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Featured · Holland Park ·
September
23
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...
Addison Avenue, W11
Addison Avenue runs north from Holland Park Avenue and was originally called Addison Road North. The street is named after the 17th century poet Joseph Addison who lived at Holland House. Addison was founder of The Spectator magazine.

The southern section of Addison Avenue (up to Queendale Road) was built between 1840 and 1843. Nos. 18-36 (even) are on the east side and overlook Queensdale Walk at the back. Nos. 17-35 (odd) are on the west side. They are generally two-storey houses with stuccoed façades built in pairs.

The houses were of various designs because individual plots were taken by many different builders.

Smaller houses were built closer to Holland Park Avenue.

»more

SEPTEMBER
3
2021

 

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.
»read full article





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.

Reply
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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JUNE
30
2018

 

St Johns Way, N19
St. John’s Way, originally St. John’s Road, was partially laid out in 1845. St John’s Road was first mentioned in December 1844 as a new road. It was to connect the envisaged St John’s Ville with the junction at the foot of Highgate Hill.
»read full article


JUNE
28
2018

 

Featherstone Gardens, WD6
Featherstone Gardens runs from Kenilworth Drive to Arundel Drive. Like the two roads it connects, Featherstone Gardens was laid out in the late 1930s and is named after a castle.

Its namesake, Featherstone Castle, is a Grade I listed building and a large Gothic style country mansion situated on the bank of the River South Tyne about 3 miles southwest of the town of Haltwhistle, Northumberland.
»read full article


JUNE
27
2018

 

Lamb’s Passage, EC1Y
Lamb’s Passage was formerly Great Swordbearers (Sword Bearers) Alley. Lamb’s Passage owes its origin – or rather its present name – to a local businessman called Thomas Lamb (1752-1813), a cloth dyer and a manufacturer of buckram – a fabric of coarse linen stiffened with gum used both by tailors and bookbinders.

He took up residence here in the late 18th century when it went under the name of Great Swordbearers Alley – that name perhaps deriving from the nearby premises of the Honourable Artillery Company – and moved on in 1813, the year his name was applied to the Passage. He was charged with an enthusiastic inspiration to assist the poor of the neighbourhood. By some means he raised sufficient funds to build a block of tenements on adjacent ground in 1770 - these subsequently came to be known as Lamb’s Buildings.

Great Swordbearers Alley was part of the London streetscape since at least 1666 when ratepayers were listed there.
»read full article


JUNE
26
2018

 

Dufferin Street, EC1Y
Dufferin Street runs between Bunhill Row and Whitecross Street. Dufferin Street lies north of the modern Barbican and has been on the cusp between poverty and bourgeois for much of its existence.

Nearby Whitecross Street has been home to an eponymous market since the 17th century. By the late 19th century this area had become a by-word for poverty and alcohol, known colloquially as Squalors’ Market.

In 1883 the Peabody Donation Fund built two estates, one either side of Whitecross Street: The Whitecross Street estate comprised 21 blocks on the east side of Whitecross Street between Roscoe Street and Errol Street, including three blocks at the eastern end of Dufferin Street which was laid out at this time.

At one end of Dufferin Street, Dufferin Court was built for costermongers and features barrow storage sheds in the courtyard.

Finsbury Tower occupies a prominent island site on the west side of Bunhill Row at its junctions with Dufferin Street and Lamb’s Buildings.
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JUNE
24
2018

 

Fleet Market
The Fleet Market was a market erected in 1736 on the newly culverted River Fleet. The market was located approximately where the modern Farringdon Street stands today, to the west of the Smithfield livestock market.

Work began in 1734 to arch over the River Fleet, as it had become an open sewer; and to remove the considerable expense of clearing the river of rubbish and filth. The course of the river was covered between Holborn Bridge and Fleet Bridge (now Ludgate Circus). The market, consisting of two rows of open one–storey shops linked by a covered walkway, opened on 30 September 1737. The market replaced the Old Stocks Market that itself had been cleared for the construction of the Mansion House.

To the north of the market, vegetables were sold in an open-air market. The centre was marked by a clock tower; and the south was adjacent to the Fleet Prison.

By 1829, the market was dilapidated and considered an obstacle to the increasing volume of traffic; and was cleared for the construction of Farringdon Road. Farring...
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JUNE
23
2018

 

Newport Court, WC2H
Newport Court was laid out approximately on the site of the courtyard of Newport House. Newport Court (or Alley) first appears in the ratebooks in 1685 with eight houses. In 1720 Strype described Newport Court as "a great Passage into So Ho, and those new-built Places. It is for the Generality inhabited by French; as indeed are most of these Streets and Alleys, which are ordinarily built, and the Rents cheap. It is a Place of a good Trade. Out of this Alley is a Passage into Newport Market". Three goldsmiths, one plateworker (all with names of French origin) and one jeweller are recorded as working in Newport Court in the first half of the eighteenth century.

