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The Underground Map

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Featured · Borough ·
JANUARY
21
2021

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...
Mint Street, SE1
Mint Street, an ancient Southwark street, (now) runs off Marchelsea Road. Mint Street dates from before 1679 in which year Thomas Lant married the daughter of Sir Edward Bromfield, and thus acquired an interest in a house called Suffolk Place. By then, Mint Street is shown on Morden and Lea’s map of 1682 and was closely developed.

The Mint Street area had been known as ’The Mint’. It was a slum area with privileges for debtors until The Mint in Southwark Act 1722 removed these rights. The area remained a slum until the 19th century.

The St Saviour’s Union Workhouse at Mint Street is thought to have provided Dickens with the model for the scene in Oliver Twist where the starving boy "asks for more". The workhouse in Mint Street dated back to 1729. In October 1731 it was reported that “there are now in it 68 Men, Women, and Children, of which all that are able, spin Mop-Yarn, and Yarn for Stockings, which are knit by the Women; and beside this Work, 25 Children are taught to read, and say their Catechism.”


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DECEMBER
25
2020

 

Barnes Cray
Barnes Cray is located on the Greater London border with Kent, bordering Dartford Barnes Cray is named for the Barne family, who owned land here in the mid-18th century.

Up until the Victorian era it was a hamlet a kilometre downstream of Crayford where no more than sixteen homes were clustered. A calico-printing works drew water power from the culverted River Wansunt in early Victorian times, being later adapted for the manufacture of rubber goods, then felt and finally Brussels carpets. This carpet mill was demolished by 1890 and Barnes Cray House, the next largest building, was cleared by 1933, ending its days as a nursing home.

The remnants of the settlement became absorbed into Crayford with the building of a garden village to facilitate the expansion of Vickers’ armaments factory during the 1915 to 1919 period. Six hundred cottages were built in a variety of styles.

In 1920 the area became part of the Crayford Urban District of Kent (having previously been in Dartford Rural District).

Following Wo...
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DECEMBER
24
2020

 

Dartford
Dartford lies at the heart of the Thames Gateway, one of the largest growth areas in the UK Dartford is going through a period of great change with a rising population and extensive new commercial and residential development.

Originally a Roman settlement, Dartford is an old market town connected in history with Wat Tyler’s rebellion of 1381. Dartford was known at various times in its history as Darentford, Tarentford and Dorquentford.

The town centre boasts notable historic buildings. Holy Trinity Church dates from Norman times and has a mediaeval mural. The Royal Manor Gatehouse dates from the time of Henry VIII.

There is a museum and library in the town centre, which also has a wide range of shopping facilities. Two weekly markets are held in the town on Thursdays and Saturdays.

A number of ancient parishes lie to the south of the town, each of which has its own links with English history. Evidence of this can be seen in the many fine churches and old buildings that remain. Darenth Country Pa...
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DECEMBER
23
2020

 

Parsifal Road, NW6
Parsifal Road runs from Finchley Road to Fortune Green Road The land had belonged to the Flitcroft estate and the name Parsifal Road was approved in 1883.

New College was built at the eastern end in 1887. Between 1890 and 1897, 13 large detached and semi-detached houses were built in Parsifal Road.
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DECEMBER
22
2020

 

Barra Hall Park
Barra Hall Park is an 11 hectare formal park situated near the centre of Hayes Barra Hall was originally a manor house, and formerly known as Grove House. In the late eighteenth century it was home to Harvey Combe, who became Lord Mayor of London in 1799. In 1871 was bought by Robert Reid, an auctioneer and surveyor who claimed descent from the Reids of Barra. After enlarging and refacing the building he changed its name to Barra Hall in 1875.

On 20 December 1923, Hayes Urban District Council bought Barra Hall and its grounds from then owner Ethel Penfold for £5700 in order to use it as a town hall.

The Barra Hall building was officially opened as town hall on 23 February 1924 and its grounds became a municipal park with playground, tennis courts and a paddling pool opened by music hall star Jessie Matthews. Barra Hall Park features ornamental lawns, recreational grass areas, rose and shrub beds, seasonal bedding and mature trees.
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MARCH
30
2015

 

Lauriston Lodge
Lauriston Lodge, now the site of Dene Mansions, was a large house in West Hampstead. Germain Lavie, J.P. was a lessee of Lauriston Lodge and some 11 acres, part of Gilberts estate, from 1806. The house, later occupied by Sir William Woods, Garter King-at-Arms, was of red brick with stained-glass windows and a fine entrance.

