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Featured · Queen’s Park ·
MAY
18
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.
»read full article


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...
»more


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.
»read full article





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

APRIL
30
2020

 

Alexandra Road Estate
The Alexandra Road estate, often referred to as Rowley Way, is a housing estate in the London Borough of Camden. Since the 1950s, tower blocks surrounded by public open space had been the preferred method for councils to replace terraced housing while maintaining the same high population density. By the mid-1960s, the shortcomings of that method were becoming apparent.

The Alexandra Road Estate was designed in a brutalist style in 1968 by Neave Brown of Camden Council’s Architects Department. Construction work commenced in 1972 and was completed in 1978.

Neave Brown believed that ziggurat-style terraces, little higher than the terraces they replaced, could provide a better solution for council housing. Th estate is constructed from site-cast, board-marked white, unpainted reinforced concrete.

The estate has suffered less vandalism than many Camden estates, and it was granted Grade II* listed status in 1993, the first post-war council housing estate to be listed.
»read full article


APRIL
29
2020

 

Alexander Street, W2
Alexander Street was built in 1853 by Alexander Hall of Watergate House, Sussex. Alexander Hall owned several acres of land around this site, largely occupied by the principal London depot of his family’s quarry-owning interests, conveniently situated beside the main railway line into Paddington.
»read full article


APRIL
27
2020

 

Ave Maria Lane, EC4M
Ave Maria Lane is the southern extension of Warwick Lane, between Amen Corner and Ludgate Hill. Ava Maria Lane’s name is derived from the feast day of Corpus Christi.

Monks chanting the Lord’s Prayer set off from Paternoster Row (Pater Noster being the Latin opening words of the Lord’s Prayer) in procession to St Paul’s Cathedral. They would reach the final “Amen” as they turned into Ava Maria Lane – also responsible to the name Amen Corner.

Ave Maria Lane is home to the Stationers’ Hall, the livery hall of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers since 1670.
»read full article


APRIL
26
2020

 

Purley Oaks
Purley Oaks station was opened by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway on 5 November 1899 Nearby, Brighton Road school was built in 1873 when the area was still undeveloped and livestock grazed at Purley Oaks Farm until the end of Victoria’s reign. The conditions of the sale at auction of Purley Oaks Farm in 1903 included the provision that houses were built for the professional classes.

The station was opened as part of the improvements to the main line and the opening of the Quarry Line. However much of the surrounding land remained agricultural until the First World War. In 1916 James Relf established a market garden near the station.

The school was renamed Purley Oaks in 1922 as the area started to develop with suburban housing.

A short walk away from Purley Oaks is Sanderstead railway station with services to Victoria and East Grinstead.

On Saturday 4 March 1989, it was affected by the Purley station rail crash.
»read full article


APRIL
25
2020

 

Alma Place, NW10
Alma Place lies between Kensal Green Cemetery and the railway. Alma Road, a small cul-de-sac, is a small terrace of houses built around 1860. It is tucked into the space between the lodge and gates of St Mary’s Cemetery to the south and the terrace fronting Harrow Road to the north. It lies directly over the western end of the tunnel which carries the railway between Willesden Junction and Kensal Green.
»read full article


APRIL
24
2020

 

Ace Cafe
The Ace Cafe is a former transport cafe located in the Stonebridge area on the A406. The Ace Cafe opened in 1938 to accommodate traffic on the then-new North Circular. The cafe was open 24 hours a day and started to attract motorcyclists in the evening and at weekends.

The emergence of the teenager, an increase in traffic, and the British motorcycle industry at its peak made the Ace a success. Young people started to meet at the cafe to socialise and listen to rock’n’roll on juke boxes.

It became especially popular in the 1950s and 1960s with ’Rockers’.

It is a notable venue in motorcycle culture which originally operated from 1938 until 1969 when it closed.


The cafe closed in 1969 but reopened on the original site in 1997 as a cafe and entertainment venue.
»read full article


APRIL
23
2020

 

Virginia Primary School
Virginia Primary School is a mixed school in Tower Hamlets, built in 1887. The location of the school when it opened - ’The Old Nichol’ was one of the most notorious slums in London.

