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Featured · Queen’s Park ·
August
15
2022

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.

As maps are displayed, click on the markers to view location articles.

Latest on The Underground Map...
Houghton Street (1906)
A greengrocer’s on the corner of Houghton Street and Clare Market (behind The Strand) in 1906 just before demolition. The thoroughfare known as Clare Market, leading eastwards into Lincoln’s Inn Fields, was so called in honour of the Earl of Clare, who lived "in a princely mansion" adjacent. His name is inscribed as a parishioner of St. Clement Danes in the ratebooks of 1617. In Howell’s "Londinopolis" of 1657 we read: "Then is there, towards Drury Lane, a new market, called Clare Market; then is there a street and palace of the same name, built by the Earl of Clare, who lived there in a princely mansion, having a house, a street, and a market both for flesh and fish, all bearing his name." It is also mentioned by Strype:- "Clare Market, very considerable and well served with provisions, both flesh and fish; for, besides the butchers in the shambles, it is much resorted unto by the country butchers and higglers. The market-days are Wednesdays and Saturdays."

"This market," says Nightingale, in the tenth volume of the Beauties of England and Wales, "stands on what was...

»more

JULY
25
2022

 

The Hare
The Hare is situated at 505 Cambridge Heath Road The Hare has existed on this site since the 1770s. The current building dates from around 1860.
»read full article


JUNE
21
2022

 

High Barnet - Totteridge walk
This walk takes in the top of the Northern Line High Barnet is a London Underground station and, in the past, a railway station, located in Chipping Barnet. It is the terminus of the High Barnet branch of the Northern line and is the start of a walk which takes us on to Totteridge and Whetstone station.

High Barnet station was an idea of the Edgware, Highgate and London Railway and was opened on 1 April 1872 by the Great Northern Railway which had taken over by then. It was situated on one of the original sites of the Barnet Fair and was the terminus of the branch line that ran from Finsbury Park via Highgate.

The section north of East Finchley was incorporated into the London Underground network because of the Northern Heights project begun in the late 1930s. High Barnet station was served by Northern line trains from 14 April 1940 onwards.

The station retains much of its original Victorian architectural character, with some platform buildings dating from the pre-London Transport era.»more


APRIL
21
2022

 

Market Estate, N7
The Market Estate is situated to the north of Caledonian Park, named after the Metropolitan Cattle Market which operated on the site until the 1960s The Market Estate is a public housing estate consisting of 271 flats and maisonettes.

Three of the six blocks that make up the estate are named after breeds of animal that were traded in the market: Tamworth (pigs), Kerry (cows) and Southdown (sheep). The remaining three blocks are called the Clock tower blocks after the market’s clock tower (which still stands) in Caledonian Park. This clock was used as a prototype for the mechanism of Big Ben.

The estate was built by the Greater London Council who had purchased the site from the Corporation of London. It was completed in 1967 to a design by architects Farber & Bartholomew. The estate became run down, neglected and plagued by anti-social behaviour.

Walkways connecting the blocks were mainly removed in the 1990s when gardens were created for most ground floor flats.

Following the death of a young boy on the estate, Christopher Pullen, residents set up the Market Estate ...
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APRIL
20
2022

 

St George’s Hill
St George’s Hill is an upmarket area of Weybridge St George’s Hill is a private gated community having golf and tennis clubs, as well as approximately 420 houses.

The summit is 78 metres above mean sea level. In April 1649, common land on the hill had been occupied by a movement known as The Diggers, who began to farm there. They are often regarded as one of the world’s first small-scale experiments in socialism. The Diggers left the hill following a court case five months later.

With its broad summit, the hill results in views of Surrey varying from one observation point to another. This spurred on the idea for the development with views along the estate roads.

St George’s Hill first served as a home and leisure location to celebrities and successful entrepreneurs after its division into lots in the 1910s and 1920s when Walter George Tarrant built its first homes.

Land ownership is divided between homes with gardens, belonging to house owners and ...
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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Lived here
Katharina Logan   
Added: 9 Aug 2022 19:01 GMT   

Ely place existed in name in 1857
On 7th July 1857 John James Chase and Mary Ann Weekes were married at St John the Baptist Hoxton, he of full age and she a minor. Both parties list their place of residence as Ely Place, yet according to other information, this street was not named until 1861. He was a bricklayer, she had no occupation listed, but both were literate and able to sign their names on their marriage certificate.

Source: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSF7-Q9Y7?cc=3734475

Reply
Comment
Reginald John Gregory   
Added: 8 Aug 2022 14:07 GMT   

Worked in the vicinity of my ancestor’s house,
Between the years 1982-1998 (unknown to me at the time) I worked in an office close to the site of my ancestors cottage. I discovered this when researching family history - the cottage was mentioned in the 1871 census for Colindeep Lane/Ancient Street coming up from the Hyde. The family lived in the ares betwen 1805 and 1912.

Reply

Barry J. Page   
Added: 27 Jul 2022 19:41 GMT   

Highbury Corner V1 Explosion
Grandma described the V1 explosion at Highbury Corner on many occasions. She was working in the scullery when the flying bomb landed. The blast shattered all the windows in the block of flats and blew off the bolt on her front door. As she looked out the front room window, people in various states of injury and shock were making their way along Highbury Station Road. One man in particular, who was bleeding profusely from glass shard wounds to his neck, insisted in getting home to see if his family was all right. Others were less fortunate. Len, the local newsagent, comforted a man, who had lost both legs caused by the blast, until the victim succumbed to his injuries. The entire area was ravaged and following are statistics. The flying bomb landed during lunch hour (12:46 p.m.) on June 27th 1944. 26 people lost their lives, 84 were seriously injured and 71 slightly injured.

Reply
Comment
ANON   
Added: 20 Jul 2022 13:36 GMT   

The Square & Ashmore park
The Square and Ashmore park was the place to be 2000-2005. Those were the greatest times on the estate. everyday people were playing out. the park was full of kids just being kids and having fun, now everyone is grown up and only bump into eachother when heading to the shops or work. I miss the good days( Im 25yrs old as im writing this)

Reply
Spotted here
   
Added: 18 Jul 2022 13:56 GMT   

Map of Thornsett Road Esrlsfield


Reply
Born here
Carolyn Hirst   
Added: 16 Jul 2022 15:21 GMT   

Henry James Hirst
My second great grandfather Henry James Hirst was born at 18 New Road on 11 February 1861. He was the eighth of the eleven children of Rowland and Isabella Hirst. I think that this part of New Road was also known at the time as Gloucester Terrace.