During the nineteenth century, when the character of the area degenerated, Newport Court became known as ’Butchers’ Row’. In 1872 there were no less than ten butchers in the court, which was described in a newspaper of this period as a ’fountain of foul odours’.

The north side of the court was demolished in the 1880s to make way for Newport Dwellings and Sandringham Buildings....
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JUNE
22
2018

 

Pinehurst Court, W11
Pinehurst Court is a mansion block at 1-9 Colville Gardens. The terrace was built in the 1870s by George Frederick Tippett, who also developed much of the rest of the neighbourhood.

The block was intended as single family homes for richer people.

It proved difficult to attract wealthy buyers to the area and in 1885 Tippett was declared bankrupt. As early as 1888 the buildings began to be subdivided into flats and the character changed as wealthier tenants left the area. In 1928, it was described as "rapidly becoming poorer" and in 1935 "largely a slum area".

One of the buildings at the end of the terrace was destroyed during the Second World War - it has since been rebuilt in the modern style. The same raid severely damaged other buildings in the area, including All Saints Church.

In 1953 the terrace was bought by Fernbank Investments Ltd for £8000. Conditions did not improve and in 1966 some of the residents began to approach the Borough in an attempt to improve living conditions. ...
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JUNE
21
2018

 

The Old Bell
The (Old) Bell is a very old Kilburn Pub. The Bell already existed by 1600. A chalybeate spring was situated near to the Bell - a chalybeate is one where the water is impregnated with iron. In 1714 the spring was enclosed in a brick reservoir and by 1733 was being exploited by the proprietor of the ’Bell’ as a cure for stomach ailments in imitation of Hampstead Wells.

By 1814 the wells were in decline, although the Bell, now called ’Kilburn Wells’, remained popular as a tea garden.

The pub was demolished and rebuilt in 1863 but by then dog-fighting and bareknuckle bouts had become common.

»read full article


JUNE
21
2018

 

Mile End Road, E1
Mile End Road is an ancient route from London to the East, moved to its present alignment after the foundation of Bow Bridge in 1110. Mile End - more specifically the turnpike on Whitechapel Road at the crossroads with Cambridge Heath Road - was situated one mile from Aldgate; hence the name. It was first recorded in 1288 and known as Aldgatestrete. The area running alongside Mile End Road was known as Mile End Green, and became known as a place of assembly for Londoners, as reflected in the name of Assembly Passage.

For most of the medieval period, this road was surrounded by open fields on either side. Speculative developments existed by the end of the 16th century and continued throughout the 18th century. It developed as an area of working and lower-class housing, often occupied by immigrants and migrants new to the city.

Wat Tyler gathered his followers here during the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381.

A Jewish cemetery was established on Mile End Road in 1657 by permission of Oliver Cromwell.

From 1800 onwards, Stepney expanded towards the southern ...
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JUNE
17
2018

 

Adam Street, WC2N
Adam Street is named after John and Robert Adam, who built the Adelphi development in the 1760s. Few of their buildings remain. Number 7, with honeysuckle pilasters and lacy ironwork, is one attractive survival.
»read full article


JUNE
16
2018

 

Macdonald Road, N19
Macdonald Road is notable for a McDonald’s restaurant featuring on a corner. Before 1938, it was called Brunswick Road - the ’Brunswick’ public house retained the name before the creation of a park swept it away.

Above its road sign is a plaque commemorating three World War One soldiers that died in the conflict and who lived on this street.
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JUNE
15
2018

 

Queens Parade, NW4
Queens Parade is a parade of shops along Queens Road, Hendon. It is a typical mid-twentieth century retail development of shops with flats above. Further along, houses retain the Parade name but are missing their shops beneath.
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JUNE
14
2018

 

Elmhurst Gardens
Elmhurst Gardens, in South Woodford, is a park with a variety of mature trees which provide a ’vista’ of colours particularly during autumn months. Also known as Gordon Fields, the gardens have notable beech, oak and lime, and retain much of the original layout as well as a picturesque brick sundial and small pavilion, and an area of formal planting with seats.

The park is laid out on land once part of Elmhurst Estate, acquired by Woodford UDC in 1921. The gardens were opened in July 1927 as Woodford Recreation Ground. The land was purchased from Mr Lister Harrison of Elmhurst, having been separated from the house and remainder of the estate by the railway in 1856.

There is a resting area in the centre of the park that was landscaped in the 2010s and planted with shrubs and bulbs to provide an abundance of colour.