Despite being situated just to the west of West End Lane, Lauriston Lodge had its own access - a path called Sweetbriar Walk which ran all the way to the Edgware Road before the Midland Railway tracks were laid.

In 1881, Dennington Park Road was constructed on the line of Sweetbriar Walk and 58 houses were built there between 1883 and 1888.

Three blocks of flats, named Dene Mansions after Little Dene, home of the Ripley family who had been the final owners of the house, replaced Lauriston Lodge in 1904.
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MARCH
29
2015

 

Bridge House
Canal side house in Westbourne Park When the Grand Junction Canal was dug, John White, the owner of Westbourne Farm and an architect, built Bridge House on the north bank of the new canal in 1805.
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MARCH
27
2015

 

Earl of Zetland
The Earl of Zetland - a pub in the Potteries The Earl of Zetland was a pub located in Princedale Road. It was also, in its time, called The Tuscan and Bar One One Six.

The address is now given as 116 Princedale Road, previously it was at 116 Princes Street.

After being derelict for quite a while, an application was made to demolish it but the borough turned this down. Instead it was converted into an office (basement, ground and first floor levels) and a two bedroom flat.

Some scenes of the 1966 film ’Blow Up’ by Michelangelo Antonioni were filmed nearby.
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MARCH
26
2015

 

Rackham Street, eastern end (1950)
The bombing of the Second World War meant that some whole streets were wiped off the future map. Rackham Street, in London W10, was one of them. This photo shows the corner of Ladbroke Grove looking west down Rackham Street just after the end of the Second World War. Just beyond the Rootes advert was the local doctor's surgery. (Rootes, an auto manufacturor, was taken over by Chrysler long after the war.) Beyond the surgery, the houses - three floors and a basement flat, would generally house four or more families each.

During the night of 27/8 September 1940, after Nazi incendiary bombs, the central part of Rackham Street become a huge crater (though only one person was killed).

As the Luftwaffe aimed for the railway line and gas works, the nearby Princess Louise Hospital was also bombed three times and around a hundred incendiaries hit the St Charles convent and grounds.

In the early 1950s, the rest of Rackham Street was demolished to make way for the Balfour of Burleigh estate. Rackham Street left no trace - not even a name.
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MARCH
21
2015

 

Coppies Grove, N11
Coppies Grove is a modern development. The nearby Avenue district was cleared after 1969; by 1975, when there were still vacant patches, the Avenue itself, Stewards Holte Walk, Coppies Grove, and flats called Holmesdale and Stanhope were built.
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MARCH
19
2015

 

St Quintin Park Cricket Ground (1890s)
Before the turn of the 20th century, west of present day North Kensington lay fields - the future Barlby Road was the site of the St Quintin Park Cricket Ground. In this photo, we see a view which is roughly taken from the site of what became the Clement Talbot (Rootes) Motor Works, about ten years later.

To the left of the St Marylebone Infirmary (now St Charles Hospital) is a building that is now on the corner of Exmoor St and Barlby Road, marked on the 1900 map as the Color (sic) Printing Works. Beyond that is Edinburgh Road School (later Barlby Road School), built in 1880. This building was demolished in the early 1970s as part of the redevelopment of the streets to the south of the school and the new school was built further towards the junction with Ladbroke Grove.
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MARCH
18
2015

 

Earlsfields
Between Thorplands on the east and Shoot Up Hill on the west lay several fields called Earlsfields. Pastureage sold in 'Erlesfeld' was listed among the issues of the Hampstead manor in 1322. It is unlikely that Earlsfield was part of the original manorial demesne because of its position. It may have originated in assarted land that was later leased or granted out or it may have been tenant land which had escheated to the lord.

In 1632 John Kemp leased a cottage at Shoot Up Hill and two crofts called Earlsfield (6 acres). They, together with two cottages and a small close at Kilburn, passed on John's death in 1643 to his brother Francis Kemp of Willesden,

By the turn of the nineteenth century, the Greenhill family held Earlsfield. The estate was identifiable as two fields south of Mill Lane, forming a long strip of 7 acres, copyhold and heriotable. It passed to Samuel Hoare and his son Joseph, who sold it to the Midland Railway Company in 1867.

The other two long fields to the east were freehold, comprising a house and 14 acres in 1705. By...
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MARCH
16
2015

 

Cholmley Lodge
Cholmley Lodge, a two storeyed stuccoed house, was built in 1813. A National school and cottage for the schoolmistress was built on the north side of the village, on part of the grounds of Cholmley Lodge, in 1844.

In the early 20th century the property came under the ownership of Captain Henry Wilkes Notman, a wealthy Scot who had made his fortune in the railways.

