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Featured · South Ealing ·
September
19
2021

The Underground Map is a project which is creating street histories for the areas of London and surrounding counties lying inside the M25.

In a series of maps from the 1750s until the 1950s, you can see how London grew from a city which only reached as far as Park Lane into the post war megapolis we know today. There are now over 85 000 articles on all variety of locations including roads, houses, schools, pubs and palaces.

You can begin exploring by choosing a place from the dropdown list at the top left and then clicking Reset Location.

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

You can also view historical maps of London - click on the "pile of paper" control on the top right of a page's map to change to a particular decade.

Latest on The Underground Map...
South Ealing
South Ealing is notable in Underground trivia for having, along with Mansion House, every vowel in its name. South Ealing station was opened by the District Railway on 1 May 1883 on a new branch line from Acton to Hounslow. At that time there was no stop at Northfields and the next station on the new line was Boston Road (now Boston Manor).

Electrification of the District Railway’s tracks took place and electric trains replacing steam trains on the Hounslow branch from 13 June 1905.

The Northfields district then was just a muddy lane passing through market gardens. But housing began to be built at Northfields and in 1908, a small halt was built there.

Housing also began to appear to the north of South Ealing station - the area became rather commercial with new shops around the station.

The lines of the London Underground came under one ownership and, services from Ealing along the District Line into London having a lot of intermediate stops, it was decided to extend the Piccadilly Line parallel to the District tracks. Piccadilly...

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SEPTEMBER
2
2021

 

Boleyn Electric Theatre
The Boleyn Electric Theatre originally opened in 1910 The Boleyn Electric Theatre and the adjacent Boleyn pub were called Boleyn after a large house that had stood nearby and thought to be associated with Anne Boleyn.

Cinema architect Cecil Masey made alterations in 1929 - improvements were made to accommodate sound films and a canopy was installed over the entrance. In 1932 it was taken over by another owner and re-named the New Boleyn Electric Theatre.

In 1936 it was purchased by the Oscar Deutsch chain who decided to demolish the old Boleyn Cinema and rebuild and open as the Odeon Theatre on the same site. It was designed in an Art Deco style by cinema architect Andrew Mather and opened on 18 July 1938 with Max Miller in ’Thank Evans’. It continued as the Odeon East Ham until it was closed by the Rank Organisation in 1981.

After laying boarded up and unused for over a decade, it was taken over by an independent operator who re-opened it as the Boleyn Cinema in 1995 screening Bollywood f...
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SEPTEMBER
1
2021

 

Dukes Place, EC3A
Duke’s Place was formerly called Duke Street It a street running northwest-southeast as a continuation of Bevis Marks down to Aldgate. Originally known as Shoemaker Row, it had been renamed Duke Street by the end of the 18th century after the house of the Duke of Norfolk, which had been built by Sir T. Audley after he pulled down the priory of Holy Trinity, and which, coming to the Duke by marriage, was called Duke’s Place.

The area was an early settlement for Jews after they were permitted to enter Britain by Oliver Cromwell in 1657, resulting in the building of the Sephardic Bevis Marks Synagogue (1701) and the Ashkenazi Great Synagogue. The latter was established in 1620, subsequently rebuilt in 1766 and 1790 and was destroyed during an air-raid on 11th May 1942. The following year, a temporary structure was erected on the site and was used until 1958 when it moved to Adler Street, Whitechapel. The Adler Street synagogue closed in 1977.

Duke Street was renamed Duke’s Place in 1939 and has sin...
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AUGUST
31
2021

 

Ivybridge Lane, WC2N
Ivybridge Lane is named after a former ivy-covered bridge The ’ivy bridge’ crossed an old watercourse on this spot but the bridge itself was demolished sometime before 1600.

Ivybridge Lane was formerly called Salisbury Street.
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AUGUST
30
2021

 

Dartford Tunnel, RM19
The original (western) Dartford Tunnel opened in 1963 An idea of a tunnel crossing was proposed by the Ministry of Transport in 1924. Initial reports suggested a crossing between Tilbury and Gravesend, but this was rejected in favour of a route further upstream, near Dartford. By 1929, the total cost of building the tunnel was estimated at £3 million. The tunnel was planned to be part of a general orbital route around London and was provisionally known as part of the ’South Orbital Road’.

