and was replaced in 1972. It had a capacity of 2,950.

QPR moved out of Loftus Road at the start of the 1931–32 season, moving nearby to White City Stadium, but after a loss of £7,000, the team moved back for the start of the 1933-34 season.

In April 1948, after winning the Third Division (South) championship, the club bought the freehold of the stadium plus 39 houses in Loftus Road and Ellerslie Road for £26,250 financed by a share floatation that raised £30,000. When the club’...
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MAY
30
2018

 

Adams Row, W1K
On the Grosvenor estate, Adams Row extends from South Audley Street to Carlos Place. It was laid out in the 1720s to provide stables and coach houses for the mansions in nearby Grosvenor Square. Originally Adams Mews it probably takes its name from one of its builders.

By the end of the eighteenth century the different portions of Mount Street had begun to establish their own identity. On the north side, where there was good access to the back premises from Mount Row, Bishop’s Yard, Adam Mews and Reeves Mews, a number of tradesmen and craftsmen established quite sizeable businesses.

In 1940, a high explosive bomb is recorded falling somewhere between Mount Street and Adams Row, meaning many of the properties had to be rebuilt.

Adams Row contains 12 properties for residential use, businesses and a pub.
»read full article


MAY
29
2018

 

Ardleigh Green Road, RM11
Ardleigh Green Road was originally Haynes Park Road. Ardleigh Green was first recorded as Hadley in the 14th century, evolving through Hadley Green and Hardley Green before attaining its present form. The original name probably indicated a heathland clearing.

A hamlet along the road was in existence by the early 17th century and the Spencer’s Arms inn later became popular with agricultural labourers. A few villas were built in the late 19th century, including Hardley Court, but the surroundings remained very rural until the opening of Squirrel’s Heath (now Gidea Park) station in 1910.

From 1927 the builders EA Coryn and Sons developed the Haynes Park estate. Ardleigh Green junior and infants’ schools opened in 1933.

Essex County Council bought Hardley Court and 15 acres of land for £9,000 in 1946. The house was used as a teacher training college for several years before the first part of what is now Havering College was built in the grounds in the late 1950s. Most of the college’s p...
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MAY
28
2018

 

Friern Hospital
Friern Hospital (formerly Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum) was a psychiatric hospital. The building of Friern Hospital was commissioned by the Middlesex Court of Magistrates, as the Second Middlesex County Asylum. The architect was Samuel Daukes, whose Italianate corridor-plan design was based on the advice of John Conolly, the superintendent of the First Middlesex County Asylum. The foundation stone was laid by the Prince Consort in 1849, and the building was completed in November 1850. The cost of building had been estimated at £150,000, but the final cost actually proved to be £300,000, making it the most expensive asylum ever built, at £240 per bed. The estate had its own water supply, a chapel, cemetery and a 75-acre farm estate. It also had a gasworks, brewery, and an aviary where canaries were bred.

The hospital was built as the Second Middlesex County Asylum. After the County of London was created in 1889 it continued to served much of Middlesex and of the newer county, London. During much of this time its smaller prototype Hanwell Asylum also ...
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MAY
27
2018

 

Lots Road, SW10
Lots Road, older than the surrounding streets, was once Pooles Lane which was a track leading to Chelsea Farm. From Anglo-Saxon times, the land on the northern banks of the Thames was divided into individually owned ‘lots’, and open to common pasturage after the annual harvest. In 1825 the ‘Lammas’ rights of common grazing were abolished on the ‘Lots’.

When the Cremorne Gardens closed in the 1860s, the landowner Mrs Simpson, let the land as building plots for the construction of workers’ housing. The variety and range of materials and architectural detailing amongst the workers cottages suggests that a number of different builders constructed the housing.

Historic maps indicate that much of the land was developed within a short period of time between 1868 and 1896. Tadema Road (Tadema Street), which has Dutch and classical elements, was almost certainly named after Lawrence Alma-Tadema, a Dutch artist who moved to London in 1870 and enjoyed great frame during the mid to late 1870s, when those houses were constructed.

Running in paral...
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MAY
26
2018

 

Oakleigh Park Farm
Oakleigh Park Farm was immediately south of where Chandos Avenue is now. The growing suburban demand for milk ensured that local dairy farms flourished. Oakleigh Park Farm was situated on High Road Whetstone.

