The Underground Map

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Featured · Queen’s Park ·

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.

As maps are displayed, click on the markers to view location articles.

Latest on The Underground Map...
Kenway Road, SW5
Kenway Road was, after 1803, called North Row. Kenway Road was originally part of a country track linking the Manor House at Earl’s Court with Kensington village, via what are now Wright’s Lane and Marloes Road. It may be an  abbreviation of ’the Way to Kensington’.

In 1797, one Thomas Smith bought a local piece of land called ’Pound Field. At Earl’s Court Smith began building in 1803 along established thoroughfares - today’s Kenway Road and Hogarth Place.

In 1856, Charles  William  Wallgrave (of King’s Road, Chelsea) invested in a plot of land at Earl’s Court. Four years later he decided to build Wallgrave Road but wrote to the local Parish Vestry to say that the drains at Earl’s Court appeared to be blocked, since all the sewage from the cottages in Kenway Road was overflowing onto his ground. The vestry replied that this was not surprising, since there were no sewers at Earl’s  Court. Nor did they intend to do anything ab...




George Lane, E18
George Lane is the main road of South Woodford South Woodford’s original name was Church End. This continued as the electoral ward for the part of South Woodford north of the Central Line railway.

There were five inns in Woodford in 1753: The George, The White Hart, The Ship and Castle, New Wells, and Old Wells. The George at Church End, already existed as Horns Inn in 1657. It faces High Road at the junction with George Lane - the road is named after the inn.

In the early 19th century, the upper and lower roads of Woodford, together with Snakes Lane and George Lane were the only thoroughfares through the parish.

George Lane originally crossed the railway with a level crossing immediately to the north of the station. This was closed and the road split into two when the line was electrified.

The first cinema in the district was the South Woodford Cinema, opening in 1913 at 170 George Lane.

George Lane station became a Central Line underground station ...



Agincourt Road, NW3
Agincourt Road dates from 1881 Thomas E. Gibb, a developer from Kentish Town, purchased a large area of land and proposed to build 120 small houses for middle-class residents (at ’the lower end of middle-class respectability’), as well as a sewer. He laid out several roads, including Cressy Road, Agincourt Road, and Lisburne Road - Agincourt and Cressey were both notable battles.

However, the closure and reopening of a local smallpox hospital caused land values to decrease, and little housing was built initially.

In 1886, the Church Commissioners recognised the social change and allowed Gibb to build 215 houses on the remaining land. This led to the construction of Constantine Road in 1887, which provided a direct route from Gospel Oak and Kentish Town to South End Green and the heath. Building then began, and after Gibb’s death in 1894, his successors built an additional 153 houses in Constantine Road, Cressy Road, and Mackeson Road.
»read full article



The Adelphi
The Adelphi is a small district surrounding the streets of Adelphi Terrace, Robert Street and John Adam Street The Adelphi district gets its name from the Adelphi Buildings, a collection of 24 neoclassical terrace houses located between The Strand and the River Thames in the parish of St Martin in the Fields. The buildings were constructed between 1768-72 by the Adam brothers (John, Robert, James, and William Adam) and also included a headquarters building for the "Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce," now known as the Royal Society of Arts. The Greek-derived name of the buildings honors the Adam brothers’ architectural design. The ruins of Durham House were removed to make way for the Adelphi Buildings. The nearby Adelphi Theatre takes its name from the Adelphi Buildings. Robert Adam was inspired by his visit to Diocletian’s Palace in Dalmatia, and some of that inspiration is reflected in the design of the Adelphi Buildings.

The Adelphi district is not strictly defined by boundaries, but generally, it is considered to be situated betwee...



Ainsty Street, SE16
York Street until 1873, Ainsty Street was one of a group of Rotherhithe Streets commemorating royal names Built in the early 19th century, York Street - before it was Ainsty Street - was named for George III’s second son, the Duke of York.

It was typical of many other streets of workers’ terraces.

