The Underground Map

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Featured · Queen’s Park ·

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...
Northumberland Avenue, WC2N
Northumberland Avenue runs from Trafalgar Square in the west to the Thames Embankment in the east. In 1608–09, Henry Howard, 1st Earl of Northampton built a house on the eastern side of the former Chapel and Hospital of St. Mary Rounceval, at Charing Cross, including gardens running to the River Thames and adjoining Scotland Yard to the west. The estate became the property of Algernon Percy, 10th Earl of Northumberland when he married Howard’s great-great niece, Lady Elizabeth, in 1642, whereupon it was known as Northumberland House.

In June 1874, the whole of Northumberland House was purchased by the Metropolitan Board of Works and demolished to form Northumberland Avenue, which would accommodate hotels. The road was part built on the parallel Northumberland Street.

Contemporary planning permissions forbade hotels to be taller than the width of the road they were on; consequently Northumberland Avenue was built with a wide carriageway. Part of the parallel Northumberland Street was demolished in order to make way for the avenue’s eastern...




Lover’s Walk, SE21
The walkway between Gallery Road and College Road has had many names There was a medieval field system between the two roads. In 1989, the Museum of London carried out an exploratory dig here to verify this. Amongt the fields, a path became known as Lovers Lane or Pensioners’ Walk.

In 1768 the right of way received an official name - The Grove. Grove Field lay on its south side.

Lover’s Walk had become its informal name by 1876 - in May that year, a news report recorded an incident here. In 2012, the Dulwich Estate agreed to calls for Lover’s Walk to be the formal name.

For cyclists it has yet another name - it is part of the Traylen Trail.

»read full article



Vernon Yard, W11
Vernon Yard is a mews off of Portobello Road The name Portobello Road derived from the 1739 capture of Puerto Bello in Central America from the Spaniards by Admiral Vernon (1684-1757) with only six ships.

Vernon Yard is similarly named - it was known as Vernon Mews until 1932. It is a small L-shaped mews with its entrance under an archway between 117 and 119 Portobello Road. The terrace of houses in Portobello Road that backs onto the mews was originally called Vernon Terrace, and the mews served these houses.

Vernon Yard would have been built at the same time as Vernon Terrace, in the first half of the 1850s. The 1863 Ordnance Survey map shows two numbered units (Nos. 1 and 2) at the southern end of Vernon Yard; a further eight units (Nos. 3-10) along the western side) and one (No. 11) at the northern end. These were almost certainly stable blocks with accommodation above. On the eastern side, the map shows a number of unnumbered units which were probably warehouses or stabling belonging to the ad...



Rainham Road, NW10
Rainham Road, in Kensal Green, was laid out in 1895 The United Land Company bought a 6 acre triangle of land between Harrow Road and the Hampstead Junction railway in 1879, and an adjoining 21 acres from All Souls College in 1882. The whole area was laid out as high-density terraced housing and shops as far east as College Road.

The college leased 13 acres south of the L&NWR railway line to Edward Vigers, who by 1888 had laid out roads and started building 134 small terraced houses.

Rainham Road was let on building leases in 1895 and 30 houses had been built there by 1898.
»read full article



Eton Avenue, NW3
Eton Avenue runs parallel with Adelaide Road, two blocks north From 1873 onward, William Willett and his son worked together as the chief building team in the area. In the early 1880s, they accepted the challenge of the Eton College estate by constructing Eton Avenue and surrounding roads.

The Willetts then moved on to both Lyndhurst Gardens and Wedderburn Road.

The houses set a precedent for aesthetic architecture in the speculative market. Drawing inspiration from English Queen Anne designs of the late 17th century, they were built with red brick, steep pitched roofs and tall chimneys. Dormers, gables, ornamental glass and ornamentation were other features that set them apart. Every single house was distinct.
»read full article


Scott Hatton   
Added: 30 Jan 2023 11:28 GMT   

The Beatles on a London rooftop
The Beatles’ rooftop concert took place on the rooftop of the Apple Corps building in London. It was their final public performance as a band and was unannounced, attracting a crowd of onlookers. The concert lasted for 42 minutes and included nine songs. The concert is remembered as a seminal moment in the history of rock music and remains one of the most famous rock performances of all time.