Elmhurst Gardens has a bowling green (where South Woodford Bowls Club plays), a children’s play area, an outdoor gym and tennis courts.
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JUNE
13
2018

 

Junction Tavern
The Junction Tavern is an imposing Victorian building between Kentish Town and Tufnell Park. The pub dates to 1885, the main bar and dining room reflects its late Victorian heyday. Its 18th century frontage veils an interior of dark-panelled rooms, a bright and airy conservatory and a beer garden.
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JUNE
11
2018

 

Staple Inn Buildings, WC1V
Staple Inn Buildings is part of historic Staple Inn. The current front facade consists of two buildings, one was the original staple Inn (5 bays to the left), the other was a house of similar age (2 bays to the right).

Staple Inn was built in 1585 and was a medieval school providing training in legal practices. Staple Inn was once attached along with neighbouring Barnards Inn to Grays Inn, one of the four inns of courts.

Behind the facade of High Holborn through the Holborn gateway is Staple inn courtyard with the staple inn hall on the opposite side of the courtyard. The old hall was built around 1580 as a banqueting hall.
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JUNE
10
2018

 

Staple Inn
Staple Inn is London’s only surviving sixteenth-century domestic building, situated on the south side of High Holborn. Its timber-framed façade overhangs the roadway.

The building was once the wool staple, where wool was weighed and taxed. It was an Inn of Chancery built between 1545 to 1549. It survived the Great Fire of London and was restored in 1886 and reconstructed in 1937. It was extensively damaged by a Nazi German Luftwaffe aerial bomb in 1944 but was subsequently restored once more. It has a distinctive cruck roof and an internal courtyard.

It was originally attached to Gray’s Inn, which is one of the four Inns of Court. The Inns of Chancery fell into decay in the 19th century. All of them were dissolved, and most were demolished. Staple Inn is the only one which survives largely intact.

It was later rebuilt by the Prudential Insurance Company, and is now used by the Institute of Actuaries and various other companies.

The historic interiors include a great hall, used by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. The ground floor ...
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JUNE
9
2018

 

Holborn, EC1N
Holborn commemorates the River Fleet, also known as the Holbourne stream. The road was once lined with coaching inns with the Bull and Gate being particularly noted for being the terminus of stagecoaches from the north. These in turn attracted costermongers who would sell travellers fruit. The sixteenth-century Staple Inn is one of London’s few surviving timber-faced buildings. Otherwise the inns of Holborn were swept away with the coming of the railways.

Two nineteenth century granite obelisks stand on both sides of Holborn at the junction with Gray’s Inn Road marking the entrance to the City.
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JUNE
8
2018

 

Crystal Palace Indoor Bowling
The London County Bowling Club was originally formed on the site of the Crystal Palace tennis courts. WG Grace may have been England’s greatest-ever cricketer but he had interests in many sports and towards the end of his cricketing career in the late 1890s, he began to take a keen interest in bowls.

In 1899, WG Grace accepted an invitation from the Crystal Palace Company to help them form the London County Cricket Club at the Crystal Palace Exhibition complex.

He became the club’s secretary, manager and captain. He was pivotal in establishing the London County Bowling Club in 1901.

On 8 June 1903 in Crystal Palace’s cricket pavilion, a group headed by WG, formed the English Bowling Association with himself as President.

Grace recognised that the popularity of the game was such that bowling in the winter was a viable proposition. In 1905 Crystal Palace Indoor Bowling Club was formed, playing within the Crystal Palace Great Exhibition centre’s main gallery, thereby establishing England’s first indoor bowling club. ...
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JUNE
7
2018

 

Aldersgate Street, EC2Y
Aldersgate Street is located on the west side of the Barbican Estate. The original gate here was made by the Romans some time after the City wall was built in the second century. It was a double gateway strengthened by towers projecting on the outside; part of the western tower was discovered beneath Aldersgate Street in 1939.

The name is Saxon - the gate of Aldred, somebody who perhaps lived above the gate to guard the approach road. Further fortifications and guard rooms were added through the middle ages. Aldersgate was finally demolished in 1761, and now only a plaque marks its site.

Originally Aldersgate Street was only the section starting from the church of St Botolph without Aldersgate running towards Long Lane and the portion from Long Lane to Goswell Road was formerly named Pickax Street.

Barbican station is located on Aldersgate Street and when it was opened in 1865 was named Aldersgate Street station. It was renamed Barbican in 1968.