During the early 1880s the plight of the poor and their housing were subjects of great debate. Prime Minister William Gladstone ordered a Royal Commission on the Housing of the Working Classes was established, and the Housing of the Working Classes Act followed in 1885.

In 1891, Parliament passed the Public Health (London) Act and the Boundary Street Scheme Act. The demolition of the Old Nichol began in 1893 and the building of the Boundary Estate began in 1895. The Boundary Estate was formally opened in 1900 - the world’s first council housing estate. The demolition rubble was used to construct a mound in the middle of Arnold Circus at the centre of the development and a bandstand was placed at the top. The estate consists of multi-story brick tenements radiating from the central circus, each of which bears the name of a location along the ...
»more


APRIL
22
2020

 

The 1860s map of London
"Stanford’s Library Map of London and its Suburbs" was published in 1862 Edward Stanford’s 1860s map shows the growth of London at a key time of its development and with the impact of the railways.

Stanford had embarked on an ambitious cartographic project - a series of large copper-engraved wall maps of the continents which he called Stanford’s Library Maps. The London map was published at a scale of 6 inches to the mile.

Stanford took the Ordnance Survey 12 inch to a mile sheets of their Skeleton Survey for the Metropolitan Commissioners of Sewers, and dispatched his own surveyors to complete an immense quantity of detail for which this map is notable.

The original map extent runs from Hammersmith in the west), Greenwich (east), Crouch End (north), Anerley (south). Please note that the Underground Map project does not yet cover the southwestmost section of the original map.

»read full article


APRIL
21
2020

 

Museum Street, WC1A
Museum Street is so-named since it approaches the main entrance of the British Museum. The British Museum collection dates from 1753 with the building on the site since 1823. However the street dates from before the 14th century. It was a rural lane until the late 17th century when the growth of London caused its urbanisation.

It was at first called Peter Street which may refer to a saltpetre manufacturer which is thought to have existed there. After the area became urban, the road was the site of slum tenements.

An attempt at gentrification saw its name changed to Queen Street. It became home to parish schools for the education of local poor children.

A bookseller called Charles Mudie opened a bookshop and stationers. He explored the possibility of lending books as well as selling them and Mudie’s Select Library proved so popular that, after a decade, it moved out to larger premises. The street then became fashionable area with many of the foremost writers of the day gathering in taverns to converse. The occult Atlantis Bo...
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APRIL
20
2020

 

Lord Hills Road, W2
Lord Hill’s Road was at first called Ranelagh Road. By the middle of the eighteenth century, Westbourne House - a large house and also known as Westbourne Place - had been rebuilt as an elegant Georgian mansion by the architect Isaac Ware. Residents had included Sir William Yorke (a Venetian ambassador), architect Samuel Pepys Cockerell (a distant relative of diarist Samuel Pepys) and finally General Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill.

The River Westbourne flowed in a southeasterly direction across Paddington and beside Westbourne House. In its last incarnation it was the Ranelagh sewer - some of its course was still open in 1871 along the later line of Kilburn Park Road and Shirland Road. This was then built over but further south, it had already disappeared beneath new roads known as Formosa Road, Ranelagh Road and Cleveland Square.

General Rowland Hill left Westbourne House in 1836 and following his departure, the mansion was demolished and replaced by Westbourne Park Villas. Hill was Commander-in-Chief of...
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APRIL
19
2020

 

Great Western Road, W11
The name of the Great Western Road dates from the 1850s. It was named after the Great Western Railway whose railway lines run under a bridge on the road. Before the railway and before the canal, the line of the future road ran south as a path from the Harrow Road towards Bayswater. It is visible on the 1750s Rocque map.

First the canal in 1801 and then the Great Western Railway in 1838 disrupted the route. However by the 1850s, the road began to exist in its current form. The 1860s saw housing, which had ended in 1855 at St Stephen’s Church and Hereford Road in Paddington, spread to the Kensington boundary.

By 1865, terraces were lining westward extensions of Westbourne Grove and Westbourne Park Road, Artesian Road, and an eastward extension of the Talbot Road. Small terraced houses and shops stood by 1867 along the south side of Kensal Road and by 1869 along the north side, backing the canal.

Building also stretched north-westward along Great Western Road past Westbourne Park station when that...
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APRIL
18
2020

 

Alexander Square, SW3
Alexander Square is a garden square in Chelsea. John Alexander was the inheritor of the Thurlow Estate through being a descendent of the first husband of Anna Maria Browne.