The first engineering work to take place was a compressed air driven pilot tunnel, drilled between 1936 and 1938. Work on the tunnel was delayed due to World War II, and resumed in 1959. The two-lane tunnel opened to traffic on 18 November 1963 with the total project being £13 million. It initially served approximately 12 000 vehicles per day.
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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Born here
Ron Shepherd   
Added: 18 Sep 2021 17:28 GMT   

More Wisdom
Norman Joseph Wisdom was born in St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, West London.

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Comment
Jonathan Penner   
Added: 11 Sep 2021 16:03 GMT   

Pennard Road, W12
My wife and I, young Canadians, lodged at 65 (?) Pennard Road with a fellow named Clive and his girlfriend, Melanie, for about 6 months in 1985. We loved the area and found it extremely convenient.

Reply
Comment
   
Added: 1 Sep 2021 16:58 GMT   

Prefabs!
The "post-war detached houses" mentioned in the description were "prefabs" - self-contained single-storey pre-fabricated dwellings. Demolition of houses on the part that became Senegal Fields was complete by 1964 or 1965.

Source: Prefabs in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia

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Comment
Matthew Moggridge ([email protected])   
Added: 1 Sep 2021 10:38 GMT   

Lord Chatham’s Ride (does it even exist?)
Just to say that I cycled from my home in Sanderstead to Knockholt Pound at the weekend hoping to ride Lord Chatham’s Ride, but could I find it? No. I rode up Chevening Lane, just past the Three Horseshoes pub and when I reached the end of the road there was a gate and a sign reading "Private, No Entry". I assumed this was the back entrance to Chevening House, country retreat of the Foreign Secretary, and that Lord Chatham’s Ride was inside the grounds. At least that’s what I’m assuming as I ended up following a footpath that led me into some woods with loads of rooted pathways, all very annoying. Does Lord Chatham’s Ride exist and if so, can I ride it, or is it within the grounds of Chevening House and, therefore, out of bounds? Here’s an account of my weekend ride with images, see URL below.

Source: No Visible Lycra: Lord Chatham’s ride: a big disappointmen

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Comment
norma brown   
Added: 20 Aug 2021 21:12 GMT   

my grandparents lived there as well as 2 further generations
my home

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Comment
Ruth   
Added: 6 Aug 2021 13:31 GMT   

Cheltenham Road, SE15
Harris Girls’ Academy, in Homestall Road, just off Cheltenham Road, was formerly Waverley School. Before that it was built as Honor Oak Girls’ Grammar School. It was also the South London Emergency School during WW2,taking girls from various schools in the vicinity, including those returning from being evacuated.

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Comment
Jude Allen   
Added: 29 Jul 2021 07:53 GMT   

Bra top
I jave a jewelled item of clothong worn by a revie girl.
It is red with diamante straps. Inside it jas a label Bermans Revue 16 Orange Street but I cannot find any info online about the revue only that 16 Orange Street used to be a theatre. Does any one know about the revue. I would be intesrested to imagine the wearer of the article and her London life.

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Comment
Kathleen   
Added: 28 Jul 2021 09:12 GMT   

Dunloe Avenue, N17
I was born in 1951,my grandparents lived at 5 Dunloe Avenue.I had photos of the coronation decorations in the area for 1953.The houses were rented out by Rowleys,their ’workers yard’ was at the top of Dunloe Avenue.The house was fairly big 3 bedroom with bath and toilet upstairs,and kitchenette downstairs -a fairly big garden.My Grandmother died 1980 and the house was taken back to be rented again

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MAY
31
2017

 

Whites Row, E1
White’s Row is a narrow thoroughfare running east-west from Commercial Street to Crispin Street. It originally formed the northern boundary of the Tenter Ground estate from around 1650 and the southern side was built up by Nathaniel Tilly quickly thereafter.

The northern side followed suit in the 1670s. By the late 1600s, the street was known as ’New Fashion Street’. By 1707, the Tilly properties were owned by Nathaniel Shepherd (their names were commemorated in Shepherd Street - now Toynbee Street - and Tilley Street, now demolished) and under Shepherd’s lease, No.5 White’s Row was built in the 1730s (and is still standing). Access to the Tenter Ground Estate was also accessible by a large covered arch known as Shepherd’s Place, constructed in the early 1800s.

