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Featured · Queen’s Park ·
MAY
21
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...
East India Dock Road, E14
East India Dock Road is an important artery connecting the City of London to Essex, and partly serves as the high street of Poplar It takes it name from the former East India Docks and its route was constructed between 1806 and 1812 as a branch of the Commercial Road. The road begins in the west at Burdett Road and continues to the River Lea bridge in the east in Canning Town.

It laid within the parish of Limehouse with the western end in the former Gravel Pit Field.

The westernmost end, west of Stainsby Road and Birchfield Street was built up between 1847 and 1853 (north side) and 1850 and 1860 (south side).

»more

FEBRUARY
14
2022

 

Whitechapel High Street, E1
Whitechapel High Street runs approximately west-east from Aldgate High Street to Whitechapel Road and is designated as part of the A11 Forming part of the main road from Aldgate to Essex and known originally as Algatestreet, it was paved as early as the reign of Henry VIII, although John Stow described its shabbiness as "no small blemish on so famous a city".

Owing to its importance as a major thoroughfare out of London, its sides were built up early and included many coaching inns and taverns. Although some remain (in name only), many of these hostelries were closed following the arrival of the railways in the 19th century.

Whitechapel High Street becomes Whitechapel Road after the intersection with Osborn Street and Whitechurch Lane. It was also the location of the Whitechapel Haymarket, first given its charter in 1708 and abolished in 1929.
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FEBRUARY
13
2022

 

Worgan Street, SE11
Worgan Street is the new name for the former Catherine Street in the Vauxhall Gardens Estate area Spring Gardens was established here in the reign of King Charles II. Here could be found live entertainers, food and drink. It was a venue for amorous liaisons, as regular visitor Samuel Pepys noted.

In 1729, the Vauxhall Spring-Gardens was sublet to the entrepreneurial Jonathan Tyers who saw an opportunity to provide a new style of entertainment for Londoners, charging an admission fee of one shilling to discourage the pickpockets and ’ladies of the night’. This became the first and best-known of London’s pleasure gardens. Over the next 130 years Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens played host to concerts, operas, firework displays, circus acts, balloon rides and more.

In 1859, the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens were closed and the area redeveloped into housing. Catherine Street was built here and the street was renamed Worgan Street in the late 1930s.

In the 1970s, the local houses - some badly war-damaged - were demolis...
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FEBRUARY
12
2022

 

Wilsham Street, W11
Wilsham Street was formerly known as St Katherine’s Road Charles Booth’s poverty map placed the Kensington Potteries among the "criminal and irreclaimable areas", largely on account of the overcrowded condition of its unsuitable and derelict houses.

Five short streets in the district became known as the "Special Area.": Bangor Street, Crescent Street and three roads that have been renamed. St. Clement’s, now called Sirdar Road, St. Katherine’s Road, now Wilsham Street, and William, now Kenley Street.

In 1899 an enquiry was undertaken at the instance of the London County Council, and it was found that nearly half the babies born in this area died before they were a year old.

In 1904 there was a public-house to every twenty-five dwellings in these streets, and about twenty-three common lodging-houses provided accommodation for over seven hundred persons, at a nightly charge of fourpence or sixpence.

Greater however than the evil of these licensed lodging-houses, w...
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FEBRUARY
11
2022

 

Golborne Mews, W10
Golborne Mews lies off of the Portobello Road, W10 The Mews is part of the ‘Oxford Gardens’ Conservation Area. Designated in 1975 to include the St Quintin Estate, Oxford Gardens, Bassett Road and Cambridge Gardens, the Conservation Area contains very few listed buildings and can be split into three districts containing developments spanning from 1897 to after 1905.

Originally the stable house accommodation for the main houses on the surrounding streets, the primary purpose of the Mews properties is now residential.
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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Comment
Watts   
Added: 17 May 2022 20:29 GMT   

Baeethoven St School, also an Annex for Paddington College of FE.
In the early 70’s I took a two year science course at Paddington CFE. The science classes were held on weekday evenings at Beethoven Street school, overseen by chemistry teacher, Mr Tattershall.

Reply

   
Added: 25 Apr 2022 22:11 GMT   

Southover, N12
Everyone knows Central Woodside is the place to be. Ever since kdog moved from finchtown, Woodside has been thriving.

