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About the project
The Underground Map is a project which is creating a history website for the areas of London lying inside the M25.
There are now over 17 000 articles on all variety of locations including amongst others, 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 - use the Google Map control to change to a particular decade.
|You can search any of the locations that have been created so far by searching for the title. Type into the box below:|
|There are a series of historical maps covering each decade between 1800 and 1950.|
Navigate to the area that you wish to view using the dropdown. Choose a location and then click Reset Location
|Search for a street in London by typing its name into the box below:|
|Users have created a series of historical location articles to go with the historic maps.|
Click icons on the mapping to display each article. Subjects are many and various - simply explore!
Explore old maps of London
Featured articlesFortis Green
How Fortis Green got its name is not clear.
’Fortis’ suggests a place before something, but the ’something’ is obscure. It appears in 1558 when it was considered part of Finchley Common. The green may simply have been a gap in woods and ran as far as where Muswell Hill Odeon is today.
Even into the 20th century Coldfall Woods came as far south as the present back fences of the houses on the north side of the road.
On a map of 1754, Cherry Tree Woods (then Dirt House Woods) to the south had been cleared and the land enclosed with at least two large houses. More houses were built along the road from the beginning of the 19th century.
By the middle part of the 19th century there were about 60 houses, mostly belonging to labourers, which had been erected on the green between the woods and the road.
The National Freehold Land society developed what had been Haswell Park into southern, eastern, and western Roads after 1852, with 180 plots, but development was slow. H...
Woodside Lane, N12
Woodside Lane dates from 1780 at the latest. In 1851 there was a regular ’bus service running from the Torrington to Charing Cross and railway connections had been established with London, first at New Southgate.
During the 1850s and 1860s Woodside Lane, Torrington Park, Friern Park, Grove Road, Finsbury Road (now Finchley Park) had all been laid out with housing. In 1872 the Edgware, Highgate and London Railway opened Torrington Park Station which was renamed Woodside Park in 1882. It was during the construction of a railway through Finchley from 1864 that a Reverend Henry Stephens opened a mission for the navvies working on the line.
A church had been constructed by 1869 which was formally opened in 1870 as Christ Church. It became a new parish in 1872. By 1874 it was said that there were 350 dwellings within this ecclesiastical parish.
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Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H
Shaftesbury Avenue was named after Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, Victorian politician and philanthropist. In his London and Westminster Improved, published in 1766, John Gwynn suggested that a new street should be formed from the top of the Haymarket to Oxford Street and beyond. After the formation of Regent Street the need for further improvement in north-south communication in this part of Westminster was recognised in 1838 by the Select Committee of the House of Commons on Metropolis Improvements. The committee was concerned at the volume of traffic from Paddington and Euston Stations that might be expected to converge upon the east end of Oxford Street, and it recommended an improved line of street from St. Giles’s to Charing Cross.
This need was later filled by the formation of Charing Cross Road, but the committee made no recommendation on communication between Piccadilly and Bloomsbury.
In the 1860s and 70s the need for improved communication between Piccadilly Circus and Charing Cross, and between Charing Cross and Tottenham Court Road was frequen...
Wardour Street, W1D
The part of Wardour Street south of Shaftesbury Avenue runs through London’s Chinatown. Chinatown’s fourth gate on Wardour Street was completed in 2016 and built in traditional Qing Dynasty style, it is the largest Chinese gate in the country. Chinatown has buildings and streets decorated with Chinese symbols such as dragons and lanterns. Street signs are written in English and Chinese.
Wardour Street was named after local 17th century landowners, the Wardour family.
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Finchley Catholic High School
Finchley Catholic High School is a comprehensive boys’ secondary school with a coeducational sixth form in North Finchley. It accepts students between the ages of 11 and 18. Finchley Catholic Grammar School was founded in 1926 by the Monsignor Canon Clement Henry Parsons (1892–1980), parish priest of St. Alban’s Catholic Church, Nether Street, North Finchley. He founded the Challoner School (a fee-paying grammar school for boys who had not passed their 11+); as well as St. Alban’s Catholic Preparatory School as a feeder primary for the Grammar and Challoner schools. 1971 saw its two institutional forebears, Finchley Catholic Grammar School ("Finchley Grammar") and the Challoner School, merge to become Finchley Catholic High School). It was the sister school of the all-girls St. Michael’s Catholic Grammar School during the grammar school era.
The school started as a private initiative and parents were able to consider allowing their children to remain at school for longer. In a short time demand outgrew accommodation, the school had to extend. An appeal from the pulpit by Canon Parsons began the collection that by Christmas 1928 had ...
North Finchley is a suburb in the London Borough of Barnet, seven miles north north-west of Charing Cross. North Finchley is centred on Tally Ho Corner, the junction of the roads to East Finchley, Finchley Central and Whetstone.
