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Shepherds Bush ·
August
17
2019

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...
Bush Theatre
The Bush Theatre is located in the Passmore Edwards Public Library, Shepherd’s Bush. The Bush Theatre was established in 1972 to showcase for the work of new writers. The theatre strives to create a space which nurtures and develops new artists and their work. The Bush Theatre has produced many premieres, many of them Bush Theatre commissions, and hosted guest productions by theatre companies and artists from across the world.



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Featured articles

AUGUST
31
2018

 

Acacia Road, EN2
Acacia Road was built as part of the Birkbeck Estate. Plans were submitted for houses in 1880 and these appear on an auctioneer’s plan of 1887.

Many of the roads on the Birkbeck Estate were named after flowers - Hawthorn Grove, Myrtle Grove, Lavender Road, Primrose Avenue, Rosemary Avenue, Violet Avenue and Woodbine Grove.
»read full article


AUGUST
30
2018

 

Banister Road, W10
Banister Road just scrapes being classed as belonging to the Queen's Park Estate. The rest of the W10 postal area is politically part of the City of Westminster (the Queen's Park Estate) or the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (North Kensington and Kensal Town).

Banister Road is the exception, being part of the London Borough of Brent.

It was built to provide a short cut between Kilburn Lane and the then newly-constructed Chamberlayne Road.
»read full article


AUGUST
29
2018

 

Lymington Road, NW6
Lymington Road is a street in London NW6 Lymington Road is a long road in West Hampstead stretching from Fortune Green Road to the Finchley Road, emerging there opposite Arkwright Road.
»read full article


AUGUST
28
2018

 

Whittlebury Street, NW1
Whittlebury Street once laid to the west of Euston station. Euston Station was enlarged in 1875 with new platforms and railway lines on its western side. This entailed the loss of Whittlebury Street and a substantial tranche of the former burial ground at St James’s Gardens. A widened cutting also caused the demolition of the carriage sheds and part of Ampthill Square.
»read full article


AUGUST
27
2018

 

Jewish Military Museum
The Jewish Military Museum features exhibits about Jews serving in the British armed forces from the 18th century to the present day. The Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women founded the museum in 1996 as a memorial room in their headquarters in Stamford Hill had grown too large. Henry Morris had founded the room as a way of remembering those who had died in active service.

The museum holds a range of items relating to Jewish people who have served in the British armed forces, including uniforms, medals, photographs, letters and official documents. The collections cover conflicts from the 18th century to the present day, including Trafalgar, Waterloo, the Boer War, the First and Second World Wars, the Falklands War and the modern-day conflict in Afghanistan.

The museum moved to Harmony Way in 2004 and was accredited in 2010.
»read full article


AUGUST
26
2018

 

Hole In the Wall
The Hole In The Wall is a local Waterloo institution. The Hole In The Wall is actually quite a large hole in a wall, being situated in railway arches in front of Waterloo Station. It has been a watering hole of choice for commuters for many a year.

It is a long-time real ale outlet from the earliest days of CAMRA when real ale was rare in the area. The 1975 CAMRA Good Beer Guide described The Hole in the Wall as a recently refurbished railway-arch pub and beers on offer were Young’s, Bass Worthington, Brakspear and Ruddles.

It enjoys the frequent rumble of trains overhead. Folk music features on Sunday evenings.
»read full article


AUGUST
25
2018

 

Church Farmhouse Museum
Church Farmhouse Museum was situated in a 17th-century farmhouse in Hendon – the oldest surviving dwelling in Hendon. The building is a two-storey, red brick farmhouse with three gables and centrally placed chimney stacks. It is typical of 17th-century Middlesex vernacular architecture. A blue plaque commemorates Mark Lemon, who lived in the house as a child between 1817 and 1823. His book Tom Moody’s Tales includes recollections of his childhood in the area.

The house was owned by the Kempe family between 1688 and 1780, and later by the Dunlop family from 1869-1943. Andrew Dunlop came from Ayrshire to live in the house and worked the farm where he mainly produced hay for residents, businesses and horses.

In 1944 the farmhouse, outbuildings and adjoining land were bought by the council and in more recent years the museum was set up to show how an ordinary farming family used to live.

