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Featured · Hampstead Garden Suburb ·
December
4
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...
Elephant Field
The grazing elephants of Hampstead Garden Suburb... One of the last occupiers of nearby Park Farm was the circus proprietor Lord George Sanger, who retired there in 1904, and was notoriously murdered by a farm hand in 1911. His descendants continued the circus in operation until the 1960s.

When the circus was not touring, Sanger would put his elephants out of pasture in what would become, in a few years, Hampstead Garden Suburb.

An elderly former resident of Denman Drive - constructed in 1908 on what was once Westminster Abbey’s land - used to recall ‘elephants grazing’ in the field between Big Wood and Little Wood, before Denman Drive North and Denman Drive South - constructed in 1912 on what was once the Bishop’s land - were completed.

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OCTOBER
22
2021

 

East Street, SE17
East Street, famous for its market, is likely to have been the birthplace of Charlie Chaplin, although no birth certificate exists There had been street trading in the Walworth area since the 16th century, when farmers rested their livestock on Walworth Common before continuing to the city.

In the 17th century, the area through which East Street now runs was rural fields and common land where people could graze their animals. The area to the north was known as ‘Lock’s Field’ and, even in 1878, was described as little more than ‘a dreary swamp’.

Most of the land in the area was owned by the Church, but some was eventually sold or leased. By the 1770s, some land near the junction with Old Kent Road (known then simply as The Kent Road) was cultivated as a flower nursery by the Driver family, who were also responsible for commissioning the grand buildings at nearby Surrey Square.

A legal document from 1780 describes the sale of the land which led to the creation of East Street as a public highway, connecting Walworth Road wit...
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OCTOBER
21
2021

 

George Street, TW9
George Street is the high street in Richmond and was one of the first streets to be developed in the town Previously known as Great Street, George Street was renamed after King George III in 1769.

Buildings on the street include the Grade II listed Greyhound House, formerly the Greyhound Hotel in a building dating from the 1730s. The facade of the former General Post Office building at 70–72 George Street, now a retail store, incorporates the coat of arms of the former Municipal Borough of Richmond, which existed from 1890 to 1965.
»read full article


OCTOBER
20
2021

 

BT Tower, W1W
The BT Tower is a communications tower, previously known as the GPO Tower, the Post Office Tower and the Telecom Tower The main tower structure is 177 metres high, with a further section of aerial rigging bringing the total height to 191 metres. The building was designed by the architects of the Ministry of Public Building and Works: Eric Bedford and G. R. Yeats.

The structure was commissioned by the General Post Office (GPO) and its primary purpose was to support the microwave aerials then used to carry telecommunications traffic from London to the rest of the country. It replaced a much shorter tower which had been built on the roof of the neighbouring Museum telephone exchange to provide a television link between London and Birmingham. The taller structure was required to protect the radio links’ "line of sight" against some of the tall buildings in London then in the planning stage.

The narrow cylindrical shape was chosen because of the requirements of the communications aerials: the building shifts no more than 25 centimetres in high wind speeds. Initially, th...
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OCTOBER
19
2021

 

Kilburn Toll
The Kilburn Toll Gate dated from 1710 The main road out of London towards the northwest was Watling Street. It had fallen into serious disrepair given its important status. A new source of funds was needed to maintain the highway. In 1710, a turnpike was established improving the road quality tremendously. There was a toll gate at Kilburn Bridge to charge road users at the entrance to Willesden parish.

Kilburn Toll Gate was situated at the southern end of Kilburn High Road beside the junction with Kilburn Priory.

After 1827, the Metropolitan Turnpike Trust was the body responsible for maintaining the main roads in the north of the conurbation of London. The commissioners took over from fourteen existing turnpike trusts, including the one at Kilburn, and were empowered to levy tolls to meet the costs of road maintenance.

Later the tollgate was moved to Shoot Up Hill before the turnpike was abolished altogether in 1872 as the Metropolitan Turnpike Trust was disbanded. The toll s...
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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Lived here
John Neill   
Added: 25 Nov 2021 11:30 GMT   

Sandringham Road, E10 (1937 - 1966)
I lived at No. 61 with my parents during these years. I went to Canterbury Road school (now Barclay Primary) and sang as a boy soprano (treble) in the church choir at St Andrew’s church, on the corner of Forest Glade.
Opposite us lived the Burgess family. Their son Russell also sang in my choir as a tenor. He later became a well-known musician and the choirmaster at Wandsworth Boys’ School.
Just at the end of WW2 a German rocket (V2) landed in the grounds of Whipps Cross Hospital, damaging many of the houses in Sandringham Road, including ours.

