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Featured · Queen’s Park ·
December
10
2023
The Underground Map is a project which is creating street histories for the areas of London and surrounding counties lying inside the M25.

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

You can begin exploring by choosing a place from the dropdown list at the top.

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

Latest on The Underground Map...
Amersham
Amersham is a market town 27 miles north west of London, in the Chiltern Hills, England. It is part of the London commuter belt. Amersham is split into two distinct areas: Old Amersham, set in the valley of the River Misbourne, which contains the 13th century parish church of St. Mary’s and several old pubs and coaching inns; and Amersham-on-the-Hill, which grew rapidly around the railway station in the early part of the 20th century.

Records date back to pre-Anglo-Saxon times, when it was known as Egmondesham.

In 1200 Geoffrey, Earl of Essex obtained a charter for Amersham allowing him to hold a Friday market and a fair on 7 and 8 September. In 1613 a new charter was granted to Edward, Earl of Bedford, changing the market day to Tuesday and establishing a statute fair on 19 September.

The area of the town now known as Amersham on the Hill was referred to as Amersham Common until after the arrival of the Metropolitan Line in 1892. After this date growth of the new area of the town gradually accelerated, with much work being done by the arch...

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NOVEMBER
2
2023

 

Yiewsley
Yiewsley is a large suburban village in the London Borough of Hillingdon Yiewsley’s transition from an agrarian community began when the Grand Junction Canal was opened. Construction started in May 1793 and connected the area to the Thames at Brentford, passing through Yiewsley on its way north following the River Colne. An aqueduct was built at Cowley Lock to cross the Fray’s River. In 1794, the canal opened between the Thames and Uxbridge, and in 1795, the aqueduct over the Fray’s River was likely completed.

The following year, in 1796, Colham Wharf, Yiewsley’s first dock, was established near Colham Bridge. In 1801, the Paddington Arm of the canal opened, connecting the area to national trade routes.

The canal played a vital role in transporting Cowley stock bricks, which were made from the abundant brick-earth in Yiewsley. The bricks were transported mainly along the Grand Junction Canal and the Regent’s Canal to supply the demand for building materials in Victorian London.

By t...
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NOVEMBER
1
2023

 

South Harrow
South Harrow originally spread south and west from the hamlet of Roxeth as a result of easier access from Central London by rail In the 1890s, the Metropolitan District Railway, which later became the District Line but was operating as an independent company at the time, recognised the inadequate service to Uxbridge and Harrow. To address this, they proposed the construction of a railway line towards both towns, and this led to the formation of the Ealing & South Harrow Railway. The railway line was intended to extend to South Harrow, which was then a rural area located to the south of Roxeth.

Construction of the railway line was completed by 1899, but the District Line faced financial difficulties that delayed its opening until 1903. Consequently, South Harrow became the terminus of a line extending from Park Royal & Twyford Abbey. The location around Northolt Road subsequently developed into South Harrow’s own commercial and residential hub.

The original station building was approximately 170 metres south of the present-day station. This extension marked a significant miles...
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SEPTEMBER
23
2023

 

Great Portland Street
Great Portland Street is a London Underground station near Regent’s Park Great Portland Street station was opened on 10 January 1863 as Portland Road, renamed Great Portland Street and Regents Park in 1923 and changed to its present name on 1 March 1917.

The station’s present structure, constructed in 1930, is situated on a traffic island at the intersection of Marylebone Road, Great Portland Street and Albany Street. This building features a steel-framed design with a cream terracotta exterior. The station’s perimeter also houses shops and, in the past, included a car showroom with office spaces above it. Notably, Great Portland Street was a significant sales location for the motor industry. The station’s architectural design, credited to C.W. Fowler, earned it a Grade II listing in January 1987.

The area around Great Portland Street station offers various points of interest. Regent’s Park and the iconic BT Tower are nearby attractions. Additionally, the station’s proximity to Regen...
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SEPTEMBER
20
2023

 

Courtfield Gardens, SW5
Courtfield Gardens is named after the field beneath it, cultivated until the 19th century According to 16th-century records, Courtfield Gardens was built on a vast open meadow known as Great Courtfield. This meadow was surrounded by fertile land and small farms and was part of a large area of land that extended from Cromwell Road to The Old Brompton Road in one direction, and from Gloucester Road to Earl’s Court Road in the other direction. Great Courtfield was included in the Earl’s Court ’manor’.