Reply
Born here
Bernard Miller   
Added: 12 Apr 2022 17:36 GMT   

My mother and her sister were born at 9 Windsor Terrace
My mother, Millie Haring (later Miller) and her sister Yetta Haring (later Freedman) were born here in 1922 and 1923. With their parents and older brother and sister, they lived in two rooms until they moved to Stoke Newington in 1929. She always said there were six rooms, six families, a shared sink on the first floor landing and a toilet in the backyard.

Reply

Brian Lynch   
Added: 10 Apr 2022 13:38 GMT   

Staples Mattress Factory
An architect’s design of the Staples Mattress Factory
An image found on the website of Dalzell’s Beds, in Armagh Northern Ireland.

Reply
Lived here
   
Added: 19 Feb 2022 16:21 GMT   

Harmondsworth (1939 - 1965)
I lived in a house (Lostwithiel) on the Bath Road opposite the junction with Tythe Barn Lane, now a hotel site. Initially, aircraft used one of the diagonal runways directly in line with our house. I attended Sipson Primary School opposite the Three Magpies and celebrated my 21st birthday at The Peggy Bedford in 1959.

Reply

Emma Seif   
Added: 25 Jan 2022 19:06 GMT   

Birth of the Bluestocking Society
In about 1750, Elizabeth Montagu began hosting literary breakfasts in her home at 23 (now 31) Hill Street. These are considered the first meetings of the Bluestocking society.

Reply
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

JUNE
30
2018

 

St Johns Way, N19
St. John’s Way, originally St. John’s Road, was partially laid out in 1845. St John’s Road was first mentioned in December 1844 as a new road. It was to connect the envisaged St John’s Ville with the junction at the foot of Highgate Hill.
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JUNE
28
2018

 

Featherstone Gardens, WD6
Featherstone Gardens runs from Kenilworth Drive to Arundel Drive. Like the two roads it connects, Featherstone Gardens was laid out in the late 1930s and is named after a castle.

Its namesake, Featherstone Castle, is a Grade I listed building and a large Gothic style country mansion situated on the bank of the River South Tyne about 3 miles southwest of the town of Haltwhistle, Northumberland.
»read full article


JUNE
27
2018

 

Lamb’s Passage, EC1Y
Lamb’s Passage was formerly Great Swordbearers (Sword Bearers) Alley. Lamb’s Passage owes its origin – or rather its present name – to a local businessman called Thomas Lamb (1752-1813), a cloth dyer and a manufacturer of buckram – a fabric of coarse linen stiffened with gum used both by tailors and bookbinders.

He took up residence here in the late 18th century when it went under the name of Great Swordbearers Alley – that name perhaps deriving from the nearby premises of the Honourable Artillery Company – and moved on in 1813, the year his name was applied to the Passage. He was charged with an enthusiastic inspiration to assist the poor of the neighbourhood. By some means he raised sufficient funds to build a block of tenements on adjacent ground in 1770 - these subsequently came to be known as Lamb’s Buildings.

Great Swordbearers Alley was part of the London streetscape since at least 1666 when ratepayers were listed there.
»read full article


JUNE
26
2018

 

Dufferin Street, EC1Y
Dufferin Street runs between Bunhill Row and Whitecross Street. Dufferin Street lies north of the modern Barbican and has been on the cusp between poverty and bourgeois for much of its existence.

Nearby Whitecross Street has been home to an eponymous market since the 17th century. By the late 19th century this area had become a by-word for poverty and alcohol, known colloquially as Squalors’ Market.

In 1883 the Peabody Donation Fund built two estates, one either side of Whitecross Street: The Whitecross Street estate comprised 21 blocks on the east side of Whitecross Street between Roscoe Street and Errol Street, including three blocks at the eastern end of Dufferin Street which was laid out at this time.

At one end of Dufferin Street, Dufferin Court was built for costermongers and features barrow storage sheds in the courtyard.

Finsbury Tower occupies a prominent island site on the west side of Bunhill Row at its junctions with Dufferin Street and Lamb’s Buildings.
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JUNE
24
2018

 

Fleet Market
The Fleet Market was a market erected in 1736 on the newly culverted River Fleet. The market was located approximately where the modern Farringdon Street stands today, to the west of the Smithfield livestock market.