The museum had two period rooms, a period kitchen and scullery, two exhibition spaces and a large garden with a pond. Barnet Council withdrew funding from Church Far...
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AUGUST
24
2018

 

Northcote Road, SW11
Northcote Road is a shopping street between Clapham and Battersea, which stretches over half a mile. The area south of Battersea Rise centred on Northcote Road lies at the core of modern, upwardly mobile, child-rearing south Battersea. This is ‘Nappy Valley’, where the plentiful boutiques, restaurants and cafés cater as much for the booming infant population as for their affluent parents. Once part of an estate attached to Bolingbroke Grove House, on the site of the former Bolingbroke Hospital, it comprises about thirty-five acres bordering Wandsworth Common and is almost a suburb in itself. It was developed in phases, mostly in the 1870s–90s, under one of the freehold land societies with nigh on 600 houses, as well as shops, churches and schools.

It was the Conservative Land Society (CLS) which in 1868 acquired the undeveloped remnant of the Bolingbroke Grove House estate from Henry Wheeler, its last private owner. The CLS had been active in north Battersea since the 1850s, buying estates to increase Tory support among the working classes by selling sm...
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AUGUST
23
2018

 

Holmshill School
Holmshill School was a secondary school in Borehamwood. Holmshill School was established like many other local schools in the early 1950s.

Having had a long life under its own name as Holmshill School in Thrift Farm Lane, with the millennium reorganisation of local schooling, it became the second site of Hertswood School, known as Hertswood Upper School.

In November 2013, the academy announced plans to move the entire school to new buildings on the Cowley Hill site, funded by the sale of the Thrift Farm Lane site which would be demolished for housing. In March 2014 plans were pushed back to extend the consultation period.

A planning application was submitted in December 2014 for the new academy, temporary classrooms and the residential development on the Thrift Farm Lane site. This was part of the current schedule to move all students to the Cowley Hill site in December 2015 and open the new academy in January 2018.
»read full article


AUGUST
22
2018

 

Somers Town
Somers Town is a district close to three main line rail termini - Euston, St Pancras and King’s Cross. Historically, the name Somers Town was used for the larger triangular area between the Pancras, Hampstead, and Euston Roads, but it is now taken to mean the rough rectangle bounded by Pancras Road, Euston Road and Eversholt Street.

Somers Town was named after Charles Cocks, 1st Baron Somers (1725–1806). The area was originally granted by William III to John Somers (1651–1716), Lord Chancellor and Baron Somers of Evesham.

In the mid 1750s the New Road was established to bypass the congestion of London; Somers Town lay immediately north of this east-west toll road. In 1784, the first housing was built at the Polygon amid fields, brick works and market gardens on the northern fringes of London. The site of the Polygon is now occupied by a block of council flats called Oakshott Court.

The Polygon deteriorated socially as the surrounding land was subsequently sold off in smaller lots for cheaper housing, especially after the start of constr...
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AUGUST
21
2018

 

Sutton High Street, SM1
What is now known as Sutton High Street was previously a turnpike road from London to Brighton. Carshalton Road (Cheam Road) was also an important road through Sutton, connecting a chain of old towns between Croydon and Guildford and for this reason was added as a turnpike road. The Cock Hotel was located at the crossroads, on the corner of Carshalton Road and ’Cock Hill’ (now the High Street) and was one of only two coaching inns in Sutton (the other was the Greyhound, further down the High Street). The inns provided a resting and changing place for horses as well as food and drink for passengers en route.

The original Cock Hotel and Cock ’Tap’ were built on the corner shortly after 1755 and remained there until 1896 when the old Cock Tap beer house was demolished and the ’new’ Cock Hotel was built in its place. Both the old and new hotels stood alongside for a brief period, before the old hotel was demolished. The old Tap and the new hotel were both set back from the road, creating a forecourt at the junction and this setback ...
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AUGUST
20
2018

 

Rye Lane, SE15
Rye Lane runs from Peckham High Street at the north, down to the corner of Copeland Road where The Nags Head sits at the south. Originally called ’South Street’ and now named after Peckham Rye Park, Rye Lane is a very different place now compared to the early 1700s, when Peckham was just a village of around 600 people on the outskirts of London. The street then would have been one of the main thoroughfares into London, bustling with market stalls, colourful gardens and rows of orchards growing produce for nearby London’s increasingly demanding population.

Back then, Peckham was one of the last stopping points for traders on their way into London, who would have stopped for the night at a local inn. Over the years, Rye Lane and the surrounding streets became an area of important industrial activity due to its links into London and access to markets, fields and even docks.

As Peckham became a sought-after area, Rye Lane developed into a major shopping destination (often referred to as the ‘Golden Mile’) which even rivalled the likes of Oxford Street. In 1867, Jones...
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AUGUST
19
2018

 

Roding Valley
With roughly 210,000 passengers a year, Roding Valley is the least-used station on the entire Underground network. Roding Valley is an area of Buckhurst Hill and was a new name created for the station - named after the nearby river. The floodplain of the river has effectively stopped the eastward expansion of housing.