Michael Upham   
Added: 16 Jan 2023 21:16 GMT   

Bala Place, SE16
My grandfather was born at 2 Bala Place.


Added: 15 Jan 2023 09:49 GMT   

The Bombing of Nant Street WW2
My uncle with his young son and baby daughter were killed in the bombing of Nant Street in WW2. His wife had gone to be with her mother whilst the bombing of the area was taking place, and so survived. Cannot imagine how she felt when she returned to see her home flattened and to be told of the death of her husband and children.

Lived here
Brian J MacIntyre   
Added: 8 Jan 2023 17:27 GMT   

Malcolm Davey at Raleigh House, Dolphin Square
My former partner, actor Malcolm Davey, lived at Raleigh House, Dolphin Square, for many years until his death. He was a wonderful human being and an even better friend. A somewhat underrated actor, but loved by many, including myself. I miss you terribly, Malcolm. Here’s to you and to History, our favourite subject.
Love Always - Brian J MacIntyre
Minnesota, USA

Lived here
Robert Burns   
Added: 5 Jan 2023 17:46 GMT   

1 Abourne Street
My mother, and my Aunt and my Aunt’s family lived at number 1 Abourne Street.
I remember visitingn my aunt Win Housego, and the Housego family there. If I remember correctly virtually opposite number 1, onthe corner was the Lord Amberley pub.

Added: 30 Dec 2022 21:41 GMT   

Southam Street, W10
do any one remember J&A DEMOLITON at harrow rd kensal green my dad work for them in a aec 6 wheel tipper got a photo of him in it

Added: 26 Dec 2022 18:59 GMT   

Detailed history of Red Lion
I’m not the author but this blog by Dick Weindling and Marianne Colloms has loads of really clear information about the history of the Red Lion which people might appreciate.

Source: ‘Professor Morris’ and the Red Lion, Kilburn


Added: 20 Dec 2022 02:58 GMT   

Lancing Street, NW1


Click here to explore another London street
We now have 549 completed street histories and 46951 partial histories
Find streets or residential blocks within the M25 by clicking STREETS



Maylands was already in existence by 1420 and then called Mellonde. Maylands was part of the manor of Dagenhams as early as the 13th century, although it was let out on lease. Two fields beside the Brentwood Road were called Little and Great Dellams and were known in the Middle Ages. Around 1610, Maylands was leased to John Wright of Wright’s Bridge.

In 1919 and at an annual rent of £262, the tenant was a Mr G. Gotheridge who had purchased the farm that same year.

In the 1930s, Mr Hillman ran a civil aerodrome on Maylands Farm and organised aeroplane flights for 5/- per ride. When the Second World War ended, London County Council (LCC) didn’t acquire the farm as it was located outside of their housing estate area.

By the turn of the twenty first century, the old farm buildings had become the headquarters of The Maylands Golf Club.
»read full article



Plaistow Road, E13
Plaistow Road has been in existence since the Roman era. Plaistow had historically been an agricultural area. The name first appears in records in 1414.

Throughout the 1500s and 1600 there were silk weaving works in Plaistow. After initially declining, these flourished again from 1882 to 1943.

Established in 1797, Luke Howard’s pharmaceutical factory was a fixture of Plaistow until 1805. Subsequently, the area saw the rise of a railway works which remained open until 1934 and was located on the Plaistow Road.

This north end of Plaistow Road, was known in the 1850s as ’Rob Roy Town’ - a short-lived name of unknown origin.

Manufacturing never completely took off in the area and nearby Silvertown was a local hub for industrial work.

