The Underground Map

Belgravia ·

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...
Orange Square, SW1W
Orange Square is a small open area in Belgravia. Under the mature London plane trees of Orange Square is a statue of a young Mozart by Philip Jackson. Mozart as an eight year old lived at 180 Ebury Street in 1764 and 1765 while on a grand tour of Europe with his father. There, the child prodigy composed his first two symphonies.

In 1764, Orange Square - then called Pimlico Green - was an open area with sheep and donkeys grazing, and market gardens providing local vegetables.

Orange Square has a pub called The Orange which started as the Orange Coffee House and Tavern in 1776.

A timber yard was built around 1839 by John Newson who lived and worked from 19 Bloomfield Terrace. He built the houses of Bloomfield Terrace, called after the original name of his wife as well as some in the neighbouring streets of Ebury Street and Bourne Street. The shops on Pimlico Road, which date from the early 1840s are the oldest surviving buildings on Orange Square. Around this time the informal name Pimlico...



Featured articles



All Hallows Staining
All Hallows Staining was a church located at the junction of Mark Lane and Dunster Court. The first mention of the church was in the late 12th century - ’Staining’ in this context means ’stone’, distinguishing it from the other churches called All Hallows in the City of London, which were wooden.

The old church survived the Great Fire in 1666 but collapsed in 1671. The church was rebuilt in 1674.

The parishes of All Hallows Staining and nearby St Olave Hart Street were combined in 1870. All Hallows Staining was demolished, leaving only the tower.

After St Olave Hart Street was badly damaged in 1941, between 1948 and 1954, a prefabricated church stood on the site of All Hallows Staining known as St Olave Mark Lane. The tower of All Hallows Staining was used as the chancel.

The tower is maintained by the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers, one of the livery companies of the City of London.
»read full article



Bow Church
Bow Church is the parish church of St Mary and Holy Trinity, Stratford, Bow. There has been a church on the same site for over 700 years.

A chapel of ease on the site was licensed by Bishop Ralph Baldock of London on 17 November 1311 for the people of Stratford-at-Bow within the parish of Stepney. Before this date, churchgoers had had to travel to St Dunstan’s, Stepney. The present building is thought to have a 14th-century structure and the tower was added in the 15th century. It is constructed of Kentish Ragstone with brick additions.

The chapel of ease arrangement allowed parishioners to practise their religion locally, but were still obliged to attend St Dunstan’s at Stepney on religious holidays and to help pay for the church’s upkeep.

In 1497, an agreement was reached, whereby the people of Bow promised to acknowledge themselves as parishioners of Stepney and agreed to pay 24 shillings annually for repairs of the mother church. They could now dispense with their attendance there.

In 1556...



Glenfarg Road, SE6
Glenfarg Road was one of the roads built by Archibald Cameron Corbett. Archibald Cameron Corbett, a Scot, inherited his father’s property business during 1880.

He purchased 278 acres of land from the Earl of St Germans’s North Park Farm near to the new Hither Green railway station and then spent three years building over 3000 high quality homes for working class and middle class tenants between 1896 and 1911.

Many of the roads such as Glenfarg Road, Balloch Road and Muirkirk Road, are named after Scottish villages. He later became an MP and was elevated to the peerage as Lord Rowallan.

Originally called the St Germans Estate, the area become known as the Corbett Estate.

By 1910 there were six churches, four schools, six shopping parades, a railway station and a library.

After loaning the South Eastern Railway £3400 to build a more convenient entrance, the railway company agreed to sell cheap season tickets to Corbett tenants, a major selling point for prospective buyers.»more



Woodlands Street, SE13
Woodlands Street is crossed by the Prime Meridian - 0° longitude. Woodlands Street was laid out by W.J. Scudamore, builder - who started work on it in 1896 and additionally built Benin Street and Blashford Street.

It was built along the line of a track to a nursery at Woodlands House which formerly lay at the western end of the current street. At the eastern end of Benin Street on Hither Green Lane lay Hope Cottage, which was built around 1840.

Hope Cottage was situated next to a pathway which led to a house called Bright Side which eventually lent its name to Brightside Road.

Park Fever Hospital was completed in the mid 1890s at the same time as the sale of North Park Farm (its farm track later became Duncrievie Road) and in 1896, Hope Cottage and its land was sold by its owner - Charles Butler to W.J. Scudamore.

Woodlands Street was from the outset a working class street and it was reported as ’overcrowded’ in 1901. Only the southern side of the street was housing with the grounds of ...