The tracks through Roding Valley were opened on 1 May 1903 by the Great Eastern Railway (GER) on its Woodford to Ilford line (the Fairlop Loop). The station was not opened until 3 February 1936 by the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER, successor to the GER). It was originally named "Roding Valley Halt" and was opened to serve new housing developments between Buckhurst Hill and Woodford. The track rises towards Chigwell and crosses the Roding over an impressive viaduct.

As part of the 1935–1940 "New Works Programme" of the London Passenger Transport Board the majority of the Woodford to Ilford loop was to be transferred to form the eastern extensions of the Central line. Although work started in 1938 it was suspended at the outbreak of the Second Wo...
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AUGUST
18
2018

 

Ashton Playing Fields
Ashton Playing Fields are located on Woodford Green in Redbridge. Much land has been set aside in Woodford for recreational purposes. The Ashton playing fields at Woodford Bridge cover 50 acres with the facilities for athletics, cricket, football, and tennis being originally administered by a trust.

The facility, lying beside the M11, has four 11 a side grass and astroturf football pitches. The athletic facilities at Ashton Playing Fields include an eight lane running track along with a competition specification hammer, two long jump/triple jump pits and javelin and shot put areas. There are also high jump and pole vault facilities.

The athletics track and field facilities are used regularly by Woodford Green with Essex Ladies Athletic Club.
»read full article


AUGUST
17
2018

 

St Mary’s Churchyard
St Mary’s Churchyard is also known as ’Hendon Churchyard’. The churchyard is important archaeologically, as Roman artifacts have been found on the site and there is evidence of Anglo-Saxon settlement.

A church may have existed on the site as early as the ninth century, and there is an eleventh-century font still in use in the existing building. Parts of it date back to the thirteenth century, but there were successive alterations until it was extended in 1914-15.

The churchyard has many tombs and memorials, and there are cedar and yew trees. A line of headstones on either side of the path lead to the church door, and they form part of the best collection of eighteenth century headstones in London. Burials go back seven to eight hundred years, and as a result the soil contains fragments of bone. Part of it is gravelled, which is unusual in Christian graveyards.

The earliest surviving grave is that of Thomas Marsh dated 1624. Fine monuments include the grave of the engraver Abraham Raimbach, the ph...
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AUGUST
16
2018

 

Goodhall Street, NW10
Goodhall Street is part of the Old Oak Lane Estate. Goodhall Street is part of some rows of cottages had been built in 1889 by the LNWR for its employees in nearby Willesden Junction. Originally, the whole estate was simply called Railway Cottages. The London and Northwestern Railway, (LNWR) was the largest railway company in the country at the time.

Between 1915 and 1935, a new pub, The Fisherman’s Arms, appears to have replaced three houses on Old Oak Lane to serve the estate.

Late 19th century public health legislation had brought about general improvements in housing. Nevertheless the uniform rows of Old Oak made a fairly hard edged environment. Although there are subtle variations of facing brick and detail from one terrace to another, the overall impression is one of uniformity.
»read full article


AUGUST
15
2018

 

Spaniards End, NW3
Spaniards End lies behind the eponymous inn. By the end of the 1600s houses can be found around a pond on North End Way - these formed a village called North End. By 1710 there were 10 people paying 19 quit rents for 18 houses and cottages, and nearly three acres, almost all taken from the heath, at ’over the heath or North End’.

Two of the 18 houses were recently built cottages at ’Parkgate’, later called Spaniard’s End. The only other building in the area was Mother Huff’s, an inn later called the Shakespeare’s Head, fronting Spaniard’s Road. The house, where Mother Huff claimed in 1728 to have been for 50 years, was recorded in 1680 and may have been the New inn marked on the road through Cane Wood (Kenwood) to Highgate c. 1672.

The name Spaniard’s End was only gradually applied in connection with the nearby inn. Only by the end of the nineteenth century was it named on maps as such.

In Spaniard’s End, Heath End House was...
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AUGUST
14
2018

 

Battersea Bridge Road, SW11
The laying out of Battersea Bridge Road took place in several phases between the 1770s and 1850s. The laying out of Battersea Bridge Road took place in several phases between the 1770s and 1850s, the final southern stretch being the work of the Battersea Park Commissioners.

The Battersea Park area was formerly the heartland of Battersea Fields. It was intensively cultivated for strip farming and market gardens but thinly inhabited, as the land was low-lying and prone to flooding. Before Battersea Bridge was built in 1771–2, it contained only a scatter of houses and cottages, reached along lanes or tracks, and a few riverside hostelries such as the Red House towards Nine Elms.