Reply
Lived here
Richard   
Added: 12 Jul 2022 21:36 GMT   

Elgin Crescent, W11
Richard Laitner (1955-1983), a barrister training to be a doctor at UCL, lived here in 1983. He was murdered aged 28 with both his parents after attending his sister’s wedding in Sheffield in 1983. The Richard Laitner Memorial Fund maintains bursaries in his memory at UCL Medical School

Source: Ancestry Library Edition

Reply
Comment
Anthony Mckay   
Added: 11 Jul 2022 00:12 GMT   

Bankfield Cottages, Ass House Lane, Harrow Weald
Bankfield Cottages (now demolished) at the end of Ass House Lane, appear twice in ’The Cheaters’ televison series (made 1960) in the episodes ’The Fine Print’ and ’Tine to Kill’

Source: THE CHEATERS: Episode Index

Reply

JANUARY
23
2017

 

Campbell Road, N4
Campbell Road, or "The Bunk" - was known as the worst street in London. Campbell Road had a bad reputation from the moment it was built in 1865, on land known as the St Pancras’ Seven Sisters Road Estate. It was a long street just to the west of Fonthill Road, off Seven Sisters. Building along the street was done piecemeal and took a long time. Over a period of years, the demand fell and poor people, unable to afford to buy or rent a whole house, started taking rooms in the properties.

In 1880 a lodging house was opened at 47 Campbell Road, licensed for 90 men. It was the first of many such establishments in the road and by 1890 Campbell Road had the largest number of doss house beds for any Islington street.

People were very poor, many of them with large families. With such over-crowded rooms, life was often lived in the street. Campbell Road was a slum so wretched that its inhabitants sold the glass from their windows, so unlawful that the police steered clear - career criminals lived there. It was so insular that t...
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JANUARY
23
2017

 

Heathrow Airport Central bus station
Heathrow Airport Central bus station serves London Heathrow Airport. The bus station provides local bus and long distance coach services. It is located between Terminals 1, 2, and 3, and is open 24 hours a day. It is a few minutes’ walk from the terminals via underground walkways.

From Terminals 4 and 5, passengers can catch a free Heathrow Connect or Heathrow Express train service to the Central Bus Station. A travel centre at the central bus station is open from 06:00 to 22:30.

It is the UK’s busiest bus and coach station with over 1,600 services each day to over 1,000 destinations.

Read the Heathrow Airport Central bus station entry on the Wikipedia...
»read full article


JANUARY
21
2017

 

Kensington Market
Kensington Market was a three storey indoor market at 49 Kensington High Street, created in late 1967 It catered to hippie and bohemian culture. In the 1980s to end of the 1990s it catered to punks, new romantics, metal heads, ravers, goths, trance, acid house and various sub-cultures of modern music, fashion, hair stylists, body arts, crafts and accessories, vintage rock ’n’ roll wear, fetish rangers.

Before Queen became successful, Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor had a stall there.

In early 2000 the market closed down. The building was left derelict following its closure, and was demolished in 2001.

Read the Kensington Market, London entry on the Wikipedia...
»read full article


JANUARY
20
2017

 

Whitestone Pond
Whitestone Pond is the source of one of London’s lost rivers, the River Westbourne. Whitestone Pond lies 135 metres above the London Basin, and at the summit of Hampstead Heath marks the highest point in London.

The pond takes its name from the old milestone located at the top of Hampstead Grove, it can be seen just to the south and bears the inscription "IV miles from St Giles, 41/2 miles 29 yards from Holborn Bars".

Originally known as Horse Pond, fed solely by rain and dew, ramps were later added to allow horses to access the pond to drink and wash their hooves. Later it became affectionately known as Hampstead-on-Sea when the pond was used for paddling, floating model boats and skating in winter.

A water fountain, once located at the top of West Heath Road, became a local speaker’s corner and was the scene of angry fights between fascist groups and antagonists in the 1930s. Later it became a popular spot for donkey rides.

The adjacent flagstaff behind Whitestone Walk marks the historic location of...
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JANUARY
20
2017

 

Bexleyheath Clock Tower
The Bexleyheath Coronation Memorial Clock Tower, commemorating the coronation of King George V, was formally opened on Bexleyheath Gala Day, 17 July 1912. Designed by Walter Epps, the Clock Tower was intended to stand "as a memorial to the enterprise and loyalty of the inhabitants of Bexleyheath" and it was thought that the Clock Tower "would be the beginnings of better things to come in Bexleyheath". The clock would certainly be useful for passengers waiting at the tram terminus at the Market Place.

At the opening ceremony a "temporary" bust of King George V was unveiled. The architect, Epps, ended his speech with, "I hope to see all the niches filled with busts of members of the Royal Family".

A bell was installed on 17 June 1913 but in August 1914 the Defence of the Realm Act banned the ringing of bells for fear they might be used by German spies to convey secret messages. The bell did not ring again until the year 2000.

During the 1930s the bust of King George disintegrated and then completely fell apart during cleaning after WWII. It was recast by John Ravera, Bexleyheath resident and a ...
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JANUARY
18
2017

 

Branch Hill Pond
Branch Hill Pond which was fed from a spring which was also the main source of the Westbourne. Branch Hill Pond, which disappeared in the late nineteenth century, can still be seen as a distinct hollow in the heath which is still grassland at this point.

John Constable (1776-1837) came to Hampstead Heath in the late summer of 1819, seeking relief from urban London for his family of two children and his wife Maria who suffered from consumption. He rented a cottage at Upper Heath and at once began to paint the countryside; the uneven ground provided splendid viewpoints over the heath and toward London to the south.

By 1827 Constable had rented on a permanent basis a small four-story house at 40 Well Walk, Hampstead Heath. while still keeping a studio and minimum living space in London. He wrote Fisher that the drawing room of their new house situated on the high ground commanded "a view unequalled in Europe—from Westminster Abbey to Gravesend."

It was there in 1827 that he painted an important oil of Branch Hill Pond. Hampstead Heat...
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JANUARY
18
2017

 

Redington Gardens, NW3
Redington Gardens is the northern extension of Heath Drive in Hampstead. Redington Gardens, from Templewood Avenue to Redington Road was laid out in 1911 and four houses were built there in 1913.

Oak Tree House, designed in 1874 by Basil Champneys for Henry Holiday (1839-1927), the stained-glass painter, on land at Branch Hill Park preceded the road which became its address. Oak Tree House had, by the 1980s, been converted to council flats.

Redington Gardens was laid along the course of the infant River Westbourne, running down the hill here from Branch Hill. It combined here with two tiny tributaries.
»read full article


JANUARY
18
2017

 

Heath Drive, NW3
Heath Drive, one of the roads connecting Hampstead with the Finchley Road was originally West Hampstead Avenue. In 1899 six houses and a block of flats were built at the junction with West Hampstead Avenue (later Heath Drive), a new road skirting the demesne from Finchley Road to Redington Road; 20 houses and a block of flats were built there between 1897 and 1900 and another four between 1905 and 1907, mostly designed by C. H. B. Quennell.

