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The Underground Map

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Camden Town ·
September
21
2020

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

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

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

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

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

Latest on The Underground Map...
Parkway, NW1
Parkway is one of Camden Town’s older roads - originally called ’The Crooked Lane’. Parkway, a tree-lined street, was developed from Crooked Lane in the 1820s and 1830s with three-storey houses on both sides. Until 1938, Parkway was known as Park Street.

Just after the Second World War, a Camden Town local reminisced:
“Park Street, which we now call Parkway, was full of shops instead of architects’ offices and estate agents as it is now. By eight in the morning the shop boy was busy cleaning the windows and polishing the outside brasses, sweeping and burnishing inside ready to open at nine and close twelve hours later for seven shillings and sixpence a week. Shops were graded. Fenn’s, the grocers at the corner of Delancey Street and Park Street, was a cut above the others, wrapping all purchases in brown paper, while most used newspaper.”

The street now has a mix of retail and restaurant uses with some small businesses.

»more

SEPTEMBER
8
2020

 

Mortlake
Mortlake lies on the south bank of the River Thames between Kew and Barnes Historically it was part of Surrey and until 1965 was in the Municipal Borough of Barnes. The Stuart and Georgian history was economically one of malting, brewing, farming, watermen and a great tapestry works.

The Waterloo to Reading railway line runs through Mortlake - the station opened on 27 July 1846.

The University Boat Race finishes at Mortlake every March/April.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
7
2020

 

Gloucester Road, SW7
Gloucester Road is a main street in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Gloucester Road runs north-south between Kensington Gardens (at which point it is known as Palace Gate) and the Old Brompton Road at the south end. At its intersection with Cromwell Road is Gloucester Road underground station, close to which there are several pubs, restaurants, many hotels and St Stephen’s Church (built in 1867 and, notably, the church warden of which was the poet T. S. Eliot).

In 1612 or earlier it was called Hogs Moor or Hogmire Lane. It was a ’lane through marshy ground where hogs are kept’, a name that was still used until about 1850. and it was the site of an ultimately unsuccessful pleasure garden (and for a while a pick-your-own fruit and flower farm) in the late 18th century. At that time most of the vicinity was filled with nurseries and market gardens.

The road is now named after Maria, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh who built a house there - Villa Maria (later Orford Lodge) - in 1805, on part of the pleasure garden...
»more


SEPTEMBER
6
2020

 

Argyle Road, N12
Argyle Road runs from Nether Street to Dollis Brook after which it is named Lullington Garth It follows the line of an old footpath which crossed the brook at what was called Frith Bridge.

The very short stretch of road between Nether Street and a footbridge over the railway was created in 1872 with the road beyond this bridge having been an early twentieth century construction.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
5
2020

 

Brickfield Cottages, WD6
Brickfield Cottages lie between Theobald Street and the railway Brickfield Cottages were built in 1858 by Charles Morgan, who owned the brickfield next door.

Further cottages were built in 1868 for railway workers but of interest to their further story is a parallel story of local Henry Robinson. who came into possession of some of them.

Robinson built the ’Red Road’ bridge over the railway - this linked Parkfield to Theobald Street and additional gave access for Tilehouse Farm to reach some of its fields cut off by the new line.

Robinson owned much of the land in Borehamwood and in 1871 built a parade of shops in Theobald Street almost opposite the entrance to Brickfield Cottages. The shops became known locally as ’Robinson’s Folly’ - they expected the venture to fail. But the venture didn’t and the shops remain in existence today.

Robinson gave two of the Brickfield Cottages to his daughter as part of her dowry.
»read full article




MARCH
31
2020

 

Cooks Road, E15
Cooks Road dates from the 1850s - built to provide access to the East London Soap Works (manufacturers of Cook’s Primrose Soap).
The Middlesex/Essex boundary used to lay to the west of Cooks Road along the former line of the river. The river bed is now dry.

The Pudding Mill Substation is designed to provide power for the central section of the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail).

Cooks Road used to be a dead end but now runs through to Barbers Road and Pudding Mill DLR station.
»read full article


MARCH
30
2020

 

Shepperton Close, WD6
Shepperton Close was opened to residents in 1983. The backlot of the MGM studios closed in 1970. For a while it remained undeveloped although Hertsmere Borough Council moved into the former MGM administrative buildings until 1977 when they opened their new Council HQ.