The old name for the area of North Finchley and Whetstone was North End - first recorded in 1462. North Finchley did not develop into an urban area until after the enclosure of Finchley Common after 1816. Prior to that, in 1627, Thomas Rawson was allowed to construct a windmill and house which by 1722 had also become an inn, the Windmill. By 1754 the inn was called the Swan with Two Nicks and had ceased as a mill. The site is now a police garage.
Charles Jacques built twenty one cottages in Lodge Lane around 1824 and constructed Torrington Cottage as a residence. By the 1830s there were other houses and in 1837 a dissenting chapel, "Cottagers Chapel", which had been converted from the stables of Orchard Cottage.
By 1839 North Finchley had at least five retail outlets including a blacksmith called Elizabeth Humphreys. Th...
Allerton Road, WD6
Allerton Road is named after Allerton Mauleverer - a village in the Harrogate district of North Yorkshire. Allerton Mauleverer lies five miles east of the town of Knaresborough. The A1(M) runs through the area connecting London and Edinburgh.
Back in Borehamwood, the Catholic church - SS St.John Fisher and Thomas More - is on corner of Rossington Avenue and Allerton Road.
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Zoffany Street, N19
Zoffany Street is the last street, alphabetically, in London. It was named after Johann Zoffany (1733-1810) a painter born in Regensburg, Germany.
Zoffany first migrated to England in 1758 and remained until 1772 often in most penurious circumstances, but was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 1769.
He returned to England from 1779 to 1783 when he went to India but returned to England in 1790 and lived at Strand-on-the-Green in his later years and is buried in Kew churchyard.
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Jason Court, W1U
Jason Court was part of the ancient village of Marylebone. The court runs into Marylebone Lane. A stroll along its twisting course will at once reveal a complete contrast with to the symmetrical layout of the surrounding streets. This very distinctly indicates that it was once nothing more than a pathway along the side of the Tyburn Brook providing an access route to the village, clustered around the parish church of St Mary. Indeed it is the Tyburn which gives the area part of its name.
In the middle ages when this was a suburb village, surrounded by fields and well outside the commercial city, a small church, dedicated to St John, was built on the site where Marble Arch now stands. Almost on its doorstep stood the gallows. Served by the main road of Tyburn Way (Oxford Street) it was an easy location to reach and on execution days the area became choked with spectators, all straining to catch a glimpse of the noosed victims. As the crowds gathered, so did the thieves; there were rich pickings to be made from the densely packed...
Young Street, W8
Young Street, named after the developer of Kensington Square, was in use as a road by 1685.
Running perpendicular to the square, it was the only thoroughfare leading into it from Kensington High Street until the opening of what is now Derry Street in the mid-1730s.
As with development at Kensington Square, the street was parcelled up into lots and let or sold to developers and builders. Young retained the freehold of the area on the west side, immediately north of no.16, and probably erected two houses there by 1695. Unlike Kensington Square this area was much more socially diverse in character, with occupants connected to the court of William III sharing the length of the street with resident tradesmen and shopkeepers. There were also several Huguenots attracted to residences here.
Little remains from this time. Going by the photographs taken in the 1860s, the street was largely unaltered. Bomb damage from the Second World War, however, and before that the construction of Kensington Square Mansions on the west side of Young Str...
Angell Town is a large, municipally-built housing complex on the Brixton/Stockwell border. Angell Town takes its name from the eccentric landowner John Angell, who died in 1784. His grandfather, Justinian, had acquired the property by marriage. Brixton remained undeveloped until the beginning of the 19th century.
Angell Town was laid out in the 1850s on the east side of Brixton Road. The church of St John the Evangelist was built in 1852–3, designed by Benjamin Ferrey in the Perpendicular style.
Most of the old town was replaced in the 1970s by a council estate that combined 1960s-style blocks with the newer concept of overhead walkways and linking bridges, some of which were later removed in an attempt to prevent robbers and vandals making easy getaways. A bridge was supposed to cross Brixton Road to the social facilities on the Stockwell Park estate, but it was never built.
Angell Town soon gained a reputation for neglect and decline and became stigmatised as a sink estate. In a scheme notable for the high degree of residents...
Victoria Road stadium
The Victoria Road stadium, under various sponsorship names, is the home ground of Dagenham & Redbridge F.C. The site on Victoria Road has been a football ground since 1917, when it was used by the Sterling Works side, whose factory was situated alongside it. It was not fully enclosed until the summer of 1955, when Briggs Sports moved out to Rush Green Road, and Dagenham F.C. moved from the Arena. During that summer they levelled and re-seeded the pitch, removed the stones from the playing surface and extended the banking and the terracing. The only cover was a tiny wooden stand, which was steep and narrow and had a few rows of seating on the far side of the ground. The main stand was built in the autumn of 1955 and was opened on 7 January 1956 by J.W. Bowers, chairman of the Essex County Football Association. During the summer of 1956 the turnstile block at the Victoria Road side of the ground and the men’s toilets situated at the Victoria Road were added. In the summer of 1958 the cover over the far side was erected at a cost of £1,400. The first floodlit match at Victoria Road was ...