Manor Farm Dairies were founded in 1875 by Joseph Wilmington Lane and joined in the 1920s with United Dairies, which had been founded in 1917. There were two farms in the group - Manor Farm, Highgate and Oakleigh Park Farm, Whetstone. The head offices were in High Street, Whetstone, and later in High Road, East Finchley. Manor farm survived until 1932. Dairying also featured on the Woodhouse estate in 1902 and on Park farm (Bibwell) for many years before 1918 until the fields were sold for building.

There were also other farms in Whetstone itself.

Blue House Farm was between the modern Chandos Avenue and The Black Bull and Brook Farm, on the eastern side of Whetstone High Road, had been acquired by Finchley UDC in 1912 to provide cricket and football pitches and allotments

There were three ...
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MAY
25
2018

 

Spaniards Inn
The Spaniards Inn lies in Hampstead Lane on the way from Hampstead to Highgate and on the edge of Hampstead Heath. It is believed to have been built in 1585 on the Finchley boundary, with the tavern forming the entrance to the Bishop of London’s estate – an original boundary stone from 1755 can still be seen in the front garden. Opposite it there is a toll house built in around 1710.

The Spaniards was licensed to Francis Porero, the eponymous Spaniard, in 1721. It stood at the south-west exit from Hornsey park, where a gate was marked in 1754. The building itself may be 17th century, although it has been extensively altered and refaced. It was there that the mob at the time of the Gordon Riots in 1780 was halted on its way to destroy Lord Mansfield’s house at Kenwood.

It causes a notorious traffic bottleneck. It was the site of a toll and opposite the pub lies the former toll keeper’s cottage. Both the pub and the cottage are now listed buildings and so traffic has crawl between the two. These boundaries are still relevant today – the pub is in Barn...
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MAY
24
2018

 

Grass Farm
Grass Farm was developed in the late 19th century. The south-western area of Church End, Finchley was part of the Bibbesworth Manor for many centuries, named after Sir Edmund Bibbesworth whose family held it from about 1418 to 1443. The Manor was part of the Bishop of London’s estate.

Grass or Groates Farm, one of the larger farms in Finchley which stretched from Church End westwards to the Dollis Brook. The farm can be
traced back to the 14th century when the Groate family occupied it from about 1394 to the 1460s.

The farm, which covered 113 acres, was sold by auction on 15th May 1856 and was purchased by John Harris Heal, the grandfather of Ambrose Heal, founder of Heal’s of Tottenham Court Road.

Heal died in 1876 and the estate was purchased from their executors in 1894 by James Christopher Wilkinson of Elm Grange, who subsequently offered the farmland for sale for building purposes in 1906.

58 Hendon Lane was the lodge of Grass Farm. This was a 19th century h...
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MAY
23
2018

 

Fortis Green
How Fortis Green got its name is not clear. ’Fortis’ suggests a place before something, but the ’something’ is obscure. It appears in 1558 when it was considered part of Finchley Common. The green may simply have been a gap in woods and ran as far as where Muswell Hill Odeon is today.

Even into the 20th century Coldfall Woods came as far south as the present back fences of the houses on the north side of the road.

On a map of 1754, Cherry Tree Woods (then Dirt House Woods) to the south had been cleared and the land enclosed with at least two large houses. More houses were built along the road from the beginning of the 19th century.

By the middle part of the 19th century there were about 60 houses, mostly belonging to labourers, which had been erected on the green between the woods and the road.

The National Freehold Land society developed what had been Haswell Park into southern, eastern, and western Roads after 1852, with 180 plots, but development was slow. H...
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MAY
22
2018

 

Aberdare Road, EN3
Aberdare Road was in existence by 1903. The 1914 Ordnance Survey map shows this and adjoining roads laid out, but no houses built - nothing was built until after World War I.

All the roads on the estate are named after towns in South Wales - Glyn Road, Swansea Road and Brecon Road.
»read full article


MAY
21
2018

 

Zebra taxi
Around 1912, a zebra-pulled taxi was active on the streets of Brixton. The driver is Gustav Grais who ran a circus of zebras and baboons - the hackney cab was likely a promotion for the circus, active for a day or two only.

The photo shows the zebra-driven carriage leaving Brixton and heading for Stockwell.
»read full article


MAY
20
2018

 

Ysgol Gymraeg Llundain
The London Welsh School was founded in 1958 by a group of parents who had been sending their children to Welsh lessons on Saturday mornings. After long discussions and appeals, the school finally opened with thirty pupils and now caters for up to 40 pupils.

Nearly 60 years later, the school is still going strong and in 2015 opened in its latest location: the Hanwell Community Centre.