Work began in 1734 to arch over the River Fleet, as it had become an open sewer; and to remove the considerable expense of clearing the river of rubbish and filth. The course of the river was covered between Holborn Bridge and Fleet Bridge (now Ludgate Circus). The market, consisting of two rows of open one–storey shops linked by a covered walkway, opened on 30 September 1737. The market replaced the Old Stocks Market that itself had been cleared for the construction of the Mansion House.

To the north of the market, vegetables were sold in an open-air market. The centre was marked by a clock tower; and the south was adjacent to the Fleet Prison.

By 1829, the market was dilapidated and considered an obstacle to the increasing volume of traffic; and was cleared for the construction of Farringdon Road. Farring...
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JUNE
21
2018

 

The Old Bell
The (Old) Bell is a very old Kilburn Pub. The Bell already existed by 1600. A chalybeate spring was situated near to the Bell - a chalybeate is one where the water is impregnated with iron. In 1714 the spring was enclosed in a brick reservoir and by 1733 was being exploited by the proprietor of the ’Bell’ as a cure for stomach ailments in imitation of Hampstead Wells.

By 1814 the wells were in decline, although the Bell, now called ’Kilburn Wells’, remained popular as a tea garden.

The pub was demolished and rebuilt in 1863 but by then dog-fighting and bareknuckle bouts had become common.

»read full article


JUNE
21
2018

 

Mile End Road, E1
Mile End Road is an ancient route from London to the East, moved to its present alignment after the foundation of Bow Bridge in 1110. Mile End - more specifically the turnpike on Whitechapel Road at the crossroads with Cambridge Heath Road - was situated one mile from Aldgate; hence the name. It was first recorded in 1288 and known as Aldgatestrete. The area running alongside Mile End Road was known as Mile End Green, and became known as a place of assembly for Londoners, as reflected in the name of Assembly Passage.

For most of the medieval period, this road was surrounded by open fields on either side. Speculative developments existed by the end of the 16th century and continued throughout the 18th century. It developed as an area of working and lower-class housing, often occupied by immigrants and migrants new to the city.

Wat Tyler gathered his followers here during the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381.

A Jewish cemetery was established on Mile End Road in 1657 by permission of Oliver Cromwell.

From 1800 onwards, Stepney expanded towards the southern ...
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JUNE
17
2018

 

Adam Street, WC2N
Adam Street is named after John and Robert Adam, who built the Adelphi development in the 1760s. Few of their buildings remain. Number 7, with honeysuckle pilasters and lacy ironwork, is one attractive survival.
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JUNE
15
2018

 

Queens Parade, NW4
Queens Parade is a parade of shops along Queens Road, Hendon. It is a typical mid-twentieth century retail development of shops with flats above. Further along, houses retain the Parade name but are missing their shops beneath.
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JUNE
14
2018

 

Elmhurst Gardens
Elmhurst Gardens, in South Woodford, is a park with a variety of mature trees which provide a ’vista’ of colours particularly during autumn months. Also known as Gordon Fields, the gardens have notable beech, oak and lime, and retain much of the original layout as well as a picturesque brick sundial and small pavilion, and an area of formal planting with seats.

The park is laid out on land once part of Elmhurst Estate, acquired by Woodford UDC in 1921. The gardens were opened in July 1927 as Woodford Recreation Ground. The land was purchased from Mr Lister Harrison of Elmhurst, having been separated from the house and remainder of the estate by the railway in 1856.

There is a resting area in the centre of the park that was landscaped in the 2010s and planted with shrubs and bulbs to provide an abundance of colour.

Elmhurst Gardens has a bowling green (where South Woodford Bowls Club plays), a children’s play area, an outdoor gym and tennis courts.
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JUNE
13
2018

 

Junction Tavern
The Junction Tavern is an imposing Victorian building between Kentish Town and Tufnell Park. The pub dates to 1885, the main bar and dining room reflects its late Victorian heyday. Its 18th century frontage veils an interior of dark-panelled rooms, a bright and airy conservatory and a beer garden.
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JUNE
11
2018

 

Staple Inn Buildings, WC1V
Staple Inn Buildings is part of historic Staple Inn. The current front facade consists of two buildings, one was the original staple Inn (5 bays to the left), the other was a house of similar age (2 bays to the right).