Other new roads included Bracknell Gardens, between Heath Drive and Frognal Lane, where 23 houses were built between 1905 and 1912, Barby (later Oakhill) Avenue, between Bracknell Gardens and Redington Road, where 10 houses were built between 1907 and 1909, Templewood Avenue, between Heath Drive and West Heath Road, where 13 houses, including some handsome ones by Quennell, were built between 1910 and 1912, and Redington Gardens, from Templewood Avenue to Redington Road, laid out in 1911 where four houses were built in 1913. Individual houses were built in Heath Drive in 1922 and 1933.

The large new houses were said to ’b...
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JANUARY
18
2017

 

Lyncroft Gardens, NW6
Lyncroft Gardens is a street in Fortune Green, NW6 Most of the land north of West End Green and around Fortune Green belonged to the Flitcroft estate. Apart from the Hillfield Road estate, the only building was on a small estate west of Finchley Road, owned in 1841 by Francis Lovel, where between 1870 and 1878 Charles Cannon, a dye merchant who lived at Kidderpore Hall, converted an old footpath into Cannon Hill, and West House and Wellesley House were built west of the junction of Finchley Road and West End Lane.

Cannon Stream which flowed down this hill, was also named after Charles Cannon and this stream flows under the line of Lyncroft Gardens.
»read full article


JANUARY
18
2017

 

Holmdale Road, NW6
Holmdale Road runs from Mill Lane to Dennington Park Road in West Hampstead. Holmdale Road was laid out in the 1890s slightly later than other roads in the area.

The land it was built upon was part of Thorplands, an 18 acre freehold estate south of Mill Lane. By the 1860s, Thomas Potter was the owner and started developing the land. Potter built some 15 houses fronting Mill Lane between 1873 and 1877 and the Elms and the Cedars next to West End Green by 1878.

The Cedars Estate was built here to replace the Cedars in 1894.
»read full article


JANUARY
17
2017

 

Cannon Stream
The Cannon Stream was, before it was sent underground, a tributary of the Westbourne River. Two main tribitaries fed the former Westbourne River - the Kil Bourne and the Cannon Stream.

The highest branch of the River Westbourne begins at what is still the highest point in Greater London - the area just north of Whitestone Pond in Hampstead. It then flows downhill to cross Branch Hill in Hampstead. Nowadays it is rare to see any surface water, but after heavy rain the sandy soil can become waterlogged.

Cannon Stream flowed past the contemporary Spedan Close and roughly follows the line of Redington Gardens and Heath Drive before crossing the Finchley Road. Locals named this Cannon’s Stream because it trickled down Cannon’s Hill. At the foot of the hill the stream flowed behind the Cock and Hoop tavern and fed a small pond on West End Green, West Hampstead. Both pub and pond are long since gone.

The stream followed the fields which formed the boundary between West End Green and Kilburn before joining the Kil Bourne at Kilburn Priory.
»read full article


JANUARY
17
2017

 

Spedan Close, NW3
Spedan Close was the site of an innovative council housing scheme. The Branch Hill Estate - now Spedan Close - was, at the time it was built, the most expensive council housing in the country; every property with its own individual roof garden.

The London Borough of Camden was formed in 1965 and one major element of the new Council’s housing policy lay in "buying any housing they could lay their hands on" on the reasonable grounds that new build construction had little impact on council waiting lists when so many needed to be rehoused as a result of the redevelopment itself.

In 1964 the predecessor Council - Hampstead Borough - had paid £464,000 to buy an Edwardian mansion and its grounds off Branch Hill Road on the western edge of the Heath. The house would become a care home; its land was earmarked for council housing.

Architects, Gordon Benson and Alan Forsyth, guided by Borough Architect Sidney Cook, came up with a scheme that some have likened to an Italian hill town.

That vision h...
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JANUARY
17
2017

 

Solent Road, NW6
Solent Road is a street in West Hampstead. It links Mill Lane with Pandora Road and was laid out sometime in the 1880s. It crosses the former course of the Cannon Stream - a tiny brook which ran down from Hampstead.
»read full article


JANUARY
17
2017

 

Smyrna Road, NW6
Smyrna Road is a small road to the west of West End Lane. Smyrna Road was built on a field of the Liddell Estate landholding in the early 1880s.

Eleven houses were built in Smyrna Road, on the Liddell estate, opposite Eresby Road, in 1883.

In 1975, some new houses were built in Smyrna Road.
»read full article


JANUARY
17
2017

 

Messina Avenue, NW6
Messina Avenue stretches from West End Lane over to Kilburn High Road. On the western side of West End Lane, on the Powell-Cotton (Liddell) estate north of Quex Road, the Chimes, a large house built in the 1860s by E. W. Pugin for the painter John Rogers Herbert (1810-90), for some time insulated the area from further building.

Building spread northward from Quex Road west of the Chimes. Kingsgate Road, named after another place in Kent, stretched northward to the estate border by 1875 and 77 houses were built there between 1878 and 1888.

A road, Eresby Road, was planned across the southern part of the Little estate between Edgware Road and Kingsgate Road in 1879. In 1883 and two roads to the north, Gascony and Messina avenues, were constructed across both estates; 130 houses were built there between 1881 and 1887.

When the Grange house was demolished just before the First World War, Kilburn Grange Park was laid out at the western end and the domed Grange Cinema opened in 1914 on the High Road corner of Messina Avenue.
»read full article


JANUARY
17
2017

 

Maygrove Road, NW6
Maygrove Road runs between the Edgware Road and Iverson Road, NW6 The Gilbert estate had the Hampstead Junction railway built across it in 1860. The British Land Co., which bought the portion north of the Hampstead Junction railway, obtained approval in 1869 for the formation of Iverson, Loveridge, and Maygrove roads and Ariel Street.

Its eastern end crossed the course of the Cannon Stream, a tributary of the Westbourne.
»read full article


JANUARY
17
2017

 

Lowfield Road, NW6
Lowfield Road is the northern extension of Kingsgate Road, NW6. Donald Nicoll MP was the owner of a gentlemen’s outfitter’s in Regent Street. He leased a house called Oaklands Hall from Charles Spain from 1861 to 1872 and also owned portions of what was called the "Little estate" - forming a 23 acres estate which he renamed West End Park.

Nicoll was a director of the Metropolitan and St. John’s Wood railway from 1864 to 1872 and, in anticipation of its plans, laid out a road (Sherriff, then called Nicoll, Road) on the line later taken by the railway, for which he received substantial compensation.

Forty-two houses were built between 1877 and 1879 in Lowfield Road, adjoining Nicoll’s development in Palmerston Road in Kilburn. Building began in West End Park itself in 1879, when houses were under construction in all the roads (Sherriff, Hemstal, Kylemore, and Gladys roads) except Hilltop Road, where they were not begun until 1883.
»read full article


JANUARY
17
2017

 

Liddell Road, NW6
Liddell Road was named after an old West Hampstead estate. Liddell Road, a road tucked in behind the railway, has long been an industrial estate.

In the middle of the 2010s, it became the centre of disputed redevelopment plan to replace businesses with a primary school, private flats and office space.

»read full article


JANUARY
17
2017

 

Iverson Road, NW6
The first part of Iverson Road, NW6 was laid out in 1872. Part of the road from West End Lane to Maygrove Road was built by the Midland Railway. The rest was built by the British Land Company.

The Midland Railway built coal offices in Iverson Road in 1890-1 and Heysham Terrace (nos. 202-20) on the site of West End House in 1897.

West End House was orginally situated along the road - the big house around which the hamlet of West End grew. In the 1ate 18th century it was owned by the Beckford family - although it is not thought that either Alderman Beckford or his scandalous son William lived there. The house was bought by the Midland Railway in 1866 and let to the railway contractors, it was later used as accommodation for railway workers. Some of it - called the Old Mansion - became the station master’s house for what was then West End Station. The rest was bought by the British Land Company and demolished.
»read full article


JANUARY
17
2017

 

Gascony Avenue, NW6
Gascony Avenue is an east-west road lying both sides of Kingsgate Road, NW6. Two new roads - Gascony and Messina Avenues - were constructed across two landed estates (the Little Estate and the Oak Lodge estate) in 1881. 130 houses were built on the two roads between 1881 and 1887.

In 1975, 146 new houses were built in the area south of Gascony Avenue and west of Kingsgate Road.
»read full article


JANUARY
16
2017

 

Quex Road, NW6
Quex Road is an important road in NW6 linking the Edgware Road and West End Lane. In the eighteenth century, two of the estates of Kilburn were combined to form a 60 acre estate on either side of West End Lane. The estate was inherited in an 1814 will by John Roberts, who changed his name to John Powell Powell. Powell died in 1849 and his estates were held by trustees under his will, for the use of his nephew, Col. Henry Perry Cotton, who also inherited his uncle’s house at Quex Park, Isle of Thanet.

In 1866 plans were approved for a number of roads on the Powell Cotton’s Liddell estate, mostly named after places in Kent near the Powell-Cotton family seat of Quex Park. A Roman Catholic church and Wesleyan and Unitarian chapels were built in Quex Road in 1868-9 and at least 55 houses were built on the estate between 1871 and 1885. There were shops on Quex Road by 1885.

On the western side of West End Lane, the Chimes, a large house built in the 1860s by E. W. Pugin for the painter John Rogers Herbert (1810-90), for some time...
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JANUARY
16
2017

 

Kingsgate Road, NW6
Kingsgate Road runs between Quex Road and Hemstal Road. In 1875, building spread northward from Quex Road west of a house called The Chimes. Kingsgate Road, named after a place in Kent, stretched northward. 77 houses were built there between 1878 and 1888.

Another 30 houses and 6 shops were added in Kingsgate Road between 1892-6.

In 1969 the whole of the area bounded by Edgware Road, West End Lane, and the railway lines was made a general improvement area. The first phase, a council estate called Florence Cayford, later Webheath, designed by the borough architect Sidney Cook, was opened in two stages, in 1970 and 1972, to house 400 people on a site cleared of the notorious slums in the Netherwood Street and Palmerston Road area. In 1975 on the Kingsgate estate to the south 146 new houses were built in the area south of Gascony Avenue and west of Kingsgate Road, and there was building in Smyrna Road.
»read full article


JANUARY
16
2017

 

Birchington Road, NW6
Birchington Road runs from the Edgware Road to West End Lane. In 1866 plans were approved for a number of roads on the Powell Cotton Liddell estate, mostly named after places in Kent near the Powell-Cotton family seat of Quex Park: Quex Road, Birchington Road and Mutrix Road.

In 1947 the L.C.C. announced a scheme for 104 flats in Kilburn Vale. The estate, south of West End Lane, which involved the demolition of some of the earliest building in the area in Kilburn Vale and Abbey Lane, was opened c. 1951. A second phase of the Kilburn Vale estate, north of West End Lane, bound by Mutrix and Quex roads and involving the demolition of the eastern part of Birchington Road, was completed by 1984.
»read full article


JANUARY
12
2017

 

River Westbourne outflow
The River Westbourne flowed into the Thames at this point. A vestige of the river, a wide quay opens into the river Thames about 300 yards (270 m) west of Chelsea Bridge. An overflow outfall, from a pipe named the Ranelagh Sewer, can still be seen at low tide, as most of the Westbourne’s course has been used as a convenient depression in the land to place the local sewerage system, some of which takes surface water to form a combined sewer which links to two intercept sewers, the Middle Level Sewer and the Northern Low Level Sewer in the London sewerage system.
»read full article


JANUARY
12
2017

 

Ranelagh Grove, SW1W
Ranelagh Grove was formerly called Wilderness Row and Ranelagh Walk. On the east side of the Royal Hospital, all the land on the south side of the highway as far as the parish boundary belonged to the Crown in 1690.

In 1688 Richard Jones, earl of Ranelagh, Paymaster-General of the Army and treasurer of the Hospital, began building an official residence for himself near the south-east corner of the Hospital, laying out gardens on the seven and a half acre site of which he was granted a Crown lease in 1690; another 15 acres were added in 1693, also laid out with walks and orchards.

Access to the house was via Wilderness Row, a lane running south from the highway near the Westbourne, which had a row of cottages by c. 1700, but by 1745 an avenue later called Ranelagh Walk or Grove had been created to run to the house across the Westbourne from Ebury (Westminster).

The house and gardens were greatly admired by topographers and visitors: Defoe lavished praise c. 1724 on Ranelagh House, its situation, gardens, and pictures.
»read full article


JANUARY
12
2017

 

Pont Street, SW1X
Pont Street is a fashionable street in Knightsbridge/Belgravia, not far from the Knightsbridge department store Harrods to the north-west. The street crosses Sloane Street in the middle, with Beauchamp Place to the west and Cadogan Place, and Chesham Place, to the east, eventually leading to Belgrave Square. On the west side Hans Place leads off the street to the north and Cadogan Square to the south.

The actress Lillie Langtry (1852–1929) lived at 21 Pont Street from 1892 to 1897, recorded since 1980 by a blue plaque. The building became part of the Cadogan Hotel in 1895, but she still stayed in her old bedroom even after this. Oscar Wilde was arrested in room number 118 of the Cadogan Hotel on 6 April 1895.

Politician Harry Crookshank, 1st Viscount Crookshank (1893-1961) lived from 1937 until his death at 51 Pont Street.

St Columba’s Church in Pont Street was designed in the 1950s by the architect Sir Edward Maufe (1883–1974), who also designed the brick Guildford Cathedral. It is one of the two London congregations of the Church of Scotland. The original St Columb...
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JANUARY
12
2017

 

Pimlico Road, SW1W
Pimlico Road is a combination of roads formerly called Grosvenor Row and Queen Street. The road from Westminster to Chelsea village was carried over the boundary by a stone bridge, documented from 1587 and it is probably the stone bridge which the vestry paid to mend in 1682.

By the early 19th century a single-arch brick bridge in Grosvenor Row (later Pimlico Road) had replaced the stone one.

There was an inn in Grosvenor Row called the "The Three Compasses," well known as a starting-point for the Pimlico omnibuses. It was generally known as the "Goat and Compasses"—possibly a corruption of the text, "God encompasseth us".

The Chelsea Bun House in Grosvenor Row was the home of the Chelsea Bun but also had a museum of curiosities. The Bun House was run by several members of a family named Hand. The often quoted figure of a quarter of a million buns sold on Good Friday 1829 is probably apocryphal but the buns themselves “a zephyr in taste, fragrant as honey” sound a little more interesting than the modern version.
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JANUARY
12
2017

 

Holbein Place, SW1W
Holbein Place links Sloane Square and Pimlico Road. Lord Cadogan and the Chelsea vestry agreed in 1886 to reorganize the roads south of Sloane Square: Lower Sloane Street was widened, while Little George Street, Chelsea Market, Evans Cottages, Viner Place, George Place, and Woods Buildings, all east of Lower Sloane Street, were closed; Lower George Street was also closed and its upper end was replaced by the wider Sloane Gardens, linking into Lower Sloane Street.

The straight Holbein Place replaced The Ditch, which had curved along the line of the Westbourne, and was linked to Lower Sloane Street by Holbein Mews. All the houses in this area between Sloane Square and Pimlico Road were demolished, and the block formed by Holbein Place and Mews, Pimlico Road, and Lower Sloane Street was reserved for industrial dwellings in 1888, presumably to rehouse some of the displaced working-class inhabitants.
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JANUARY
12
2017

 

Ebury Bridge Road, SW1W
Ebury Bridge Road used to lead to Ebury Bridge which spanned the Grosvenor Canal. For a while in the mid 19th century it was called Commercial Road and it skirted the Chelsea Barracks - now a redevelopment site,

The road, when laid out, originally lay next to the Westbourne as it turned a corner on its way to the River Thames.
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JANUARY
12
2017

 

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W
Chelsea Bridge Road was built in the 1850s to connect Chelsea with its bridge. The Ranelagh pleasure gardens opened in 1742 to become one of the most fashionable pleasure resorts of the 18th century, with access by river as well as by road. In the 1760s Sir Thomas Robinson, one of the proprietors of the pleasure gardens, built a mansion east of the rotunda to his own designs called Prospect Place, where he lived until his death in 1777; by the 1790s the house had been divided.

In 1803 the pleasure gardens closed and Ranelagh House, its Rotunda and other features were cleared. This part of the estate then became gardens in the ownership of the Hospital.

In 1857-8 Chelsea Bridge Road was laid in a straight line from a widened White Lion Street to the new Chelsea Bridge, sweeping away the later Ranelagh House, Wilderness Row and the eastern end of the burial ground; all the land west of the road was thrown into the Hospital’s gardens, including land lying in Westminster. The land between the new road and the Westbourne was take...
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JANUARY
9
2017

 

Lowndes Street, SW1X
Lowndes Street was built by Thomas Cubitt and Seth Smith. Before Lowndes Street was developed, the area hereabouts and north up to Hyde Park was originally known as Five Fields. The Knightsbridge (Knight’s Bridge) section was a main route out of the city, a renowned spot for bandits.

In 1824, Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster commissioned the development of many buildings centred around Belgrave Square and Pimlico. The man he commissioned to develop this area was Thomas Cubitt, a builder from Norfolk and a partner, Seth Smith.

Lowndes Street was developed from 1836 as part of the Cadogan Estate, also by Thomas Cubitt and Seth Smith. It was once part of the estate of William Lowndes of Chesham, after whom it is named.
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JANUARY
8
2017

 

Upbrook Mews, W2
Upbrook Mews is built on top of the former Westbourne River. Bayswater in the 1600s was a small hamlet and consisted of a few houses with outbuildings and stables. At its eastern edge, near the watering place, was an inn called The Crown - currently the Royal Lancaster Gate Hotel. Another inn was recorded nearby in 1730, called the Saracen’s Head and now known as The Swan.

In 1710, Robert Pollard was the owner of the old buildings of Bayard’s Watering Place and 6 acres of land in what had once been common fields of Westbourne Green. He sold them to Thomas Upton and his wife Jane in 1725, and they started a farm. The Upton Farm fields, at the heart of Bayswater, stretched approximately from the current Queensway in the west to Craven Terrace in the east, and from the current Bayswater Road in the south to Bishop’s Road (now called Bishop’s Bridge Road) in the north. The Upton Farm buildings were set back from the highway at the end of a tree-lined lane. The farmland was let to a number of farmers in narrow rectangular stri...
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JANUARY
8
2017

 

Elms Lane, W2
Elms Lane in Bayswater was situated on the west bank of the Westbourne stream. By 1828, the main Uxbridge Road, facing Kensington Gardens, had been built up between Petersburgh Place and Porchester Terrace. Houses stretched north to Moscow Road, nearly completed, although there was open ground near the boundary and between Petersburgh Place and Bark Place.

Fields survived along the Uxbridge Road from St. Agnes Villas to Bayard’s Watering Place, whence Elms or Elm Lane led northward, with some houses between it and the stream, along the line of the later Craven Terrace to the east end of Craven Hill.

Elms Lane was named after the line of elm trees which ran along its length.

Craven Terrace was built along the former route of Elms Lane.
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JANUARY
8
2017

 

William Mews, SW1X
William Mews is a partially redeveloped, private Mews off Lowndes Square. The Mews contains 48 properties used for residential purposes. It originally provided stable/coach house accommodation for the larger houses on Lowndes Square, from which William Mews can be accessed. It is located on the site of an original Mews but has been re-developed to a degree that it no longer contains any surviving Mews properties.

In World War II, a bomb is recorded falling directly onto William Mews, behind Frederic Mews (an original/ surviving Mews) and as a result, there is little remaining evidence of previous equestrian usage in the surviving properties. The cul-de-sac is recorded as having the majority of households with comfortable living conditions and an ordinary household salary, though some were seen as slightly poorer.

William Mews is part of Westminster City Council’s Belgravia Conservation Area; first designated in 1968, it was laid out as a fashionable residential area to the west of Buckingham Palace. There is a high degree of ...
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JANUARY
8
2017

 

Cleveland Gardens, W2
Cleveland Gardens is a short stretch of road behind Cleveland Square. The road runs parallel to the northernmost quadrant of the square, which lies to the south of Cleveland Gardens.

It was formerly called James Street with a small square called Rutland Square on its southern edge - this can be seen on the 1860s mapping.
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JANUARY
8
2017

 

Brook Mews North, W2
Brook Mews North is a through road between Craven Terrace and Craven Hill. There was also originally a Brook Mews South.

High explosive bombs are recorded falling onto nearby Craven Terrace in World War II. The area was recorded as being comfortable with good earnings when the London Poverty Maps were published.

The Mews is approached through an entrance under a building on Craven Terrace. The Mews is L shaped and links onto Elms Mews, a redeveloped Mews through a passage behind Carroll House.

The Mews buildings were originally the stable accommodation for the larger houses in Gloucester Terrace and Craven Terrace but now contain a mixture of houses, flats and garages. The plethora of working garages present represents a natural transition from the horse, but results in traffic and pollution. There have been many applications made for alterations to the properties before and since 2003, mainly demolition of some of the original properties in favour of newer, mews-style builds and changes to the fenestration of the...
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JANUARY
7
2017

 

Red Lion Bridge
Harrow Road once spanned the River Westbourne at this point. Now an extremely urban area, with the Westway running on a flyover directly above the rerouted Harrow Road, this was once a very rural spot in Westbourne Green.

The Red Lion pub, a country pub on the bridge was moved 100 yards to the east when the first major change to the area came - the building of the Great Western Railway.

The railway caused many roads to be built and rerouted - for instance a proposed "Westbourne Street" by property developers became "Westbourne Bridge" over the railway tracks in the 1840s.

The rural spot was no longer and urbanisation proceeded rapidly.
»read full article


JANUARY
7
2017

 

Orsett Terrace, W2
Orsett Terrace combined with Orsett Place to form one street in Paddington. Housing spread in the area during the 1840s. The eastern end of Bishop’s Road was built up and at first called Westbourne Place, where the publisher George Smith was visited by Charlotte Bronte in 1848 and 1849. Farther north, residential growth was restricted by the GWR depots and sidings.

Immediately to the west, where the Paddington Estate straddled the Westbourne, roads were laid out, with bridges over the railway to link them with Harrow Road. Orsett Terrace had been planned by 1849. Initially the road was split into two named sections: Orsett Terrace and Orsett Place.

As elsewhere on the Paddington Estate, building agreements were made with several individuals for every street. Some were speculators, including Thomas Dowbiggin of Mayfair, who took leases for 19 houses in Orsett Terrace in 1850. Some lessees were builders, including William Scantlebury, who built much of the neighbourhood around Orsett Terrace where he took leases in 1849-50.
...
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JANUARY
7
2017

 

Cleveland Square, W2
Cleveland Square is a notable square in Paddington. Between the two groups of long north-south avenues lay an area, on either side of Craven Hill, which was built over from the 1850s with grand town houses, many enjoying communal gardens. This land was originally owned by the Church Commissioners.

The most lavish use of space was in Cleveland Square, where the block forming the north side gave directly on the gardens. Houses on the other sides were leased between 1852 and 1854 to Henry de Bruno Austin, a speculator active in Paddington and later in outer suburbs.

During the Second World War the area around Paddington station sustained substantial damage due to the bombing of the city. Cleveland Square sustained two direct hits destroying houses numbers 8 to 11. Several other buildings in neighbouring streets were also destroyed.

There was an anti-aircraft Barrage Balloon stationed in the gardens of Cleveland Square and until recently one of the flower beds still had the huge concrete block...
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JANUARY
7
2017

 

Chilworth Street, W2
Chilworth Street is an east-west street in W2. Chilworth Street runs from Eastbourne Terrace beside Paddington station to Cleveland Square in the west.
»read full article


JANUARY
7
2017

 

Bristol Gardens, W9
Bristol Gardens is an extension southeastwards of Shirland Road. Built in the early 1850s, in 1857 Bristol Gardens still commanded uninterrupted country views to the north and west.
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JANUARY
7
2017

 

Bourne Terrace, W2
Bourne Terrace is part of the Warwick Estate in Paddington and has 38 properties. The Warwick Estate began to be developed around 1959, tearing down the Victorian streetscape.

Bourne Terrace, previously Westbourne Terrace North at the western end and Westbourne Square in the east, lies to the north of Westbourne Green.

There are lots of local amenities in the area including a number of grocery shops, a large sports complex and gymnastics club.
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JANUARY
6
2017

 

Corner of Kilburn Park Road and Shirland Road
Kilburn Park Road and Shirland Road meet at a junction in the north of Maida Vale. Park Road - later renamed Kilburn Park Road - was jointly constructed in 1855 to coincide with a project to straighten the course of the Bayswater rivulet (or Westbourne River) which still ran on the surface. The Willesden-Paddington boundary, formerly following the stream, was then redrawn to follow the new route of Kilburn Park Road.

The Westbourne, until the mid 19th century usually called the Bayswater Rivulet, is a union of streamlets rising on the west side of Hampstead Heath and joining together near the Edgware Road at Kilburn.

It flows overall in a southeasterly direction across Paddington. Often straightened and culverted, as the Ranelagh sewer, before being built over, its course was still open in 1871 along the later line of Kilburn Park Road and Shirland Road.

At the corner of the two roads, the newly channelled stream changed course - north of this corner is ran NNE and, at the corner, turned sharply south west.

...
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JANUARY
6
2017

 

Kilburn Park Road, NW6
Kilburn Park Road was built along the course of the Bayswater Rivulet (the River Westbourne), starting in 1855 Park Road, begun by 1855, was projected to run along the Willesden boundary - which ran along the stream - to meet the future Chippenham Road by 1861 and renamed Kilburn Park Road in 1862.

The Westbourne, until the mid 19th century usually called the Bayswater rivulet, is a union of streamlets rising on the west side of Hampstead Heath and joining near Kilburn. From the dip in the northern boundary it flows overall in a southeasterly direction across Paddington. Often straightened and culverted, as the Ranelagh sewer, before being built over, its course was still open (with its course straightened) in 1871 along the later line of Kilburn Park Road and Shirland Road.

Piecemeal building in many parts was planned in 1880, when the Paddington Estate made ten agreements, with different builders. Three agreements were for 91 or 92 terraced houses on the Paddington side of Kilburn Park Road, the largest being with George Godson for 50 or 51 houses.

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JANUARY
6
2017

 

Godson Yard, NW6
Godson Yard is a new development dating from 2005. The original building here was first constructed by Mr George Godson in 1884.

The building was planned in 1880 when the Paddington Estate made three agreements with different builders. One of these was an agreement with George Godson for 50 terraced houses on the Paddington side of Kilburn Park Road, (which was originally known as Park Road). These houses ranged between £200 and £500.

The Church Commission for England/Ecclesiastical Commissioners were the freehold owners of most of these houses and held onto the now Godson Yard building until 1955.

The first leaseholder at this address was a Mr A Godson (presumably a relative of Mr G Godson) who rented the house to Mr Herbert Henry King (described in the 1891 census as a corn and hay merchant) who ran the building as a granary and lived there with his wife Alice.

In 1910, the front building of Godson Yard (239 Kilburn Park Road) comprised the following: Store rooms, coal ce...
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JANUARY
6
2017

 

Carlton Vale, NW6
Carlton Vale runs from the Edgware Road to Kilburn Lane. In 1850 the Reverend Edward Stuart sold 47 acres to a consortium of five developers, of whom the largest was James Bailey. They laid out roads and sewers and divided the site among themselves, subletting to smaller firms who built a few houses each.

Carlton Vale was originally called Carlton Road and was laid out over the former fields of Kilburn Bridge Farm.

Several of the contractors aimed high with their early efforts but the isolated, muddy location - the vale was the flood plain of the River Westbourne - failed to attract buyers and the estate remained incomplete for several decades.

A new type of building, in red or multi-coloured brick, was used from the 1860s. It was soon to spread over the remaining unbuilt-upon land.

Carlton Vale was extensively rebuilt after World War Two bombing.
»read full article


JANUARY
5
2017

 

Bayswater Rivulet
The Bayswater Rivulet was the original name for the Westbourne River Now culverted and firmly underground, the river ran through what is now suburban Kilburn Park.

It ran under where Kilburn Park Road and Rudolph Road meet.
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JANUARY
5
2017

 

Long Water
The Long Water is a recreational lake in Kensington Gardens, created in 1730 at the behest of Queen Caroline. The Long Water refers to the long and narrow western half of the lake that is known as the Serpentine. Serpentine Bridge, which marks the boundary between Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, also marks the Long Water’s eastern boundary. The Long Water and the Serpentine are generally considered to be part of one lake.

Originally the lake was fed by the River Westbourne entering at the Italian Garden at the north-western end of the Long Water.

In 1730 Queen Caroline, wife of George II, ordered the damming of the River Westbourne in Hyde Park as part of a general redevelopment of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Original monastic ponds may have existing in the location and these were modified as part of the 1730–1732 scheme to create a single lake. At that time, the Westbourne formed eleven natural ponds in the park. During the 1730s, the lake filled to its current size and shape. The redevelopment was carried out by Royal Gardener Charles Bridgeman, who...
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JANUARY
5
2017

 

Blandel Bridge
The bridge over the Westbourne at Sloane Square was called Blandel Bridge and was later renamed Grosvenor Bridge. In the 18th Century, Sloane Square looked much the same as it does today, except that the square was an open green space enclosed by wooden posts, connected by iron chains. It was here that Queen Charlotte’s Royal Volunteers often assembled, and marched off in military order to Hyde Park, headed by their band.

On the eastern side of the square, the same side as the Royal Court Theatre, stood Blandel Bridge, which crossed the Westbourne River, one of the old rivers of London. It was about twelve or fourteen feet wide, and had walls on either side high enough to protect passengers from falling into the river.

It was nicknamed “Bloody Bridge” going back as 1590 so named allegedly following the murder of Lord Harrington’s cook who was attacked and beaten to death by highwaymen. Bloody Bridge once comprised of a footbridge with a plank before a more substantial bridge, 16 feet wide and lined by high walls, was built in the reign of Charles ll.
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JANUARY
5
2017

 

Bayard’s Bridge
Bayard’s Bridge took the Uxbridge Road over the River Westbourne. The origin of the river name Westbourne is not clear and does not appear before the 19th century. The areas named Westbourne such as Westbourne Grove were called that as they lay west of the bourne or river.

The river itself was named Bayswater Brook and named the Westbourne later on.

The name Bayswater is said to have derived from ’Bayard’s Watering Place’, first recorded in 1380, where the River Westbourne passed under the Uxbridge road (now Bayswater Road) , a ‘bayard’ being a horse which would have taken water from the river.

Another explanation is that the land now called Bayswater belonged to the Abbey of Westminster when the Domesday Book was compiled; the most considerable tenant under the abbot was Bainiardus, may therefore be concluded that this ground known for its springs of excellent water, once supplied water to Baynard, his household, or his cattle; that the memory of his name was preserved in the neighbourho...
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JANUARY
5
2017

 

Ainsworth Way, NW8
Ainsworth Way lies at the heart of the Alexandra Road estate. The Alexandra Road estate, properly known as the Alexandra and Ainsworth estate, but more commonly, and erroneously, referred to as simply Rowley Way, is a housing estate. It was designed in 1968 by Neave Brown of Camden Council’s Architects Department. Construction work commenced in 1972 and was completed in 1978. It is constructed from site-cast, board-marked white, unpainted reinforced concrete. Along with 520 apartments, the site also includes a school, community centre, youth club, heating complex, and parkland.

The estate consists of three parallel east-west blocks, and occupies a crescent-shaped site bounded on the south by Boundary Road, Loudoun Road on the east, Abbey Road on the west, and by the West Coast Main Line to the north. The desire to control the sound and vibration from passing trains was a major consideration in the layout of the estate.

Two rows of terraced apartments are aligned along the tracks. The higher, eight-story block dire...
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JANUARY
5
2017

 

Rowley Way, NW8
Rowley Way was named after Llewellyn Rowley, Camden’s Director of Housing. Rowley Way runs off of Abbey Road, just to the south of the railway but has given an informal name to the Alexandra and Ainsworth estate.

The Alexandra Road estate is a housing estate designed by Neave Brown of Camden Council’s Architects Department. Construction work commenced in 1972 and was completed in 1978. It is constructed from site-cast, board-marked white, unpainted reinforced concrete. Along with 520 apartments, the site also includes a school, community centre, youth club, heating complex, and parkland.

The easternmost portion of Rowley Way crosses the underground route of the Westbourne river.
»read full article


JANUARY
5
2017

 

34 Redchurch Street, E2
34 Redchurch Street has existed since at least the late seventeenth century. It was occupied by a pub called The Crown - renamed The Owl & The Pussycat in 1990.
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JANUARY
5
2017

 

Belsize Road, NW6
Belsize Road is a major road in NW6, parallel to the railway. The character of local new housing began to change after 1851, with westward expansion along roads parallel with the railway and at the western end around Abbey Road and its side-roads.

The east-west roads were Boundary Road and Belsize Road, where 41 houses were built in 1851-2, some by Robert Yeo.

Close-packed middle-class housing in Belsize Road was virtually complete by 1866, though in 1871-2 five more houses were built. Belsize Road was occupied by ’skilled workers and similar’.