Destroyed in the Blitz, Ainsty Street originally ran to what is now Albatross Way. It was redeveloped when the Ainsty Estate was built.
»read full article


Christine D Elliott   
Added: 20 Mar 2023 15:52 GMT   

The Blute Family
My grandparents, Frederick William Blute & Alice Elizabeth Blute nee: Warnham lived at 89 Blockhouse Street Deptford from around 1917.They had six children. 1. Alice Maragret Blute (my mother) 2. Frederick William Blute 3. Charles Adrian Blute 4. Violet Lillian Blute 5. Donald Blute 6. Stanley Vincent Blute (Lived 15 months). I lived there with my family from 1954 (Birth) until 1965 when we were re-housed for regeneration to the area.
I attended Ilderton Road School.
Very happy memories of that time.


Pearl Foster   
Added: 20 Mar 2023 12:22 GMT   

Dukes Place, EC3A
Until his death in 1767, Daniel Nunes de Lara worked from his home in Dukes Street as a Pastry Cook. It was not until much later the street was renamed Dukes Place. Daniel and his family attended the nearby Bevis Marks synagogue for Sephardic Jews. The Ashkenazi Great Synagogue was established in Duke Street, which meant Daniel’s business perfectly situated for his occupation as it allowed him to cater for both congregations.

Dr Paul Flewers   
Added: 9 Mar 2023 18:12 GMT   

Some Brief Notes on Hawthorne Close / Hawthorne Street
My great-grandparents lived in the last house on the south side of Hawthorne Street, no 13, and my grandmother Alice Knopp and her brothers and sisters grew up there. Alice Knopp married Charles Flewers, from nearby Hayling Road, and moved to Richmond, Surrey, where I was born. Leonard Knopp married Esther Gutenberg and lived there until the street was demolished in the mid-1960s, moving on to Tottenham. Uncle Len worked in the fur trade, then ran a pet shop in, I think, the Kingsland Road.

From the back garden, one could see the almshouses in the Balls Pond Road. There was an ink factory at the end of the street, which I recall as rather malodorous.


Added: 7 Mar 2023 17:14 GMT   

Andover Road, N7 (1939 - 1957)
My aunt, Doris nee Curtis (aka Jo) and her husband John Hawkins (aka Jack) ran a small general stores at 92 Andover Road (N7). I have found details in the 1939 register but don’t know how long before that it was opened.He died in 1957. In the 1939 register he is noted as being an ARP warden for Islington warden


Added: 2 Mar 2023 13:50 GMT   

The Queens Head
Queens Head demolished and a NISA supermarket and flats built in its place.

Added: 28 Feb 2023 18:09 GMT   

6 Elia Street
When I was young I lived in 6 Elia Street. At the end of the garden there was a garage owned by Initial Laundries which ran from an access in Quick Street all the way up to the back of our garden. The fire exit to the garage was a window leading into our garden. 6 Elia Street was owned by Initial Laundry.

Added: 21 Feb 2023 11:39 GMT   

Error on 1800 map numbering for John Street
The 1800 map of Whitfield Street (17 zoom) has an error in the numbering shown on the map. The houses are numbered up the right hand side of John Street and Upper John Street to #47 and then are numbered down the left hand side until #81 BUT then continue from 52-61 instead of 82-91.

P Cash   
Added: 19 Feb 2023 08:03 GMT   

Occupants of 19-29 Woburn Place
The Industrial Tribunals (later changed to Employment Tribunals) moved (from its former location on Ebury Bridge Road to 19-29 Woburn Place sometime in the late 1980s (I believe).

19-29 Woburn Place had nine floors in total (one in the basement and two in its mansard roof and most of the building was occupied by the Tribunals

The ’Head Office’ of the tribunals, occupied space on the 7th, 6th and 2nd floors, whilst one of the largest of the regional offices (London North but later called London Central) occupied space in the basement, ground and first floor.

The expansive ground floor entrance had white marble flooring and a security desk. Behind (on evey floor) lay a square (& uncluttered) lobby space, which was flanked on either side by lifts. On the rear side was an elegant staircase, with white marble steps, brass inlays and a shiny brass handrail which spiralled around an open well. Both staircase, stairwell and lifts ran the full height of the building. On all floors from 1st upwards, staff toilets were tucked on either side of the staircase (behind the lifts).

Basement Floor - Tribunal hearing rooms, dormant files store and secure basement space for Head Office. Public toilets.