The main east–west rights of way through the Fields included (from north to south): River Wall Road, now partly represented by the line of Parkgate Road; Marsh Lane, of which a stub survives as Ethelburga Street; and Surrey Lane, the main thoroughfare from Battersea village to Nine Elms, still present west of Battersea Bridge Road, but lost further eastwards. Linking these w...
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AUGUST
13
2018

 

Abbots Road, HA8
Abbots Road follows a footpath which stretched from Bunns Lane to Orange Hill House. The road was laid out in the late 1920s and became a useful connection to Mill Hill station from the new Burnt Oak estate.
»read full article


AUGUST
12
2018

 

Appleford Road, W10
Appleford Road was transformed post-war from a Victorian street to one dominated by housing blocks. Appleford Road runs from the Earl Derby on the corner of Southern Row and Bosworth Road, across Adair Row and into a dead end.

It contains a school - St Thomas’ Primary and a 1960s block: Appleford House. It is dominated though by the multistory Adair Tower.
»read full article


AUGUST
11
2018

 

Whitefield School
Whitefield School is a secondary school and sixth form. The school was built between 1953-54 on the site of the disused Hendon Metropolitan water treatment works, part of the original Clitterhouse Farm. It was originally a Secondary Modern School and opened in autumn 1954 later than originally intended. This gave pupils transferring from other schools in the then Borough of Hendon and surrounding areas an extra three weeks summer holiday. At the time of opening it had seven 1st year classes of between thirty and forty. Classes 1 and 2 first year had French or German in their curriculum, unusual at the time. Other older pupils transferred in to second, third and fourth year classes.

In 1954 the school grounds extended only as far east as the Clitterhouse Brook, a small tributary of the river Brent. Many years later the grounds extended east beyond the Brook to the boundary with Hendon Way. This area was the overgrown disused site of the settling ponds of the old water treatment works which were transformed into school playing...
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AUGUST
10
2018

 

Addington Square, SE5
Addington Square is a Georgian and Regency garden square which was named after Henry Addington, prime minister in the early 19th century. Addington Square is unusually well-preserved, and a conservation area with the houses that make up the east, south and west sides of the square listed Grade II. The north side is newly refurbished tennis courts.

Because three sides of the square back onto Burgess Park and there is no through traffic, it is a peaceful space popular with lunchtime office workers. This controlled access, period buildings and proximity to central London also make it popular with film crews.

The buildings were constructed between the later 18th century and early 19th century. The square is not composed entirely of terraced properties neither are all the buildings of similar height or architectural treatment.

In the 1960s the square was notorious as the base of the Richardson Gang, a south London rival to the Kray twins. They ran a private drinking club from the square, which had “Mad” Frankie Fraser and two dancing bears in residence. According to the gang...
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AUGUST
9
2018

 

Alpha Grove, E14
Alpha Grove runs from Strafford Street to Tiller Road. Alpha Grove ran right through to the West India Dock fence dock - its cranes can be seen at the end of the road. When built in the 1800s, Alpha Road followed a section of the old Island path, Dolphin Lane.

Alpha Road was renamed Alpha Grove in 1939, and was seriously damaged during WWII.

In 1964 the LCC declared this site as the Manilla Street Clearance Area, and this north end of Alpha Grove became a part of Manilla Street in the Barkantine Estate.
»read full article


AUGUST
8
2018

 

Abingdon Street, SW1P
Abingdon Street has linked Old Palace Yard and Millbank since at least 1593. At the northern end stood the South Gate of the Palace of Westminster. At the southern end was the ditch which marked the boundary of Thorney Island. Now, Great College Street marks this former boundary.

The street was briefly known as Lindsay Lane but by 1750 was known as Dirty Lane.

Around 1690, a mansion called Lindsay House was situated at the south-west end of the street. This was later the residence of the Earl of Abingdon. When the King came to parliament, the state coach drawn by eight horses used to turn round in the yard of the house.

In 1750, after an Act of Parliament it was widened and renamed Abingdon Street as part of the general approach improvements to the new Westminster Bridge.

From about 1820 Thomas Telford lived at No. 24. where he died in 1834. In 1932 Harold Clunn described one long terrace of shabby Georgian houses, largely inhabited by Members of Parliament.

Only four houses survived t...
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AUGUST
7
2018

 

Lithos Road, NW3
Lithos Road is part of the NW3 postal area which lies west of the Finchley Road. Stone Yard power station was here originally - the power station for Hampstead Borough.

