Brill Row, NW1

Road in/near St Pancras, existed between the 1780s and 1864

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Road · St Pancras · NW1 ·
MARCH
1
2021

Brill Row was one of many small streets which became the basis for a Somers Town market.

In the mid 1750s, the New Road (now Euston Road) had been built as an east-west toll road. Part of its function as a turnpike was to allow for the rapid transfer of troops, bypassing the congestion of London. The New Road was also partially designed to be a prototype green belt - containing urban growth on the London side of it.

In the area immediately to new road’s north, there was an inn called The Brill House, standing alone in fields. Not simply a rustic idyll, the pub and the area had been a location for dog fighting and bull-baiting.

Despite the good intentions of the theory of new wide roads limiting urban growth, by 1784, the first housing had jumped the bypass and was being built north of the New Road amid brick works and market gardens. It became known as Somers Town. Somers Town had been named after Charles Cocks (1725–1806), Baron Somers of Evesham. He inherited the land from John Somers (1651–1716), Lord Chancellor to King William III. Other land here was owned by the Brewers’ Company and Skinners’ Company, hence the names for future local streets.

The land of Somers Town was sold off in small lots for cheaper housing. By the time St Luke’s Church, near King’s Cross, was demolished to make way for the construction of St Pancras Station, there were some twelve thousand inhabitants of Somers Town. The area had become especially notable for poorer French Huguenot refugees - less poverty-stricken Huguenots were settling in Spitalfields.

The previously rural Brill House tavern found itself now surrounded by housing at the eastern end of the new road called Chapel Street, where Brill Row met Skinner Street. By 1795, the local streets were fully laid out and the area became a Sunday market called ’The Brill’. Henry Mayhew in the 1850s listed a 300 pitch market at the Brill and on Chapel Street. It was the second largest street market in London after Hampstead Road and Tottenham Court Road. Selling everything from vegetables and meat to clothes and shoes, it was especially noted for the loud cries of the stallholders.

After the late 1830s, the construction of the railway lines into Euston, St Pancras and King’s Cross changed the locality for the worse. Somers Town had never attracted wealthier residents and, squeezed into a smaller space by the 14 acres taken over by the Midland Railway, the area rather than simply being poor degenerated into a slum. The railway company did not offer replacement housing to the displaced - by then largely Irish immigrants. Remaining houses were simply further subdivided, with entire families having to live in one room.

Brill Row itself did not suffer this fate. It was swept away to make space for Midland Road which served the western side of the new St Pancras station. In 1867, about the same time, the Metropolitan Streets Act made market trading subject to regulation by the police. By 1887 the former site of The Brill had been demolished to make way for the Midland Railway Good Depot but by 1893, the market had simply moved slightly west and re-established itself with police approval - Chalton Street Market was described as "comprising 97 stalls on a Friday and 32 on a Saturday selling food as well as clothing and second-hand goods".

The mark the passing of the name Brill, there is now a new Brill Place laid out at the northern side of the Francis Crick building. This covers the area of a number of former streets with the Brill name.




Main source: Somers Town and Euston Square | British History Online
Further citations and sources


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CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY


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

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Reg Carr   
Added: 10 Feb 2021 12:11 GMT   

Campbellite Meeting
In 1848 the Campbellites (Disciples of Christ) met in Elstree Street, where their congregation was presided over by a pastor named John Black. Their appointed evangelist at the time was called David King, who later became the Editor of the British Millennial Harbinger. The meeting room was visited in July 1848 by Dr John Thomas, who spoke there twice on his two-year ’mission’ to Britain.

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Scott Hatton   
Added: 11 Sep 2020 19:47 GMT   

Millions Of Rats In Busy London
The Daily Mail on 14 April 1903 reported "MILLIONS OF RATS IN BUSY LONDON"

A rat plague, unprecedented in the annals of London, has broken out on the north side of the Strand. The streets principally infested are Catherine street, Drury lane, Blackmore street, Clare Market and Russell street. Something akin to a reign of terror prevails among the inhabitants after nightfall. Women refuse to pass along Blackmore street and the lower parts of Stanhope street after dusk, for droves of rats perambulate the roadways and pavements, and may be seen running along the window ledges of the empty houses awaiting demolition by the County Council in the Strand to Holborn improvement scheme.