Staple Inn was built in 1585 and was a medieval school providing training in legal practices. Staple Inn was once attached along with neighbouring Barnards Inn to Grays Inn, one of the four inns of courts.

Behind the facade of High Holborn through the Holborn gateway is Staple inn courtyard with the staple inn hall on the opposite side of the courtyard. The old hall was built around 1580 as a banqueting hall.
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JUNE
10
2018

 

Staple Inn
Staple Inn is London’s only surviving sixteenth-century domestic building, situated on the south side of High Holborn. Its timber-framed façade overhangs the roadway.

The building was once the wool staple, where wool was weighed and taxed. It was an Inn of Chancery built between 1545 to 1549. It survived the Great Fire of London and was restored in 1886 and reconstructed in 1937. It was extensively damaged by a Nazi German Luftwaffe aerial bomb in 1944 but was subsequently restored once more. It has a distinctive cruck roof and an internal courtyard.

It was originally attached to Gray’s Inn, which is one of the four Inns of Court. The Inns of Chancery fell into decay in the 19th century. All of them were dissolved, and most were demolished. Staple Inn is the only one which survives largely intact.

It was later rebuilt by the Prudential Insurance Company, and is now used by the Institute of Actuaries and various other companies.

The historic interiors include a great hall, used by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. The ground floor ...
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JUNE
9
2018

 

Holborn, EC1N
Holborn commemorates the River Fleet, also known as the Holbourne stream. The road was once lined with coaching inns with the Bull and Gate being particularly noted for being the terminus of stagecoaches from the north. These in turn attracted costermongers who would sell travellers fruit. The sixteenth-century Staple Inn is one of London’s few surviving timber-faced buildings. Otherwise the inns of Holborn were swept away with the coming of the railways.

Two nineteenth century granite obelisks stand on both sides of Holborn at the junction with Gray’s Inn Road marking the entrance to the City.
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JUNE
8
2018

 

Crystal Palace Indoor Bowling
The London County Bowling Club was originally formed on the site of the Crystal Palace tennis courts. WG Grace may have been England’s greatest-ever cricketer but he had interests in many sports and towards the end of his cricketing career in the late 1890s, he began to take a keen interest in bowls.

In 1899, WG Grace accepted an invitation from the Crystal Palace Company to help them form the London County Cricket Club at the Crystal Palace Exhibition complex.

He became the club’s secretary, manager and captain. He was pivotal in establishing the London County Bowling Club in 1901.

On 8 June 1903 in Crystal Palace’s cricket pavilion, a group headed by WG, formed the English Bowling Association with himself as President.

Grace recognised that the popularity of the game was such that bowling in the winter was a viable proposition. In 1905 Crystal Palace Indoor Bowling Club was formed, playing within the Crystal Palace Great Exhibition centre’s main gallery, thereby establishing England’s first indoor bowling club. ...
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JUNE
7
2018

 

Aldersgate Street, EC1A
Aldersgate Street is located on the west side of the Barbican Estate. The original gate here was made by the Romans some time after the City wall was built in the second century. It was a double gateway strengthened by towers projecting on the outside; part of the western tower was discovered beneath Aldersgate Street in 1939.

The name is Saxon - the gate of Aldred, somebody who perhaps lived above the gate to guard the approach road. Further fortifications and guard rooms were added through the middle ages. Aldersgate was finally demolished in 1761, and now only a plaque marks its site.

Originally Aldersgate Street was only the section starting from the church of St Botolph without Aldersgate running towards Long Lane and the portion from Long Lane to Goswell Road was formerly named Pickax Street.

Barbican station is located on Aldersgate Street and when it was opened in 1865 was named Aldersgate Street station. It was renamed Barbican in 1968.

134 Aldersgate Street for many years had a sign c...
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JUNE
6
2018

 

Halbutt Street, RM9
Halbutt Street is one of the oldest streets in the area. Dagenham (’Daecca’s home’) was probably one of the earliest Saxon settlements in Essex: the name is first recorded in a charter of A.D. 687. From the 13th century onwards references to the parish, its farms and hamlets, are sufficiently numerous to suggest a flourishing community. In 1670 Dagenham contained 150 houses.