During the 18th century, Earl’s Court House, a grand manor house, was constructed on the land that is now the western terrace of Barkston Gardens. This building replaced an extensive dwelling that was described in 1705 as having fountains, a marble-tiled dairy, engines for water, and impressive gates at its entrance.

In the 19th century, the area surrounding Courtfield Gardens was developed with rows of terraced houses, as the demand for housing in London grew. Earl’s Court House was demolished in the middle of th...
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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT


Matthew Proctor   
Added: 7 Dec 2023 17:36 GMT   

Blackheath Grove, SE3
Road was originally known as The Avenue, then became "The Grove" in 1942.

From 1864 there was Blackheath Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on this street until it was destroyed by a V2 in 1944

Reply
Comment
Peter   
Added: 4 Dec 2023 07:05 GMT   

Gambia Street, SE1
Gambia Street was previously known as William Street.

Reply
Comment
Eileen   
Added: 10 Nov 2023 09:42 GMT   

Brecknock Road Pleating Company
My great grandparents ran the Brecknock Road pleating Company around 1910 to 1920 and my Grandmother worked there as a pleater until she was 16. I should like to know more about this. I know they had a beautiful Victorian house in Islington as I have photos of it & of them in their garden.

Source: Family history

Reply
Comment
   
Added: 6 Nov 2023 16:59 GMT   

061123
Why do Thames Water not collect the 15 . Three meter lengths of blue plastic fencing, and old pipes etc. They left here for the last TWO Years, these cause an obstruction,as they halfway lying in the road,as no footpath down this road, and the cars going and exiting the park are getting damaged, also the public are in Grave Danger when trying to avoid your rubbish and the danger of your fences.

Source: Squirrels Lane. Buckhurst Hill, Essex. IG9. I want some action ,now, not Excuses.MK.

Reply

Christian   
Added: 31 Oct 2023 10:34 GMT   

Cornwall Road, W11
Photo shows William Richard Hoare’s chemist shop at 121 Cornwall Road.

Reply

Vik   
Added: 30 Oct 2023 18:48 GMT   

Old pub sign from the Rising Sun
Hi I have no connection to the area except that for the last 30+ years we’ve had an old pub sign hanging on our kitchen wall from the Rising Sun, Stanwell, which I believe was / is on the Oaks Rd. Happy to upload a photo if anyone can tell me how or where to do that!

Reply
Comment
Phillip Martin   
Added: 16 Oct 2023 06:25 GMT   

16 Ashburnham Road
On 15 October 1874 George Frederick Martin was born in 16 Ashburnham Road Greenwich to George Henry Martin, a painter, and Mary Martin, formerly Southern.

Reply
Lived here
Christine Bithrey   
Added: 15 Oct 2023 15:20 GMT   

The Hollies (1860 - 1900)
I lived in Holly Park Estate from 1969 I was 8 years old when we moved in until I left to get married, my mother still lives there now 84. I am wondering if there was ever a cemetery within The Hollies? And if so where? Was it near to the Blythwood Road end or much nearer to the old Methodist Church which is still standing although rather old looking. We spent most of our childhood playing along the old dis-used railway that run directly along Blythwood Road and opposite Holly Park Estate - top end which is where we live/ed. We now walk my mothers dog there twice a day. An elderly gentleman once told me when I was a child that there used to be a cemetery but I am not sure if he was trying to scare us children! I only thought about this recently when walking past the old Methodist Church and seeing the flag stone in the side of the wall with the inscription of when it was built late 1880

If anyone has any answers please email me [email protected]

Reply



Click here to explore another London street
We now have 628 completed street histories and 46872 partial histories

FEBRUARY
28
2022

 

Whitechapel Road, E1
Whitechapel Road is a major arterial road in East London. It connects Aldgate (as Whitechapel High Street) with Mile End Road. Whitechapel Road is part of the historic Roman road from London to Colchester.

The road had become built up by the 19th century - by the 1870s, the road had become extensively developed with properties along the entire stretch of the road. A market became established in the road.

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry, a principal supplier of church bells, was until its closure in 2017, based at 32–34 Whitechapel Road.

Several ethnic minority communities have based themselves on Whitechapel Road. It became a Huguenot area in the eighteenth century. The road was a focal point of the Jewish community between the 1850s and 1930s, with many Jewish shops and market stalls. Towards the latter part of the 20th century, the street became a centre of the Bangladeshi community.
»read full article


FEBRUARY
27
2022

 

Golborne Road, W10
Golborne Road, heart of North Kensington, was named after Dean Golbourne, at one time vicar of St John’s Church in Paddington. Until the middle of the nineteenth century it was no more than a country footpath crossing the fields of Portobello Farm, but late in the 1860s the road was widened, shops were built and the road was extended over the railway.