In 1826 Alexander drew up plans to for a speculative development with the builder James Bonnin. George Basevi became the architect of the scheme when under construction in 1829.

Alexander Square and South Street (now South Terrace), Alfred Place (now Alexander Place), North Terrace, Alexander Place and York Cottages were subsequently built.

The communal garden at the centre of the square is a third of an acre in size.
»read full article


APRIL
17
2020

 

Bolsover Street, W1W
Bolsover Street - home to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital since 1907. Rocque’s map of 1746 shows the area to be mainly open fields - Bilson’s farm located to the north with hand-dug quarries for road construction in the immediate area.

Norton Street and Upper Norton Street were part of the Portland Estate and laid out as part of the development of the area in the 18th century. They were named after the village of Norton on the Duke of Portland’s Welbeck Abbey estate in Nottinghamshire. At first, Norton Street was described to be home to many artist and sculptor studios and was "the smartest of the local streets socially" up to about 1820.

After about 1825, a decline had set in. Norton Street with Cirencester Place became the local focus of a wider outcry against prostitution.

In 1858, the streets had a change of name and were combined to become Bolsover Street – reflecting links to the Cavendish family and their Derbyshire estate. The name change was designed to rescue its reputation.

...
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APRIL
16
2020

 

Aldgate
Aldgate was one of the massive gates which defended the City from Roman times until 1760. Stow wrote in his Survey of London of 1598 that ’It hath had two pair of gates, though now but one; the hooks remaineth yet. Also there hath been two port-closes; the one of them remai

The gate stood at the corner of the modern Duke’s Place and was always an obstacle to traffic. It was rebuilt between 1108–47, again in 1215, and reconstructed completely between 1607-09. The gate was finally removed in 1761; it was temporarily re-erected at Bethnal Green.

While he was a customs official, from 1374 until 1386, Geoffrey Chaucer occupied apartments above the gate. The Augustinians priory of Holy Trinity Aldgate was founded by Matilda, the wife of King Henry I, in 1108, on ground just inside the gate.

Within Aldgate ward, Jews settled from 1181, until their expulsion in 1290 by King Edward I. The area became known as Old Jewry. Jews were welcomed back by Oliver Cromwell, and once again they settled in the area, founding London&rsqu...
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APRIL
15
2020

 

Pickax Street, EC2Y
Pickax Street once ran from Long Lane to Goswell Road (which before 1864 was called Goswell Street). The word ’Pickax’ may derive from ’Pickt Hatch’ - an area of brothels said to be in this part of London during the Elizabethan era.

Pick Hatch is mentioned in both ’The Merry Wives of Windsor’ ("Goe … to your Mannor of Pickt-hatch") and in ’The Alchemist’ ("The decay’d Vestalls of Pickt-hatch\).

The principal features on the west side of Pickax Street in the late seventeenth century were two substantial inns - ’The Horse and Groom’ and ’The Black Horse’.

Extended yards came into being behind the inns after the break-up around 1700 of the old houses and gardens on the east side of Charterhouse Square. Black Horse Yard was the largest, with stables, coach houses and gallery apartments.

By the late eighteenth century the name Pickax was no more in use, and the road was incorporated into Aldersgate Street.
»read full article


APRIL
14
2020

 

London (1926)
In 1926 Claude Friese-Greene shot some of the first-ever colour film footage around London, capturing everyday life. Friese-Greene’s technique - innovated by his father and called Biocolour - captures London in striking detail, as if putting the whole city in a time capsule. The people pass before us like ghosts.

Biocolour produced the illusion of true colour by exposing each alternate frame of ordinary black-and-white film stock through a two different coloured filters. Each alternate frame of the monochrome print was then stained red or green. Although the projection of Biocolour prints did provide a tolerable illusion of true colour, it suffered from noticeable flickering and red-and-green fringing when the subject was in rapid motion. In an attempt to overcome the colour fringing problem, a faster-than-usual frame rate was used.

Claude, born Claude Harrison Greene was the son of colour film pioneer, William Friese-Greene.