Geound Floor - The ’post’ roon sat next to the entrance in the northern side, the rest of which was occupied by the private offices of the full time Tribunal judiciary. Thw largest office belonged to the Regional Chair and was situated on the far corner (overlooking Tavistock Square) The secretary to the Regional Chair occupied a small office next door.
The south side of this floor was occupied by the large open plan General Office for the administration, a staff kitchen & rest room and the private offices of the Regional Secretary (office manager) and their deputy.

First Dloor - Tribunal hearing rooms; separate public waiting rooms for Applicants & Respondents; two small rooms used by Counsel (on a ’whoever arrives first’ bases) and a small private rest room for use by tribunal lay members.

Second Floor - Tribunal Hearing Rooms; Tribunal Head Office - HR & Estate Depts & other tennants.

Third Floor - other tennants

Fourth Floor - other tennants

Fifth Floor - Other Tennants except for a large non-smoking room for staff, (which overlooked Tavistock Sqaure). It was seldom used, as a result of lacking any facities aside from a meagre collection of unwanted’ tatty seating. Next to it, (overlooking Tavistock Place) was a staff canteen.

Sixth Floor - Other tennants mostly except for a few offices on the northern side occupied by tribunal Head Office - IT Dept.

Seventh Floor - Other tenants in the northern side. The southern (front) side held the private offices of several senior managers (Secretariat, IT & Finance), private office of the Chief Accuntant; an office for two private secretaries and a stationary cupboard. On the rear side was a small kitchen; the private office of the Chief Executive and the private office of the President of the Tribunals for England & Wales. (From 1995 onwards, this became a conference room as the President was based elsewhere. The far end of this side contained an open plan office for Head Office staff - Secretariat, Finance & HR (staff training team) depts.

Eighth Floor - other tennants.

The Employment Tribunals (Regional & Head Offices) relocated to Vitory House, Kingsway in April 2005.



Click here to explore another London street
We now have 557 completed street histories and 46943 partial histories
Find streets or residential blocks within the M25 by clicking STREETS



Cannon Street, EC4R
Cannon Street follows the route of a riverside path that ran along the Thames. Linking the Monument to St Paul’s Churchyard, Cannon Street does not refer to cannons at all but to candles - being the street of the candlemakers and first appearing in 1183 as ’Candelwrichstrete’ (’Candlewright Street’). The City ward of Candlewick come from the original name before it was corrupted.

In the late Victorian period, Cannon Street was occupied by large warehouses - especially of cotton goods. It had been lengthened and widened in the mid-1850s, clearing away a maze of small streets. Cannon Street station as the new terminus of the South-Eastern Railway opened in 1866.

The London Stone, from which distances were measured in Roman times, was originally situated in the middle of Cannon Street.
»read full article



Edgware bus station
Edgware Bus Station lies behind Edgware train station. In August 2009, writer Tanya Gold attempted to be the writer in residence at the bus station emulating Alain de Botton who had a similar position at Heathrow Airport.

»read full article



Abbey Wood
Between Plumstead to the west and Erith to the east, Abbey Wood takes its name from the nearby Lesnes Abbey and Bostall Woods. The original 19th century Abbey Wood (known locally as The Village) is the area immediately south of Abbey Wood railway station, built where Knee Hill became Harrow Manorway and crossed the railway (North Kent Line). This is now the centre where three phases of house building (almost) meet.

The Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society (RACS) bought two farms on the hillside to the south and between 1900 and 1930 built the Bostall Estate. Once known as Tin Check Island after the Society’s dividend system, this has streets named for Co-operative themes (Alexander McLeod, Rochdale, Robert Owen, Congress), a school & shops but no pubs.

Between 1956 & 1959 the London County Council built the Abbey Estate on former Royal Arsenal marshland to the north (between the railway and the Southern Outfall sewer bank heading for Crossness). Predominently conventional brick houses with gardens, equipped with shopping centres, schools and open spaces, the estate...



Bush Theatre
The Bush Theatre is located in the Passmore Edwards Public Library, Shepherd’s Bush. The Bush Theatre was established in 1972 to showcase for the work of new writers. The theatre strives to create a space which nurtures and develops new artists and their work. The Bush Theatre has produced many premieres, many of them Bush Theatre commissions, and hosted guest productions by theatre companies and artists from across the world.