It was planted with trees and named Britannia Road. Later the trees were cut down and the street was called Golbourne and later Golborne Road.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, the area was one of the most overcrowded and poverty-stricken in London.

The thoroughfare was extensively bombed during WWII, after which the Victorian-era slums were cleared to make way for the Trellick and the Swinbrook and Wornington estates, which housed immigrant arrivals from the Caribbean.

Stella McCartney moved into a chapel on Golborne Road next to a curry house in 2002, heralding its arrival as a fashionable destination. Now going the way of upmarket Portobello Road (which intersects it), g...
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FEBRUARY
26
2022

 

Queensway
Queensway (formerly Queen’s Road) is a cosmopolitan street in the Bayswater district, containing many restaurants and stores. Near the northern end of the street is the multi-storey Whiteleys Shopping Centre, on the site of London’s first department store, opened by William Whiteley in 1867. The store was awarded a Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria in 1896. The facade of the current building is from 1911, but the building itself was demolished and rebuilt in 1989.

This part of Bayswater was first developed as a residential suburb of London in the early nineteenth century. However, the road at its southern end (Bayswater Road) was a long-established road across the countryside before this, and a road roughly following the present Queensway can be seen on early maps running north from Bayswater Road across fields under the name of Black Lion Lane. It was subsequently renamed Queen’s Road in honour of Queen Victoria, who had been born at nearby Kensington Palace. This was a name somewhat lacking in distinctiveness, and for this reason, the present name of Queensway was eventually substi...
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FEBRUARY
25
2022

 

Spa Green Estate, EC1R
The Spa Green Estate is a post-war realisation of a 1930s plan for social regeneration through Modernist architecture. The area of the estate had been designated for slum clearance and then partly demolished due to German bombing. Spa Green was built by the architect Berthold Lubetkin and received a Grade II* listing for its architectural significance. Lubetkin intended the project as a manifesto for modern architecture.

Political leaders in the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury worked with the radical architect Lubetkin and his practice Tecton. The nearby Finsbury Health Centre - built in 1938 - pointed forward to the future welfare state. Spa Green, first designed in 1938 and developed in 1943 was aimed to fulfil a utopian promise.

Minister of Health Aneurin Bevan laid the foundation stone in July 1946, and the opening ceremonies in 1949 included the planting of a plane tree by Princess Margaret.

Spa Green adopted many features including lifts, central heating, balconies, daylight and ventilation from multiple directions, large entry spaces, and a roof ter...
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FEBRUARY
24
2022

 

God’s Own Junkyard
God’s Own Junkyard is a surreal gallery of neon lights and vintage signs in Walthamstow. The original owner Chris Bracey, like his father, had (after a time as a graphic designer) been a neon sign maker for Soho - making illuminated pointers for the area’s strip clubs. Such was his fame that Hollywood called and he began making props for Tim Burton, Stanley Kubrick and Christopher Nolan.

Chris Bracey set up this gallery in Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall Street. He passed away in 2014 but his family have carried on, both with the gallery and in the neon sign business.

God’s Own Junkyard is free to enter and visit but it’s funded by sales - walking away with a sign is expensive!
»read full article


FEBRUARY
23
2022

 

Palestine Place, E2
Palestine Place led east from Cambridge Heath Road. A five acre field belonging to the Bishop’s Hall Estate was leased in 1811 to the London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews. The society, which built the Episcopal Jews’ chapel and associated buildings, named Palestine Place by 1836.

The Bethnal Green Infirmary opened in 1900, built on the site of the Episcopal Jews’ Chapel. The three-storey red brick hospital was designed to accommodate 669 patients and intended for the chronically ill. The clock from the demolished chapel was installed in the tower of the administration block of the hospital.

In 1948 it joined the NHS as the Bethnal Green Hospital.

In 1990 the Hospital closed but the four-storey administration block on Cambridge Heath Road became a listed building.

The Victoria Park Housing Association redeveloped the site to provide 162 houses and flats - the new estate opened in 1993.
»read full article


FEBRUARY
22
2022

 

Bonners Hall
Bonners Hall was named for sometime resident Bishop Bonner. A former Bishop of London who lived here and caused the house to be named after him was Edmund Bonner. He was a devout Catholic and wielded a great amount of power which he used and abused in his pursuit of Protestants.