134 Aldersgate Street for many years had a sign c...
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JUNE
6
2018

 

Halbutt Street, RM9
Halbutt Street is one of the oldest streets in the area. Dagenham (’Daecca’s home’) was probably one of the earliest Saxon settlements in Essex: the name is first recorded in a charter of A.D. 687. From the 13th century onwards references to the parish, its farms and hamlets, are sufficiently numerous to suggest a flourishing community. In 1670 Dagenham contained 150 houses.

In the south of the parish the main west-east road from London to Tilbury entered as Ripple Side, known in the 16th century as Ripple Street, and now called Ripple Road. It turned north as Broad Street, formerly French Lane (mentioned in 1540) and then east past the Church Elm (1456), through Dagenham village, as Crown Street, formerly Dagenham Street (1441), and then south-east over Dagenham (or Dagenham Beam) Bridge. Joining that road at the village was one coming south from Becontree Heath. The northern part of this last road, now Rainham Road North, was formerly Spark Street (1540) and later Bull Lane. The southern part, now Rainham Road South,...
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JUNE
5
2018

 

Becontree
The Becontree Estate remains the largest public housing development in the world. The Becontree Estate was developed between 1921 and 1932 by the London County Council as a large council estate of 27,000 homes, intended as ’homes for heroes’ after World War I. It has a current population of over 100,000 and is named after the ancient Becontree hundred, which historically covered the area.

The very first house completed, in Chittys Lane, is recognisable by a blue council plate embedded in the wall. Parallel to Chittys Lane runs Valence Avenue, which is wider than the rest of the streets in the district because a temporary railway ran down the centre of the avenue during the construction of the estate - it was built especially for the building work, connecting railway sidings at Goodmayes and a wharf on the river Thames with the worksites.

At the time people marvelled at having indoor toilets and a private garden, although the sash windows were extremely draughty, there was no insulation in the attics, and during the winter ...
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JUNE
4
2018

 

Chittys Lane, RM8
In Chittys Lane, the first houses of the Becontree Estate were built. The Becontree Estate is named after the ancient Becontree Hundred, which historically covered the area.

Because of the lack of available land in the County of London, the Housing Act 1919 permitted the London County Council (LCC) to build housing and act as landlord outside of its territory. On 18 June 1919 the London County Council’s Standing Committee on the Housing of the Working Classes resolved to build 29,000 dwellings to accommodate 145,000 people within 5 years, of which 24,000 were to be at Becontree. Becontree was developed between 1921 and 1935 as a large cottage estate of around 26,000 homes, intended to be "homes fit for heroes" for World War I veterans.

Most of the land was at that time was market gardens, with occasional groups of cottages and some country lanes. It was compulsorily purchased. 4,000 houses had been completed by 1921. The early residents were able to pick rhubarb, peas and cabbages from the abandoned market gardens.
...
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JUNE
3
2018

 

Adelaide Cottages
Adelaide Cottages stood to the east of London Road behind the former Florida Cinema. In 1875 they were reported as still having no running water or main drainage.

Adelaide Cottages were probably named after Queen Adelaide, the consort of King William IV. Genotin Road was extended south over their site in the late 1960s.
»read full article


JUNE
2
2018

 

Goodwin’s Field
Goodwins Field - a field with a story. In 1715, Goodwin’s Field was a field owned by a Peter Lavigne, grocer or perfumier of Covent Garden. He bought it from two brothers, John and Thomas Morgan of Marlborough, Wiltshire in 1699. Goodwin’s Field had been inherited in 1699 by the Morgans under the provisions of the will of their brother Charles Morgan (d. 1682), also a grocer of Covent Garden, who had bequeathed his shop there directly to Lavigne, formerly his ’servant’.

Morgan had bought Goodwin’s Field in 1680 from a William Chare who in turn had inherited it, by the custom of the manor of Earl’s Court, as the youngest son of a John Chare.. The latter had bought it in 1641 from mortgagees of Samuel Arnold, one of a family widely propertied in the vicinity of Earl’s Court. Earlier, in the 1530s to 1550s, Goodwin’s Field had been owned by a family called Thatcher.

Goodwin’s Field passed on Lavigne’s death in 1717 to his widow and then in 1719 to their daughter, at that tim...
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JUNE
1
2018

 

Blue Peter Garden
The original garden, adjacent to Television Centre, was designed by Percy Thrower in 1974. Its features include an Italian sunken garden with a pond, which contains goldfish, a vegetable patch, greenhouse and viewing platform. George the Tortoise was interred in the garden following his death in 2004, and there is also a bust of the dog Petra, sculptures of Mabel and the Blue Peter ship, and a plaque in honour of Percy Thrower.

When the programme’s production base moved to Salford MediaCityUK in September 2011, sections of the garden, including the sculptures and the sunken pond, were carefully relocated to the piazza of the new studio facility.
»read full article


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