Plaistow was known to be the hub of West Ham’s printing industry. This is because the Plaistow Press replaced the Whitwell Press as a place for printing services. In 1928, the Plaistow press relocated to a differen...



Hodford Farm
Hodford Farm was part of an estate stretching from the Hampstead border to the site of Golders Green station. The Hodford and Cowhouse estate consisted of a compact block stretching from the Hampstead border to a point north of Golders Green station and also from Cricklewood to Golders Hill.

The estate totalled 434 acres in 1855 and was split into three farms known in 1889 as Hodford (or Golders Green) Farm, Cowhouse (or Avenue) Farm, and Westcroft Farm. There is no record or involvement of a manor house, although one may have stood on or near the site of the 18th-century Golders Hill House.
»read full article



Flask Walk, NW3
Flask Walk was named after the mineral water sold at a tavern here. Hampstead was a rural village where people fled to, to escape plague in the inner city. The village had clean mineral water which was collected, bottled and sold at a pub called the Thatched House at the beginning of the 18th century.

The sale of the water - at 3d per flask - was arranged by a London apothecary called Philips based in Fleet Street at the Eagle and Child pub. The advertising for the Thatched House claimed that "eminent physicians and many gentry who had previously drunk the Tunbridge waters" now preferred water from Hampstead.

The Thatched House was succeeded in 1874 by the Flask Tavern, which still exists as a pub today. Both the road and the pub became named after the flasks that were filled here with spring water.

Fairs were held on Flask Walk, and Well Walk and Church Row became fashionable promenades.
»read full article



Lea Bridge Farm
Lea Bridge Farm (Leabridge Farm) was originally in the middle of Leyton Marsh. The farm was half a mile east of the River Lea and a shorter distance west of the Dagenham Brook.

Lea Bridge Farm had originally been called Black Marsh Farm. The River Lea floodplain was fertile but difficult to cross. A local archaeological report identified ’very dark grey sandy clay’. There were two ancient routes - the Black Path and another track from Marsh Lane, used by commoners sending cattle to the marsh Lammas lands for summer grazing.

A third track, the forerunner of the turnpike, reached Black Bridge over Dagenham Brook, near to the later site of the Hare and Hounds Pub.

When the Lea Bridge turnpike road across Leyton Marsh was opened in 1757, its four mile marker was situated opposite the farm gateway. This had prompted the name change.

The crops of Lea Bridge Farm included potatoes, hay and osiers for basket making. There were also plant nurseries. From the mid-19th century, the farm also arranged t...



Black Path, E10
The Black Path is an ancient route between London markets. The Black Path ran from Hackney to Walthamstow, on the way passing Broadway Market, Columbia Road and Smithfield. The historic diagonal path was also known as the Templars’ Path and the Porters’ Way.

The route was reputedly the pilgrimage from London to Waltham Abbey and possibly further to Walsingham. The route also became known as the Market Hauliers Way, along which were pulled barrows and carts bringing produce from the fields to the London markets. Today, the path is a strategic walking and cycle route connecting together a string of open spaces.

The route had been diverted over time and historic maps indicate the path split into three after crossing the Lea at Lea Bridge.

Both Margaret Audley (in 1616) and David Doulben (in 1633) left money in their wills for the upkeep of the route.

The route is shown in John Coe’s map of 1822, which coincides with the opening of the new iron Lea Bridge in 1819-22.»more



Meadway Gate, NW11
Meadway Gate marks the western end of Meadway as it joins Temple Fortune Lane. Meadway was an important approach to the central area of Hampstead Garden Suburb. It began with one of Unwin’s ’gates’ which marked the approach to the Suburb from Hoop Lane.