In the mid 1970s, the former backlot started to be developed for housing. Studio Way, the main spine road, opened in 1977. Roads off of Studio Way were named after British film studios, with the names being suggested by Paul Welsh. Another phase of development had road names also suggested by Paul Welsh and called after actors and directors.
»read full article


MARCH
29
2020

 

Pollards Hill
Pollards Hill straddles the boundary of the London Boroughs of Croydon and Merton between Mitcham and Norbury. Most of the woodland in the area was cleared in the Middle Ages and this became New Barns (Galpins) Farm. In 1905, Tooting Bec Golf Club bought the farm and 100 acres. The club cleared what was left of the woodland on Pollards Hill. The golf club was succeeded by the Pollards Hill Golf Club. The site was later occupied by the Harris Academy Merton.

Pollards Hill itself is 65 metres in height. The hillside slopes sharply in the west. Ena Road, which descends the slope is one of the steepest streets in Greater London.

The streets were designed differently according to each borough, leading to two distinct styles. Recreation Way divides the two areas into east (Croydon) and west (Merton).

Some of the Croydon side was developed at the end of the nineteenth century but the hill was left undeveloped and given to the council in 1913 by former Croydon mayor Sir Frederick Edridge.

Mitcham Borough Council in the west of Pollards Hill h...
»more


MARCH
28
2020

 

Ashburton Grove, N7
Ashburton Grove was a former road, buried under the new Emirates Stadium development. Ashburton Grove was originally a road of terraced houses, built in 1861.

Ashburton is a village in South Devon, near Totnes.

In time, the houses of Ashburton Grove went and were replaced by light industrial units and municipal facilities. By the early 1930s, the London North Eastern Railway was operating a coal depot in Ashburton Grove and in 1937, the Islington Borough Council’s reconstructed Disposal Depot & Cleansing Plant was opened there.

Arsenal FC announced its proposals to move from its Highbury ground to a new stadium, situated on top of Ashburton Grove in November 1999. Before sponsorship and naming rights, the new ground was called Ashburton Grove, after the street.

The cost of relocating Ashburton Grove’s industry and a waste recycling centre absorbed almost half the Emirates project’s total budget.
»read full article


MARCH
27
2020

 

Drayton Park
Drayton Park railway station is in Islington, just off the Holloway Road near its southern end, close to the Liverpool Road junction. It stands in the shadow of Arsenal football club’s Emirates Stadium. Drayton Park was opened by the Great Northern & City Railway (GN&CR) on 14 February 1904. The GN&CR was constructed to provide a route for Great Northern Railway (GNR) trains between the GNR station at Finsbury Park and the Metropolitan Railway (MR) and City & South London Railway station at Moorgate. With the exception of Drayton Park station and the former depot which are in a deep cutting, the railway was constructed in tube tunnel. The tunnels were constructed with a larger diameter than the other deep-tube railways to accommodate GNR main-line trains but a dispute between the two companies prevented the GN&CR connecting its tunnels to the GNR platforms at Finsbury Park. The GN&CR tunnels instead terminated beneath the main-line station without a running connection to the surface, rolling stock accessing the line via a yard connection at Finsbury Park.

In 1913 the GN&CR was taken over by the MR. The MR ran the line under its own name until it became part of the Lond...
»more


MARCH
26
2020

 

Eaton Square, SW1W
Eaton Square is one of the jewels in Belgravia’s crown. Eaton Square was designed by Thomas Cubitt in the Palazzo style. Born in Norfolk in 1788, he was a ship’s carpenter before setting up as a speculative builder in 1811.

Construction of the Square began in 1826 but wasn’t completed until 1855. During the layout of Belgravia, Cubitt lived nearby at 3 Lyall Street. The long construction period is reflected in the variety of architecture in the square.

The grand façades with Corinthian-style column capitals overlook private gardens, part of the 16 acres of gardens within Grosvenor’s Belgravia and Mayfair Estates. Eaton Square was originally the beginning of the royal route (the King’s Road) from St James’s Palace to Hampton Court. One of three garden squares built by the Grosvenor family, it is named after Eaton Hall, Cheshire, the family’s principal seat.

Past residents of the Square include Stanley Baldwin, Lord Boothby, Neville Chamberlain, Vivien Leigh and Lord John Russell.»more


MARCH
25
2020

 

Belgravia
Belgravia is an affluent area of Westminster, north of Victoria Station. Belgravia - known as Five Fields during the Middle Ages - was developed in the early 19th century by Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster.

