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...
Barn Elms Farm sported majestic elm trees - hence the name. Barn Elms was recorded in 1540 and was formerly the manor house of Barnes. The land and manor belonged to St.Paul’s Cathedral and in 15th century was the home of Sir John Saye, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The manor house was later the home of Elizabethan spymaster Sir Frances Walsingham. The house was rebuilt by Thomas Cartwright in 1694.
Barn Elms Farm was variously the residence of William Cobbett (a political writer), Abraham Cowley (a poet) and of Heidegger (Master of the Revels to George II). Jacob Tonson lived in the old house called "Queen Elizabeth’s Dairy". He placed here a gallery for the Kit-Cat Club.
William Cobbett was an innovator of cultivation - experimenting with the growing of maize and the practice of self-supporting husbandry.
He saw himself as a champion of traditional rural society against the transformation due to the Industrial Revolution.
The Lobjoit family, Huguenot refugees, ha...»more
Parkway is one of Camden Town’s older roads - originally called ’The Crooked Lane’ Parkway, a tree-lined street, was developed from Crooked Lane in the 1820s and 1830s with three-storey houses on both sides. Until 1938, Parkway was known as Park Street.
Just after the Second World War, a Camden Town local reminisced:
“Park Street, which we now call Parkway, was full of shops instead of architects’ offices and estate agents as it is now. By eight in the morning the shop boy was busy cleaning the windows and polishing the outside brasses, sweeping and burnishing inside ready to open at nine and close twelve hours later for seven shillings and sixpence a week. Shops were graded. Fenn’s, the grocers at the corner of Delancey Street and Park Street, was a cut above the others, wrapping all purchases in brown paper, while most used newspaper.”
The street now has a mix of retail and restaurant uses with some small businesses.
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The Downham Estate dates from the late 1920s The Downham Estate arrived on the scene in 1926, but its name originates in 1914 when the London County Council (LCC) agreed to build three large housing estates. The land was acquired in 1920. Downham covered the lands of two farms, Holloway Farm to the west and Shroffolds Farm to the north. Before the Estate was built, there had been little building south of Whitefoot Lane - many local residents took weekend walks over the ’Seven Fields’.
The name ’Downham’ derives from Lord Downham who, as William Haynes Fisher was a former chairman of the LCC. Many of the road took their names from Tennyson’s ’Idylls of the King’. Other roads took their names from places in Devon.
By summer 1930, 6000 houses had been completed by builders Holland, Hannen & Cubbits. An additional section of just over 1000 houses was developed at Whitefoot lane in 1937 by builders Higgs & Hill and generally known as ’North Downham’. On completion, some 30 000 people l...
Alexandra Crescent, BR1
Alexandra Crescent was known for its 1926 ’Downham Wall’ Alexandra Crescent was built as a private (unadopted) road in late 1925 by the developer Albert Frampton. In a last-minute change of name, it was called after Queen Alexandra of Denmark who had just passed away in November of that year.
As the Downham Estate was being built to the north in 1926, those who were just moving into the new Alexandra Crescent appointed Frampton to build a dividing wall. The private home owners wished to prevent the working class people of Downham from accessing their neighbouring middle-class area. The Alexandra Crescent residents also wanted to prevent the development of an access route into the centre of Bromley.
Frampton made a formal application to Bromley Council on 16 February 1926 to build the dividing wall. The council refused to take a decision but the seven-foot-high brick wall was built nonetheless. It was constructed across Valeswood Road at its junction with Alexandra Crescent.
The ’class wall’ ...
Addiscombe Road, CR0
Addiscombe Road first appeared on a map dated 1594 Addiscombe Road connecting Croydon with the hamlet of Addiscombe (roughly on the site of today’s Sandilands tram stop) to its east.
It was known as Upper Addiscombe Road in the 19th century to contrast with Lower Addiscombe Road - water from a spring ran down the hill.
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