’The Builder’ magazine of 1912 regrets the abandonment of Parker and Unwin’s original design for Meadway Gate. But there is a symmetrical arrangement of houses, four on each side, forming a crescent. They overlook a small garden where the pedestrian access to Meadway can be found.
»read full article



Lambeth Walk, SE11
Lambeth Walk was the site of two wells, the road to which slowly became lined with houses. Lambeth Walk appears on a map of 1746 under its earlier name of Three Coney Walk — a name that reflects the street’s then-rural nature at the time - ’coney’ means a rabbit or hare. Housing followed in the 19th century.

By the 1840s, Lambeth Walk had an established market and by 1861 it had 164 costermongers’ stalls.

The ’Lambeth Walk’ song was made famous by the 1937 musical “Me And My Girl”.

After bomb damage during the Blitz, the area became run down and was subsequently rebuilt. Some older buildings survive, including the Henry Moore Sculpture Studios.

»read full article



Centre Drive, CM16
Centre Drive follows the alignment of the railway, some 100 metres to its east. It connects Station Road at its northern end with Ivy Chimneys Road in the south. The road already appears, albeit without any other buildings, on the 1920 Ordnance Survey map

On this side of the railway, development started in the late 19th century with St John’s Road and Chapel Road. After the Second World War, Epping Urban District Council built housing estates on this side at Beaconfield, Coronation Hill, Steward’s Green and Centre Drive.

Standing at the junction of Centre Drive and Woodland Grove, until the late 1980s, the firm of British Mathews and W. C. Pantin Ltd manufactured a wide range of mechanical handling equipment that was sold to Ford at Dagenham, the steel manufacturing plants of the Midlands, breweries and others.

The company had had offices and manufacturing sites in London and South Woodford. Having outgrown these sites, the entire operation was moved to the former Cottis brick and nail making site at Epping in 1937.
»read full article



Gordon Square, WC1H
The completion of Thomas Cubitt’s Gordon Square in 1860 marked the final development of Bloomsbury. The square was started by Thomas Cubitt in the 1820s, with Tavistock Square as its twin (a block away with the same dimensions). It was named after the second wife of the 6th Duke of Bedford, Lady Georgiana Gordon, daughter of Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon.

16–26 Gordon Square, on the western side, were completed in 1855, and they are some of the last buildings created by Thomas Cubitt.

The garden was originally for the residents’ private use but now belongs to the University of London and is open to the public. The university also owns many of the buildings in the square.
»read full article



Regent’s Place
Regent’s Place is a mixed use business, retail and residential quarter on the north side of Euston Road. Regent’s Place was developed by British Land from an earlier speculative property development ’Euston Centre’ that included Euston Tower. The Euston Centre scheme had been developed between 1962 and 1972 and designed by Sidney Kaye.

Work by British Land commenced in 1996 and the first stage involved the demolition of the head office and studios of the former TV company Thames Television and the subsequent development of the central part of the site. This included four new office buildings and a pedestrian plaza called Triton Square.
»read full article



Wood Green
Wood Green is a suburban district lying to the east of Alexandra Palace, identified by the London Plan as one of the metropolitan centres in Greater London. The name Wood Green derives from ’Woodlea’, a Saxon word meaning ’’open ground near a wood’. In this case it relates to an opening in Tottenham Wood, an extensive area of woodland which formerly covered most of this area. Records suggest that settlement around Wood Green did not start till after the Norman Conquest. The earliest surviving written record of the placename is a reference in documentation dating from 1256, which relates to a grant for Ducketts Manor which used to be located just to the east of the present-day Wood Green High Road.

From the latter half of the 14th century, a number of estates developed around Wood Green, including Ducketts. In the early 17th century, the lord of Tottenham Manor, the Earl of Dorset, conducted a survey of his land. It showed that Wood Green had only sixteen houses and 50 inhabitants.

At around the same time as the survey, the New River was constructed through Wood Green. The proximi...



Golders Green Estate
The Golders Green Estate is a private housing development in the Cricklewood area. The Estate was built by John Laing & Co on the site of the Handley Page factory and aerodrome (Cricklewood Aerodrome) which closed in 1929.