The devoutly Catholic Queen Mary I came to the throne in 1553. Mary commissioned Bonner to convert heretical Protestants to Catholicism. If they refused, Bonner would order them to be tortured and burnt at the stake. He was dubbed ‘Bloody Bonner’ and started four years of persecution. Some 300 were burned at the stake, it’s been said that Bonner personally tried and sentenced around 200 of these.

When Protestant, Elizabeth I became queen, Bonner did not fare so well. He was arrested in 1559, and imprisoned until his death ten years later. The enduring hatred towards Bonner meant that he was buried at midnight to avoid a riot.

Bonner’s privileged position led him to occupy Bonner’s Hall (Bishop&r...
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FEBRUARY
21
2022

 

Cambridge Heath
Cambridge Heath is a district in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, north of Bethnal Green. The earliest recorded use of the Cambridge Heath name was as Camprichthesheth in 1275. It was an area of gravel situated between marshland to the east and west. A forest known as Bishopswood, lingered in the east until the 16th century.

The heath was a ’waste’ of Stepney manor, used as common pasture. By 1275 at least one ’ancient’ house stood there.

A merchant tailor of London called John Slater took out a 99 year lease in 1587 on a piece of waste 24 rods by 11 rods on the west side of the heath and south of Hackney Road to the north, for 99 years. No building followed and the lease had lapsed by 1652. There was no development on the Bethnal Green side of the boundary until maybe 1720.

In time, Cambridge Heath developed eight principal estates: Parmiter, Rush Mead, Cambridge Heath, Bishop’s Hall, Pyotts, Sebright, Chambers and Bullock.

We’ll deal with their history one-by-one.
...
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FEBRUARY
20
2022

 

High Street Kensington
High Street Kensington is a London Underground station on Kensington High Street. Kensington High Street is a major road in west London, forming part of the A315.

Its western extremity of Kensington High Street is the eastern end of Hammersmith Road. From here, the road heads east past the Commonwealth Institute and High Street Kensington tube station. It forms a junction which Kensington Church Street and then eastward the road becomes Kensington Road.

The stretch between the Commonwealth Institute and Kensington Gardens is a popular shopping area.

High Street Kensington station, on the District Line, opened in 1868. This coincided with the improvement in social conditions locally - the area had been a poor area.
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FEBRUARY
19
2022

 

Myddelton Passage, EC1R
Myddelton Passage is an alleyway with an interesting story The New River Head is a reservoir built by the New River Company in the 17th century to provide fresh water to London. An unnamed Myddelton Passage was a path around the reservoir and features on Rocque’s 1750s mapping.

Myddelton Square is a Georgian-style square built from the 1820 onwards and when Myddleton Passage received its name.

In the late nineteenth century, members of the Metropolitan Police’s G Division, based out of King’s Cross Police Station, took to carving their collar numbers into the wall of Myddelton Passage.

A theory as to why this happened is that Myddelton Passage had a crime-filled reputation in the 19th century. Bored officers were assigned the duty of guarding the passage and spend some time carving their names into the mortar.
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FEBRUARY
18
2022

 

Richmond Park
Richmond Park is the largest of London’s Royal Parks, created by Charles I in the 17th century as a deer park. Richmond Park is a national-level nature reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation. Its landscapes have inspired many famous artists and it has been a location for several films and TV series.

Historically the preserve of the monarch, the park is now open to all. Full right of public access to the park was confirmed by Act of Parliament in 1872.

It played an important role in both world wars and also in the 1948 and 2012 Olympics.
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FEBRUARY
17
2022

 

Horse Guards Parade, SW1A
Horse Guards Parade dates to the time of Henry VIII. Horse Guards Parade was once the site for the Palace of Whitehall’s jousting and other tournaments which were held during the reign of Henry VIII. Since then it was used for a variety of ceremonies as well as being the Headquarters of the British Army.

The Palace of Whitehall, the largest palace in Europe at that time, was destroyed by fire in 1698 and replaced by the present Horse Guards building in 1753.

After being a government car park during the twentieth century, in April 1993, the Royal Parks Review Group recommended that Horse Guards Parade should be restored for public use.

Horse Guards Parade is the ceremonial parade ground for the Trooping the Colour on the monarch’s official birthday.
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FEBRUARY
16
2022

 

Parker Street, SW1H
Before being renamed to Matthew Parker Street, old Parker Street was a Westminster slum. Victorians and Edwardians became increasingly ashamed of the slum conditions at the heart of the British Empire. Parker Street, for instance, was some 250 yards from the Houses of Parliament.

