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Featured · South Ealing ·
September
19
2021

The Underground Map is a project which is creating street histories for the areas of London and surrounding counties lying inside the M25.

In a series of maps from the 1750s until the 1950s, you can see how London grew from a city which only reached as far as Park Lane into the post war megapolis we know today. There are now over 85 000 articles on all variety of locations including roads, houses, schools, pubs and palaces.

You can begin exploring by choosing a place from the dropdown list at the top left and then clicking Reset Location.

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

You can also view historical maps of London - click on the "pile of paper" control on the top right of a page's map to change to a particular decade.

Latest on The Underground Map...
South Ealing
South Ealing is notable in Underground trivia for having, along with Mansion House, every vowel in its name. South Ealing station was opened by the District Railway on 1 May 1883 on a new branch line from Acton to Hounslow. At that time there was no stop at Northfields and the next station on the new line was Boston Road (now Boston Manor).

Electrification of the District Railway’s tracks took place and electric trains replacing steam trains on the Hounslow branch from 13 June 1905.

The Northfields district then was just a muddy lane passing through market gardens. But housing began to be built at Northfields and in 1908, a small halt was built there.

Housing also began to appear to the north of South Ealing station - the area became rather commercial with new shops around the station.

The lines of the London Underground came under one ownership and, services from Ealing along the District Line into London having a lot of intermediate stops, it was decided to extend the Piccadilly Line parallel to the District tracks. Piccadilly...

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SEPTEMBER
2
2021

 

Boleyn Electric Theatre
The Boleyn Electric Theatre originally opened in 1910 The Boleyn Electric Theatre and the adjacent Boleyn pub were called Boleyn after a large house that had stood nearby and thought to be associated with Anne Boleyn.

Cinema architect Cecil Masey made alterations in 1929 - improvements were made to accommodate sound films and a canopy was installed over the entrance. In 1932 it was taken over by another owner and re-named the New Boleyn Electric Theatre.

In 1936 it was purchased by the Oscar Deutsch chain who decided to demolish the old Boleyn Cinema and rebuild and open as the Odeon Theatre on the same site. It was designed in an Art Deco style by cinema architect Andrew Mather and opened on 18 July 1938 with Max Miller in ’Thank Evans’. It continued as the Odeon East Ham until it was closed by the Rank Organisation in 1981.

After laying boarded up and unused for over a decade, it was taken over by an independent operator who re-opened it as the Boleyn Cinema in 1995 screening Bollywood f...
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SEPTEMBER
1
2021

 

Dukes Place, EC3A
Duke’s Place was formerly called Duke Street It a street running northwest-southeast as a continuation of Bevis Marks down to Aldgate. Originally known as Shoemaker Row, it had been renamed Duke Street by the end of the 18th century after the house of the Duke of Norfolk, which had been built by Sir T. Audley after he pulled down the priory of Holy Trinity, and which, coming to the Duke by marriage, was called Duke’s Place.

The area was an early settlement for Jews after they were permitted to enter Britain by Oliver Cromwell in 1657, resulting in the building of the Sephardic Bevis Marks Synagogue (1701) and the Ashkenazi Great Synagogue. The latter was established in 1620, subsequently rebuilt in 1766 and 1790 and was destroyed during an air-raid on 11th May 1942. The following year, a temporary structure was erected on the site and was used until 1958 when it moved to Adler Street, Whitechapel. The Adler Street synagogue closed in 1977.

Duke Street was renamed Duke’s Place in 1939 and has sin...
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AUGUST
31
2021

 

Ivybridge Lane, WC2N
Ivybridge Lane is named after a former ivy-covered bridge The ’ivy bridge’ crossed an old watercourse on this spot but the bridge itself was demolished sometime before 1600.

Ivybridge Lane was formerly called Salisbury Street.
»read full article


AUGUST
30
2021

 

Dartford Tunnel, RM19
The original (western) Dartford Tunnel opened in 1963 An idea of a tunnel crossing was proposed by the Ministry of Transport in 1924. Initial reports suggested a crossing between Tilbury and Gravesend, but this was rejected in favour of a route further upstream, near Dartford. By 1929, the total cost of building the tunnel was estimated at £3 million. The tunnel was planned to be part of a general orbital route around London and was provisionally known as part of the ’South Orbital Road’.