The supply of electricity had been managed initially by the Council's predecessor the Hampstead Vestry through its Electric Lighting Committee. Hampstead Metropolitan Borough Council Electricity Undertaking was authorised under the Hampstead (London) Electric Lighting Order 1892. The foundation stone was laid in 1892 and a Central Supply Station and Head Offices were built in 1893 at the Vestry's Stoneyard,

Supply began in 1894 of single-phase high-tension alternating current. From 1921 the bulk supply of electricity was taken from Saint Marylebone Borough Council, and Lithos Road ceased to generate in 1922.

The Borough Council Bathing Station, also in Lithos Road, closed in 1960

Nowadays in Lithos Road, the Lithos Road Estate is there, built in 1991 with high and low rise blocks bordered on each side by railway tracks. Designed by Po...
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AUGUST
6
2018

 

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 in 1870 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), gastropubs ...
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AUGUST
5
2018

 

Old Kent Road, SE1
The Old Kent Road is famous as the cheapest property on the London Monopoly board. The route of Old Kent Road is one of the oldest trackways in England and was first metalled by the Romans as the road from Dover to Londinium. The Saxons later called this Watling Street. Chaucer’s pilgrims travelled along this route from London and Southwark on their way to Canterbury.

Although the name appears as simply Old Kent Road on maps, it is usually referred to by Londoners as The Old Kent Road. The Old Kent Road runs from the Bricklayers’ Arms roundabout, where it meets the New Kent Road, Tower Bridge Road, and Great Dover Street, to New Cross Road, which begins a little to the east of the mainline railway bridge - the change in street-name is coincident with the border with Lewisham borough. Before the county of London was created this would have been the boundary between Surrey and Kent, hence the change in name.

At the junction with the presently named Shornecliff Road (previously Thomas Street) was the bridge cross...
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AUGUST
4
2018

 

Kilburn Priory, NW6
Kilburn Priory is now a road - - it was once the site of a real priory Kilburn Priory itself, which dated from 1134 - the days of Henry I.

The priory was situated where the Westbourne crossed at the present site of the junction of Kilburn High Road and Belsize Road. It had been constructed on the location of the cell of a hermit known as Godwyn and was home to the community of Augustinian canonesses.

The priory, was dedicated to the “Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist”, became a renowned resting place for pilgrims stopping by on their way to St Albans. The river supplied the Priory’s moat and provided the inhabitants with water and fish until the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536 when the building was destroyed.

Priory lands incorporated a mansion and a guesthouse or hostium which may have constituted the basis of the Red Lion pub (believed to have been founded in 1444) and the Bell Inn which opened in about 1600.
»read full article


AUGUST
3
2018

 

Grangeway, NW6
Grangeway, NW6 lies off of Messina Avenue. Built in the period immediately following the First World War, Grangeway is tucked into the corner of Kilburn Grange Park.

The park itself is a 3.2 hectare open space in Kilburn. Administered by the London Borough of Camden, it includes a children’s playground, basketball court, outdoor gym equipment and tennis courts.

The park first opened in 1913 having previously been part of the Grange estate.


»read full article


AUGUST
2
2018

 

Dennington Park Road, NW6
About 1881 Dennington Park Road was constructed on the line of Sweetbriar Walk, the old path to Lauriston Lodge. 58 houses were built in Dennington Park Road and in Kingdon Road between 1883 and 1888, mostly by James Gibb.

A synagogue was built at the eastern end of Dennington Park Road in 1891.

Three blocks of flats, named Dene Mansions after Little Dene, home of the Ripley family, replaced Lauriston Lodge in 1904.
»read full article


AUGUST
1
2018

 

Menelik Road, NW2
Menelik Road runs from Westbere Road to Minster Road. In the 1890s, the Powell-Cotton family cashed in on their land holdings which laid to the east of the Edgware Road. Various new roads were named after places in Kent near to Quex House - the Powell-Cotton family seat: Richborough Road (1885), Minster Road (1891), Ebbsfleet Road (1893), Westbere Road (1893), Sarre Road (1896) and Manstone Road (1899).

One of the stalwarts of the family was Major Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton (1866-1940) who travelled widely in Africa. The Major made over 28 expeditions to Africa. Powell-Cotton is noted for bringing an extraordinary number of animal specimens back from his travels across Africa, potentially creating the largest collection of game ever shot by one man. Despite this, Powell-Cotton was an early conservationist, helping categorise a wide number of species across the globe.

In 1900, Powell-Cotton met with Emperor Menelik II, who granted him permission to hunt across Ethiopia. Powell-Cotton’s subsequ...
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