Reply
Comment
Tim Stevenson   
Added: 16 Nov 2021 18:03 GMT   

Pub still open
The Bohemia survived the 2020/21 lockdowns and is still a thriving local social resource.

Reply
Comment
STEPHEN JACKSON   
Added: 14 Nov 2021 17:25 GMT   

Fellows Court, E2
my family moved into the tower block 13th floor (maisonette), in 1967 after our street Lenthall rd e8 was demolished, we were one of the first families in the new block. A number of families from our street were rehoused in this and the adjoining flats. Inside toilet and central heating, all very modern at the time, plus eventually a tarmac football pitch in the grounds,(the cage), with a goal painted by the kids on the brick wall of the railway.

Reply

STEPHEN ARTHUR JACKSON   
Added: 14 Nov 2021 17:12 GMT   

Lynedoch Street, E2
my father Arthur Jackson was born in lynedoch street in 1929 and lived with mm grandparents and siblings, until they were relocated to Pamela house Haggerston rd when the street was to be demolished

Reply

Sir Walter Besant   
Added: 11 Nov 2021 18:47 GMT   

Sir Walter adds....
All the ground facing Wirtemberg Street at Chip and Cross Streets is being levelled for building and the old houses are disappearing fast. The small streets leading through into little Manor Street are very clean and tenanted by poor though respectable people, but little Manor Street is dirty, small, and narrow. Manor Street to Larkhall Rise is a wide fairly clean thoroughfare of mixed shops and houses which improves towards the north. The same may be said of Wirtemberg Street, which commences poorly, but from the Board School north is far better than at the Clapham end.

Source: London: South of the Thames - Chapter XX by Sir Walter Besant (1912)

Reply
Comment
   
Added: 6 Nov 2021 15:03 GMT   

Old Nichol Street, E2
Information about my grandfather’s tobacconist shop

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Comment
tom   
Added: 3 Nov 2021 05:16 GMT   

I met
someone here 6 years ago

Reply
Comment
Fion Anderson   
Added: 2 Nov 2021 12:55 GMT   

Elstree not Borehamwood
Home of the UK film industry

Reply

OCTOBER
18
2021

 

Golders Green crossroads
The Golders Green name derives from that of a local family - the Goodyers - and was first recorded in 1612. The hamlet of Golders Green originated as a group of cottages on waste ground on each side of the main road. In 1754, manorial waste at Golders Green stretched for some distance on either side of the main road from Hampstead.

By 1754 there were about 16 houses with small gardens at Golders Green, most of them on small inclosures from the waste and by 1751 there were two inns at Golders Green: the Hoop, commemorated later by the name ’’Hoop Lane’’, and the White Swan. The White Swan had tea gardens for summer visitors to Golders Green in 1882.

In the early 19th century, the manorial waste at Golders Green was enclosed for villas. In 1814 Golders Green contained ’many ornamental villas and cottages, surrounded with plantations’, and in 1828 detached houses spread on both sides of the road as far as Brent Bridge. The green was finally enclosed in 1873-4.

At Golders Green, a straggling hamlet in 1901, new hou...
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OCTOBER
17
2021

 

Lakeside Road, W14
Lakeside Road was built on the site of artificial lakes formed by local brickworks. Black Bull Ditch (or Parr’s Ditch) was first mentioned in 1493 as a man-made tributary of the Stamford Brook, flowing into the Thames south of Chancellor’s Wharf where it formed the boundary between Hammersmith and Fulham.

The hamlet of Brook Green, around the ditch, was established by the 16th century, originating as an outlying farm of a manor. It was largely marshland with the brook running through, and where an annual fair was held until 1823.

Nearer to the River Thames, the good soil enabled farmers to grow soft fruits such as gooseberries, red currants, raspberries and strawberries which were taken by boat to sell at Covent Garden market.

Further from the Thames during the early 19th century a considerable amount of the local farmland was turned over to the creation of brickfields. The clay soil provided good building materials for London as it continued to expand westwards. Many ponds and lakes were formed as a result o...
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OCTOBER
16
2021

 

York Road, SE1
York Road skirts the western edge of Waterloo station. To the west of York Road is the old County Hall, Shell Centre, Jubilee Gardens and, beyond, the London Eye and the River Thames.