After William’s death in 1921, Claude Friese-Greene continued to develop the Biocolour system during the 1920s and renamed the...
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APRIL
13
2020

 

Mitre Square, EC3A
Mitre Square is a small square in the City of London. It occupies the site of the cloister of Holy Trinity Priory, Aldgate which was demolished under Henry VIII during the Dissolution.

It is connected via three passages with Mitre Street, to Creechurch Place and, via St James’s Passage, to Duke’s Place.

The south corner of the square was the site of the murder of Catherine Eddowes by Jack the Ripper. This was the only murder located within the City of London.
»read full article


APRIL
12
2020

 

St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge
St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge is a Grade II* listed Anglican church. The church was consecrated in 1843 and designed by Thomas Cundy the younger. It was the first in London to champion the ideals of the Oxford Movement.

The chancel with its rood screen and striking reredos was added in 1892 by the noted church architect George Frederick Bodley.

A memorial commemorates 52 members of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry who died on active service in World War II, carrying out work for the Special Operations Executive.

The church is located at 32a Wilton Place.
»read full article


APRIL
10
2020

 

Swinton Street, WC1X
Swinton Street was named after the two Swinton brothers. It is situated on the east side of Gray’s Inn Road north of and parallel with Acton Street.

The Swinton Estate lay to the east of Gray’s Inn Road and extended to the River Fleet. Its northern boundary was a common sewer and its southern side was the back of the houses on the northern side of Frederick Street.

James Swinton was a builder and surveyor from Gravesend. His brother Peter Swinton was listed in 1776 as residing in Salisbury Court, Fleet Street and a ’Doctor in Physick’.

Swinton Street was described on 7 September 1778, as "a street now building." Two years before that, it was a short cul-de-sac ending in a fence. The first occupants enjoyed a view down the meadows to the Fleet.

The extension eastwards began in the late 1830s. In 1841 there were 37 houses and by 1844 it was fully built.

»read full article


APRIL
9
2020

 

Acton Street, WC1X
Acton Street is found on the east side of Gray’s Inn Road and connects it with King’s Cross Road. Named after Acton Meadow which formerly occupied this site, Acton Meadow was in turn named after its landowner..

The western end was built as a short cul-de-sac in the early 1770s. The eastern end, where the street was later extended, has principal features to Swinton Street. It may be the work of the same builders.

Even as late as 1834, Acton Street was still unfinished. It was finally completed by 1845.


»read full article


APRIL
8
2020

 

Acorn Walk, SE16
Acorn Walk is named after a former area of the Surrey Commercial dock system. There was once a dock called the Acorn Pond which ran south from a point nearby. A cargo handling area was known as Acorn Yard.

Keeping the acorn theme, a small row of houses called Acorn Place lay across the north side of Trinity Churchyard.
»read full article


APRIL
8
2020

 

Lowndes Square, SW1X
Lowndes Square is named after the Secretary to the Treasury William Lowndes. The square runs parallel with Sloane Street to the east, east of the Harvey Nichols department store and Knightsbridge Underground station.

Lowndes Square has terraces with white stucco houses with George Basevi being the designer of many of the houses. The communal garden - not open to the public - contains many fine plane trees.

Lowndes Square is now home to some of the most expensive properties in the world. Russian businessman, Roman Abramovich bought two stucco houses in Lowndes Square in 2008.

The Pakistan High Commission is located on the square.
»read full article


APRIL
7
2020

 

Weston’s Music Hall
Weston’s Music Hall was a music hall and theatre that opened in 1857. In 1906, the theatre became known as the Holborn Empire. The theatre was constructed on the site of the Six Cans and Punch Bowl Tavern. The licensed victualler - Henry Weston - had already transformed the former Holborn National Schoolrooms into a music hall some years before. The facility was his response to the success of Charles Morton’s Canterbury Music Hall in Lambeth.

The theatre was renamed the Royal Music Hall in 1868, and then changed names again in 1892, becoming the Royal Holborn Theatre of Varieties.

The hall’s early years were presided over by an exacting chairman and master of ceremonies, W. B. Fair, famous for the song ’Tommy, Make Room for Your Uncle’. He chose the acts, warmed the audience up for each succeeding performance, and encouraged them at all times to interact with the performers throughout the evening.