By the late 19th century, White’s Row had become considered part of the slums of Spitalfields. It was home to a number of lodging houses, Nos. 8 (Spitalfields Chambers), 26, 35 and 36, although the latter three had been closed by 1854.

Spitalfields Chambers was home...
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MAY
30
2017

 

Arkley Lane, EN5
Arkley Lane, off Barnet Road, is an old drovers’ road. Arkley Lane and Pastures is a 50-hectare Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation, Grade II. Located on the Barnet Plateau, it is now a quiet country lane with a traditional bank and ditch. The thick hedges are composed of beech and hornbeam, ash, field maple and magnificent old pedunculate oaks.

The hedge flora are dominated by cow parsley, and the ditches have wetland flowers including water figwort and wild angelica. A small adjacent woodland, which is probably ancient, has nesting birds, including sparrowhawks, willow warblers and stock doves. Muntjac deer are often seen there.

The fields on either side of the lane are traditionally managed, some grazed by horses and others managed as hay meadows. Three fields which have escaped agricultural improvement support wild flowers typical of old grassland, such as sneezewort and pignut.

There is only public access to the lane itself. The tarmacked road continues as a bridleway beyon...
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MAY
24
2017

 

Gateshead Road, WD6
Gateshead Road is a major east-west road in Borehamwood. It runs from Theobald Street to Cowley Hill.

The St.Michael and All Angels Church is located on the roundabout junction with Brook Road. The church was built in 1955 by N.F. Cachemaile-Day. The striking glass is by Mary Adshead. The foundation stone having been laid by Princess Margaret. The bell came from the mortuary chapel at Ayot St Peter, donated by Charles Willes Wilshere of The Frythe in 1876.

One of the main secondary schools of Borehamwood, Lyndhurst School, lay in a prime location along Gateshead Road. The school, built in 1954, was a post-war experiment in prefabricated buildings - instead of bricks, it was built with a material called Holoplast, invented by two Hungarian engineers. Holoplast panels, composed of tough plastic and paper, were ready-made, and could be clipped into position on a frame.

Other distinctive architectural features at the Gateshead Road school were A-frames, to support the ceilings in the school’s lib...
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MAY
23
2017

 

Whiteley’s
Whiteley’s, pictured here in the 1920s, was designated a Grade II Listed Building in 1970. The original Whiteleys department store was created by William Whiteley, who started a drapery shop at 31 Westbourne Grove in 1863.

In 1907, William Whiteley was murdered by Horace George Rayner, who claimed to be his illegitimate son, "Cecil Whiteley". After his death, the board including two of Whiteley’s sons allowed the leases on the various Westbourne Grove properties to lapse and moved into a new purpose built store on Queens Road (now called Queensway).

The building was designed by John Belcher and John James Joass, and was opened by the Lord Mayor of London in 1911. It was the height of luxury at the time, including both a theatre and a golf-course on the roof. It appears in a number of early 20th-century novels, and in Shaw’s 1913 play Pygmalion, where Eliza Doolittle is sent "to Whiteleys to be attired." In the late 1920s, Dr. A. J. Cronin, the novelist, was appointed the medical officer of Whiteleys, and in 1927 rival store Selfridges purch...
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MAY
22
2017

 

Looking towards Temple Fortune (1905)
This image shows the arrival of street lamps on the hill leading up to Temple Fortune from Golders Green. By 1754 there were about 16 houses with small gardens at Golders Green, most of them on small inclosures from the waste and by 1751 there were two inns at Golders Green: the Hoop, commemorated later by the name Hoop Lane, and the White Swan. The White Swan had tea gardens for summer visitors to Golders Green in 1882.

In the early 19th century, the manorial waste at Golders Green was enclosed for villas. In 1814 Golders Green contained ’many ornamental villas and cottages, surrounded with plantations’, and in 1828 detached houses spread on both sides of the road as far as Brent Bridge. The green was finally enclosed in 1873-4.

At Golders Green, a straggling hamlet in 1901, new houses were built at the corner of Wentworth Road and Hoop Lane in 1905. Two years later the arrival of the Underground started a building boom in houses whose rustic appearance was to set a trend for suburban exteriors over the next three decades. Growth continued until after ...
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MAY
21
2017

 

Golders Green crossroads
Golders Green crossroads was formed when the new Finchley Road crossed North End Road in the 1830s. The name Golders Green apparently derives from that of a local family, the Goodyers, and was first recorded in 1612. The hamlet of Golders Green originated as a group of cottages on waste ground on each side of the main road.

