The Underground Map

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

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

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

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

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

Latest on The Underground Map...
East India Dock Road, E14
East India Dock Road is an important artery connecting the City of London to Essex, and partly serves as the high street of Poplar It takes it name from the former East India Docks and its route was constructed between 1806 and 1812 as a branch of the Commercial Road. The road begins in the west at Burdett Road and continues to the River Lea bridge in the east in Canning Town.

It laid within the parish of Limehouse with the western end in the former Gravel Pit Field.

The westernmost end, west of Stainsby Road and Birchfield Street was built up between 1847 and 1853 (north side) and 1850 and 1860 (south side).




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

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

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



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...



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...



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

Originally the stable house accommodation for the main houses on the surrounding streets, the primary purpose of the Mews properties is now residential.
»read full article


Added: 25 Apr 2022 22:11 GMT   

Southover, N12
Everyone knows Central Woodside is the place to be. Ever since kdog moved from finchtown, Woodside has been thriving.

Born here
Bernard Miller   
Added: 12 Apr 2022 17:36 GMT   

My mother and her sister were born at 9 Windsor Terrace
My mother, Millie Haring (later Miller) and her sister Yetta Haring (later Freedman) were born here in 1922 and 1923. With their parents and older brother and sister, they lived in two rooms until they moved to Stoke Newington in 1929. She always said there were six rooms, six families, a shared sink on the first floor landing and a toilet in the backyard.


Brian Lynch   
Added: 10 Apr 2022 13:38 GMT   

Staples Mattress Factory
An architect’s design of the Staples Mattress Factory
An image found on the website of Dalzell’s Beds, in Armagh Northern Ireland.

Lived here
Added: 19 Feb 2022 16:21 GMT   

Harmondsworth (1939 - 1965)
I lived in a house (Lostwithiel) on the Bath Road opposite the junction with Tythe Barn Lane, now a hotel site. Initially, aircraft used one of the diagonal runways directly in line with our house. I attended Sipson Primary School opposite the Three Magpies and celebrated my 21st birthday at The Peggy Bedford in 1959.


Emma Seif   
Added: 25 Jan 2022 19:06 GMT   

Birth of the Bluestocking Society
In about 1750, Elizabeth Montagu began hosting literary breakfasts in her home at 23 (now 31) Hill Street. These are considered the first meetings of the Bluestocking society.

Added: 14 Jan 2022 03:06 GMT   

Goldbourne Gardens W 10
I lived in Goldbourne Gardens in the 50,s very happy big bomb site


Chris Nash   
Added: 10 Jan 2022 22:54 GMT   

Shortlands Close, DA17
Shortlands Close and the flats along it were constructed in the mid-1990s. Prior to this, the area was occupied by semi-detached houses with large gardens, which dated from the post-war period and were built on the site of Railway Farm. The farm and its buildings spanned the length of Abbey Road, on the south side of the North Kent Line railway tracks.


Roy Batham   
Added: 7 Jan 2022 07:17 GMT   

Smithy in Longacre
John Burris 1802-1848 Listed 1841 census as Burroughs was a blacksmith, address just given as Longacre.

Source: Batham/Wiseman - Family Tree




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



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...



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...



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...



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 being respectable working class to the worst slum of 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 around the area, f...



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...



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.
»read full article



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...



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.
»read full article



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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