In 1905 the theatre was bought by the variety impresario Walter Gibbons and in the following year, he had the theatre auditorium remodelled by Frank Matcham. It w...
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APRIL
6
2020

 

Home of Rest for Horses
The Home of Rest for Horses was situated at the corner of Furzehill Road and Barnet Lane, near Borehamwood. Opened as a Charity in 1886, the Home of Rest for Horses became a refuge where horses and donkeys could rest and find peace and contentment following their devoted service, purpose-built stables were opened in 1933.

It was demolished in the 1970s to make way for housing. The Home moved to Buckinghamshire where it thrives to the present day.

In the photograph, the stables and fields are pictured.
»read full article


APRIL
5
2020

 

Farriers Way, WD6
Farriers Way was built on the site of the former Home of Rest for Horses. Starting in 1886, the Home of Rest for Horses came to Borehamwood in 1933 from Cricklewood, and had extensive grounds, all now covered by housing. It was much loved by the locals who visited often, particularly at the weekend.

In 1968, the Elstree Rural District Council foresaw a housing shortage and requested that the Home of Rest’s site might be rezoned and scheduled as suitable for housing development. The charity began to look for new premises and a year later a new site was purchased in Speen, Buckinghamshire.

The home finally closed in 1975 and relocated to Speen, Princes Risborough where it still is today.

The names of all roads on this estate have connections to horses.
»read full article


APRIL
4
2020

 

St. Thomas’s Square, E9
St Thomas’s Square was laid out by Robert Collins in 1772 on land leased from St Thomas’s Hospital. St Thomas’s Hospital owned a lot of the land of Hackney - much of this had been previously been owned by the Hospital of the Savoy who by 1517 owned 6 acres of London Fields.

On the south-east corner was the 1771-built St Thomas’s Chapel. This site later became the Empress Cinema which opened in 1912. The cine,a became the Essoldo in 1937 and finally a bingo hall. The building was demolished in 1996 to build a new residential block for Cordwainers College.

The central area was open space until 1892. That year it was described by Benjamin Clarke as "anything but picturesque".

In 1892 it was laid out as a public garden by Hackney District Board. Hackney Borough Council purchased the garden in 1915 for £50.

The northwest corner of the square suffered bomb damage during the Second World War. After the war, the northern and eastern sides were compulsorily purchased by the London County Council in 1952 to build flats...
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APRIL
3
2020

 

North Park Farm
North Park Farm, also known as Plum Farm, dates from the mid 16th century or before. North Park Farm was an arable farm which had started off at around 75 acres but grew to about 278 acres. It specialised in wheat but later on, market gardening. It was owned by the Earl of St Germans.

Two brothers, Edward and Samuel Sheppard took over the farm in 1849 and it was run on their behalf by William Fry at first. Fry was reported in 1871 as living at North Park Farm but had left by 1881.

By the time of the 1861 census, Edward Sheppard and his family were living at the new 1850s-built farmhouse which was located about halfway along the modern Duncrievie Road (which was later laid out on the line of the farm track). Edward died in 1892.

Samuel Sheppard and his family moved to the newly-built Eliot House at North Park Farm in 1867 and stayed there until 1904. Eliot House (or Lodge) is still on the Hither Green Lane / Duncrievie Road corner. His son, also called Samuel, would later take over Bellingham Farm.

The sale o...
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APRIL
2
2020

 

Great Marlborough Street, W1F
Great Marlborough Street was named after John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. In the 16th century, the land it was laid out over belonged to the Mercer’s Company but was surrendered to Henry VIII in 1536.

The land was subsequently owned by a brewer Thomas Wilson whose son Richard sold it to William Maddox in 1622. Maddox called the estate ’Millfield’.

In 1670, William Maddox’s son Benjamin let the land to James Kendrick who in turn sub-let what is now Great Marlborough Street to John Steele. The land remained undeveloped, with building focusing on Tyburn Road (Oxford Street) to the north.

The street began development in the early 18th century, when Steele let five acres of land to Joseph Collens for property development. It was named after John Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough who as commander of the English Army won the Battle of Blenheim in 1704.

The Pantheon was based at the far eastern end of Great Marlborough Street, built on what had previously been gardens in 1772. A popular place of e...
»more


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1900 and 1950 mapping is reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence.