White Conduit Street (1950s)

Image dated 1800.

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Photo taken in a southerly direction · * · ·
MARCH
4
2017
A line of children hold hands as they walk along the middle of White Conduit Street towards the junction with Chapel Market in Islington in the 1950s.

Much of the street was demolished in the late 20th century to make way for Tolpuddle Street and a car park.

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence


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CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY

Comment
Jeff Owen   
Added: 20 Mar 2021 16:18 GMT   

Owen’s School
Owen Street is the site of Owen’s Boys’ School. The last school was built in 1881 and was demolished in the early 1990s to make way for the development which stand there today. It was a “Direct Grant” grammar school and was founded in 1613 by Dame Alice Owen. What is now “Owen’s Fields” was the playground between the old school and the new girls’ school (known then as “Dames Alice Owen’s School” or simply “DAOS”). The boys’ school had the top two floors of that building for their science labs. The school moved to Potters Bar in Hertfordshire in 1971 and is now one of the top State comprehensive schools in the country. The old building remained in use as an accountancy college and taxi-drivers’ “knowledge” school until it was demolished. The new building is now part of City and Islington College. Owen’s was a fine school. I should know because I attended there from 1961 to 1968.

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Comment
Mike   
Added: 28 Feb 2023 18:09 GMT   

6 Elia Street
When I was young I lived in 6 Elia Street. At the end of the garden there was a garage owned by Initial Laundries which ran from an access in Quick Street all the way up to the back of our garden. The fire exit to the garage was a window leading into our garden. 6 Elia Street was owned by Initial Laundry.

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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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Comment
Jack Wilson   
Added: 21 Jun 2022 21:40 GMT   

Penfold Printers
I am seeking the location of Penfold Printers Offices in Dt Albans place - probably about 1870 or so

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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Comment
Vic Stanley   
Added: 24 Feb 2024 17:38 GMT   

Postcose
The postcode is SE15, NOT SE1

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Comment
Gillian   
Added: 17 Feb 2024 00:08 GMT   

No 36 Upper East Smithfield
My great great grandfather was born at No 36 Upper East Smithfield and spent his early years staring out at a "dead wall" of St Katharine’s Docks. His father was an outfitter and sold clothing for sailors. He describes the place as being backed by tenements in terrible condition and most of the people living there were Irish.

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Kevin Pont   
Added: 16 Feb 2024 20:32 GMT   

Name origin
Interestingly South Lambeth derives its name from the same source as Lambeth itself - a landing place for lambs.

But South Lambeth has no landing place - it is not on the River Thames

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C Hobbs   
Added: 31 Jan 2024 23:53 GMT   

George Gut (1853 - 1861)
George Gut, Master Baker lived with his family in Long Lane.
George was born in Bernbach, Hesse, Germany and came to the UK sometime in the 1840s. In 1849, George married an Englishwoman called Matilda Baker and became a nauralized Englishman. He was given the Freedom of the City of London (by Redemption in the Company of Bakers), in 1853 and was at that time, recorded as living at 3 Long Lane. In the 1861 census, George Gut was living at 11 Long Lane.

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Comment
Emma Beach   
Added: 18 Jan 2024 04:33 GMT   

William Sutton Thwaites
William Sutton Thwaites was the father of Frances Lydia Alice Knorr nee Thwaites�’�’she was executed in 1894 in Melbourne, Victoria Australia for infanticide. In the year prior to his marriage, to her mother Frances Jeanette Thwaites nee Robin, William Sutton was working as a tailor for Mr Orchard who employed four tailors in the hamlet of Mile End Old Town on at Crombies Row, Commercial Road East.

Source: 1861 England Census Class: Rg 9; Piece: 293; Folio: 20; Page: 2; GSU roll: 542608

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Comment
Simon   
Added: 15 Jan 2024 15:44 GMT   

Simon De Charmes, clockmaker
De Charmes (or Des Charmes), Simon, of French Huguenot extraction. Recorded 1688 and Free of the Clockmakers’ Company 1691-1730. In London until 1704 at least at ’his House, the Sign of the Clock, the Corner of Warwick St, Charing Cross’. See Brian Loomes The Early Clockmakers of Great Britain, NAG Press, 1981, p.188

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Born here
Jacqueline Mico   
Added: 14 Jan 2024 07:29 GMT   

Robert Bolam
This is where my grandad was born, he went on to be a beautiful man, he became a shop owner, a father, and grandfather, he lost a leg when he was a milkman and the horse kicked him, then opened a shop in New Cross and then moved to Lewisham where he had a Newsagents and tobacconists.