Cholmley Lodge was demolished in 1921. On its grounds was then built seventeen blocks of flats fronting the four boundary roads: Mill Lane, Aldred Road, Hillfield Road, and Fortune Green Road. These blocks were put up between 1922 and 1927 and constituted Cholmley Gardens. Parts of the original lodge are still to be found in the extensive gardens of that latter road.

In particular, the main entrance steps and patio can still be found leading to the tennis court at the northern end of the gardens. Many of the retaining walls within the grounds were built using materials from the original house. Within the walls of the estate, one can find intere...
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MARCH
15
2015

 

Corbets Tey
Corbets Tay is a village located south of, and contiguous with, Upminster. Corbets Tey is first mentioned in 1461 as Corbinstye. The medieval manor of Gaynes occupied most of the southern Upminster area and some of its land has been under cultivation for over 2,000 years. On Corbets Tey Road, the rubble-walled tower of [email protected]@@s parish church of St Laurence dates from the early 13th century.

There was a tannery at Corbets Tey from 1573 to 1635 and gravel extraction took place in the vicinity from the 18th century. The most notable survival at the centre of the old village is High House, a tall farmhouse built around 1700 and still possessing a virtually complete original interior.

During the 1770s Sir James Esdaile commissioned a manor house at Gaynes, with a 100-acre park created from the surrounding farmland – but within about 50 years most of the mansion had to be demolished to make the property affordable to a new buyer. Esdaile also built Harwood Hall in 1782, and its distinctive castellations were added a cent...
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MARCH
14
2015

 

New West End
New West End was created in the 1840s on the Finchley Road. Four houses were built on a field of Platt's estate which jutted westward south of Teil's estate. The cluster were optimistically named New West End but eventually the name fell out of favour.
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MARCH
13
2015

 

Ladbroke Grove
Ladbroke Grove on the corner of St Charles Sqaure taken outside the Eagle public house, looking north, just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. This view would be utterly transformed after bombing and then subsequent redevelopment in the 1950s.
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MARCH
12
2015

 

Poplar House
Poplar House was occupied by one of the first developers of West Hampstead, Thomas Potter. Thomas Potter was the owner of Thorplands, an estate of 13 acres which was south of Mill Lane and west of West End Lane. Potter built about 15 houses fronting Mill Lane between 1873 and 1877 and the Elms and the Cedars next to the green by 1878.

Another 28 houses and a Methodist church were built on the estate fronting Mill Lane in 1886-7 and seven blocks of flats in West End Lane on what was called the Cedars estate in 1894. Some 49 houses were finally built in Inglewood Road on the site of Poplar House, in 1893-4.
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MARCH
11
2015

 

Little Chalfont
Little Chalfont is a 20th-century creation triggered by the coming of the Metropolitan Railway. A station called Chalfont Road was opened in 1889 at the northernmost point of Chalfont St Giles Parish where the parishes of Amersham, Chenies, and Chalfont St Giles met. At that time, the area was remote from the centres of the villages and towns, and consisted of isolated farms and cottages, and did not have a specific name.

The coming of the railway eventually brought local housing development, and a community developed around the station, which was renamed to Chalfont & Latimer station in 1915, a name which it retains today.

The first appearance of the name Little Chalfont is in the minutes of the Chalfont St Giles Parish Council on 15 January 1925, when, at the request of the inhabitants, it was agreed that the group of houses near the station should be named Little Chalfont instead of "Chalfont Road Village". For many years, Little Chalfont was split mainly in the Amersham Town Council area, and partly in Chalfont St Giles parish. Following a perio...
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MARCH
10
2015

 

Notting Hill Barn Farm
Notting Barns Farm was one of two farms in the North Kensington area. The farm, also known as Notting Hiil Barns Farm and Salters Farm, stood within countryside that was recorded as ’densely wooded thickets, the coverts of game, red and fallow deer, boars and wild bulls’ once known as Middlesex Forest.

It was approached via a footpath that was known as Green’s Lane. There is a sketch of the manor house but the farmhouse seems not so substantial a building as to have been a grand house.

It remains clear that there were two ponds serving the farm and the source of water was derived from the springs that gave rise to the streams or marshes south of the higher ground.