The first Waterloo Bridge Act contained a clause for the continuation of Stamford Street across Waterloo Road to Westminster Bridge Road. The new road, which was for several years called Stamford Street, but which ultimately became York Road, was made across the land of the Archbishop’s manor of Lambeth.

Except for a fringe of cottages along Narrow Wall and for Phelps’ soap factory, which stood east of Narrow Wall (i.e. on ground between Belvedere Road and York Road and adjoining north on Waterloo Road) the land was undeveloped. It was divided by open ditches into fields: Float Mead, The Twenty-one Acres, and the Seven Acres.

In 1807 the Archbishop obtained an Act authorising the development of this ground for building. The road was cut in 1824, and between 1825 and 1830 practically the whole frontage...
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OCTOBER
15
2021

 

Black Raven Alley, EC4R
Black Raven Alley ran south from 105 Upper Thames Street down to Swan Wharf, just to the west of London Bridge. The Old Swan pub at 7 Swan Lane was situated along Black Raven Alley with its front entrance at 7 Swan Lane - Swan Lane ran parallel to Black Raven Alley). An archway led through to the City Commercial Wharf on Old Swan Lane.

The entire area was destroyed during the first days of the Blitz in September 1940.
»read full article


OCTOBER
14
2021

 

King Street, SW1A
King Street was an ancient thoroughfare between the regions of the Court and the Abbey in Westminster. King Street ran parallel to a more modern street - Parliament Street - the southern end of Whitehall at Parliament Square.

King Street was originally dangerously narrow. Pepys noted on 27 November 1660: "To Westminster Hall; and in King Street there being a great stop of coaches, there was a falling out between a drayman and my Lord of Chesterfield’s coachman, and one of his footmen killed."

At the north end of the street was the Cockpit Gate. This was at the corner of what is now Downing Street and what was then the southern side of Whitehall Palace. It had four domed towers; on the south side were pilasters and an entablature enriched with the double rose, the portcullis, and the royal arms. At the south end of King Street was the High Gate, which is shown in one of Hollar’s etchings. The latter, which was taken down in 1723, was occupied at one time by the Earl of Rochester. Part of the land in King Street was conveyed by the Abbot of Westm...
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OCTOBER
13
2021

 

Fitzneal Street, W12
Fitzneal Street runs off of Old Oak Common Lane. The street is part of the Wormholt and Old Oak Estates which were constructed in 1912-1928 and represented part of a movement towards higher standards in public housing.

The 54 acres required for the Old Oak Estate were purchased by the London County Council in 1905 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The estate was constructed in two phases, west of the railway and East Acton Station in 1912-13 and the eastern half in 1920-3.
»read full article


OCTOBER
12
2021

 

Old Park View, EN2
Old Park View was the home of the Beatles’ "Mean Mr. Mustard" Enfield Old Park was located in what is now Enfield and mentioned in the Domesday Book as being held by Geoffrey de Mandeville. Much of the Park is now built over as the suburb of Grange Park.

The Old Park was located around the site of an Iron Age hill fort. It was possibly a hunting park before the time of the Domesday Book and lasted as such until the 18th century.

From the 15th century and until the Civil War, the Old Park became royal property as part of the Duchy of Lancaster. Queen Elizabeth I often visited Enfield staying in a house at the border of the park.

In the early 17th century, the New River was laid through part of the Park.

In 1777, all of Enfield Chase was inclosed and came under several owners, including the then owner of the Park, Samuel Clayton. New roads such as Green Dragon Lane were laid out and the area became agricultural. In 1893 and 1895, Enfield Golf Club and Bush Hill Golf Club undertook long le...
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OCTOBER
11
2021

 

Goulston Street, E1
Goulston Street is a thoroughfare running north-south from Wentworth Street to Whitechapel High Street. Goulston Street first appeared as a small passage in the 1730s, but within ten years had been widened and extended as far as Goulston Square, a former garden which sat half way between Wentworth and Whitechapel High Streets. The street was extended further north between 1800 and 1830, this part initially being called New Goulston Street. The ’New’ prefix was soon dropped.

The northern half of the street came under the scrutiny of the Metropolitan Board of Works when the Cross Act of 1875 earmarked it for demolition on account of its dangerous slum tenements. At the same time, properties in George Yard and the Flower and Dean Street area were also suggested for redevelopment. The resulting changes in Goulston Street meant that unsanitary dwellings in Three Tun Alley (on the west side) and Goulston Court (on the east) were wiped out, along with much of the west side of Goulston Street itself.