The estate shared in the flat-building of the 1930s decade. The first major project was the building of 14 blocks by A. Clarke on the south side of Belsize Road from 1932 to 1936.

There was extensive rebuilding after 1945, mostly for local authority housing. The whole area suffered war damage and houses were dilapidated through tenementation and neglect. About 1955 the Communist party described the Belsize Road area as overcrowded, with damp...
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JANUARY
5
2017

 

Knightsbridge, SW1X
Knightsbridge is a main thoroughfare running along the south side of Hyde Park. G.E. Mitton writes in ’The Fascination of Kensington’ (1902):

The derivation of this word has been much disputed. Many old writers, including Faulkner, have identified it with Kingsbridge—that is to say, the bridge over the Westbourne in the King’s high-road. The Westbourne formed the boundary of Chelsea, and flowed across the road opposite Albert Gate. The real King’s bridge, however, was not here, but further eastward over the Tyburn, and as far back as Henry I.’s reign it is referred to as Cnightebriga. Another derivation for Knightsbridge is therefore necessary. The old topographer Norden writes: "Kingsbridge, commonly called Stone bridge, near Hyde Park Corner, where I wish no true man to walk too late without good guard, as did Sir H. Knyvett, Kt., who valiantly defended himself, being assaulted, and slew the master-thief with his own hands."

This, of course, has reference to the more westerly bridge mentioned above,...
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JANUARY
5
2017

 

Mortimer Crescent, NW6
Mortimer Crescent is a notable street in Kilburn, full of literary connections. Mortimer Crescent was built in 1854 and originally called Mortimer Road after Thomas Hill Mortimer, who was the solicitor for Fulk Greville Howard and then Colonel Arthur Upton, who owned the Greville Estate area. These were built as houses for wealthy and professional people.

Henley House school, nos. 6 & 7 Mortimer Road (later Crescent), Kilburn, had been unsuccessful before 1878 when John Vine Milne, father of the writer A. A. Milne, bought the goodwill. Numbers rose from c. 6 to 50 boys, aged 8 to 18, including 15 boarders. Milne’s family lived in one semi-detached house, the other being adapted for classrooms. H. G. Wells taught English, science, and drawing 1889-90 and admired Milne.

Although equipment was sparse and the school fell short of its intentions; the honour system for discipline was in advance of its time, and a new approach to mathematics proved successful for university entrance. Alfred Harmsworth was encouraged to start the school m...
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JANUARY
5
2017

 

Goldhurst Terrace, NW6
Goldhurst Terrace was laid out in the late 1870s. From the late 1870s building began in the area with 20 houses by Charles Kellond in Goldhurst Terrace, the most southerly of the new roads, in 1879 and another 50 there between 1880 and 1885; 101 houses, some flats, and a riding school were added between 1886 and 1900, mostly by T. K. Wells of Kentish Town. Building was complete throughout the area by 1913.

Except the mews Canfield Place, which was ’fairly comfortable’, the whole district was middle-class c. 1890.
»read full article


JANUARY
5
2017

 

The Serpentine
The Serpentine is a 40-acre (16 ha) recreational lake in Hyde Park. It was created in 1730 at the behest of Queen Caroline.

Although it is common to refer to the entire body of water as the Serpentine, strictly the name refers only to the eastern half of the lake. Serpentine Bridge, which marks the boundary between Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, also marks the Serpentine's western boundary; the long and narrow western half of the lake is known as the Long Water. The Serpentine takes its name from its snakelike, curving shape, although it only has one bend.

Originally fed by the River Westbourne and Tyburn Brook in the 1730s, the lake's water was then pumped from the Thames in the 1830s. The water is now pumped from three boreholes within Hyde Park, the most recent being installed in May 2012 as part of the 2011–2012 restoration of the Lake.

The Serpentine provided a focal point for The Great Exhibition of 1851, and more recently was a venue for the men's and women's triathlon and marathon swimming ev...
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JANUARY
4
2017

 

Kilburn Aqueduct
Some way from the area now called Kilburn, the Kilburn Aqueduct of the Grand Union Canal spanned the River Westbourne. When the canal was built at the turn of the nineteenth century, the valley of the River Westbourne ran through what were known as the Kilburn Fields. To span the valley, the new canal was placed on a 30 foot high embankment to cross the river.

In a report dating from 1814 it is said of the aqueduct that “it is formed over the valley to an elevation of 30 feet above the natural surface of the ground; a brick aqueduct here… being made for the conveyance of the canal over the Serpentine River or Westbrook.”

Progressive development of the area since the canal was built meant the Westbourne river was now becoming an open sewer. Around the early 1820s locals complained the awful smell emanating from the Westbourne. It was culverted for a considerable distance either side of the aqueduct by 1823.

By the 1830s when the area was under development, especially with regards to the railway, the Westbourne had its course diverted and straightened ...
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JANUARY
4
2017

 

River Westbourne
The Westbourne is one of the lost rivers of London. The river was originally called the Kilburn (Cye Bourne – royal stream, ’Bourne and burn’ being the Germanic word equivalent to rivulet as in the geographical term ’winterbourne’) 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.

Rising in Hampstead in two distinct branches, the river flows south through Kilburn (also the name of the river at that point) running west along Kilburn Park Road and then south along Shirland Road. After crossing Bishops Bridge Road, the river continued more or less due south, between what is now Craven Terrace and what is now Gloucester Terrace. At this point, the river was known until the early 19th century as the Bayswater rivulet and from that it gave its name to the area now known as Bayswater.
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JANUARY
4
2017

 

Westbourne Pond
Westbourne Pond is marked on the 1830 Greenwood map as the source of the Westbourne River. While this pond did indeed exist, the Westbourne River rose in Hampstead and flowed into (and out of) this pond. The rivulet above this point was not marked on the map of 1830.

By 1860, the stream had been culverted below here.
»read full article


JANUARY
4
2017

 

Greencroft Gardens, NW6
Greencroft Gardens dates from 1884-5. T. K. Wells of Kentish Town build much of West Hampstead. Ernest Estcourt and James Dixon built Greencroft Gardens, which by 1891 reached Fairhazel Gardens from its eastern junction with Goldhurst Terrace; some 68 houses and Rutland House flats were built in Greencroft Gardens, after 1891 extended to Priory Road, between 1886 and 1897.
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JANUARY
4
2017

 

Canfield Gardens, NW6
Canfield Gardens was first laid out in 1881. Builder T. K. Wells laid out Canfield Gardens, where six houses were built in 1881, 30 between 1885 and 1886, mansion flats in 1886 and 1889, and three shops in 1897.
»read full article


JANUARY
2
2017

 

Waverley Road, W2
Waverley Road, now gone, lasted just over a hundred years. It was built in the late 1850s as the last vestiges of rural Westbourne Green faded away and lasted until the early 1960s.
»read full article


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