»read full article



Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art
The Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, formerly the Webber Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Art, was a drama school, and originally a singing school. It was one of the leading drama schools in Britain, and offered comprehensive training for those intending to pursue a professional performance career. During its 100-year history, the Academy produced many established actors of stage and screen, including Angela Lansbury, Julian Fellowes, Antony Sher, Donald Sinden, Hugh Bonneville, Minnie Driver, Amanda Root, Julia Ormond, Terence Stamp, Natalie Dormer, and Miranda Raison.

The school was founded in London in 1926 as the Webber Douglas School of Singing, by Walter Johnstone Douglas and Amherst Webber. It was created from the singing academy founded in 1906 in Paris by Jean de Reszke. By 1932 the school had added full theatrical training to its curriculum, and it was renamed the Webber Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Art. It was located at 30 Clareville St in South Kensington.

In 2006, the academy was absorbed into the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Many of the academy’s past alumni ha...



Shepherd’s Bush Village Hall
Shepherd’s Bush Village Hall is a Victorian building on Wood Lane. Shepherd’s Bush Village Hall was originally constructed as a drill hall for the 1st City of London Volunteer Artillery. It is now a community centre.

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham sold it to Wigoder Family Foundation in 2012. Among the charities which continue to use it is the West London School of Dance.

Shepherd’s Bush Village Hall falls within the Shepherd’s Bush Conservation Area.
»read full article



Conway Crescent, UB6
Conway Crescent was a 1930 estate of privately-built homes. By the 1840s, Perivale was former wheat fields - which had grown wheat of some prestige - had been converted to grow hay. The coming of the Grand Union Canal made the formerly isolated village better connected to serve London’s growing population of horses. John Betjeman’s poem ’Return to Ealing’ states:

"...And a gentle gale from Perivale / blows up the hayfield scent."

The population of Perivale remained very low until the start of the twentieth century. In 1901, the census counted only 60 people.

In the 1930s, the Western Avenue was built, running east-west across the fields of Perivale and led to its rapid expansion. In the 1930s, many factories and houses arrived in Perivale. The Hoover Building opened in 1932 and employed more than 3000 people at its height. Sanderson’s wallpaper factory also went up in 1929, eventually employing some 2000.

In contrast to the pattern of development in many ...



Weymouth Avenue, W5
Weymouth Avenue dates from the period of the First World War. Little Ealing village existed by 1650 and was situated where Little Ealing Lane and Northfield Avenue (then Northfield Lane) and Windmill Road (then Windmill Lane) met. The manor house of Coldhall lay along Little Ealing Lane between the village and South Ealing Road. Until the late 19th century Little Ealing was only a small hamlet.

In 1883, the Metropolitan District Railway built its Hounslow extention as a branch from Acton Town. At first there were two stations in the area - South Ealing and Boston Road (now Boston Manor). By 1908, the Northfields area begun to develop and a halt was built. The station and platforms were then on the west side of Northfield Avenue.

The bridge where Weymouth Avenue now crosses the railway, preceded the laying out of the road and linked the right of way which connected Little Ealing and Allacross Road. Weymouth Road built to connect Little Ealing Lane northwards to Windermere Road, integrated this bridge which forced th...



Pottery Lane, W11
Pottery Lane takes its name from the brickfields which were situated at the northern end of the street. The local soil was stiff clay and after 1818, the clay begun to be dug out here and used for brickmaking to supply London’s growing suburbs. Bricks and tiles were stored in sheds lining Pottery Lane and were fired in large kilns. Parts of the diggings flooded and a particular area became known as ’The Ocean’. Rubbish and effluent ended up here and it was bounded by dangerous walkways. Over the years, many drowned there.

Roughly at the same time as the brickmaking took off, pig keepers moved into the area. They had been evicted by their landlord from the Tottenham Court Road area and settled here. Many of those families lived together with the pigs in their houses.

As the area thus became a slum known as either The Potteries or The Piggeries. Conditions in Pottery Lane became so bad it became known as Cut Throat Lane.

On Sundays, there was cockfighting, bull-baiting and the killing of rats by dogs to amuse the residents.



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