The rats, indeed, have appeared in almost-incredible numbers. "There are millions of them," said one shopkeeper, and his statement was supported by other residents. The unwelcome visitors have been evicted from their old haunts by the County Council housebreakers, and are now busily in search of new homes. The Gaiety Restaurant has been the greatest sufferer. Rats have invaded the premises in such force that the managers have had to close the large dining room on the first floor and the grill rooms on the ground floor and in the basement. Those three spacious halls which have witnessed many as semblages of theatre-goers are now qui:e deserted. Behind the wainscot of the bandstand in the grillroom is a large mound of linen shreds. This represents 1728 serviettes carried theee by the rats.

In the bar the removal of a panel disclosed the astonishing fact that the rats have dragged for a distance of seven or eight yards some thirty or forty beer and wine bottles and stacked them in such a fashion as to make comfortable sleeping places. Mr Williams. the manager of the restaurant, estimates that the rats have destroyed L200 worth of linen. Formerly the Gaiety Restaurant dined 2000 persons daily; no business whatever is now done in this direction.

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Comment
Carol   
Added: 7 May 2021 18:44 GMT   

Nan
My nan lily,her sister Elizabeth and their parents Elizabeth and William lived here in1911

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Lived here
Julian    
Added: 23 Mar 2021 10:11 GMT   

Dennis Potter
Author Dennis Potter lived in Collingwood House in the 1970’s

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Comment
Jessie Doring   
Added: 22 Feb 2021 04:33 GMT   

Tisbury Court Jazz Bar
Jazz Bar opened in Tisbury Court by 2 Australians. Situated in underground basement. Can not remember how long it opened for.

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Comment
Lena    
Added: 18 Mar 2021 13:08 GMT   

White Conduit Street, N1
My mum, Rosina Wade of the Wade and Hannam family in the area of Chapel Street and Parkfield Street, bought her first “costume” at S Cohen’s in White Conduit Street. Would have probably been about 1936 or thereabouts. She said that he was a small man but an expert tailor. I hope that Islington Council preserve the shop front as it’s a piece of history of the area. Mum used to get her high heel shoes from an Italian shoe shop in Chapel Street. She had size 2 feet and they would let her know when a new consignment of size 2 shoes were in. I think she was a very good customer. She worked at Killingbacks artificial flower maker in Northampton Square and later at the Halifax bombers factory north of Edgware where she was a riveter.

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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Lived here
Julie   
Added: 22 Sep 2022 18:30 GMT   

Well Walk, NW3 (1817 - 1818)
The home of Benthy, the Postman, with whom poet John Keats and his brother Tom lodged from early 1817 to Dec., 1818. They occupied the first floor up. Here Tom died Dec. 1, 1818. It was next door to the Welles Tavern then called ’The Green Man’."

From collected papers and photos re: No. 1 Well Walk at the library of Harvard University.

Source: No. 1, Well Walk, Hampstead. | HOLLIS for

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Comment
   
Added: 4 Sep 2022 15:42 GMT   

Superman 2
I worked here in 1977. The scene in the prison laundry in Superman 2 was filmed here.

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TUM   
Added: 27 Aug 2022 10:22 GMT   

The Underground Map
Michael Faraday successfully demonstrated the first electrical transformer at the Royal Institute, London.

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Admin   
Added: 26 Aug 2022 15:19 GMT   

Bus makes a leap
A number 78 double-decker bus driven by Albert Gunter was forced to jump an accidentally opening Tower Bridge.

He was awarded a £10 bonus.

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Admin   
Added: 26 Aug 2022 12:44 GMT   

The world’s first underground train
The very first underground train left Paddington on the new Metropolitan Railway bound for Farringdon Street.

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Admin   
Added: 26 Aug 2022 12:41 GMT   

Baker Street
Baker Street station opened on the Metropolitan Railway - the world’s first underground line.