It is an independent school which accepts students between the ages of 3 and 11. It has nursery classes.
»read full article


MAY
19
2018

 

Woodside Lane, N12
Woodside Lane dates from 1780 at the latest. In 1851 there was a regular ’bus service running from the Torrington to Charing Cross and railway connections had been established with London, first at New Southgate.

During the 1850s and 1860s Woodside Lane, Torrington Park, Friern Park, Grove Road, Finsbury Road (now Finchley Park) had all been laid out with housing. In 1872 the Edgware, Highgate and London Railway opened Torrington Park Station which was renamed Woodside Park in 1882. It was during the construction of a railway through Finchley from 1864 that a Reverend Henry Stephens opened a mission for the navvies working on the line.

A church had been constructed by 1869 which was formally opened in 1870 as Christ Church. It became a new parish in 1872. By 1874 it was said that there were 350 dwellings within this ecclesiastical parish.
»read full article


MAY
17
2018

 

Wardour Street, W1D
The part of Wardour Street south of Shaftesbury Avenue runs through London’s Chinatown. Chinatown’s fourth gate on Wardour Street was completed in 2016 and built in traditional Qing Dynasty style, it is the largest Chinese gate in the country. Chinatown has buildings and streets decorated with Chinese symbols such as dragons and lanterns. Street signs are written in English and Chinese.

Wardour Street was named after local 17th century landowners, the Wardour family.
»read full article


MAY
16
2018

 

Finchley Catholic High School
Finchley Catholic High School is a comprehensive boys’ secondary school with a coeducational sixth form in North Finchley. It accepts students between the ages of 11 and 18. Finchley Catholic Grammar School was founded in 1926 by the Monsignor Canon Clement Henry Parsons (1892–1980), parish priest of St. Alban’s Catholic Church, Nether Street, North Finchley. He founded the Challoner School (a fee-paying grammar school for boys who had not passed their 11+); as well as St. Alban’s Catholic Preparatory School as a feeder primary for the Grammar and Challoner schools. 1971 saw its two institutional forebears, Finchley Catholic Grammar School ("Finchley Grammar") and the Challoner School, merge to become Finchley Catholic High School). It was the sister school of the all-girls St. Michael’s Catholic Grammar School during the grammar school era.

The school started as a private initiative and parents were able to consider allowing their children to remain at school for longer. In a short time demand outgrew accommodation, the school had to extend. An appeal from the pulpit by Canon Parsons began the collection that by Christmas 1928 had ...
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MAY
15
2018

 

North Finchley
North Finchley is centred on Tally Ho Corner, the junction of the roads to East Finchley, Finchley Central and Whetstone. The name of the whole of the modern area covering North Finchley and neighbouring Whetstone was North End, a name first used in 1462.

The rapid enclosure of the countryside in the first years of the nineteenth century meant the end of Finchley Common in 1816, opening up North Finchley from urbanisation - this still took a while nevertheless.

21 cottages were built in Lodge Lane during 1824 and by the 1830s there were other houses - even a chapel by 1837.

By 1839 North Finchley had a blacksmith (on Lodge Lane and not the High Road).

In 1851 there was a regular bus service from the ’Torrington’ to Charing Cross and next came the local railway lines. Christ Church was opened in 1870 and a new parish was formed in 1872.

In 1905 the Metropolitan Electric Tramways started a route between Highgate and Whetstone - a tram depot was opened in Woodberry Grove. Trams and buses together promoted North Finchley’s development.
»read full article


MAY
14
2018

 

Allerton Road, WD6
Allerton Road is named after Allerton Mauleverer - a village in the Harrogate district of North Yorkshire. Allerton Mauleverer lies five miles east of the town of Knaresborough. The A1(M) runs through the area connecting London and Edinburgh.

Back in Borehamwood, the Catholic church - SS St.John Fisher and Thomas More - is on corner of Rossington Avenue and Allerton Road.
»read full article


MAY
14
2018

 

Queensbury
Queensbury was a made-up name for a new area north of the existing Kingsbury. The name ’Queensbury’ came about since a new Underground station was being built in a green field area with no existing settlement. The new name was coined by analogy with Kingsbury, one station south. It had been selected by way of a newspaper competition.

The parade of shops and houses built beside the station form a large crescent with a public space in the centre. Queensbury was developed in the 1930s and the architecture reflects this. Until May 2008 a roundabout in front of the station featured a prominent 1930s-style mast bearing the London Underground emblem.