The area had begun to be built up after George III moved to Buckingham House (now Buckingham Palace) and constructed a row of houses on what is now Grosvenor Place. In the 1820s, Richard Grosvenor asked Thomas Cubitt to design numerous grand terraces centred on squares. Most of Belgravia was constructed over the next 30 years.

Belgravia has many grand terraces of white stucco houses, and is focused on two squares: Belgrave Square and Eaton Square.

Much of Belgravia is still owned by the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor Group.
»read full article


MARCH
24
2020

 

Belgrave Square, SW1X
Thomas Cubitt’s greatest achievement, Belgrave Square, is the grandest and largest of his squares, and is the centrepiece of Belgravia. The original scheme consisted of four terraces, each made up of eleven white stucco houses, with the exception of the east terrace, which was made up of twelve. Detached mansions were originally built in three corners of the square, with a large private garden in the centre. The grand houses in Belgrave Square were built of bricks made from clay dug from the site and the surrounding streets were raised with spoil excavated from St Katherine’s Dock.

The square took its name from one of the Duke of Westminster’s titles, Viscount Belgrave. The village of Belgrave in Cheshire is two miles from the Grosvenor family’s main country residence.

The square was the scene of very early attempts at ballooning.

Large statues and sculptures adorn the central garden including statues of Christopher Columbus, Simón Bolívar, José de San Martín and Prince Henry the Navigator.

Today, the houses are occupied mainly by embassies, institutions and offices.
»read full article


MARCH
23
2020

 

Bryony Road, W12
Bryony Road was one of the main roads of the 1920s Wormholt Estate. The land for the Wormholt Estate was purchased from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1919 with construction work on the Wormholt Estate beginning around 1920. The estate when finished consisted of 590 homes and was built on 125 acres of land. It was the Metropolitan Borough of Hammersmith’s first major housing development. The estate was partly designed for ex-servicemen although takeup was initially poor.

In 1926–28, the London County Council (LCC) built 783 more houses. Plans for 37 shops were dropped.

The designs of buildings on the estates were influenced by both the Garden City movement and the Arts and Crafts movement. The estate was designed by the LCC’s Architects’ Department, particularly F J Lucas, A S Soutar and J M Corment, using Hampstead Garden Suburb as a reference.

The cottages shared a common style but were deliberately different from each other. While every cottage and maisonette had a scullery and toilet, onl...
»more


MARCH
22
2020

 

Poyle
Poyle is a largely industrial and agricultural area in the unitary authority of Slough, in the ceremonial county of Berkshire. Poyle lay within Middlesex since before the Norman Conquest as part of Stanwell, developing a manor in the early Middle Ages.

In 1894 it became part of Staines Urban District, which transferred to Surrey in 1965 following the dissolution of Middlesex. In 1974, Staines Urban District was absorbed into the new borough of Spelthorne under the Local Government Act 1972; the construction of the M25 in the 1980s separated Poyle from the other settlements in the borough.

In 1995, it and the neighbouring village of Colnbrook (in Buckinghamshire) were transferred to Berkshire, forming the new Colnbrook with Poyle parish of the borough of Slough.

Poyle is now contigious with Colnbrook, and is considered a sub-locality of its neighbour – many businesses within Poyle’s industrial areas use Colnbrook in their addresses, rather than Poyle.
»read full article


MARCH
21
2020

 

Crayford Ness
Crayford Ness is largely a tidal wetland - the easternmost area in the part of Greater London south of the Thames. Situated at the mouth of the River Darent, it has a small industrial estate - the Darent Industrial Estate - built on the site of the former Thames Ammunition Works. This 40 acre site operated between 1879 and 1962.
»read full article


MARCH
20
2020

 

Victoria Square, SW1W
Victoria Square, a small residential square, lies on land forming part of the Grosvenor Estate to the south of the Royal Mews. The square comprises some 25 houses, all of which are Grade II* listed designed by architect Sir Matthew Wyatt (1805–1886). They were constructed between 1838 and 1840 and named to celebrate the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign. Most of the houses comprising Victoria Square are now held as freeholds, having been purchased from the Grosvenor Estate.

A statue of the young Queen Victoria by Catherine Anne Laugel was installed in 2007.

The private gardens were renovated in the 2000s decade.

Former residents include author Ian Fleming from 1953 until his death in 1964.
»read full article


MARCH
19
2020

 

Acland Burghley School
Acland Burghley Secondary School is a mixed comprehensive secondary school in Tufnell Park. The school received specialist status as an Arts College in 2000 and is a part of the LaSWAP Sixth Form Consortium.

