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Battersea ·
July
6
2020

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...
Zulu Mews, SW11
Zulu Mews lies within the curve of a Battersea railway. At time of writing it was the last street alphabetically in London. It arrived as the latest street in Battersea in 2010.

It had been an access road to the back gardens of Rowena Crescent but, London housing pressure being what it is, became filled with ten modern dwellings in a gated development.

The curious name comes about because Rowena Crescent was originally called Zulu Crescent when laid out in 1880. The nearby streets had all been named after 1870s British military victories. Rowena Cresent residents of the 1880s did not take to the name for the road.

When the 2010 developet was built, and needed a name, the original Zulu monicker was given to the new street.



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JULY
1
2020

 

Keeley Street, WC2B
Keeley Street has a dual history Little Wild^ Street came into existence around 1690 - there is a deed dated 1 September 1690 which refers to a "toft, peece or parcell of ground, being parcell of the garden late belonging to Weld House in or near Weld Streete … abutting towards the south to a new streete or passage of thirty foote in breadth there made or intended to be made, to lead out of Weld Streete towards Duke Streete and the arch in Great Lincolne’s Inn Fields." (N.b. Duke Street later became Sardinia Street).

There was a matching Great Wild^ Street which it lay off of. Towards the end of its history, the Little Wild Street Baptist Church and a school were notable buildings.

As part of the Aldwych scheme, Keeley Street was built over the top of Little Wild^ Street with its eastern end adjusted to reach Kingsway. All the existing buildings in the original street were demolished, leaving only its route.
»read full article


JUNE
26
2020

 

Lisson Grove, NW1
The southern end of Lisson Grove was the location of a hamlet and open space, both called Lisson Green Lisson Green is described as a hamlet in the Domesday book.

Originally Lisson Grove was part of the medieval manor of Lilestone which stretched north to Hampstead. Lisson Green broke away as a new manor in 1236 and had its own manor house.

’Lissing Green’ becames a recreation area for Londoners. By the 1790s, the Green was a large open space stretching down to Chapel Street and the Old Marylebone Road. Beside it on Lisson Grove, the Lissing Green/Lissom Grove village was part of a network of country lanes, on the east side of Edgware Road. At the southern end of the Green was the Yorkshire Stingo inn from whence stagecoaches set off for all parts.

Earlier, in 1771, Lisson Green was bought by James Stephens and Daniel Bullock, manufacturers of white lead. They set up the White Lead Manufactory next to the Nursery Garden, with unrecorded consequences to health. But until the late 18th century the district remained essentially rural.
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JUNE
25
2020

 

Ashcombe Street, SW6
Ashcombe Street was part of the Morrison’s Farm Estate By 1895, Fulham was undergoing a property boom - large areas that were farms and market gardens were having housing built on them. One of these was Morrison’s Farm, situated to the west of Wandsworth Bridge Road and which stopped being a farm in 1894.

The Premier Land Company Limited had bought the farm’s freehold and drawn up a street plan to replace the fields. The streets were called Ashcombe Street, Beltran Road, Clancarty Road, Friston Street, Narborough Street, Settrington Road and Woolneigh Street.

William Gilbert Allen won the contract to build the estate.
»read full article


JUNE
24
2020

 

Castelnau, SW13
Castelnau was called Upper Bridge Road until 1889 leading as it did to Hammersmith Bridge Castelnau began in 1843 as 20 pairs of classical villas - Castelnau Villas - which were built along the road by Major Charles Lestock Boileau. In 1691, the 10th Baron of Castelnau and St Croix had fled France for England following persecution of the Huguenots. The family settled in north Barnes. Castelnau means ’new castle’ in the Occitan language given its name to Castelnau House which Charles Lestock Boileau built.

The church of Holy Trinity was consecrated in 1868 serving the now 800 residents of the area.

After the sale of the Boileau estate, other streets were laid out. In 1928 the London County Council created the 640 house Castelnau Estate. Streets were named after deans of St Paul’s as the cathedral was formerly owner of the manor of Barnes. In 1971 these passed to ownership of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

During the 1960s, Castelnau House was demolished being replaced by a library.