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Admin   
Added: 26 Aug 2022 12:17 GMT   

TV comes to Olympia
Over 7000 people queued to see the first high definition television pictures on sets at the Olympia Radio Show. The pictures were transmitted by the BBC from Alexandra Palace, introduced by Leslie Mitchell, their first announcer.

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Lived here
Katharina Logan   
Added: 9 Aug 2022 19:01 GMT   

Ely place existed in name in 1857
On 7th July 1857 John James Chase and Mary Ann Weekes were married at St John the Baptist Hoxton, he of full age and she a minor. Both parties list their place of residence as Ely Place, yet according to other information, this street was not named until 1861. He was a bricklayer, she had no occupation listed, but both were literate and able to sign their names on their marriage certificate.

Source: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSF7-Q9Y7?cc=3734475

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NEARBY LOCATIONS OF NOTE
’Royal Blue’ horse omnibus outside 5 Euston Road The bus carries route information and an advert for Selfridge’s.
Ossulston Estate The Ossulston Estate is a multi-storey council estate built by the London County Council in Somers Town between 1927 and 1931.
Somers Town Somers Town is a district close to three main line rail termini - Euston, St Pancras and King’s Cross.

NEARBY STREETS
Albion Walk, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Albion Yard, N1 Albion Yard lies off of Balfe Street.
Aldenham Street, NW1 Aldenham Street – Richard Platt, 16th century brewer and local landowner, gave land for the endowment of Aldenham School, Hertfordshire.
Argyle Square, WC1H Argyle Square is one of the streets of the Battle Bridge Estate.
Argyle Street, WC1H Argyle Street, originally Manchester Street, was named after the former Argyle House.
Argyle Walk, WC1H Argyle Walk is named for Argyll in Scotland.
Balfe Street, N1 Balfe Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Barclay Street, NW1 Barclay Street led from Aldenham Street northwards to Medburn Street.
Belgrove Street, WC1H Belgrove Street, formerly Belgrave Street, leads south from Euston Road.
Bidborough Street, NW1 Bidborough Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Birkenhead Street, WC1H Birkenhead Street is a street opposite Kings Cross Station, and adjoining Euston Road.
Bravingtons Walk, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Bridgeway Street, NW1 Bridgeway Street is a street in Camden Town.
Brill Place, NW1 Brill Place is named after the former Brill Row in the area.
Caledonia Street, N1 Caledonia Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Chalton Street, NW1 Chalton Street was formerly Charlton Street.
Charrington Street, NW1 Charrington Street runs south to north and is a continuation of Ossulston Street.
Chenies Place, NW1 Chenies Place is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Chill Lane, N1C Chill Lane is a location in London.
Christopher Place, NW1 Christopher Place is a street in Camden Town.
Church Way, NW1 Church Way is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Churchway, NW1 Churchway is a street in Camden Town.
Clarendon Grove, NW1 Clarendon Grove ran south from Clarendon Square.
Coach Road, N1C Coach Road is a road in the N1C postcode area
Cooper’s Lane, NW1 Cooper’s Lane is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Crestfield Street, WC1H Crestfield Street was previously Chesterfield Street.
Crinan Street, N1 Crinan Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Cromer Street, WC1H Cromer Street originally gave access from Gray’s Inn Road to Greenland Place and a bowling green.
Denton Street, N1C Denton Street disappeared under the construction of St Pancras station.
Doric Way, NW1 Doric Way is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Drummond Crescent, NW1 Drummond Crescent is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Duke’s Road, WC1H This is a street in the WC1H postcode area
Dukes Road, WC1H Dukes Road is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Elstree Street, N1C Elstree Street once laid off of St Pancras Road.
Euston Road, WC1H The easternmost section of the Euston Road lies in the N1 postcode and runs along the facade of Kings Cross Station.
Euston Square, NW1 This is a street in the NW1 postcode area
Flaxman Terrace, WC1H Flaxman Terrace connects Burton Street with Cartwright Gardens.
Gatti’s Wharf, N1 Gatti’s Wharf is a road in the N1 postcode area
Goldington Street, NW1 Goldington Street is a street in Camden Town.
Goods Way, N1C Goods Way runs from Pancras Road to York Way.
Grafton Place, NW1 Grafton Place is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Gridiron Building, N1C A street within the N1C postcode
Hamilton House, WC1H Residential block