Parker Street had been a row of Georgian terraces, but about the turn of the 20th century these had been subdivided and turned into cheap lodgings.

The L-shaped Matthew Parker Street replaced it in 1909.


»read full article


FEBRUARY
15
2022

 

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).
»read full article


FEBRUARY
14
2022

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Originally the stable house accommodation for the main houses on the surrounding streets, the primary purpose of the Mews properties is now residential.
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FEBRUARY
10
2022

 

Rowena Crescent, SW11
Rowena Crescent was once called Zulu Crescent. The Falcon Estate, of which Rowena Crescent is part, was laid out by Alfred Heaver in 1880.

Rowena Crescent was set back some distance from the railway when the street opened that year. The original streets on the Falcon Estate were named after British victories throughout the Empire which had taken place before the Estate was designed. Therefore we find a Candahar Road, Khyber Road and an Afghan Road named after the 1870s Afghanistan campaign alone. There had also been a skirmish in southern Africa during the decade and Rowena Crescent was assigned the name Zulu Crescent.

Local residents petitioned against the name and the more peaceable Rowena Crescent came into being soon afterwards.
»read full article


FEBRUARY
9
2022

 

Lisson Grove, NW1
The southern end of Lisson Grove was the location of a hamlet and open space, both called Lisson Green. Lisson Green is described as a hamlet in the Domesday book.

Originally Lisson Grove was part of the medieval manor of Lilestone which stretched north to Hampstead. Lisson Green broke away as a new manor in 1236 and had its own manor house.

’Lissing Green’ becames a recreation area for Londoners. By the 1790s, the Green was a large open space stretching down to Chapel Street and the Old Marylebone Road. Beside it on Lisson Grove, the Lissing Green/Lissom Grove village was part of a network of country lanes, on the east side of Edgware Road. At the southern end of the Green was the Yorkshire Stingo inn from whence stagecoaches set off for all parts.

Earlier, in 1771, Lisson Green was bought by James Stephens and Daniel Bullock, manufacturers of white lead. They set up the White Lead Manufactory next to the Nursery Garden, with unrecorded consequences to health. But until the late 18th century the district remained essentially rura...
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FEBRUARY
8
2022

 

Jason Court, W1U
Jason Court was part of the ancient village of Marylebone. The court runs into Marylebone Lane. A stroll along its twisting course will at once reveal a complete contrast with to the symmetrical layout of the surrounding streets. This very distinctly indicates that it was once nothing more than a pathway along the side of the Tyburn Brook providing an access route to the village, clustered around the parish church of St Mary. Indeed it is the Tyburn which gives the area part of its name.

In the middle ages when this was a suburb village, surrounded by fields and well outside the commercial city, a small church, dedicated to St John, was built on the site where Marble Arch now stands. Almost on its doorstep stood the gallows. Served by the main road of Tyburn Way (Oxford Street) it was an easy location to reach and on execution days the area became choked with spectators, all straining to catch a glimpse of the noosed victims. As the crowds gathered, so did the thieves; there were rich pickings to be made from the densely packed...
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FEBRUARY
7
2022

 

Durward Street, E1
Durward Street is a narrow thoroughfare running east-west from Brady Street to Baker’s Row (today’s Vallance Road). Originally called Ducking Pond Row on account of a ducking pond being situated at the site of the Brady Street junction . First map appearance as Buck’s Row was c.1830., however the name had been in use for many years previously.

By 1870, the street was lined on its north side by the large Browne & Eagle warehouses and on its south by a row of terraced cottages which terminated at a ’National School for Boys and Girls’ (similar cottages stood in parallel Winthrop Street). The end of the terrace and the school were demolished c.1875 to make way for the East London Underground Railway and a new board school was constructed in 1876-7. The demolished houses on the terrace were replaced by a new structure, named New Cottage and Brown’s Stable Yard. Essex Wharf was also built on the opposite side of the street around this time.

Ripper victim Mary Ann Nichols’ body was found in front of the gateway of Brown’s Stable Yard. As a...
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FEBRUARY
6
2022

 

Tavistock Crescent, W11
Tavistock Crescent was where the first Notting Hill Carnival procession began on 18 September 1966. Tavistock Crescent was developed in the late 1860s alongside the Hammersmith and City railway line from Westbourne Park station, originally as Great Western Crescent. On the 1900s Charles Booth map, the Tavistock streets are down as poverty and comfort mixed/fairly comfortable, but Silvester Mews, between Basing Street and All Saints Road, is very poor dark blue.