In the south of the parish the main west-east road from London to Tilbury entered as Ripple Side, known in the 16th century as Ripple Street, and now called Ripple Road. It turned north as Broad Street, formerly French Lane (mentioned in 1540) and then east past the Church Elm (1456), through Dagenham village, as Crown Street, formerly Dagenham Street (1441), and then south-east over Dagenham (or Dagenham Beam) Bridge. Joining that road at the village was one coming south from Becontree Heath. The northern part of this last road, now Rainham Road North, was formerly Spark Street (1540) and later Bull Lane. The southern part, now Rainham Road South,...
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JUNE
5
2018

 

Becontree
The Becontree Estate remains the largest public housing development in the world. The Becontree Estate was developed between 1921 and 1932 by the London County Council as a large council estate of 27,000 homes, intended as ’homes for heroes’ after World War I. It has a current population of over 100,000 and is named after the ancient Becontree hundred, which historically covered the area.

The very first house completed, in Chittys Lane, is recognisable by a blue council plate embedded in the wall. Parallel to Chittys Lane runs Valence Avenue, which is wider than the rest of the streets in the district because a temporary railway ran down the centre of the avenue during the construction of the estate - it was built especially for the building work, connecting railway sidings at Goodmayes and a wharf on the river Thames with the worksites.

At the time people marvelled at having indoor toilets and a private garden, although the sash windows were extremely draughty, there was no insulation in the attics, and during the winter ...
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JUNE
4
2018

 

Chittys Lane, RM8
In Chittys Lane, the first houses of the Becontree Estate were built. The Becontree Estate is named after the ancient Becontree Hundred, which historically covered the area.

Because of the lack of available land in the County of London, the Housing Act 1919 permitted the London County Council (LCC) to build housing and act as landlord outside of its territory. On 18 June 1919 the London County Council’s Standing Committee on the Housing of the Working Classes resolved to build 29,000 dwellings to accommodate 145,000 people within 5 years, of which 24,000 were to be at Becontree. Becontree was developed between 1921 and 1935 as a large cottage estate of around 26,000 homes, intended to be "homes fit for heroes" for World War I veterans.

Most of the land was at that time was market gardens, with occasional groups of cottages and some country lanes. It was compulsorily purchased. 4,000 houses had been completed by 1921. The early residents were able to pick rhubarb, peas and cabbages from the abandoned market gardens.
...
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JUNE
3
2018

 

Adelaide Cottages
Adelaide Cottages stood to the east of London Road behind the former Florida Cinema. In 1875 they were reported as still having no running water or main drainage.

Adelaide Cottages were probably named after Queen Adelaide, the consort of King William IV. Genotin Road was extended south over their site in the late 1960s.
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JUNE
2
2018

 

Goodwin’s Field
Goodwins Field - a field with a story. In 1715, Goodwin’s Field was a field owned by a Peter Lavigne, grocer or perfumier of Covent Garden. He bought it from two brothers, John and Thomas Morgan of Marlborough, Wiltshire in 1699. Goodwin’s Field had been inherited in 1699 by the Morgans under the provisions of the will of their brother Charles Morgan (d. 1682), also a grocer of Covent Garden, who had bequeathed his shop there directly to Lavigne, formerly his ’servant’.

Morgan had bought Goodwin’s Field in 1680 from a William Chare who in turn had inherited it, by the custom of the manor of Earl’s Court, as the youngest son of a John Chare.. The latter had bought it in 1641 from mortgagees of Samuel Arnold, one of a family widely propertied in the vicinity of Earl’s Court. Earlier, in the 1530s to 1550s, Goodwin’s Field had been owned by a family called Thatcher.

Goodwin’s Field passed on Lavigne’s death in 1717 to his widow and then in 1719 to their daughter, at that tim...
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JUNE
1
2018

 

Blue Peter Garden
The original garden, adjacent to Television Centre, was designed by Percy Thrower in 1974. Its features include an Italian sunken garden with a pond, which contains goldfish, a vegetable patch, greenhouse and viewing platform. George the Tortoise was interred in the garden following his death in 2004, and there is also a bust of the dog Petra, sculptures of Mabel and the Blue Peter ship, and a plaque in honour of Percy Thrower.

When the programme’s production base moved to Salford MediaCityUK in September 2011, sections of the garden, including the sculptures and the sunken pond, were carefully relocated to the piazza of the new studio facility.
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