Hampden Close, NW1 Hampden Close is a street in Camden Town.
Harrison Street, WC1H Harrison Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Hastings Street, WC1H Hastings Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Judd Street, NW1 This is a street in the NW1 postcode area
Judd Street, WC1H Judd Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Keystone Crescent, N1 Keystone Crescent is a road in the N1 postcode area
King’s Boulevard, N1C King’s Boulevard is a road in the N1C postcode area
King’s Cross Square, N1C King’s Cross Square is a road in the N1C postcode area
Kings Cross Bridge, N1 Kings Cross Bridge is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Kings Cross, N1C A street within the N1C postcode
Lancing Street, NW1 Lancing Street is a street in Camden Town.
Lavina Grove, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Mabledon Place, WC1H Mabledon Place is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Medburn Street, NW1 Medburn Street is named after a farm between Elstree and Radlett in Hertfordshire.
Midhope Street, WC1H Midhope Street was once known as Wood Street.
Midland Road, N1C Midland Road is a road in the N1C postcode area
New Wharf Road, N1 New Wharf Road is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Noahs Yard, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Northam’s Buildings, NW1 Northam’s Buildings was swept away by the building of St Pancras station.
Northdown Street, N1 Northdown Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Oakshott Court, NW1 Oakshott Court is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Omega Place, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
One Kings Cross, N1C A street within the N1C postcode
One Pancras Square, N1C A street within the N1C postcode
Ossulston Street, NW1 Ossulston Street is a street in Camden Town.
Pancras Road, N1C Pancras Road is a road in the N1C postcode area
Pancras Road, NW1 Pancras Road is a street in Camden Town.
Pancras Square, N1C This is a street in the N1C postcode area
Penryn Street, NW1 Penryn Street is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Perry Street, N1C Perry Street was buried by St Pancras station.
Phoenix Road, NW1 Phoenix Road is a street in Camden Town.
Polygon Road, NW1 Polygon Road is a street in Camden Town.
Purchese Street, NW1 Purchese Street is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Railway Street, N1 Railway Street is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Sandwich House, WC1H Sandwich House is a block on Sandwich Street
Seaford Street, WC1H Seaford Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Seymour House, NW1 Residential block
Sidmouth Street, WC1H Sidmouth Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Sinclair House, WC1H Residential block
Smith Street, N1C Smith Street was buried under St Pancras station.
Somers Close, NW1 Somers Close is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Speedy Place, WC1H Speedy Place is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
St Chads Place, WC1X St Chads Place is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.
St Chads Street, WC1H St Chads Street was formerly Derby Street.
St. Chad’s Street, WC1H St. Chad’s Street is a road in the WC1X postcode area
St. Philip’s Way, N1C A street within the N1C postcode
Tankerton Street, WC1H Tankerton Street is a road in the WC1H postcode area
Terrett’s Place, N1 Terrett’s Place is a road in the N1 postcode area
Thanet Street, WC1H Thanet Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
The Circle, N1C The Circle is a road in the N1C postcode area
The Gridiron, N1C A street within the N1C postcode
The Hub, N1 Block in Kings Cross.
The Polygon, NW1 The Polygon was an earky housing estate, a Georgian building with 15 sides and three storeys that contained 32 houses.
Tonbridge Street, WC1H Tonbridge Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Trematon Walk, N1 A street within the N1C postcode
Unity Mews, NW1 Unity Mews is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Varnishers Yard, N1 A street within the N1 postcode
Watford Street, NW1 Watford Street was cleared away in the 1860s to make way to St Pancras station.
Werrington Street, NW1 Werrington Street is a street in Camden Town.
Wharfdale Road, N1 Wharfdale Road is one of the streets of London in the N1 postal area.
Whidborne Street, WC1H Whidborne Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1H postal area.
Whittlebury Street, NW1 Whittlebury Street once laid to the west of Euston station.
Wilsted Street, NW1 Wilsted Street was the original name for the lower end of Ossulston Street.
York Road Curve, N1 York Road Curve is a road in the N1 postcode area
York Way, N1 York Way has been a thoroughfare since the twelfth century.
York Way, N1 York Way is a road in the N1C postcode area