The first engineering work to take place was a compressed air driven pilot tunnel, drilled between 1936 and 1938. Work on the tunnel was delayed due to World War II, and resumed in 1959. The two-lane tunnel opened to traffic on 18 November 1963 with the total project being £13 million. It initially served approximately 12 000 vehicles per day.
»read full article





LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Born here
Ron Shepherd   
Added: 18 Sep 2021 17:28 GMT   

More Wisdom
Norman Joseph Wisdom was born in St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, West London.

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Comment
Jonathan Penner   
Added: 11 Sep 2021 16:03 GMT   

Pennard Road, W12
My wife and I, young Canadians, lodged at 65 (?) Pennard Road with a fellow named Clive and his girlfriend, Melanie, for about 6 months in 1985. We loved the area and found it extremely convenient.

Reply
Comment
   
Added: 1 Sep 2021 16:58 GMT   

Prefabs!
The "post-war detached houses" mentioned in the description were "prefabs" - self-contained single-storey pre-fabricated dwellings. Demolition of houses on the part that became Senegal Fields was complete by 1964 or 1965.

Source: Prefabs in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia

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Comment
Matthew Moggridge ([email protected])   
Added: 1 Sep 2021 10:38 GMT   

Lord Chatham’s Ride (does it even exist?)
Just to say that I cycled from my home in Sanderstead to Knockholt Pound at the weekend hoping to ride Lord Chatham’s Ride, but could I find it? No. I rode up Chevening Lane, just past the Three Horseshoes pub and when I reached the end of the road there was a gate and a sign reading "Private, No Entry". I assumed this was the back entrance to Chevening House, country retreat of the Foreign Secretary, and that Lord Chatham’s Ride was inside the grounds. At least that’s what I’m assuming as I ended up following a footpath that led me into some woods with loads of rooted pathways, all very annoying. Does Lord Chatham’s Ride exist and if so, can I ride it, or is it within the grounds of Chevening House and, therefore, out of bounds? Here’s an account of my weekend ride with images, see URL below.

Source: No Visible Lycra: Lord Chatham’s ride: a big disappointmen

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Comment
norma brown   
Added: 20 Aug 2021 21:12 GMT   

my grandparents lived there as well as 2 further generations
my home

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Comment
Ruth   
Added: 6 Aug 2021 13:31 GMT   

Cheltenham Road, SE15
Harris Girls’ Academy, in Homestall Road, just off Cheltenham Road, was formerly Waverley School. Before that it was built as Honor Oak Girls’ Grammar School. It was also the South London Emergency School during WW2,taking girls from various schools in the vicinity, including those returning from being evacuated.

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Comment
Jude Allen   
Added: 29 Jul 2021 07:53 GMT   

Bra top
I jave a jewelled item of clothong worn by a revie girl.
It is red with diamante straps. Inside it jas a label Bermans Revue 16 Orange Street but I cannot find any info online about the revue only that 16 Orange Street used to be a theatre. Does any one know about the revue. I would be intesrested to imagine the wearer of the article and her London life.

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Comment
Kathleen   
Added: 28 Jul 2021 09:12 GMT   

Dunloe Avenue, N17
I was born in 1951,my grandparents lived at 5 Dunloe Avenue.I had photos of the coronation decorations in the area for 1953.The houses were rented out by Rowleys,their ’workers yard’ was at the top of Dunloe Avenue.The house was fairly big 3 bedroom with bath and toilet upstairs,and kitchenette downstairs -a fairly big garden.My Grandmother died 1980 and the house was taken back to be rented again

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JULY
29
2021

 

Theydon Bois
Theydon Bois is a village in the Epping Forest district of Essex. The origin of the name comes from the family of Bois (de Bosco), which held the manor in the 12th and 13th centuries. For the village, the pronunciation is either boyce or boys. The village dates back to at least medieval times and in 1066 there were ten villagers.

Between 1348 and 1351 the Black Death killed approximately 30% of the population of England.

In 1381 the villagers of Theydon Bois took part in the Peasant’s Revolt having been hit hard because of a shortage of labour and food was scarce. The Statute of Labours meant that the peasants could not demand more money for their labour and therefore could not profit from the shortage. Poll tax to pay for the Hundred Years War had also been introduced as a one-off tax but it was so successful it was repeated three more times. This was the last straw for the peasants and in May 1381 riots broke out in Essex.

In Essex around 500 people were put to death without any form of...
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JULY
28
2021

 

Queenstown Road
Queenstown Road is a station in Battersea between Vauxhall and Clapham Junction. Queenstown Road was opened on 1 November 1877 by the London and South Western Railway. It was first known as Queen’s Road (Battersea). Queen’s Road was the original name of the road on which the station is located, changed to Queenstown Road. The station was renamed Queenstown Road (Battersea) to match the road on 12 May 1980.

The station building date from both 1877 and 1909 - yellow stock brick with a red and glazed brick front and a slate roof to the street building. The 1909 building contains the booking office and has the ticket windows painted in the colours of the Southern Railway.

Queenstown Road is a short walk from both Battersea Park station and Battersea Park to the west.
»read full article


JULY
27
2021

 

Kilburn Lane, W10
Kilburn Lane runs around the edge of the Queen’s Park Estate in London W10. Kilburn Lane is, after Harrow Road, the oldest road in the area and connected Kilburn and Kensal Green. Until the nineteenth century, the names "Kilburn Lane" and "Kensal Green Lane" were both used. The southernmost section was also known as "Flowerhills Lane".

It was known in the 17th century as "Flowerhills Lane". It was commented upon that the inhabitants of Willesden were indicted for not repairing it in 1722.

Kilburn Lane suffered from depopulation in the 18th century with those buildings that had been there, falling into disrepair and then removed. However, the enclosure of Kensal Green in the 1830s meant buildings appeared on the west of the lane near to the junction of Harrow Road.

In 1844 St John’s Church in Kilburn Lane was consecrated. There were now enough people living locally in order to create a new parish.

Further north, the road remained rural until the late nineteenth century with just two farms along it...
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JULY
26
2021

 

Batchworth
Batchworth was once a village but is now a civil parish and effectively part of Rickmansworth. The village is ancient and was originally the Anglo-Saxon Baecceswyrth.

The Grand Union Canal was built through Batchworth and Batchworth Canal Centre is alongside the Grand Union lock. The canal caused the small hamlet to urbanise and become part of Rickmansworth’s urban area. Batchworth Parish Council was created in 2017 consisting of two Three Rivers District Council wards - Rickmansworth Town and Moor Park & Eastbury.

Batchworth Lake was created by the extraction of gravel for the original Wembley Stadium and Batchworth Heath is four hectares of designated common land around the junction of Batchworth Heath Hill, Batchworth Lane and White Hill.
»read full article


JULY
25
2021

 

Caldwell Street, SW9
Caldwell Street was originally called Holland Street. It was built just before the 1830s dawned and was named Holland Street after Henry Richard Vassall, the third Baron Holland who owned this area.

The road was once a shopping street and was renamed Caldwell Street in the 1930s.

Only a small section of the original street remains on the western side and a tiny cottage on the far eastern end by Brixton Road.
»read full article


JULY
24
2021

 

Belgrave Square, SW1X
Thomas Cubitt’s greatest achievement, Belgrave Square, is the grandest and largest of his squares, and is the centrepiece of Belgravia. The original scheme consisted of four terraces, each made up of eleven white stucco houses, with the exception of the east terrace, which was made up of twelve. Detached mansions were originally built in three corners of the square, with a large private garden in the centre. The grand houses in Belgrave Square were built of bricks made from clay dug from the site and the surrounding streets were raised with spoil excavated from St Katherine’s Dock.

The square took its name from one of the Duke of Westminster’s titles, Viscount Belgrave. The village of Belgrave in Cheshire is two miles from the Grosvenor family’s main country residence.

The square was the scene of very early attempts at ballooning.

Large statues and sculptures adorn the central garden including statues of Christopher Columbus, Simón Bolívar, José de San Martín and Prince Henry the Navigator.

Today, the houses are occupied mainly by embassies, institutions and offices.
»read full article


JULY
23
2021

 

Conlan Street, W10
Conlan Street is one of the newer roads of Kensal Town. Conlan Street was not originally part of the plan of Kensal New Town - being driven through from East Row to Middle Row in the 1870s.

It was the site, from 1910 onwards, of the Middle Row bus garage. This closed in 1981 and the space was taken over by the Buspace Studios which is the location of some industrial units and high end retailers.

The former Kensal Town Telegraph Works also comprises a collection of studio and workshop units.

The White Knight Laundry moved here from Kilburn in 1920 but departed in the early 2010s.
»read full article


JULY
22
2021

 

Queen’s Crescent, NW5
Queen’s Crescent played a seminal role in the story of the Sainsbury’s supermarket chain. Queen’s Crescent was laid out in 1862 though being on the edge of expanding suburbia not particularly near to a useful station, did not develop immediately. A small market started in 1867 but in 1876, existing market traders were moved from Malden Road to Queen’s Crescent when electrification works were undertaken on Malden Road to replace horse-drawn trams. One of the quirks of the new street market location was the whistle blown to mark the start of trading each day.

The Sir Robert Peel pub dates to the earliest days of Queen’s Crescent. No. 133, later Frank’s Superstore, in 1872 it was the bookshop of literary scholar Bertram Dobell, who subsequently opened a couple of outlets on Charing Cross Road. Alongside more standard trade, Queen’s Crescent attracted artists - echoes of this aspect remain to this day in a number of establishments.

Quite separately to the initial story of Queen’s Crescent and supposedly starting with £100 of savings a...
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JULY
21
2021

 

Bostall Hill, SE2
Bostall Hill was an old route leading east from Plumstead. The modern development of Bostall Hill dates from the early twentieth century.

The Bostall Estate was built as a result of Bostall Farm and Suffolk Place Farm being acquired by the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society in 1886 and 1899 respectively and then developed for housing.

Further east along the road, Bostall Heath and Woods is an area of 159 hectares of woodland with areas of heathland located adjacent to Lesnes Abbey Woods. The area to the south of the Bostall Hill is Bostall Woods and to the north is Bostall Heath. The wood is owned and maintained by the Royal Borough of Greenwich, with the exception of the Cooperative Woods, in the north east corner of the site which are owned by the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society.
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JULY
20
2021

 

Battersea High Street, SW11
Battersea High Street is anything but the high street of Battersea. Overtaken as a commercial street by Falcon Road and Battersea Park Road, the street is now largely residential, albeit with a remaining larger-than-average supply of public houses.

Battersea had been an area of market gardens until the Victorian era and much of the area near the Thames was marshland. The village of Battersea had been centred on Battersea Square and Battersea High Street.

Landowner Lord Spencer opened up Battersea by building a bridge across the Thames in 1772. St. Mary’s Church was rebuilt in 1777.

A railway station, since closed, was built on Battersea High Street in 1863 for the West London Extension Railway.

But it was Clapham Junction which was the important Battersea development. The railway station encouraged the local council to site its buildings in the area surrounding it - a cluster of new civic buildings included the town hall, police station, court, a library and post office in the 1880s and 189...
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JULY
19
2021

 

Allen Street, W8
Allen Street extends south from Kensington High Street. Local ratebooks date what became Allen Street (also ‘Allen’s Rents’) to 1817.

Thomas Allen was a ’Buckinghamshire gentleman’ and landowner. He was one of the innovators of stucco, according to Faulkner’s History of Kensington (1820): "Mr Allen is now building two large rows of houses in the modern style, covered with plaister to ressemble stone". Faulkner denounced this as "tasteless tasteless innovation".

Allen formed a street leading south out of Kensington High Street of ’similar width and character to Newland Street’. This cul-de-sac was the future Allen Street but was then called Phillimore Terrace.

While active all around, in Allen Street itself, Thomas Allen did not build and until building started on the estate to the south, Allen Street was a quiet side street. The southward extension of the street occurred from 1852.

The Britannia Brewery occupied the site of the present Allen Mansions since 1834. A...
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JULY
18
2021

 

Denmark Place, WC2H
Denmark Place was an alleyway one block north of Denmark Street. The land on which Denmark Place stands was formerly part of the grounds of St Giles Hospital. The grounds were laid out for development during the reign of James II and developed by Samuel Fortrey and Jacques Wiseman. The alley probably dates from between 1682 and 1687.

It was called Dudley Court, then Denmark Court and finally Denmark Place, running along the back of the north side of Denmark Street, connecting to it via an opening at No. 27.

A tragic fire occurred on 16 August 1980 at 18 Denmark Place, caused by arson and killing 37 people, most of whom were Spanish or Latin American who were patrons of two unlicensed bars in the building. At the time, The Sunday Times suggested that it could be "the worst mass murder in British history". Until the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017 in which 72 people perished, the tragedy at Denmark Place was London’s deadliest fire since the Second World War.

Denmark Place was quietly swept away after ...
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JULY
17
2021

 

Centre Point, WC2H
Centre Point is a controversial 1960s-built tower block. Centre Point is a 34-storey, 177 metre high tower with frontages to New Oxford Street, St Giles High Street and Charing Cross Road.

The site was once occupied by a gallows, and the tower sits directly over the former route of St Giles High Street, which had to be re-routed.

Constructed by Wimpey Construction between 1963 to 1966, it was one of the first skyscrapers in London. It was built as speculative office space by property tycoon Harry Hyams, who had leased the site at £18 500 a year for 150 years. Hyams intended that the whole building be occupied by a single tenant, and negotiated fiercely for its approval.

With property prices rising, Hyams could afford to keep it empty and wait for his single tenant at the asking price of £1 250 000. He was challenged to allow tenants to rent single floors, but consistently refused.

Centre Point’s prominent position led to its becoming a rallying symbol for opponents. The homele...
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JULY
16
2021

 

Upper Holloway
Upper Holloway is a district in the London Borough of Islington centred on the upper part of Holloway Road. Upper Holloway was one of several hamlets within the ancient parish of St Mary Islington.

The area around Hornsey Road was traditionally known as Tollington and this name was used in the Domesday Book.

The part of the Great North Road through north of the parish of Islington was known as the Holloway Road by 1307, a name later applied to the communities that formed along it.

The Church of St John Upper Holloway was built because the population of the parish was increasing. It was consecrated in 1828 and in 1830 a new ecclesiastical parish was created.

Upper Holloway station opened in 1868 and the classic late Victorian comic novel Diary of a Nobody is set here.
»read full article


JULY
15
2021

 

Greenwich Foot Tunnel
The Greenwich Foot Tunnel crosses beneath the River Thames linking Greenwich on the south bank with Millwall (Island Gardens) on the north. The Greenwich Foot Tunnel was designed by civil engineer Sir Alexander Binnie for London County Council and constructed by contractor John Cochrane & Company. The project started in June 1899 and the tunnel opened on 4 August 1902. Its creation owed much to the efforts of politician Will Crooks, who had worked in the docks and, after chairing the LCC’s Bridges Committee responsible for the tunnel, later served as Labour MP for Woolwich.

Its purpose was the creation as a way for workers who lived in south London to get to work at the docks on the Isle of Dogs. It still offers 24 hour access to travellers who need to cross the Thames. The cast iron tunnel is 1215 feet long.

Lifts, installed in 1904, were upgraded in 1992 and again in 2012, and helical staircases allow pedestrians to access the sloping tunnel - lined with around 200 000 white tiles.

During the Second World War, the northern end of the tunnel was damaged in bombing. It is no...
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JULY
14
2021

 

Blechynden Street, W10
Blechynden Street is now a tiny street in the vicinity of Latimer Road station, W10 The stump that remains belies its story as one of the main streets of the area.

Blechynden Street crossed a 50-acre estate that a barrister, James Whitchurch, purchased for £10 an acre in the early 19th century. He left his home in Blechynden in Southampton and built himself a house in Lancaster Road, North Kensington, now situated at No. 133.