»read full article




 

APRIL
30
2015

 

Rillington Place, W11
Rillington Place is a small street with an infamous history. The macabre story of the post-war Rillington Place murders by John Christie are all over the internet. A film with Richard Attenborough in the leading role was made in 1970.

But, first built in 1869, the street spent nigh on one hundred years out of the limelight. A small cul-de-sac of tightly-packed houses with a factory at the end of it.

In recent years, you wouldn’t have found it on a modern printed map. The whole area was redeveloped in the 1970s and new streets laid on top of the old pattern.

Before the 1850s, two farmhouses stood alone in the fields, the only two buildings in what was to become North Kensington. One was called Portobello Farm and the other, Notting Barns Farm . Notting Barns Farm was largely given over to pasture and it stood where the modern St Mark’s Road and Basset Road meet.

During the 1860s, the Hammersmith and City Railway constructed a line between Paddington and Kensington. It split the fiel...
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APRIL
28
2015

 

Westbourne Farm
An old farm with a theatrical connection. Westbourne Green was still considered a beautiful rural place in 1820. One of the buildings along the east side of the Harrow Road was Westbourne (or Westbury) Farm home of a Mr John White by 1801. The farmhouse was some 84 yards south of the canal but its lands, south of the Harrow Road, extended to the site of the future Kensal Town in the west and Paddington in the east

Once the Grand Junction Canal was dug in 1801, White, an architect, built Bridge House on the far bank of the canal in 1805.

Westbourne Farm became the home of the actress Sarah Siddons between April 1805 to Autumn 1817 and lived there with her daughter. Her brother Charles Kemble lived in a smaller house nearby for part of the time. Mrs Siddons was buried at St Mary’s Church, the main church of Paddington, on Paddington Green, where her grave can still be seen.

By 1861, Westbourne Farm had made way for Clarendon, Woodchester, and Cirencester streets.
»read full article


APRIL
27
2015

 

St Quintin Park & Wormwood Scrubbs
St Quintin Park & Wormwood Scrubbs - two spellings missing from the modern map. Opening in 1864, the West London Joint Railway was an immediate success, attracting many passengers since it connected London, Kengington, Richmond and Acton.

Because of this, a station was opened as Wormwood Scrubbs (with a double B in 'Scrubbs') on 1 August 1871. The station was built on an embankment, entirely of timber to avoid excessive weight, with the platform supported on brick pillars. It was renamed St Quintin Park & Wormwood Scrubbs on 1 August 1892 and was resited to the north side of North Pole Road on 1 November 1893.

All the station buildings were located on the platforms with a booking office on each platform with long access ramps from North Pole Road. Both platforms had a canopy. North Pole Junction signalbox was located on the east side of the line at the north end of the station.

Despite the early heavy passenger numbers use of the line dwindled with the construction of the deep-level underground network an...
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APRIL
26
2015

 

Desborough Lodge
Desborough Lodge was a house which was one of five grand houses in the village of Westbourne Green. A short terrace had been built between the house and Harrow Road.

By 1861 Desborough Lodge and neighbouring Westbourne Farm had made way for Clarendon Street, Woodchester Street and Cirencester Street.
»read full article


APRIL
25
2015

 

Adair Road, W10
Adair Road is a street on the Kensal Town/North Kensington borders. Adair Road street sign.
»read full article


APRIL
25
2015

 

Adair Road, W10
Adair Road is a street on the Kensal Town/North Kensington borders. Adair Road was laid out during the second wave of the development of Kensal Town at the turn of the twentieth century.

After the Second World War, the street was redeveloped with the two tower blocks, Hazlewood Tower and Adair Tower put up along the street.
»read full article


APRIL
24
2015

 

St Charles Square ready for redevelopment (1951)
Photographed in 1951, the corner of St Charles Square and Ladbroke Grove looking northwest just after the Second World War. The view is of allotments and prefabs taking the place of the houses and shops which stood here before the war.