The LaSWAP Sixth Form is the sixth form consortium of four North London schools: Acland Burghley School, La Sainte Union Catholic School, Parliament Hill School and William Ellis School. It is one of the largest sixth form consortia in the Greater London area. The name was formed from the first three letters of La Sainte Union and the first letter of the other three schools.

The first school on the site opened in 1884 as the Burghley Road School, a mixed elementary school for 118 girls and 127 boys. It was joined in 1895 by a second building for senior pupils. In 1905, the senior boys moved to a new school in Fortress Road named Acland School, the senior girls staying at the Burghley Road site until 1931 when they were moved to a school on Chesters Road. The junior boys and girls stayed at Burghley Road.

After the Second World...
»more


MARCH
18
2020

 

Bleeding Heart Yard, EC1N
Bleeding Heart Yard is a courtyard off of Greville Street. This cobbled courtyard is probably named after a 16th-century inn sign dating to the Reformation that was displayed on a pub called ’The Bleeding Heart’ in nearby Charles Street. The sign showed the heart of the Virgin Mary pierced by five swords.

The yard was laid out in the 1680s by Abraham Arlidge, leasing the old dung hill of Ely Palace where pigs kept by locals were foraged.

The courtyard’s name may also commemorate the murder of Lady Elizabeth Hatton, the wife of Sir William Hatton, whose family had owned the area around Hatton Garden. It is said that her body was found here on 27 January 1626, "torn limb from limb, but with her heart still pumping blood."

The yard features in the Charles Dickens novel ’Little Dorrit’ as the home of the Plornish family.

Greville Street links Bleeding Heart Yard to another notable street from Charles Dickens’ novels: Saffron Hill, which was the home of Fagin in Oliver Twist.<...
»more


MARCH
17
2020

 

Shenley Primary School
Shenley Primary School is a mixed ability village school with approximately 260 children on roll, between the ages of 4 and 11 years. St Martin’s School was established in Shenley in 1841, next to the church, which was built at the same time. It was a national school, and catered for boys only. In 1853 the National School for Girls (now the village hall) was built. The Shenley School Board was established in 1878, and built a Board School for Girls and Infants, replacing the girls’ national school. The board school building on London Road forms part of Shenley Primary School today.

The school currently admits 45 children to each year group, and every class has its own fully qualified teacher, supported by a teaching assistant.
»read full article


MARCH
16
2020

 

Lauderdale Mansions South, W9
Lauderdale Mansions South is a block of 142 apartments in Lauderdale Road, Maida Vale. Built in 1897, Lauderdale Mansions South was the first of a swathe of mansion flat buildings for the middle classes that spread across central Maida Vale in the 1897-1907 period.

The building’s freehold company (in which all flat owners have a share) is unusual in that it is believed to be the only one in the UK whose constitution specifies a ‘first-past-the-post’ secret ballot for electing directors, with any shareholder being entitled to stand for election.

Lauderdale Mansions South is divided into 15 blocks, each with its own entrance hall leading to 8-14 flats. Behind the building lies a 1.5-acre communal garden in which there is also a meeting room for residents housed in a former Boiler House. The basement areas include storage units and bicycle storage areas.

Most apartments in the building are 950 to 1,500 square feet. The upper floor flats have balconies overlooking Lauderdale Road, while lower ground floor flats back on to t...
»more


MARCH
15
2020

 

Metropolitan Borough of St Marylebone
The Metropolitan Borough of St Marylebone was a Metropolitan borough of the County of London from 1900 to 1965. It was based directly on the existing civil parish of St Marylebone, which had been incorporated into the Metropolitan Board of Works area in 1855. It then became part of the County of London in 1889.

It was that part of the current City of Westminster which is north of Oxford Street, and east of Maida Vale and Edgware Road.

The name is derived from a chapel, dedicated to St Mary, and founded by Barking Abbey, the holders of the Manor of Tyburn. The chapel was named St Mary-le-Bourne, for the River Tyburn.

In 1965 it was abolished and its former area was amalgamated with that of the Metropolitan Borough of Paddington and the Metropolitan Borough of Westminster to form the City of Westminster.
»read full article


MARCH
14
2020

 

Great Marlborough Street, W1B
Great Marlborough Street runs east of Regent Street past Carnaby Street towards Noel Street. It was originally part of the Millfield estate south of Tyburn Road (Oxford Street). The original section was laid out around 1704.