Streets were built on the estate in 1846, and the first were named Aldermaston, Silchester, Bramley and Pamber after four neighbouring villages near Basingstoke, which was where James Whitchurch’s daughter Florence Blechynden Whitchurch was living.

After dividing the land into plots, he leased them to builders such as John Calverley, a Notting Hill builder who named a street after himself.

Other developers involved were Joseph Job Martin, the landlord of The Lancaster Tavern in Walmer Road, as well as the developer of Martin Street. Stephen Hurst, a builder from Kentish Town, was r...
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JULY
13
2021

 

Eversholt Street, NW1
Eversholt Street connects Euston with Camden Town. The origins of Eversholt Street lay in the 1750s when the New Road (later Euston Road) was established to bypass the congestion of London. North of this road were fields, brick works and market gardens. There was an informal path heading south from what later became Camden Town roughly along the line of the later street.

At the end of the 17th century, the Lord Chancellor John Somers acquired the local freehold. The immediate area was, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, known as Fig Mead.

The course of Eversholt Street began in the 1810s as the area developed. It provided a new route from the New Road with Camden Town. The name Eversholt Street was originally given only to its very northern, Bedford Estate part above Cranleigh Street (which was itself formerly Johnson Street). The Eversholt name refers to a village in Bedfordshire, most of the land in the village being owned by the Dukes of Bedford.

Eversholt Street is now ...
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JULY
12
2021

 

Balcombe Street, NW1
Balcombe Street is possibly a corruption of Batcombe, Dorset, in line with other Dorset-related street names in the area. Balcombe Street, Dorset Square and Gloucester Place all date from 1815-1820. Balcombe Street was at first known as Milton Street.

The streets formed part of the Portman Estate. Their layout shows a social hierarchy of square, thoroughfares and side streets mirrored by a hierarchy in the design of houses, from the grand four storey buildings in Dorset Square to the rather less grand terraces and smaller houses in Balcombe Street and Gloucester Place and the significantly smaller scale of the three and two storey ‘third rate’ houses in the side streets and mews.

There are some 180 grade II buildings including the whole of Dorset Square, most of Balcombe Street and Gloucester Place. The predominant materials are brick and stucco.

The London part of the Portman Estate in Marylebone covers 110 acres and covers 68 streets, 650 buildings and four garden squares. In 1948 the Estate, then valued at £10 million, was subject to death duties of ...
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JULY
11
2021

 

Oslo Court, NW8
Oslo Court was built between 1936 and 1938 by architect Robert Atkinson. Oslo Court was built over the final remaining 30 workmen’s cottages in the St John’s Wood area. These were demolished in 1936, after which the gentrification of NW8 was more or less complete (Lisson Grove notwithstanding).

The block consists of seven floors containing 125 flats, 112 of which have a direct view over Regent’s Park.

This work of Robert Atkinson has been described as the style of ’restrained modernism’ by englishbuildings.blogspot.com. Crittall windows are used and there are small sculptural panels, with Nordic themes such as a reindeer and a long boat. Each flat was designed with a living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and a small hall. Each also had a balcony, and a restaurant was provided on the ground floor for the use of tenants. The rents varied from £140 to £250 per annum, according to the outward aspect of the view.

Many blocks in the area had restaurants in days gone by but have, one by one, disappeared. ...
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JULY
10
2021

 

Waldegrave Road, TW11
Waldegrave Road is named after Frances Waldegrave and was the birthplace of Sir Noël Coward. Waldegrave Road was named after Frances Waldegrave, the widow of the 7th Earl Waldegrave who lived at Strawberry Hill House, situated on the road in the 19th century.

The road is split into two sections - a Teddington (TW11) part and a Twickenham (TW1) section. The Teddington part of Waldegrave Road is noted for late Victorian semi-detached villas.

This road, connecting Teddington with Strawberry Hill, was at first known as Fry’s Lane. In the early nineteenth century it became Factory Lane after Alexander Barclay built a wax manufacturing factory in 1800. After the death of Frances, Lady Waldegrave, in 1879, the name changed to its modern form.