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Comment
Tom Hughes   
Added: 5 Jan 2024 14:11 GMT   

4 Edwardes Terrace
In 1871, Mrs. Blake, widow of Gen. Blake, died in her home at 4 Edwardes Terrace, leaving a fortune of 140,000 pounds, something like 20 million quid today. She left no will. The exact fortune may have been exaggerated but for years claimants sought their share of the "Blake millions" which eventually went to "the Crown."

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Islington

Islington grew as a sprawling Middlesex village along the line of the Great North Road, and has provided the name of the modern borough.

Some roads on the edge of the area, including Essex Road, were known as streets by the medieval period, possibly indicating a Roman origin, but little physical evidence remains. What is known is that the Great North Road from Aldersgate came into use in the 14th century, connecting with a new turnpike up Highgate Hill. This was along the line of modern Upper Street, with a toll gate at The Angel defining the extent of the village. The Back Road - modern Liverpool Road - was primarily a drovers’ road where cattle would be rested before the final leg of their journey to Smithfield. Pens and sheds were erected along this road to accommodate the animals.

The first recorded church, St Mary’s, was erected in the twelfth century and was replaced in the fifteenth century. Islington lay on the estates of the Bishop of London and the Dean and Chapter of St Pauls. There were substantial medieval moated manor houses in the area, principally at Canonbury and Highbury. In 1548, there were 440 communicants listed and the rural atmosphere, with access to the City and Westminster, made it a popular residence for the rich and eminent. The local inns, however, harboured many fugitives and recusants.

In the 17th and 18th centuries the availability of water made Islington a good place for growing vegetables to feed London. The manor became a popular excursion destination for Londoners, attracted to the area by its rural feel. Many public houses were therefore built to serve the needs of both the excursionists and travellers on the turnpike. By 1716, there were 56 ale-house keepers in Upper Street, also offering pleasure and tea gardens, and activities such as archery, skittle alleys and bowling. By the 18th century, music and dancing were offered, together with billiards, firework displays and balloon ascents. The King’s Head Tavern, now a Victorian building with a theatre, has remained on the same site, opposite the parish church, since 1543. The founder of the theatre, Dan Crawford, who died in 2005, disagreed with the introduction of decimal coinage. For twenty-plus years after decimalisation (on 15 February 1971), the bar continued to show prices and charge for drinks in ’old money’.

By the 19th century many music halls and theatres were established around Islington Green. One such was Collins’ Music Hall, the remains of which are now partly incorporated into a bookshop. The remainder of the Hall has been redeveloped into a new theatre, with its entrance at the bottom of Essex Road. It stood on the site of the Landsdowne Tavern, where the landlord had built an entertainment room for customers who wanted to sing (and later for professional entertainers). It was founded in 1862 by Samuel Thomas Collins Vagg and by 1897 had become a 1800-seat theatre with 10 bars. The theatre suffered damage in a fire in 1958 and has not reopened.

The Islington Literary and Scientific Society was established in 1833 and first met in Mr Edgeworth’s Academy on Upper Street. Its goal was to spread knowledge through lectures, discussions, and experiments - politics and theology being forbidden. A building, the Literary and Scientific Institution, was erected in 1837 in Wellington (later Almeida) Street, designed by Roumieu and Gough in a stuccoed Grecian style. It included a library (containing 3,300 volumes in 1839), reading room, museum, laboratory, and lecture theatre seating 500.

The Royal Agricultural Hall was built in 1862 on the Liverpool Road site of William Dixon’s Cattle Layers. It was built for the annual Smithfield Show in December of that year but was popular for other purposes, including recitals and the Royal Tournament. It was the primary exhibition site for London until the 20th century and the largest building of its kind, holding up to 50,000 people. It was requisitioned for use by the Mount Pleasant sorting office during World War II and never re-opened. The main hall has now been incorporated into the Business Design Centre.

The aerial bombing of World War II caused much damage to Islington’s housing stock, with 3,200 dwellings destroyed. Before the war a number of 1930s council housing blocks had been added to the stock. After the war, partly as a result of bomb site redevelopment, the council housing boom got into its stride, reaching its peak in the 1960s: several extensive estates were constructed, by both the Metropolitan Borough of Islington and the London County Council. Clearance of the worst terraced housing was undertaken, but Islington continued to be very densely populated, with a high level of overcrowding. The district has many council blocks, and the local authority has begun to replace some of them.