The area was the childhood home of actress Jean Simmons.
»read full article



Benhilton is an area of northern Sutton, centred around All Saints Church, which was designed by Samuel Sanders Teulon in a Gothic Revival style. Benhilton is significantly elevated above the surrounding area of the London Borough of Sutton.

The derivation of the name Benhilton was Benhill Farm, which stood close to the corner of Benhill Street and the High Street. It was the largest farm in Sutton and covered much of where Benhill Avenue is now.

The earliest recorded name for the area is ’Benhull’ from the 1385 Carshalton Court Rolls. A 1912 history of Surrey quotes: "The district called Benhilton, properly Bonhill, Bonehill or Benhill". The area to the east of Sutton Common was known as ’Bonhill Common’ in the 18th century.
»read full article



Hanover Square Rooms
The Hanover Square Rooms (also called the Queen’s Concert Rooms) were assembly rooms principally for musical performances. The Hanover Square Rooms were located on the corner of Hanover Square and established by Sir John Gallini in partnership with Johann Christian Bach and Carl Friedrich Abel in 1774.

For a century this was the principal concert venue in London.

The site had previously been occupied by a mill - the previous name was Mill Field - and Mill Street was also named after the mill.

Gallini owned half the freehold and the other two a quarter each. They constructed assembly rooms for concerts and public meetings.

The final concert took place in 1874 and in 1875 the property was sold and became the premises of the Hanover Square Club, which had already been holding committee meetings there. The building was demolished in 1900.
»read full article



Downham Tavern
The Downham Tavern was for some years the world’s largest pub. The Downham Tavern was the only public house built on the area of the Downham Estate, then owned by the London County Council.

It opened on 29 May 1930 and had two saloon bars, a public lounge, a dance hall, a beer garden and a lunchroom (with waiter service).

It is rumoured that it had to be camouflaged during the Second World War to stop the Luftwaffe using it as a landmark.

In the 1990s, Lewisham Council sold the site to the Courage Brewery who in turn sold the site to the local Cooperative Society. The Co Op demolished the tavern and in its place built a supermarket together with a smaller pub in 1997 only licensed for 280 people.

»read full article



Waterlow Court, NW11
Waterlow Court was designed for ’businesswomen’ by Baillie Scott. Waterlow Court was built by the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company and opened in 1909. The company had been established by Sir Sydney Waterlow in the 1860s.

This remarkable set of buildings exhibits an Arts and Crafts spirit, organised around a courtyard with an arcaded cloister.

The round-arched arcades which create a ’cloister’ effect and which serve as a walkway to ground-floor flats.

Accommodation comprised of three, four or five room flats, simply designed with plank doors and open fireplaces. The originally communal dining area was in the gabled block to the rear of the courtyard.

The bicycle shed exhibited the architectural treatment of the new structures, used by women who exemplified the modern Edwardian spirit.
»read full article



Hampstead Lane, NW3
Hampstead Lane connects Jack Straw’s Castle with Highgate. On the north side of Hampstead Lane was Bishop’s Wood. This wood, another further to the north called Mutton Wood, and another to the west called Wild Wood, was a portion of the great wood attached to the estate of the Bishop of London.

The Spaniards Inn (from 1585) and its old tollhouse opposite (built circa 1710 ) still cause a bottleneck in Hampstead Lane that causes slow traffic. Both being listed structures, the road layout will no doubt remain for more centuries. The Spaniards was built on the Finchley boundary and formed the entrance to the Bishop of London’s estate. A boundary stone from 1755 can be seen in the front garden.

Hampstead Lane was once south of its current course until landowner Lord Mansfield, who purchased Kenwood in 1754 and Bishop’s Wood in 1755, had it rerouted around his property.

Lord Mansfield acquired Kenwood for £4000. He and his wife, Betty used it as their weekend country villa. Lord Mansf...


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