In 1880 the farmhouse house was still standing although by then surrounded by new building.
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MARCH
9
2015

 

Rackham Street, western end (1950)
A bombed-out Rackham Street, looking down from the junction with Exmoor Street. The huge bomb crater which actually had its epicentre on the north side of St Charles Square, one block south, can be seen. This one bomb fell in September 1940 and caused so much destruction that it was decided, after the war finished, to redevelop the whole area. Most of the street plan was changed utterly.
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MARCH
8
2015

 

Orme’s Green
Ormes Green was the former name for this part of Westbourne Park. In 1809, Edward Orme, a print seller of Bond Street, acquired the former Bell at Bayswater, called Elms House, with two houses behind it, formerly a single house, along with the Bayswater tea gardens. Soon he also held much property farther west along the Uxbridge Road, where he may first have made money from gravel. He turned to building and property speculation, mainly in the Bayswater area.

By the mid 1820s, he had been responsible for building Orme's Green - named after his family like much of what he built. He built a row of houses, later called Belsize Villas, standing alone in the fields on the south side of Harrow Road.
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MARCH
7
2015

 

Wedlake Street Baths
In a time when most had somewhere to live but few had somewhere to wash at home, public baths were the place to go... Baths and a laundry to serve Queen's Park had been built in 1898, where the boundary with Kensington ran slightly south of the canal along Wedlake Street to Kensal Road. They were built next to Halfpenny (Ha'penny) Steps which allowed access across the canal from the Harrow Road to the baths for people from the Queen's Park Estate.

Wedlake Street Baths housed both a swimming pool and public baths. Families would go there for their weekly bath. There was a distinct system in place to use the facilities - you would get a numbered ticket and sat until your number was called. While you were in the bath, you could shout out to the attendent if you wanted more hot or cold water. The steel changing cubicles, a local remembered, were all made of steel - even the door. 'It felt like you were in stir!', remembered one.

Earlier times, people would leave their clothes unattended in the cubicle with the half door and a curtain on the top. Then it turned modern and the...
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MARCH
6
2015

 

Portobello Arms
The Portobello Arms was a former pub in Kensal Town, established in 1842. The 1911 census lists it as the licensee being called "Marshall" and situated at 248 Kensal Road. It was also listed as the headquarters of the Jubilee Angling Society.

The members of the Court Pleasant union regularly met there in the nineteenth century.

The Paddingion Mercury publishes the following correspondence in 1884:

Sir, I forwarded a petition to the Registrar General in October last drawing his attention to what we considered the nuisance of having to attend at a public house in Kensal Town known as the Portobello Arms for the purposes of registering the births and deaths of any of our children or relations and asking that the Registrar for the sub district might be removed to the new Vestry Offices in Kensal Road.

Not receiving an answer I wrote again on the 22nd of this month and received the following letter which I shall be glad if you will kindly publish.
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MARCH
5
2015

 

Ladbroke Grove railway bridge
Looking north over Bartle Bridge in the 1950s The iron bridge was built over the Great Western Railway with the notable feature of a separated road and pedestrian walkway.

This image dates from the 1950s. The bridge was later the site for the 1999 Ladbroke Grove rail crash.

From a series of photos of locations used in the film The Blue Lamp.
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MARCH
4
2015

 

Kilburn High Road
What was Watling Street in earlier times, became Edgware Road and finally Kilburn High Road. It is a varied street. AA Milne lived at one end of the High Road and WH Smith at the other. Dickens once drank in The Black Lion. Ella Fitzgerald once sang in The Gaumont State Theatre, later a bingo hall, later still, a church. Ian Dury's original band was called "Kilburn And The High Roads".

Kilburn High Road railway station opened in 1852 as Kilburn & Maida Vale station by the LNWR. The current footbridge and street-level buildings are not so much the result of modernisation but of three or four major fires which have occurred here since the early 1970s. It is now part of the London Overground.
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MARCH
3
2015

 

Scratchwood
Scratchwood is an area on the edge of North London. It was the former name of the London Gateway Services, named after woodland lying between the present M1 and A1.

One of the apocryphal stories of London is that the guns of HMS Belfast, moored next to City Hall, are trained on Stratchwood Services.
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MARCH
2
2015

 

Hinde Street, W1U
Hinde Street was built from 1777 by Samuel Adams and named after Jacob Hinde who was the son-in-law of the landwoner Thomas Thayer. Hinde Street is home to a number of notable buildings. The Hinde Street Methodist Church, a grade II listed building with Historic England. It was built 1807-10, and rebuilt in the 1880s.

Number 2 on the south side is a Portman Estate development terraced town house built around 1790. The building is grade II listed and occupied on the ground floor by Bishop Instruments and Bows.

Numbers 11 and 12 on the north side between Manchester Square and Thayer Street are also Portman Estate terraced town houses that have shops on the ground floor and flats above. Both are grade II listed.

The novelist Rose Macaulay (1881-1958) lived at Hinde House on the north side from 1941 until her death.
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