Blattner Close, WD6
Blattner Close was named after Ludwig (Louis) Blattner, cinema pioneer, when built in the late 1990s. Ludwig Blattner was a pioneer of early magnetic sound recording, licensing a design from German inventor Dr Kurt Stille, enhancing it to use steel tape instead of wire, thereby creating an early form of tape recorder. The BBC saw a potential to record and timeshift BBC radio programmes and rented several Blattnerphones from 1930 onwards, one of which was used to record a speech by King George V. In 1939, the BBC used a Blattnerphone to record Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s announcement to Britain of the outbreak of World War II.

Prior to the First World War, Ludwig Blattner managed the ’La Scala’ cinema in Wallasey from 1912 to 1914 and conducted the cinema’s orchestra.

In early 1928, Blattner was planning a 400-acre ’Hollywood, England’ estate complete with a hotel, hospital, aeroplane club and the largest collection of studios in the world. Blattner then formed the Ludwig Blattner Picture Corporation in Borehamwood in the studio comple...



Merton Road, SW19
Merton Road has connected Merton High Street to Wimbledon since the 18th century. The name Merton dates from the 10th Century, and means ’farmstead by the pool’.

The road formed the western boundary of the 160 acre Merton Place estate. In 1801, Horatio Nelson separated from his wife Fanny. His mistress, Emma, Lady Hamilton found Merton Place situated next to the Wandle River. Lord Nelson paid £9000 for it in 1803.

After his death, Nelson left Merton and its contents to Emma, but within three years, her mounting debts caused her to sell it.

After standing empty for many years, the estate was eventually auctioned ’into lots adequate for detached villas’ in 1823. It was finally pulled down in 1846 - no attempt was made to save it for the nation.

Merton Road became a mix of residential and commercial.

Just after the dawn of the 20th century, Wimbledon entertainment venues were lining Merton Road: the Apollo Electric Theatre (the first cinema in the area), the Wimbledon Theatre and King’s Palace Theatre.
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Wimbledon is home to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and New Wimbledon Theatre, and contains Wimbledon Common, one of the largest areas of common land in London. The residential area is split into two sections known as the village and the town, with the High Street being part of the original medieval village, and the town being part of the modern development since the building of the railway station.

Wimbledon has been inhabited since at least the Iron Age when the hill fort on Wimbledon Common is thought to have been constructed. In 1087 when the Domesday Book was compiled, Wimbledon was part of the manor of Mortlake. The ownership of the manor of Wimbledon changed between various wealthy families many times during its history, and the area also attracted other wealthy families who built large houses such as Eagle House, Wimbledon House and Warren House. The village developed with a stable rural population coexisting alongside nobility and wealthy merchants from the city. In the 18th century the Dog and Fox public house became a stop on the stagecoach run from London to Portsmouth, then in 1838 the London and Sout...



Macfarlane Place, W12
Macfarlane Place - a road with two lifetimes. Macfarlane Place began its life as a farm track which ran from Wood Lane to Old Oak Farm.

Supported by the Metropolitan Railway and the Great Western Railway, the Hammersmith & City Railway was built from the GWR’s main line a mile west of Paddington station to Shepherd’s Bush and Hammersmith. Built on viaduct largely across open fields, the line opened on 13 June 1864.

The viaduct crossed the farm track but as at did so, Macfarlane Place was created between it and Wood Lane.

After a 60 year hiatus, Macfarlane Place then became a new pedestrian-only street which cut through the BBC Television Centre car park after the Centre was redeveloped.
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Barge House Street, SE1
Barge House Street is a renamed section of Upper Ground Street. Old Barge House Stairs once marked the outflow of a stream - though more an open sewer which ran in a wide loop.

Embankment walls were build along the river bank at Upper Ground and sewers carried off water either to the river or south to St George’s Fields. Until 1809, when the Surrey and Kent Sewer Commission obtained permission to build new main sewers, the whole area was subject to flooding whenever there was an exceptionally high tide and most of the ground was too marshy for building.

However, from at least as early as the 14th century there was a fringe of houses along Upper Ground.

Sometime before 1420 the land was farmed out to John, Duke of Bedford. In 1655, William Angell, a grocer from London, bought the area for £500. The land comprised ’ten messuages, eighty cottages, twenty tofts, twenty gardens, twenty orchards, ten acres of land, fifty acres of meadow, thirty acres of pasture and one acre of woodland’. A large part ...


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