In 1754, manorial waste at Golders Green stretched for some distance on either side of the main road from Hampstead.
»read full article


MAY
20
2017

 

Albany Mews, KT2
Albany Mews is a development dating from the 1980s. The Bank Grove Estate, a triangular area, was bounded by Richmond Road, Lower Ham Road, the River Thames and Bank Lane. It was occupied by a mansion built in the 18th century and renovated by Sir Charles Freake. Later on a new mansion was built on the same site but several of the outbuildings from the original mansion were retained. The site is now occupied by Albany Mews which is a modern development following the demolition of Bank Grove in 1982.
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MAY
20
2017

 

Arkley
Arkley is located north-west of London, and at 482 ft above sea level is one of the highest points. It consists of a long village strung out between Barnet and Stirling Corner roughly centred around the "Gate" pub and is composed of the ancient hamlets of Barnet Gate, Rowley Green and Arkley hamlet. It is also home to one of the oldest windmills in southern England.

From at least the early 19th century until the 1890s, Arkley was commonly known as 'Barnet Common' or 'West Barnet'.

It is thought by some that Hendon Wood Lane was originally a minor Roman road. Certainly the name, 'Grendel's Gate' (now Barnet Gate, and formally known as 'Grims Gate'), is associated with the monster from the Saxon epic, Beowulf. This implies that the place was of modest importance as early as 1005. It may have been a centre of a small but significant community, founded on a woodland economy.

The area is latter referred to in medieval documents as 'Southhaw', and may have pre-dated the settlement at Chipping Barnet. Certainly, Barnet manorial court was held...
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MAY
19
2017

 

Thrawl Street, E1
Originally built by Henry Thrall (or Thrale) c.1656, Thrawl Street ran east-west from Brick Lane as far as George Street across a former tenter field owned by the Fossan brothers, Thomas and Lewis. Most, if not all, of the properties on the street were timber-built and many were still standing as late as 1736. Little George (later Keate) Street was extended west from the junction of Thrawl and George Streets by the 1740s.

Between 1807-30, rebuilding leases were granted, but none seems to have taken place, although repairs were made albeit poorly done and Thrawl Street, like others in the neighbourhood, continued to deteriorate. It soon became known for its lodging houses and mean tenements and at this time was only joined to Commercial Street by Keate Street and then a narrow alleyway called Keate Court. This part was opened up c.1883 following the demolition of properties in readiness for the later construction of Charlotte De Rothschild Dwellings on the north side and Lolesworth Buildings to the south. Subsequently, Keate Street was renamed as part of Thrawl Street in 1884.

The model dwellings of Thrawl Street and the surrounding area were demolis...
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MAY
18
2017

 

Falcon Court, EC4Y
Falcon Court is a courtyard off the south side of Fleet Street between Chancery Lane and Fetter Lane. There is an ornate wrought iron gate at the entrance to Falcon Court.

If you had lived in the 16th century and been making a visit to the Temple Church then your access would probably have been through Mr Davis’s tailors shop in the Court. In those days all churches, their graveyards and cemeteries were places of sanctuary where law breakers could deposit themselves in full assurance that they were out of reach by the hand of justice. The Temple Church was one of the most popular resorts for such criminals and Mr Davis must have been sick to the high teeth with the constant procession through his premises.

Henry Styrrell, a barrister of the Middle Temple, too was at the end of his tether with the annoyance caused by the disorderly gathering. In 1610 he petitioned the societies of the Inner and Middle Temple to take action and withdraw the right of way through the tailors shop. Three months after the petition Davis was forced to leave and the building ...
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MAY
17
2017

 

Friern Barnet
Friern Barnet is located at the intersection of Colney Hatch Lane (running north and south), Woodhouse Road (taking westbound traffic towards North Finchley) and Friern Barnet Road (leading east towards New Southgate). Friern Barnet was an ancient parish in the Finsbury division of Ossulstone hundred, in the county of Middlesex.

The area was originally considered to be part of Barnet, most of which was in Hertfordshire. By the 13th century the Middlesex section of Barnet was known as Little Barnet, before becoming Frerenbarnet and then Friern Barnet (sometimes spelt in other ways, such as "Fryern Barnett"). The "Friern" part of the parish’s name derives from the French for "brother" and refers to the medieval lordship of the Brotherhood or Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.