In 1886/7, Brunswick Buildings were built on the west...
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OCTOBER
10
2021

 

Stanley Gardens, W11
Stanley Gardens was built in the 1850s. Stanley Gardens was probably named after the noted politician Edward Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, who became Prime Minister in 1852. There used also to be a Stanley Gardens Mews, which ran down the north side of St Peter’s church.

Stanley Gardens is perhaps the prime example of the Ladbroke Estate planners’ love affair with vistas. This short street looks west towards the two magnificent central houses in Stanley Crescent and to the east there is an equally magnificent view of St Peter’s church. As so often on the Ladbroke estate, the end-of-terrace houses on both sides are round the corner in Stanley Crescent and Kensington Park Road.

The original design for the Ladbroke estate, based on concentric circles, was made in the 1820s by Thomas Allason, the architect-surveyor employed by James Weller Ladbroke when he inherited the estate and decided to develop it. Allason’s design did not survive in its original form, but the layout of ...
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OCTOBER
9
2021

 

Mycenae Road, SE3
Mycenae Road runs north-south near to Westcombe Park Road. Westcombe Park station had opened in 1876 and that same year, 118 acres of land including 56 acres attached to a property called Woodlands House, 55 at Westcombe Park and seven at the top of Green Lane (Vanbrugh Hill) were sold to the Midland Land and Investment Corporation Ltd.

The company intended to develop on a large scale but ran into difficulties, instead selling to the newly-formed Westcombe Park Estate Company whose board included architects, engineers and builders.

Around 1878 the company laid out new roads, drainage and sewers.

A grand urban design for the whole area though was abandoned as both freehold and leasehold plots were soon offered for sale. It was left to individual developers to erect what they liked only so long as it conformed to a building line, was a property of a certain minimum value and did not exceed the density permitted by the development lease.

Sales of the building plots and building on them ...
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OCTOBER
8
2021

 

Westcombe Park
Westcombe Park is a largely residential area in Blackheath in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Much of Westcombe Park lies within the Westcombe Park Conservation Area which covers an area bounded to the north by the stretch of railway line between Vanbrugh Hill and Westcombe Hill, to the east by the A102 Blackwall Tunnel southern approach, to the south by Westcombe Park Road, and to the west by Ulundi Road.

The area’s most notable existing landmark, and only Listed building (grade II), is Woodlands House, in Mycenae Road. This four-storey Georgian villa still lies in its own grounds and was built between 1774 and 1776 for John Julius Angerstein, a Lloyd’s underwriter and merchant whose collection of old master paintings was bought for the nation in 1824, following his death, to form the nucleus of the National Gallery, London.

To the west of Woodlands House which was rebuilt in 1723 by Sir Gregory Page, and let to tenants who included Lavinia Fenton, Dowager Duchess of Bolton, who died at the house in 1760.

St George&rsqu...
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OCTOBER
7
2021

 

Nightingale Lane, SW12
Nightingale Lane leads from Clapham South to Wandsworth Common. Nightingale Lane was already shown on Rocque’s map of 1745 as a route flanked by trees and fields linking Clapham and Wandsworth Commons. It was then known as Balham Wood Lane and was probably used for moving cattle between the two commons, so that commoners could exercise their grazing rights.

The largest area of woodland had become known as Cockings Wood by the 1620s. This woodland ran south from Balham Wood Lane (Nightingale Lane) and as far west as the Falcon Brook. A number of large farm houses including Covey’s Farm and Balham Farm stood at the foot of the modern-day Ramsden Road, at the intersection of Balham High Road. This rural outlook remained relatively unchanged for centuries.

The 1860s map shows the start of the early development process with a number of detached villas being built on the south side of Nightingale Lane with Old Park House standing in its substantial grounds on the north side. The map shows ...
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OCTOBER
6
2021

 

Southwood Road, SE9
Southwood Road connects Sidcup Road with Footscray Road. Before Pope Street station (later New Eltham station) opened in 1878, the land hereabouts was mainly used for farming and forestry.