Following enclosure at the beginning of the nineteenth century, a large pond covered the south west part of the road at the centre of Teddington. In 1863, a new railway track was built through the site of the pond. A road bridge was constructed to reunite the two parts of Teddington that had been ...
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JULY
9
2021

 

Milton Road, E17
Milton Road runs east off of Hoe Street. Land societies worked very like building societies. Members paid in a minimum every week until a minimum and became shareholders who could choose a plot of freehold land from the society. The society inturn acquired land from various landowners and divided it into the plots which could be purchased. Land society members were encouraged to buy books such as ’The Builder’s Practical Director’ or ’The Freeholder’s Circular’. These publications offered advice on such subjects as different types of bricks, digging trenches and mixing concrete. By the 1850s, there were sixty active socities in London.

The largest society was the National Freehold Land Society, founded in 1849. The society acquired freehold land and its first local estate was eight acres just off Hoe Street, purchased from Joseph Truman in 1851.

In 1854, the Tower Hamlets Freehold Land Society bought a large estate at Parsonage Hill, off Green Leaf Lane. It defined 425 parcels of lan...
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JULY
8
2021

 

Brook Lane, SE3
Brook Lane follows the line of a long-disappeared section of Kidbrooke Lane. Before Brook Lane appeared on the map, Kidbrooke Lane followed its course. This lane, unimaginable now, was known for its pretty hedgerows. It ran all the way from Blackheath through the fields of Kidbrooke to Well Hall. Only the SE9 section remains of Kidbrooke Lane.

The fields to the west of Brook Lane were developed for housing as the First World War ended. The Shooters Hill bypass part of the Rochester Way was built in 1927 over the fields to the east.

Brook Lane received its new name in the late 1920s when Rochester Way cut it off from the rest of Kidbrooke Lane. Partly the new name kept a section of the former name but the Kid Brooke stream also ran just south of what is now Gregory House at the end of Brook Lane.


A view of Upper Kidbrooke Farm in Kidbrooke Lane and St. James’ Church before the farmland was developed for housing very soon after this photograph was taken.



Brook Lane is a surviving fragment of Kidbrooke Lane; the remainder is covered by
»read full article


JULY
7
2021

 

Keynsham Gardens, SE9
Keynsham Gardens was built as part of the 1920s Page Estate. During 1919, the Minister of Health, Christopher Addison published his ’1919 Housing and Town Planning Act’. Part of the initiative was due to Lloyd George’s ’homes fit for heroes’ slogan - the Act was part of the post-First World War plans to provide improved housing for working people.

Woolwich Metropolitan Borough identified a site of 344 acres, bisected by the Southern Railway, that same year.

The estate was designed to provide 2700 new homes in the then-fashionable garden city model - a density of only around 12 houses per acre and all designed with both front and back gardens and bathrooms. The estate was ’all-electric’ - not a gas fire or stove in sight - designed for a future of vacuum cleaners and electric irons.

To the east and south, the new area was served by two railway stations and by trams. Four new schools were built to serve the incoming population.

85 acres of the purchase by Woolwich Council ...
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JULY
6
2021

 

Archer Street, W1D
Archer Street was Arch Street in 1675, Orchard Street in 1720 and Archer Street by 1746. In Colonel Panton’s building petition of 1671, Archer Street first appears as a "short street leading from out of Windmill Street over against Windmill Yard towards St. Giles." Before 1836, the street came to an abrupt end at the eastern boundary of Panton’s ground. It was connected to Rupert Street by a narrow passage through a stable yard. But in 1836, the stable buildings had been demolished and Archer Street extended to Rupert Street.

Archer Street was lined for the most part with modest houses. Old photographs showed a pair of small cottages dating from about 1700.

So far, a normal Soho street history.

But in the twentieth century, Archer Street became known as a meeting point for West End musicians. The street became this hub due to its proximity to work places (nearby theatres and clubs) and places to drink and socialise.

The Apollo and The Lyric both had stage doors which opened onto the street. Meanwhile, the M...
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JULY
5
2021

 

Green Dragon Alley, E14
Green Dragon Alley is a long-gone alleyway off Narrow Street. The tiny Green Dragon Alley was described in John Lockie’s 1810 ’Descriptive London Street Directory’ as "the second on the left about nine doors from Mr. Turner’s wharf, leading into Risby’s rope walk".