The opening of railway stations on the Great Northern and Metropolitan Railways, in the mid-19th century, prompted some development.

But Friern Barnet parish remained largely rural until after the First World War. The building of Colney Hatch asylum in 1851 helped to cut off the area to the south, and the location of railways caused the edges of the parish to be built u...
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MAY
16
2017

 

Totteridge And Whetstone
Before becoming part of the London Borough of Barnet in 1965, Totteridge was in Hertfordshire and Whetstone in Middlesex. The boundary to the north and east is the Dollis Brook and the boundary to the south is that river’s tributary, the Folly Brook. While these rivers define the parish and the area covered by the residents’ association, the southern part of the area (with postcode N12 rather than N20) is generally regarded as being in Woodside Park.

The main road is the A5109, which runs roughly east-west. The western part is called Totteridge Common, the central part by the village green is called Totteridge Village and the eastern part is called Totteridge Lane; the Lane continues into Whetstone, terminating at its junction with High Road Whetstone. At the western end of Totteridge Common is a set of traffic lights; the road to the north from these lights, Hendon Wood Lane, is just to the west of the western boundary.

Totteridge Village itself has many spacious detached properties in a rural setting that are highly valued - some of the most expensive houses in Lond...
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MAY
15
2017

 

Metropolitan Borough of Westminster
The Metropolitan Borough of Westminster was a metropolitan borough in the County of London from 1900 to 1965. By royal charter dated 29 October 1900 the borough was granted the title City of Westminster. Westminster had originally been created a city and seat of the short-lived Diocese of Westminster in 1541. The diocese was suppressed in 1550, but the area was still known as a "city", although without official sanction.

Previous to the borough’s formation it had been administered by five separate local bodies: the Vestry of St George Hanover Square, the Vestry of St Martin in the Fields, Strand District Board of Works, Westminster District Board of Works and the Vestry of Westminster St James. The Close of the Collegiate Church of St Peter had not been under the control of any local authority prior to 1900.

The borough was formed from eleven civil parishes and extra-parochial places: Close of the Collegiate Church of St Peter, Liberty of the Rolls, Precinct of the Savoy, St Anne Soho, St Clement Danes, St George Hanover Square, St James Piccadilly, St Martin i...
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MAY
14
2017

 

Totteridge
Totteridge is an old English village, and a mixture of suburban development and open land, situated 8 miles north north-west of Charing Cross. This area was called Tataridge in the 13th Century. It may have been named after someone called Tata. The ridge is the high ground between the valleys of the Dollis Brook and Folly Brook.

Over the centuries the rural qualities of Totteridge have attracted well-to-do families. Cardinal Manning was born at Copped Hall in Totteridge in 1808.

With the opening of the Great Northern Railway station in 1872, late-Victorian and Edwardian mansions were built around the old village. In line with overall trends in the late 1930s, following the conversion of the railway station (in operation from 1872 until 1941) into a London Underground station (from 1940) on the Northern line, smaller properties were built within walking distance of the station (Totteridge and Whetstone tube station). In 1968 much of Totteridge was designated a Conservation Area, and no major developments have taken place since then.

Totteridge was a civil parish of Hertfordshire c...
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MAY
13
2017

 

Eagle Court, EC1M
Eagle Court is a courtyard situated off of Benjamin Street. Situated within a stone’s throw of the Grand Priory Church of Order of St John, this forlorn Court lies in a near state of dejection, abandoned by the Order which many years ago raised it to the status of recognition. This site was once occupied by the house of one of the top-ranking officials of the Order of St John – the Bailiff of Egle.

In the year 1312, the Pope issued a decree that the Order of the Knights Templars were to be abolished and that all their assets, buildings and furnishings, were to be given over to their opponents, the Knights Hospitallers, or the Order of St John of Jerusalem. It turns out that only a very small portion of the Templars’ great wealth reached the clutches of the Hospitallers; the lion’s share being retained by Edward II and Philip le Bel, King of France and ali of Pope Clement. Protests by the Hospitallers were at first overruled, merely inspiring loud proclamations from Edward that they were forbidden from meddling with the f...
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MAY
12
2017

 

Goldbeaters Farm
An old farm in the Burnt Oak area, Goldbeaters already existed by the 14th century. The Goldbeaters estate may have originated in a grant of land and rent by John le Bret to William of Aldenham, goldbeater of London, in 1308. John Goldbeater held a house and some land of the manor of Hendon in 1321.