From the 1960s, the remaining Georgian terraces were rediscovered by middle-class families. Many of the houses were rehabilitated, and the area became newly fashionable. This displacement of the poor by the aspirational has become known as gentrification. Among the new residents were a number of figures who became central in the New Labour movement, including Tony Blair before his victory in the 1997 general election. According to The Guardian in 2006, "Islington is widely regarded as the spiritual home of Britain’s left-wing intelligentsia." The Granita Pact between Gordon Brown and Tony Blair is said to have been made at a now defunct restaurant on Upper Street.

The completion of the Victoria line and redevelopment of Angel tube station created the conditions for developers to renovate many of the early Victorian and Georgian townhouses. They also built new developments. Islington remains a district with diverse inhabitants, with its private houses and apartments not far from social housing in immediately neighbouring wards such as Finsbury and Clerkenwell to the south, Bloomsbury and King’s Cross to the west, and Highbury to the north west, and also the Hackney districts of De Beauvoir and Old Street to the north east.


LOCAL PHOTOS
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The Grand Theatre, Islington High Street (1903) The new Grand Theatre - the fourth theatre on the site - was opened on 26 December 1900 with a production of the pantomime ’Robinson Crusoe’. The Huddersfield Daily reported the next day: "Nearing the end of the first performance of ’Robinson Crusoe’ at the Grand Theatre, Islington, on Wednesday, a fire broke out. From all parts of the house an alarm was raised. All present rose to their feet as large pieces of inflammable material were seen dropping from flies. The fire-proof curtain was promptly lowered, and the band struck up the National Anthem. The actors and actresses crowded into the stage boxes. Mr. Jones, playing ’Friday,’ clambered on to the stage from the front and appealed to the audience not to rush for the doors as there was no danger. Then Mr. Charles Townley, the author, came forward explaining that the management, owing to the electric installations not being completed, had used gas batten, and one of the sky borders had unfortunately caught fire. The officials had shown their efficiency by the celerity with which the fire had been extinguished. This is the fourth fire that has occurred at this theatre, and Wednesday’s was the first performance given since the building was gutted some few months back." Thankfully the fire was quickly put out and the performance continued, and the Theatre would go on to stage pantomime, drama, and variety productions until it was renamed the Islington Empire in 1908.
TUM image id: 1557151038
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In the neighbourhood...

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The exterior of the Agricultural Hall in Islington (1861).
Licence: CC BY 2.0


Beer in the evening
Credit: Wiki Commons
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The third Grand Theatre, Islington (1903). This was built on the site of the former Philharmonic Hall and two previous Grand Theatres
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Islington Horse and Cattle market at the turn of the twentieth century.
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The Grand Theatre, Islington High Street (1903) The new Grand Theatre - the fourth theatre on the site - was opened on 26 December 1900 with a production of the pantomime ’Robinson Crusoe’. The Huddersfield Daily reported the next day: "Nearing the end of the first performance of ’Robinson Crusoe’ at the Grand Theatre, Islington, on Wednesday, a fire broke out. From all parts of the house an alarm was raised. All present rose to their feet as large pieces of inflammable material were seen dropping from flies. The fire-proof curtain was promptly lowered, and the band struck up the National Anthem. The actors and actresses crowded into the stage boxes. Mr. Jones, playing ’Friday,’ clambered on to the stage from the front and appealed to the audience not to rush for the doors as there was no danger. Then Mr. Charles Townley, the author, came forward explaining that the management, owing to the electric installations not being completed, had used gas batten, and one of the sky borders had unfortunately caught fire. The officials had shown their efficiency by the celerity with which the fire had been extinguished. This is the fourth fire that has occurred at this theatre, and Wednesday’s was the first performance given since the building was gutted some few months back." Thankfully the fire was quickly put out and the performance continued, and the Theatre would go on to stage pantomime, drama, and variety productions until it was renamed the Islington Empire in 1908.
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The Angel, Islington (c.1890)
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Sadler House on the Spa Green Estate from Rosebery Avenue (2011) The ’organic’ connection between old and new buildings intended by architect Berthold Lubetkin at Spa Green.
Credit: Wiki Commons/Grantham9
Licence: CC BY 2.0


White Conduit House, and the conduit head from which it was named, 1827 White Conduit Fields in Islington was an early venue for cricket and several major matches are known to have been played there in the 18th century. It was the original home of the White Conduit Club, forerunner of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). The cricket field was adjacent to the former White Conduit House, immediately south of the modern junction between Dewey Street and Barnsbury Road.
Credit: Robert Chambers (1832)
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The Camden Head, Islington This is a glorious old gin palace-style pub behind Upper Street, in existence since the 18th century.
Credit: Flickr/Ewan Munro
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The Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington (1861). View from Liverpool Road.
Credit: Wiki Commons
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