By the 1890s, there were detached villas in Southwood Road East and Southwood Road West (later Avery Hill Road) and in Footscray Road while modest workers’ cottages clustered in streets at Novar Road, Garrskell Road (now Gaitskell Road), Lannoy Road, Reventlow Road and Batturs Road.
»read full article


OCTOBER
5
2021

 

Wirtemberg Street, SW4
Wirtemberg Street is one of the lost streets of Clapham. Wirtemberg Street was named after the Kingdom of Württemberg, established in what is now Germany in 1806.

At a public lecture in Clapham during 1859, a woman was reported "living in Wirtemberg Street" so it can be assumed to have been liad out in that decade or earlier. The Wirtemberg Arms public house seems to have originated in that time too.

Wirtemberg Street was Wirtemberg Grove during the 1860s with its very northern section called Back Lane.

Wirtemberg Street was renamed Stonhouse Street on 14 March 1919. During, and in the aftermath of, the Great War, there was a renaming effort of nearly all of London’s ’German-sounding’ roads. The Wirtemberg Arms pub was also renamed the Windsor Arms at the same time.

It continued its life as a continuous street - now Stonhouse Street - until the Blitz. Bombing destroyed much of the northern part of the former Wirtemberg Street and the area was redeveloped.

»read full article


OCTOBER
4
2021

 

Roding Valley
With roughly 210,000 passengers a year, Roding Valley is the least-used station on the entire Underground network. Roding Valley is an area of Buckhurst Hill and was a new name created for the station - named after the nearby river. The floodplain of the river has effectively stopped the eastward expansion of housing.

The tracks through Roding Valley were opened on 1 May 1903 by the Great Eastern Railway (GER) on its Woodford to Ilford line (the Fairlop Loop). The station was not opened until 3 February 1936 by the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER, successor to the GER). It was originally named "Roding Valley Halt" and was opened to serve new housing developments between Buckhurst Hill and Woodford. The track rises towards Chigwell and crosses the Roding over an impressive viaduct.

As part of the 1935–1940 "New Works Programme" of the London Passenger Transport Board the majority of the Woodford to Ilford loop was to be transferred to form the eastern extensions of the Central line. Although work started in 1938 it was suspended at the outbreak of the Second Wo...
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OCTOBER
3
2021

 

Friday Street, EC4V
Friday Street is a small street in the City of London. Friday Street may have been named either after a fish market held on Fridays or a corruption of the Old English word Frigdaeges. It originally ran between Cheapside and Old Fish Street and was one of the principal thoroughfares of the Bread Street Ward in Mediaeval London.

The street had three churches: St Margaret Moses, St John the Evangelist and St Matthew. All three were destroyed in the Great Fire of London. St Matthew was rebuilt following the fire, but subsequently demolished.

Friday Street was partially cleared to construct Queen Victoria Street, and following damage in the Second World War, only the section between Queen Victoria Street and Cannon Street remains. The northern section up to Cheapside became Cheapside Passage.
»read full article


OCTOBER
2
2021

 

The Terrace, SW13
The Terrace is a road in Barnes overlooking the River Thames. The Terrace runs west from its junction with Barnes High Street and Lonsdale Road to the east, where it becomes Mortlake High Street.

The road runs along the west bend of the river and is lined with Georgian mansions, most of them dating from the 18th century and some from as early as 1720. Many of the houses are Grade II listed buildings and there have been several notable residents, such as the composer Gustav Holst who lived at No. 10 from 1908 to 1913.

The street also includes Barnes Railway Bridge, Barnes Bridge station and a Victorian pub, The White Hart, which overlooks the Thames and is a prominent landmark on the course of the Boat Race. It served as a headquarters for Barnes Football Club in the mid-19th century.
»read full article


OCTOBER
1
2021

 

Electric Avenue, SW9
Electric Avenue is a street in Brixton and the first market street to be lit by electricity. Built in 1888, the elegant Victorian canopies over the pavements survived until the 1980s.

Brixton Market began in the 1870s as the area was becoming one of London’s rapidly expanding Victorian middle-class suburbs following the railway station opening in 1862. The area became a popular shopping destination due not only to the lights and covered iron canopy but also the array of shops – including London’s first department store: Bon Marché on Brixton Road – and street entertainers. Every Christmas, it would be lavishly covered in spectacular Christmas decorations.

At the turn of the century the middle classes moved out and the area became home to a large working class population. Many large houses were subsequently converted into flats.

Post-war, the area was in decline having suffered badly in WWII bombing. Many properties fell into disrepair or were split into smaller lodgings. Such lodgings would become home to the Windrush gene...
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