The following year, a new development would again completely alter the scene.
»read full article


APRIL
23
2015

 

Ladbroke Grove looking north (1900)
This early 1900s image was taken just south of the junction of Ladbroke Grove and Treverton Street. Looking north, the "Cowshed pub" can be seen on the left, further ahead.
»read full article


APRIL
20
2015

 

Sixth Avenue, EN1
Sixth Avenue began life in 1883 with plans for forty-one cottages. It disappeared in 1974 when a new housing estate was built over the top of it.
»read full article


APRIL
19
2015

 

Franco-British Exhibition
In 1908, the Franco-British Exhibition was constructed over a 140-acre site at White City in London. The ’flip-flap’ and the Elite Garden can be seen here with a bandstand in the foreground.
»read full article


APRIL
18
2015

 

Wedlake Street, W10
Wedlake Street arrived as the second wave of building in Kensal Town was completed. Although a small street, Wedlake Street led first to a ferry which cost a halfpenny to cross the canal, and later to steps over the canal to the Harrow Road.

A night market was held on Saturdays on the site of Wedlake Street - it was notorious for rowdy scenes until an iron chapel was built on the site.

Wedlake Street baths was constructed in the street.
»read full article


APRIL
17
2015

 

Kensal Road, W10
Kensal Road, originally called Albert Road, is the heart of Kensal Town. Kensal (New) Town began to be built in the late 1830s with the original name being "Kensal Village". The builder, Kinnaird Jenkins, laid out four main streets apart from Kensal Road: West Row, East Row, South Row and Middle Row.

Kensal New Town was an isolated community, separated from the Harrow Road and the rest of Kensal Green by the canal. When the Great Western Railway was built to the south, the isolation only increased. Kensal New Town was known as a “laundry colony”, that being the main occupation of the neighbourhood, many of whose inhabitants were Irish. Kensal New Town then had something of a rural character, with many people keeping pigs and growing vegetables in their gardens. Pony-trotting and dog stealing were also said to be popular local pursuits.

C. H. Blake’s purchased the Portobello estate from the Misses Talbot and the land included some sixteen acres to the north of the railway. This was in the vicinity of Bosworth Road, ...
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APRIL
16
2015

 

Farrant Street, W10
Farrant Street is the missing link in the alphabetti spaghetti of the streetnames of the Queen's Park Estate While there was never a street beginning with the letter J, the original streets of the Queen's Park Estate began with the letters A through to P.

Farrant Street and Peach Street no longer exist (though there is a new Peach Road nearby). Peach Street was demolished by a 500 pound German bomb dropped by parachute. It left a big crater and the whole street was demolished. Debris from the blast was blown into the air and landed as far away as Willesden where "it fell among people coming out of a cinema."

Farrant Street went a different away. One amenity not provided, although mentioned in the initial Queen's Park Estate prospectus, had been an open space for recreation. When Farrant Street was demolished in the 1970s, residents finally got their little oasis of greenery - a century after it was promised.
»read full article


APRIL
15
2015

 

Jack of Newbury
The Jack of Newbury stood at the corner of East Row and Kensal Road until it was bombed on 2 October 1940. The licencees at the time of the bombing were Mr & Mrs William Bond who were killed in the raid.
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APRIL
14
2015

 

Thorplands
Thorplands was an estate south of Mill Lane. There was a house on the estate possibly by 1244. Then called Rudyng, Thorplands had been leased to William Wylde in 1534 and was part of the lands granted to Warwick in 1547.

Thorplands was then owned by John Thorp of St Martins in the Fields, Surveyor General to Queen Elizabeth I Thorpe held it at least from 1646 to 1653. John Thorpe (d. 1687). His home village was Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire.

Thorp left his freehold lands at to trustees for his grandson, John Thorpe also of St. Martins.