By the mid 20th century Tavistock Crescent had gone from ’respectable working class’ to being the worst slum in the area.

On 15 May 1966 Rhaune Laslett’s London Free School playgroup at 34 Tavistock Crescent (since demolished) was visited by the world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali (in the run up to his second Henry Cooper fight). Rhaune Laslett is to Ali’s right in the picture with the kids.

This was also where the first Notting Hill Carnival procession began on 18 September 1966. Rhaune Laslett organised the Free School Fayre pageant parade arou...
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FEBRUARY
5
2022

 

The Green, UB7
The Green was the heart of West Drayton. By 1557, West Drayton village had already taken on the approximate shape which it presented when the first detailed maps were made, at the beginning of the 19th century, with its houses and cottages grouped around Town Street, where the Green now stands, and Mill Lane (now Money Lane).

Some 16th century building survives, notably the Old Shop at the north-east corner of the Green. One wing of Avenue House, by the Green, dates from the 16th century, though the main part of the house is of the 18th century.

There are indications that the 16th century was a period of expansion for the village. Thus the ’new field’ and the ’new row’ were mentioned about 1517 in transactions of the manor court.

A number of buildings around the Green date substantially from the 17th and 18th centuries.

There were five inns at West Drayton by 1749. In 1689, the ’Crown’ is mentioned: it was then known as the &rsqu...
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FEBRUARY
4
2022

 

Bloemfontein Road, W12
Bloemfontein Road is one of the main roads of the White City Estate. In 1908, the site of the future estate was the site of the Franco-British Exhibition. The main roads of the estate are named after imperial possessions featured in the exhibition: Australia Road, Canada Way, India Way and Bloemfontein Road. Once the First World War came along, the exhibition site fell into disuse.

In 1935, the London County Council (LCC) bought the redundant site and planned a 52 acre estate of 2286 flats in 49 five-storey blocks.

23 blocks were completed when the Second World War broke out. In 1953, the estate was completed but with only 35 blocks. The 2011 built homes housed a population of just under 9000.

The White City Estate represented the LCC’s first attempt to apply ideas of slum clearance and comprehensive redevelopment asked for in the 1935 UK Housing Act.
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FEBRUARY
3
2022

 

South Square, NW11
South Square is the name of the southern part of Central Square, Hampstead Garden Suburb. Raymond Unwin’s 1905 proposals for a garden suburb at Hampstead showed a central core near to the location of what became Central Square. This point was the highest in the suburb and thus its proposed buildings would become the focus in views from surrounding streets. There was to be a library, a hall, an Anglican church, a chapel and shops. The east side of the square was to be filled with housing.

As 1908 dawned, Edwin Lutyens was appointed consulting architect to Hampstead Garden Suburb (HGS) and was directed to focus his energies on the central area, including the Institute. Lutyens’s drew a sketch plan for Central Square and presented to the General Purposes Committee of the HGS Trust on 18 February.

Henrietta Barnett, whose idea the suburb had been, was known not to approve it and suggested an alternative arrangement in a letter of 24 February. This plan captures what would become the final form of the Central Square, with the Institute...
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FEBRUARY
2
2022

 

Clarendon Road, WD6
Clarendon Road runs north from Shenley Road. The road is older than most streets in Borehamwood, dating as it does from prior to the First World War. It receives its name from the Earl of Essex and Clarendon who also built the Nascot estate in Watford a few decades previous to its construction.

Clarendon Road and Eldon Avenue are now the two entrances into the BBC Elstree Centre, previously ATV/Central TV and the Rock Studios before that.
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FEBRUARY
1
2022

 

Talbot Yard, SE1
Talbot Yard used to host one of the most famous inns in English literature. The Tabard was immortalised by Chaucer when he selected it as the starting place of the pilgrims in his celebrated Canterbury Tales. He sets the scene at the Inn on the night before the pilgrimage:

‘Byfel that in that sesoun on a day,
In Southwark at the Tabard as I lay
Ready to wenden on my pilgrimage
To Canterbury, with ful devout courage,
At night was come into that hostelrie,
Wel nyne and twenty in a compainye.’
The Tabard as it stood in 1875 was not the inn that Chaucer knew of 1388; the original was destroyed by fire in 1628.

The inn first appeared on the scene in 1304 when the Abbot and Convent of Hythe became the owner of two houses purchased from William Latergareshall. On the site of these houses the Abbot built a dwelling house and a hostelry and erected the sign of the Tabard, a sleeveless leather coat. It was probably the first of the High Street inns and the forerunner of a multiplicit...
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