Queensbury station opened on 16 December 1934 originally as part of the Metropolitan line. The Stanmore branch was transferred to the Bakerloo line in 1939, and then the Jubilee line in 1979.
»read full article


MAY
12
2018

 

Jason Court, W1U
Jason Court was part of the ancient village of Marylebone. The court runs into Marylebone Lane. A stroll along its twisting course will at once reveal a complete contrast with to the symmetrical layout of the surrounding streets. This very distinctly indicates that it was once nothing more than a pathway along the side of the Tyburn Brook providing an access route to the village, clustered around the parish church of St Mary. Indeed it is the Tyburn which gives the area part of its name.

In the middle ages when this was a suburb village, surrounded by fields and well outside the commercial city, a small church, dedicated to St John, was built on the site where Marble Arch now stands. Almost on its doorstep stood the gallows. Served by the main road of Tyburn Way (Oxford Street) it was an easy location to reach and on execution days the area became choked with spectators, all straining to catch a glimpse of the noosed victims. As the crowds gathered, so did the thieves; there were rich pickings to be made from the densely packed...
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MAY
11
2018

 

Young Street, W8
Young Street, named after the developer of Kensington Square, was in use as a road by 1685.

Running perpendicular to the square, it was the only thoroughfare leading into it from Kensington High Street until the opening of what is now Derry Street in the mid-1730s.

As with development at Kensington Square, the street was parcelled up into lots and let or sold to developers and builders. Young retained the freehold of the area on the west side, immediately north of no.16, and probably erected two houses there by 1695. Unlike Kensington Square this area was much more socially diverse in character, with occupants connected to the court of William III sharing the length of the street with resident tradesmen and shopkeepers. There were also several Huguenots attracted to residences here.

Little remains from this time. Going by the photographs taken in the 1860s, the street was largely unaltered. Bomb damage from the Second World War, however, and before that the construction of Kensington Square Mansions on the west side of Young Str...
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MAY
10
2018

 

Angell Town, SW9
Angell Town is a large, municipally-built housing complex on the Brixton/Stockwell border. Angell Town takes its name from the eccentric landowner John Angell, who died in 1784. His grandfather, Justinian, had acquired the property by marriage. Brixton remained undeveloped until the beginning of the 19th century.

Angell Town was laid out in the 1850s on the east side of Brixton Road. The church of St John the Evangelist was built in 1852–3, designed by Benjamin Ferrey in the Perpendicular style.

Most of the old town was replaced in the 1970s by a council estate that combined 1960s-style blocks with the newer concept of overhead walkways and linking bridges, some of which were later removed in an attempt to prevent robbers and vandals making easy getaways. A bridge was supposed to cross Brixton Road to the social facilities on the Stockwell Park estate, but it was never built.

Angell Town soon gained a reputation for neglect and decline and became stigmatised as a sink estate. In a scheme notable for the high degree of residents...
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MAY
9
2018

 

Victoria Road stadium
The Victoria Road stadium, under various sponsorship names, is the home ground of Dagenham & Redbridge F.C. The site on Victoria Road has been a football ground since 1917, when it was used by the Sterling Works side, whose factory was situated alongside it. It was not fully enclosed until the summer of 1955, when Briggs Sports moved out to Rush Green Road, and Dagenham F.C. moved from the Arena. During that summer they levelled and re-seeded the pitch, removed the stones from the playing surface and extended the banking and the terracing. The only cover was a tiny wooden stand, which was steep and narrow and had a few rows of seating on the far side of the ground. The main stand was built in the autumn of 1955 and was opened on 7 January 1956 by J.W. Bowers, chairman of the Essex County Football Association. During the summer of 1956 the turnstile block at the Victoria Road side of the ground and the men’s toilets situated at the Victoria Road were added. In the summer of 1958 the cover over the far side was erected at a cost of £1,400. The first floodlit match at Victoria Road was ...
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MAY
8
2018

 

Kensington High Street, W8
Kensington High Street is one of western London’s most popular shopping streets, with upmarket shops serving a wealthy area. Kensington High Street is the continuation of Kensington Road and part of the A315. It starts by the entrance to Kensington Palace and runs westward through central Kensington. Near Kensington (Olympia) station, where the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea ends and London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham begins, it ends and becomes Hammersmith Road. The street is served by High Street Kensington underground station.