By 1762, Thorplands was an 18 acre freehold estate with a house at West End. It was described as a tithe-free freehold owned by ’Mr. Draper’. When Elizabeth Draper died in 1771, her copyhold property descended to her son John but the freehold estate was held in 1767 and 1771 by Mrs. Robinson and later by Thomas Fentham. John Thomas Fentham was the owner in 1841 and Thomas Potter in the 1860s and 1870s when building began.
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APRIL
10
2015

 

Museum of London Docklands
The Museum of London Docklands, based in an 1802 warehouse, tells the history of London’s River Thames and the growth of the Docklands. The museum is part of the Museum of London and opened in 2003 in early-19th century Georgian "low" sugar warehouses.
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APRIL
9
2015

 

Broadhurst Gardens, NW6
Broadhurst Gardens is in West Hampstead, NW6 Broadhurst Gardens may not be a household name, but back in the day it was the home of Decca Recording Studios which rivalled EMI’s Abbey Road Studios as the country’s leading recording facility.

Decca was founded on the original site of West Hampstead Town Hall at 165 Broadhurst Gardens, near the junction with West End Lane - built in 1886.

By the early 2000s, the building was home to the English National Opera.

From the late 1870s building spread on Spencer Maryon Wilson’s lands. Several roads, named after Maryon Wilson estates in other counties, ran from Finchley Road to Priory Road. Building began from the east end with 20 houses by Charles Kellond in Goldhurst Terrace, the most southerly of the roads, in 1879. The middle road was Canfield Gardens, where building began in 1881. The northern road, near the Metropolitan railway line, was Broadhurst Gardens, where 116 houses were built between 1882 and 1894. Fairhazel Gardens (or...
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APRIL
9
2015

 

190 Bishopsgate
A 1912 view of the City. The City of London has always been dedicated to commerce. Buildings come and go; fashions change and the economic cycle governs us all.

Look at the image and you’ll be presented with a variety of businesses which would fail in the modern world - artificial teeth, a company which only trades with South Africa. But the wheel of industry turns and some of today’s occupants of the same address will come and go like their predecessors.
»read full article


APRIL
8
2015

 

Albert Court, SW7
Albert Court, a residential block for the "upper classes", was constructed in 1890. The mansion block Albert Court was originally conceived by the freeholders, the 1851 Commissioners, as the first stage of a larger private development involving the erection of four blocks of flats on either side of Prince Consort Road, flanking the Royal Albert Hall to the north and the Royal College of Music to the south.

Building began on Albert Court in 1890 to the designs of Frederick Hemings but, following the collapse of developer George Newman’s backers, the liberator Building Society, in 1892 and the death of Hemings in 1894, the building had only reached 3rd floor level; Albert Court was leased for completion to the Albert Court Syndicate and finished to R.J. Worley’s designs between 1896 and 1900.
»read full article


APRIL
7
2015

 

Frognal Bridge
Where Frognal meets the Finchley Road, there is an indiscernible dip... The road called Frognal follows the course of a long-buried river, the Kilbourne. Downstream this becomes the Westbourne, one of the major "lost" rivers of London.


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APRIL
6
2015

 

Source of the Kilbourne
The easternmost branch of the River Westbourne rises just south of the centre of Hampstead, There is another branch which rises at Whitestone Pond, Hampstead Heath which flows approximately southward.

It meets this eastern branch in Kilburn - to skirt east of Hyde Park's Serpentine lake after about 3.3 miles, to Sloane Square, Chelsea after about 1 mile, passes centrally under the south side of Royal Hospital Chelsea's Ranelagh Gardens after about half a mile, then issues into the Inner London Tideway.

In common with several urbanised streams, its basin contributes to a network of storm drainage channels, with a sewer beneath its route.

The river was originally called the Kilburn (Cye Bourne – royal stream, 'Bourne' being an Anglo-Saxon word for 'river') but has been known, at different times and in different places, as Kelebourne, Kilburn, Bayswater, Bayswater River, Bayswater Rivulet, Serpentine River, The Bourne, Westburn Brook, the Ranelagh River, and the Ranelagh Sewer. It is of similar size to the Fleet.

Th...
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APRIL
5
2015

 

Jacksfield
Jacksfield was one of the smaller but well-documented copyhold estates in the West Hampstead area. It was a 'heritable copyhold' consisting of just eight acres and was first mentioned in 1387 as held by a Nicholas Fletcher.