The Goldbeaters estate was held by John and Eve Clerk in 1434. By the early 18th century it had passed to Joseph Marsh, whose daughter and heir married Thomas Beech of London, the holder of 130 acres in the north of Hendon parish in 1754. After Beech’s death in 1772 some of the property was conveyed to John Raymond and later to Richard Capper.

In 1802 Mary Capper of Bushey (Herts.) and Robert Capper sold the whole of Goldbeaters to William Smith of Mayfair, who bought two closes called Staines and Shoelands, adjoining the farm, from John Nicholl of the Inner Temple in 1803 and a house, later the Bald Faced Stag, and four fields at Redhill from William Geeves in 1807. William Smith bought part of the near-by Shoelands Farm from John Nicholl...
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MAY
11
2017

 

Brent Street, NW4
Brent Street was a section of a main road north out of London. Brent Street was the southward continuation of Parson Street, already called this by 1321.

At the Quadrant there is a milestone, the last piece of physical evidence of the old road. A small hamlet grew up during the Tudor period, at the junction of Brent Street and Bell Lane.

Brent Street parish-pump supplied water for much of the area in the early 19th century, and there was also a ’cage’ (1796 - 1883), an outdoor cell for holding for criminals.

There were a few large Victorian mansions such as Tenby Mansion (c. 1845), which is near the Quadrant. By the 1850s there were shops in Brent Street, and a new street called New Brent Street.

The first Hendon police station (c. 1855) was in New Brent Street, as was Hendon British School (1876). Much of the old settlement of Brent Street burned down in a fire in 1861.

The police station moved to Brent Street in 1884, and was demolished 2002. Hendon British School mo...
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MAY
10
2017

 

Long Lane, N3
Long Lane runs from Church End to East Finchley. Long Lane, known as such by 1719, may have been called Ferrours Lane in medieval times. Roughly half way along its route is Squires Lane, which runs from the manor house to the High Road, the traditional division between East Finchley and Church End.

Behind the large houses which fronted Ballards Lane on the west, Squires Lane, and Long Lane was Claigmar Vineyards, started in 1874 by Peter Edmund Kay. By the 1890s the vinery’s 161 greenhouses were producing "100 tons each of grapes and tomatoes and 240,000 cucumbers a year".

In 1903 Finchley Electric Light Co. opened a generating station on the Kay’s site which was purchased by Finchley Council two years later and then in 1955 by the Eastern Electricity Board. Sir Charles Redvers-Westlake, who was engineer at the works between 1935 - 1948, was later responsible for the building what was then called the Owen Falls dam, Uganda.
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MAY
9
2017

 

Dormers Wells
Dormers Wells or Dormer's Wells is a neighbourhood consisting of a grid of mostly semi-detached or terraced houses with gardens and small parks. Until urban/suburban development in the mid 20th century this area formed a small, east part of the Precinct of Norwood a relatively rare half subdivision of the large parish of Hayes.

Southall and Norwood manors in much of the medieval period belonged to the Archbishop of Canterbury hence giving the Norwood quasi-chapelry — virtually all a mixed agricultural area which covered today's Dormer's Wells, Norwood Green and Southall — the higher, less alienable status of a precinct.

The 12th century founded, much-altered chapel is St Mary's Church, Norwood Green.

St John's Church, Southall was built and endowed in 1838; consecrated in three years and made a parish in 1850. Nine years later Norwood precinct was created a parish separate from that of Hayes.

Further Anglican churches followed: Holy Trinity, St George, Christ the Redeemer and Emmanuel none are named after this area.

In 1800 the precinct's overshot ...
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MAY
8
2017

 

Laleham
Laleham is a village beside the River Thames, immediately downriver from Staines-upon-Thames in the Spelthorne borough of Surrey. Until 1965 the village was in Middlesex. The name Laleham" probably derives from lael meaning ’twig’ and ’ham’ meaning homestead.

Iron Age spearheads from the 5th century have been found in the River Thames at Laleham Ferry. The Middlesex section of the Domesday Book of 1086 records the village as Leleham. The manor was held partly by Fécamp Abbey from Robert of Mortain and partly by Estrild, a nun. The manor of Laleham was later held by Westminster Abbey. In the 13th century Westminster Abbey had a grange and watermill on the banks of the Thames near the site of Laleham Abbey.