Mentioned in 1732 but disappearing under an 1869 new dock entrance to Limehouse Basin, the alley was one of the central locations in the drama of the famed Spring-Heeled Jack of the Victoria era.
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JULY
4
2021

 

Alexandra Road, NW8
Alexandra Road was built after the marriage of the Prince of Wales. The young Princess Alexandra, daughter of King Christian of Denmark, came to England to marry the later Edward VII in 1863. Alexandra Road was built by the Eyre Estate.

A notable resident of Alexandra Road was Lily Langtry (1853–1929), music hall singer and, with little irony at the time, the mistress of the husband (Edward VII) of the woman that the road was named after.

Langtry’s house in Alexandra Road had to be demolished to make way for the 1970s Alexandra Road development and she is remembered in the name of Langtry Walk.

The story of Alexandra Road is a story of ’two halves’. There is a remaining section which has continued in existence since the 1860s.

Prior to the creation of the London Borough of Camden, the Eyre Estate had owned Alexandra Road and were developing plans for rebuilding the street in the early 1960s. The Eyre Estate had to abandon their first plan for a middle-class scheme of a high density mi...
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JULY
3
2021

 

Basing Street, W11
Basing Street was originally Basing Road between 1867 and 1939. Basing Street might have acquired its name from the railway developer landowner James Whitchurch from Southampton, near Basingstoke. Alternatively it could have been named in honour of the 16th century landlord, Sir William Paulet or Pawlet, Lord St John of Basing and Marquis of Winchester, Lord High Treasurer in the reign of Elizabeth I.

The foundation stone for a congregational chapel, was laid by the Nottingham Liberal MP Samuel Morley in July 1865, "at a time when all this part was little more than open fields."

Waxwork models produced on Basing Street for Madame Tussaud’s included the local serial killer John Christie from 10 Rillington Place. In the late 1960s the building had another famous reincarnation as the offices and studios of Island Records. Chris Blackwell’s first memory of the premises is being freaked out when he found himself in a room full of dummies. Led Zeppelin began recording their fourth album, including ’Stairway To Heave...
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JULY
2
2021

 

Hickman’s Folly, SE1
Hickman’s Folly was a very old Bermondsey street which disappeared as the Dickens Estate was built. Hickman’s Folly ran parallel and south of Wolseley Street and said to have been built on the site of a tannery. At one time it ran from Dockhead to George Row where it crossed the open River Neckinger by a bridge over Folly Ditch.

The street was part of Jacob’s Island. This ’island’ was probably created between 1660 and 1680 in the first 20 years of the reign of Charles II, when the tidal ditches surrounding and intersecting the island were dug. The oldest houses of the rookie, and their ’crazy wooden galleries’ dated from this period. Hickman’s Folly can be seen on the 1750s Rocque map marked as ’The Folly’ but most likely dates from before then.

Jacob’s Island became a densely built-up area of factories, tanneries, warehouses and mills. Houses, shops, small workshops and workers’ tenements were built between them. Many houses owed curious features to their position over ditches, which served both as water supply and sewer. The di...
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JULY
1
2021

 

Colindale
Colindale is an area of north London lying to the northwest of Hendon. Formerly in the borough and ancient parish of Hendon, Colindale was essentially the dale between Mill Hill and Burroughs. By the middle of the 20th century, it had come to include that part of the Edgware Road between The Hyde, and Burnt Oak.

The area is named after a 16th century family of the same name. Until the 20th century Collindale, was without any buildings save for a large house called Collindale Lodge, Collindale Farm, and a few cottages. (A spelling with two L’s has been used, as on this printed in 1873.) All of these properties were on Collindeep Lane, which had in the medieval period been an alternative route out of London (via Hampstead, Golders Green, and Hendon) to the Edgware Road. By the end of the 16th century it was not often used as a main road, and by the middle part of the 19th century was called Ancient Street.

By the end of the 19th century cheap land prices made Colindale attractive to developers. Colindale Hospital was starte...
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