Copyhold refers to the tenure of lands being parcel of a manor, 'at the will of the lord according to the custom of the manor', by copy of the manorial court roll.

Unlike freeholders, a copyholder could not just transfer their land to his heirs or a third party. If the copyholder died, their death would be entered in the manor court rolls. The heir(s) had to present to the manor court to seek admission as the new tenant and pay a sum of money known as a fine or relief. The admission was also noted in the court rolls.

Similarly if a copyhold tenant wished to transfer land to a third party, the surrender took place in court and was recorded with the admission of the new tenant. The new tenant was given a copy of the court roll entry to prove his title to the land - hence 'copyhold'.

Copyholders succeeding...
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APRIL
3
2015

 

Westbourne Manor
The Manor of Westbourne The monks of Westminster claimed to have been granted a small farm at Paddington in 959 and to have held 2 hides there in 1042. Although the early charters were spurious, Paddington, Knightsbridge, and Westbourne were probably part of the abbey's ancient endowment and among the 13½ hides at Westminster attributed to it in Domesday Book.

The estate known in the 19th century as the manor of Westbourne formed part of the abbey's lands in the parish. Together with all the lands in Paddington formerly devoted to the Lady chapel, they were leased for 99 years in 1542 to Sir Edward North. Thereafter the estate consisted mainly of the three fields in Westbourne, 6 acres further south in the common fields near the Uxbridge Road, and five closes west of Arnold's field, formerly of St. Mary's chapel and known by 1669 as Ashgroves. They were leased in 1631 to George Stonhouse, who in 1632 succeeded as Sir George Stonhouse, Baronet of Radley. Sir George settled the lease on his...
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APRIL
2
2015

 

Fitzjohn’s Avenue, NW3
Fitzjohn’s Avenue links Hampstead with Swiss Cottage. Before Fitzjohn’s Avenue was built, Hampstead was bounded to the south by a broad belt of green meadows, known as the Shepherds’ or Conduit Fields, across which ran a pathway sloping up to the southwestern corner of the village, and terminating near Church Row. On the eastern side of these fields wass an old well or conduit, called the Shepherd’s Well, the source of the River Tyburn.

In the early 1870s, it was proposed by some of the inhabitants of Hampstead to purchase a portion of these grassy slopes, and to devote them to public use as a park.

However, in 1871 F. J. Clark had suggested a new road direct to Hampstead and in 1872 Spencer Maryon Wilson was hoping to create a "truly imposing road". In 1875 he contracted with John Culverhouse, who since 1871 had been the tenant at will of the two main demesne farms, to make Fitzjohn’s Avenue, from College Crescent off Finchley Road to Greenhill Road, and to plant ornamental trees.

I...
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APRIL
1
2015

 

Wood Lane cottages (1890)
Old cottages in Wood Lane, c. 1890. These cottages stood on a turning near the Shepherds Bush end of Wood Lane on the east side.

A drawing of the cottages appeared in the West London Sketcher, in July 1889, suggesting that they were ripe for improvement. It was about this time that a photographer was dispatched to record the scene before the inevitable demolition.
»read full article


APRIL
1
2015

 

Orchard Court
Orchard Court is an apartment block off of Portman Square in London. Known in French as Le Verger, it was used during the Second World War as the London base of F section of the Special Operations Executive (SOE). The spying industry had its professional origins during World War II - it had previously been quite an amateur affair.

As the war went on and SOE’s operational capacity grew, 64 Baker Street became its headquarters from October 1940 onwards. By 1943, various apartment blocks around the Baker Street area became an SOE hub.

In Orchard Court, SOE’s F section vetted new recruits for secret missions to France.

The F Section was commanded by Maurice Buckmaster, assisted by Vera Atkins, who are said to have been the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s ‘M’ and Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond stories. Vera Atkins was responsible for interviewing recruits, as well as organising their training and creating the cover stories for spies. Atkins has been much praised for her extraordinary work in the SOE. During her time at Orchard Court she sent 470 agents into France, including 39 women, 12 of whom were never to return.

In...
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