NEARBY PUBS
Charles 1 This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Cock Tavern The Cock Tavern is on the corner of Phoenix Road and Chalton Street.
Doric Arch This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Eastnor Castle This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Euston Tap This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Flat Iron King’s Cross This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Lincoln Arms This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Lucas Arms This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Mabel’s Tavern This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
McGlynn Freehouse This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Miller’s Bar This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
O’Neill’s This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Prince Arthur This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Royal George This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Secrets This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Skinners Arms This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
St Aloysius Social Club This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Boot This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Dolphin This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Driver This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Euston Flyer This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Fellow This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Harrison This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Place Theatre Bar This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Rocket This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Water Rats Club This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Wine Stores This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.


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St Pancras

St Pancras railway station, celebrated for its architecture, is built on the site of the St Pancras suburb of London.

For many centuries the St Pancras name was used for various officially-designated areas, but it is now used mainly for the railway station and for upmarket venues in the immediate locality, having been largely superseded by other place names including Kings Cross, Somers Town, and Camden Town, or simply Camden.

St Pancras was originally a medieval parish, which ran from close to what is now Oxford Street north as far as Highgate, and from what is now Regent’s Park in the west to the road now known as York Way in the east, boundaries which take in much of the current London Borough of Camden, including its central part. However, as the choice of name for the borough suggests, St Pancras has lost its status as the central settlement in the area.

The original focus of the area was the church, now known by the retronym of St Pancras Old Church. The building is in the southern half of the parish, and is believed by many to be one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in Great Britain. However, in the 14th century the population moved en masse to Kentish Town, probably due to flooding by the River Fleet and the availability of better wells at the new location. A chapel of ease was established there, and the old settlement was abandoned, except for a few farms, until the growth of London in the late eighteenth century.

In the 1790s Earl Camden began to develop some fields to the north and west of the old church as Camden Town. About the same time, a residential district was built to the south and east of the church, usually known as Somers Town. In 1822 the new church of St Pancras was dedicated as the parish church. The site was chosen on what was then called the New Road, now Euston Road, which had been built as London’s first bypass, the M25 of its day. The two sites are about a kilometer apart. The new church is Grade I listed for its Greek Revival style; the old church was rebuilt in 1847. In the mid 19th century two major railway stations were built to the south of the Old Church, first Kings Cross and later St Pancras. The new church is closer to Euston Station.

By the end of the nineteenth century the ancient parish had been divided into 37 parishes, including one for the old church. There are currently 17 Church of England parishes completely contained within the boundaries of the ancient parish, all of which benefit from the distributions from the St Pancras Lands Trust, and most of which are in South Camden Deanery in the Edmonton Area of the Diocese of London.

St Pancras railway station was opened in 1868 by the Midland Railway as the southern terminus of its main line, which connected London with the East Midlands and Yorkshire. When inaugurated, the arched train shed by William Henry Barlow was the largest single-span roof in the world. Today, Midland main line services to Corby, Sheffield and Nottingham are operated by East Midlands Trains, and St Pancras is a stop on the Thameslink route as well as being the terminus of Southeastern high-speed trains to Kent.


LOCAL PHOTOS
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The British Library
TUM image id: 1482066417
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St. James Gardens
Credit: Google
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Agar Town (1857)
Credit: Percy Lovell
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Cromer Street
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Goods Way - old sign
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The Polygon, Somers Town in 1850.
TUM image id: 1499354315
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In the neighbourhood...

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Kings Place from York Way
Credit: Alan Stanton
Licence: CC BY 2.0


The British Library
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Agar Town (1857)
Credit: Percy Lovell
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Cromer Street
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Goods Way - old sign
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The Polygon, Somers Town in 1850.
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Wollstonecraft Street sign
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St Pancras Station under construction (1867)
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