From the late 19th century until the mid-1970s the street had three classic department stores: Barkers of Kensington, Derry & Toms and Pontings. Barkers bought Pontings in 1906 and Derry & Toms in 1920, but continued to run all three as separate entities. In a big building project which started in 1930 and was not complete until 1958 (the Second World War halted the project), the company made Derry & Toms and Barkers into Art Deco palaces. On top of Derry & Toms, Europe’s largest roof garden area was created, consisting of three different gardens wit...
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MAY
7
2018

 

Cremorne Gardens
Cremorne Gardens, with a vestige existing today, was in its prime between 1846 and 1877. From Anglo-Saxon times, the tract of land on the northern banks of the Thames was divided into individually owned ‘lots’, and open to common pasturage after the annual harvest.

Later, in the 17th Century, Chelsea Farm was constructed and the area was used for market gardening plots, supplying central London. In 1778, Lord Cremorne bought Chelsea Farm and Cremorne House was built along with Ashburnham House and Ashburnham Cottage.

Fifty years later in 1825 the ‘Lammas’ rights of common grazing were abolished on the ‘Lots’. In 1830 Charles Random de Berenger, a colourful character implicated in financial fraud during the Napoleonic War, purchased Cremorne House. He was a keen sportsman and opened a sports club know as Cremorne Stadium for ‘skilful and manly exercise’ including shooting, sailing, archery and fencing.

In 1846, De Berenger’s Cremorne Stadium was transformed into a pleasure garden which became a popular and nois...
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MAY
6
2018

 

Ball Street, W8
Ball Street was created by the Kensington Improvement Scheme of 1868-71, carried out by the Metropolitan Board of Works. Ball Street ran parallel and one street back from the High Street. It was planned as another less busy shopping thorughfare.

Ball Street eventually became service space for the grander high street shops and was ultimately redeveloped as the service yard for John Barkers company in 1927. A fire station once stood on the corner of Ball Street and Derry Street.
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MAY
5
2018

 

Mildred Avenue, WD6
Mildred Avenue is a curious road, being in two halves. The road was laid out in two different periods.

There was a "posh end" as first built when Mildred Avenue was a pre-First World War cul-de-sac. Houses were large with names such as Furze Lodge, Beaulieu and Islip House.

As Boreham Wood urbanised between the wars - about 1936 the second half of Mildred Avenue was built from the newly-constructed Cardinal Avenue. These were more standard houses.

It is unclear why the decision was made to keep the two halves of Mildred Avenue apart but a barrier of vegetation exists to this day make two effective cul-de-sacs. The first part of the avenue is still an unadopted road - the only one in the town.
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MAY
3
2018

 

Gaumont
The Gaumont Finchley opened on 19 July 1937 and was built as a replacement for the Grand Hall across the road. It was a magnificent building designed by the architect W Trent and had 2,000 seats, a café restaurant and a Compton organ. The organ was removed in 1967.

The exterior signage and the elaborate stone mural depicting the shooting of a film, the entrance foyer with its walnut panelling, and the light fittings in the auditorium all remained unaltered. It represented an intact cinema of W E Trent’s later period.

The auditorium had survived intact because it was very wide and the circle only extended over the rear stalls for a few rows. This ruled out an inexpensive conversion to create smaller cinemas downstairs.

The Gaumont exhibited a certain sense of style with a final performance, booking The Last Picture Show as its last picture show in 1980.
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MAY
2
2018

 

Rosslyn Hill, NW3
Rosslyn Hill is a road connecting the south end of Hampstead High Street to the north end of Haverstock Hill. It is the site of the Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, St. Stephen’s Church and the Royal Free Hospital. It is served by the bus routes N5, C11, 46 and 268. Pond Street links it to Hampstead Heath railway station.

Haverstock Hill, Rosslyn Hill, and Heath Street, Hampstead together constitute one long hill 2.8 km long, rising 99 m, with an average grade of 3.5% (maximum 8.5%).
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MAY
1
2018

 

Southwark Street, SE1
Southwark Street is a major street just south of the River Thames. It runs between Blackfriars Road to the west and Borough High Street to the east. In April 1856, the St Saviour's District Board petitioned the Metropolitan Board of Works to create a new street to run between the South Eastern Railway terminus at London Bridge station and the West End. The street was the first to be made by the Board and was completed in 1864. It was driven across a densely occupied part of the parish and crosses older roads and streets which created oddly shaped plots for redevelopment. Its junction with Borough High Street is so gently curved that the transition between the streets leads to confusion and imprecision as to which is which and the street numbering and lack of a Street Name Plate compounds this, the break between them occurs at the junction with Bedale Street on the north-side but at the south-side the street does not begin until after the 'fork' opposite Stoney Street, some 130 metres to the west. Under the street, a tunnel was constructed with side passages to carry utilities such as gas, water, and drainage pipes, together with t...
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