April 2017 archive

Apr 30

Old and New London: Volume 1 – Fleet Street

Alas, for the changes of time! The Fleet, that little, quick-flowing stream, once so bright and clear, is now a sewer! but its name remains immortalised by the street called after it. Although, according to a modern antiquary, a Roman amphitheatre once stood on the site of the Fleet Prison, and Roman citizens were certainly …

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Apr 29

Kensington Estates

In the Domesday Book of 1086 the area is called ‘Chensit’s ton’, which is an Anglo-Saxon name thought to mean ‘Cynesige’s farm’. A few misspellings later and you have ‘Kensington’. Kensington High Street and Notting Hill Gate were originally Roman roads through the countryside. Kensington High Street was then merely the ancient road from London …

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Apr 25

When was your house built?

If your house was built after 1900, this map offers you the possibility of seeing when decade it dates from. As the original author from MappingLondon noted: The Valuation Office Agency publish some interesting open data sets from time-to-time. One that caught my eye recently was a breakdown of counts of residential buildings in each …

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Apr 22

Building the Stanmore Line, 1930 to 1932

A shorter version of this piece was written by Philip Grant as a “Secret History” article for the December 2007 issue of the “Brent Magazine”, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Stanmore Line, now part of London Underground‟s Jubilee Line. The copyright remains with Brent Magazine and not The Underground Map. …

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Apr 19

Jack Straw’s Castle

The following appeared in the 1912 volume: “Hampstead, its historic houses, its literary and artistic associations” by Anna Maxwell Beyond the flagstaff and on the same side of the pond stands the “Castle” Hotel where the Court Leet met. Concerning the full title of this inn, it is extremely doubtful whether Wat Tyler’s chief captain ever …

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Apr 18

The Watling Estate

In 1890, the Housing of the Working Classes Act was passed by Parliament. This paved the way for a government programme of inner city slum clearance and replacement house building. Following the First World War, with soldiers returning home in need of houses and jobs, and a precarious post war economy, the government made a …

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Apr 15

1766: Hyde Park

A PLAN of HYDE-PARK with the CITY and LIBERTIES of WESTMINSTER &c. Shewing the several IMPROVEMENTS propos’d by architect John Gwynn (1766). This plan shows renovations in Hyde Park and around Westminster. Two Royal palaces have been planned, in Hyde Park and Green Park. The red lines show an intention to regularise the street plan, replacing …

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Apr 14

The alleyways and courtyards of London: Y

Yorkshire Grey Yard WC1 Yorkshire Grey Yard is not quite the picture we would expect to find if purely relying on the illusion conjured up by its haughty sounding name. This dejected cul-de-sac which once sported one of the most fashionable taverns in town is now private and just a little grubby. The Yorkshire Grey …

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Apr 13

The alleyways and courtyards of London: W

Warner Yard EC1 UG: Farringdon Bus: 55 63 243 259 As for Bath Court. Warner Yard is almost opposite Bath Court on the south side of Warner Street. Just below the Rosebery Avenue flyover is the dismal yard that once belonged to Robert Warner. In the early 18th century this plot of land formed part …

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Apr 12

The alleyways and courtyards of London: V

Vandon Passage SW1 UG: St James’s Park Bus: 11 24 211 507 Turn left out of St James’s Park Station and walk west along Petty France. Cross Palmer Street. Vandon Passage is about 75 yds on the left. It was on the site adjacent to this Passage that Cornelius Van Dun, a Dutchman and Yeoman …

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