Kensington High Street, W8
Kensington High Street is one of western London’s most popular shopping streets, with upmarket shops serving a wealthy area. Kensington High Street is the continuation of Kensington Road and part of the A315. It starts by the entrance to Kensington Palace and runs westward through central Kensington. Near Kensington (Olympia) station, where the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea ends and London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham begins, it ends and becomes Hammersmith Road. The street is served by High Street Kensington underground station.
From the late 19th century until the mid-1970s the street had three classic department stores: Barkers of Kensington, Derry & Toms and Pontings. Barkers bought Pontings in 1906 and Derry & Toms in 1920, but continued to run all three as separate entities. In a big building project which started in 1930 and was not complete until 1958 (the Second World War halted the project), the company made Derry & Toms and Barkers into Art Deco palaces. On top of Derry & Toms, Europe’s largest roof garden area was created, consisting of three different gardens wit...
Cremorne Gardens, with a vestige existing today, was in its prime between 1846 and 1877. From Anglo-Saxon times, the tract of land on the northern banks of the Thames was divided into individually owned ‘lots’, and open to common pasturage after the annual harvest.
Later, in the 17th Century, Chelsea Farm was constructed and the area was used for market gardening plots, supplying central London. In 1778, Lord Cremorne bought Chelsea Farm and Cremorne House was built along with Ashburnham House and Ashburnham Cottage.
Fifty years later in 1825 the ‘Lammas’ rights of common grazing were abolished on the ‘Lots’. In 1830 Charles Random de Berenger, a colourful character implicated in financial fraud during the Napoleonic War, purchased Cremorne House. He was a keen sportsman and opened a sports club know as Cremorne Stadium for ‘skilful and manly exercise’ including shooting, sailing, archery and fencing.
In 1846, De Berenger’s Cremorne Stadium was transformed into a pleasure garden which became a popular and nois...
Ball Street, W8
Ball Street was created by the Kensington Improvement Scheme of 1868-71, carried out by the Metropolitan Board of Works.
Ball Street ran parallel and one street back from the High Street. It was planned as another less busy shopping thorughfare.
Ball Street eventually became service space for the grander high street shops and was ultimately redeveloped as the service yard for John Barkers company in 1927. A fire station once stood on the corner of Ball Street and Derry Street.
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Mildred Avenue, WD6
Mildred Avenue is a curious road, being in two halves. The road was laid out in two different periods.
There was a "posh end" as first built when Mildred Avenue was a pre-First World War cul-de-sac. Houses were large with names such as Furze Lodge, Beaulieu and Islip House.
As Boreham Wood urbanised between the wars - about 1936 the second half of Mildred Avenue was built from the newly-constructed Cardinal Avenue. These were more standard houses.
It is unclear why the decision was made to keep the two halves of Mildred Avenue apart but a barrier of vegetation exists to this day make two effective cul-de-sacs. The first part of the avenue is still an unadopted road - the only one in the town.
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Rosslyn Hill, NW3
Rosslyn Hill is a road connecting the south end of Hampstead High Street to the north end of Haverstock Hill. It is the site of the Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, St. Stephen’s Church and the Royal Free Hospital. It is served by the bus routes N5, C11, 46 and 268. Pond Street links it to Hampstead Heath railway station.
Haverstock Hill, Rosslyn Hill, and Heath Street, Hampstead together constitute one long hill 2.8 km long, rising 99 m, with an average grade of 3.5% (maximum 8.5%).
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Southwark Street, SE1
Southwark Street is a major street just south of the River Thames. It runs between Blackfriars Road to the west and Borough High Street to the east. In April 1856, the St Saviour's District Board petitioned the Metropolitan Board of Works to create a new street to run between the South Eastern Railway terminus at London Bridge station and the West End. The street was the first to be made by the Board and was completed in 1864. It was driven across a densely occupied part of the parish and crosses older roads and streets which created oddly shaped plots for redevelopment. Its junction with Borough High Street is so gently curved that the transition between the streets leads to confusion and imprecision as to which is which and the street numbering and lack of a Street Name Plate compounds this, the break between them occurs at the junction with Bedale Street on the north-side but at the south-side the street does not begin until after the 'fork' opposite Stoney Street, some 130 metres to the west. Under the street, a tunnel was constructed with side passages to carry utilities such as gas, water, and drainage pipes, together with t...
Sections of The Underground Map text are taken, adapted or remixed from the Wikipedia. Other sections are written by the authors and users of The Underground Map. The Underground Map hereby gives permission for the re-use of all material which is attributed on its website under the Creative Commons License/CC-BY-3.0.