The Church of England parish church of All Saints dates from the 12th century but was largely rebuilt in brick about 1600 and the present tower was built in 1780.

Today, Laleham has a Church of England primary school, an archery club and Burway Rowing Club.

The poet Matthew Arnold (1822–88) lived here, dividing his time between Laleham and Rugby School.
»read full article


MAY
7
2017

 

Saffron Hill, EC1N
Saffron Hill’s name derives the time that it was part of an estate on which saffron grew. Saffron Hill formed part of the liberty of Saffron Hill, Hatton Garden, Ely Rents and Ely Place which became part of the County of London in 1889. It was abolished in 1900 and formed part of the Metropolitan Borough of Holborn until 1965.

In 1850 it was described as a squalid neighbourhood, the home of paupers and thieves. In Charles Dickens’s 1837 novel Oliver Twist (Chapter 8), the Artful Dodger leads Oliver to Fagin’s den in Field Lane, the southern extension of Saffron Hill: "a dirty and more wretched place he (Oliver) had never seen. The street was very narrow and muddy, and the air was impregnated with filthy odours".

Saffron Hill is mentioned in the Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Six Napoleons", as the Italian Quarter where the Venucci family can be found.

Saffron Hill has become more residential in recent years with the building of several blocks of ’luxury’ apartments, including Da Vinci Hous...
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MAY
6
2017

 

Devereux Court, EC4Y
Devereux Court lies on the south side of the Strand, opposite the Law Courts. One of the earliest buildings ever to occupy this site was Exeter House, built by Bishop Stapledon in the early 1320s as the London residence of the Bishop’s of Exeter. Unfortunately Stapledon happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and in 1326 was set upon by a demonstrating mob, dragged from his horse and relieved of his head by a flying butchers knife.

When Henry VIII decided to split from the Church of Rome this house became the property of the Crown and was leased to William Paget who promptly renamed it Paget House. Then came Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex and bosom pal of Elizabeth I. Learning that Paget House was up for grabs he visited the Queen to test the ground, and finding her in a receptive mood - Elizabeth was not the most predictable of characters - he laid before her his longing to live in the suburbs of the Temple. What an element of surprise came to his face when the Queen granted him a life long tenancy - but it was only play-acting, D...
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MAY
4
2017

 

St Mark’s Road, W11
St. Mark’s Road is a street in the Ladbroke conservation area. The road was one of the last parts of the Ladbroke estate to be developed. Being started about 1863, its terraces - three storeys plus basement - were erected between then and 1865. The developer was Charles Blake and most of the housing was the work of a builder called Philip Baker in 1865.

The road was severely damaged during the Second World War. The present post-war buildings date from 1967.

»read full article


MAY
3
2017

 

Deans Court, EC4V
Deans Court is directly opposite the south west corner of St Paul’s Cathedral, on the south side of St Paul’s Churchyard. Of the numerous thousands of visitors to St Paul’s Cathedral each year, how many do we suppose take a few steps across St Paul’s Churchyard and venture into the ancient lanes to the south which have remained unchanged since the Cathedral was built? I suspect not more than a handful. In reality, the vast majority will not even be aware of these treasures and, without further ado, hop on to a number eleven bus back to Trafalgar Square or the Houses of Parliament.

St Paul’s is one of the most popular tourist venues in London. It is also most conveniently situated about mid-way on the bus route between the West End and the Tower (number 15), both very tempting haunts to the visitor on a summery day. But the next time you descend the steps of Wren’s wonderful masterpiece, let the buses go by, walk into Dean’s Court and have a look at one of the great architect’s less elaborate pieces. Here, on the west side of the Court, behind a black painted gateway is the old ...
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MAY
1
2017

 

Gunner’s Cottages (1910)
Gunner’s Cottages, off Salamanca Street, Lambeth 1910. Charles Booth, researching his Poverty Map of London, visited Gunner’s Cottages in 1892-1898:

"Gunner’s Cottages: entered through swing wooden door: dark blue to light blue, [colour guides indicating very poor / poor areas in his map]. Four 2-storey cottages, used to be tenanted by notorious dog-stealer. On his death, 50 dogs were found concealed in the yard.
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