Great Marlborough Street has had an association with the law since the late-18th century - its Magistrates Court was one of the most important magistrates courts in London.

The department store Liberty is on the corner of Great Marlborough Street with Regent Street and has a Mock Tudor facade.

Out of one hundred peers summoned before King George I in 1716, five lived in Great Marlborough Street.

Most of the 18th century buildings on Great Marlborough Street were later demolished, leading to the decline of its reputation as a fashionable street.

A police station was established at No. 21 Great Marlborough Street in 1793, leading to the establishment of Marlborough Street Magistrates Court in the early 19th century. The Marquess of Queensbury’s libel trial against Oscar Wilde too...
»more


MARCH
13
2020

 

Basing Lane, EC4M
Basing Lane ran west from Bow Lane to Bread Street. The earliest mention of the lane was in 1275.

The part from Bow Lane to the back door of the Red Lion, Watling Street lay in Cordwainer Street Ward, and the rest was in Breadstreet Ward.

Stow did not know the derivation of the street’s name, but suggested it had been called the Bakehouse in the fourteenth century. The more probable derivation would seem to be from the family of ’Basinges’ who held property in the lane in the thirteenth century.

It was removed for the western extension and widening of Cannon Street in 1854 into which it is now absorbed.
»read full article


MARCH
12
2020

 

Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham
The Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham was a metropolitan borough in the County of London between 1900 and 1965. The metropolitan borough was formed by the London Government Act (1899) from the civil parishes of Lee from the Lee District and Lewisham from the Lewisham District. The borough also included a small area formerly administered by Camberwell Vestry on the western slopes of Forest Hill.

There were still large areas of farmland at the time of the borough’s formation. The property boom of the 1930s saw much of that farmland built upon with both private estates, and the final gaps on the roads to Kent were filled in later on with London County Council built social housing, particularly in Downham and Bellingham.

In 1965, it became part of the London Borough of Lewisham along with the Metropolitan Borough of Deptford.
»read full article


MARCH
11
2020

 

Great Tower Street, EC3R
Great Tower Street, originally known just as Tower Street, forms an eastern continuation of Eastcheap. On Byward Street, opposite Great Tower Street, the historic church All Hallows-by-the-Tower can be found.

Tower Street was first recorded in 1259, and that the name may derives from ’vicus Turris’ (street tower)
A public house called the Czar’s Head used to stand here - so named because Peter the Great used to drink there when he was learning shipbuilding at Deptford.

On Tower Street in 1688, Edward Lloyd opened Lloyd’s Coffee House, where the insurance market Lloyd’s of London originated.

Tower Street was part of the route for civic pageants and processions, specifically coronation processions.
»read full article


MARCH
10
2020

 

Mark Lane station
Mark Lane is a disused Circle and District line Underground station. Mark Lane station was opened on 6 October 1884 and replaced the short-lived Tower of London station, which was closed when the Metropolitan Railway and District Railway were connected to form the Circle line and a larger station was required.

In 1946, the station was renamed Tower Hill.

It was originally named after Mark Lane, the street on which it is located, slightly west of the current Tower Hill station that replaced it in 1967.
»read full article


MARCH
9
2020

 

All Hallows Staining
All Hallows Staining was a church located at the junction of Mark Lane and Dunster Court. The first mention of the church was in the late 12th century - ’Staining’ in this context means ’stone’, distinguishing it from the other churches called All Hallows in the City of London, which were wooden.

The old church survived the Great Fire in 1666 but collapsed in 1671. The church was rebuilt in 1674.

The parishes of All Hallows Staining and nearby St Olave Hart Street were combined in 1870. All Hallows Staining was demolished, leaving only the tower.

After St Olave Hart Street was badly damaged in 1941, between 1948 and 1954, a prefabricated church stood on the site of All Hallows Staining known as St Olave Mark Lane. The tower of All Hallows Staining was used as the chancel.

The tower is maintained by the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers, one of the livery companies of the City of London.
»read full article


MARCH
8
2020

 

Bow Church
Bow Church is the parish church of St Mary and Holy Trinity, Stratford, Bow. There has been a church on the same site for over 700 years.

A chapel of ease on the site was licensed by Bishop Ralph Baldock of London on 17 November 1311 for the people of Stratford-at-Bow within the parish of Stepney. Before this date, churchgoers had had to travel to St Dunstan’s, Stepney. The present building is thought to have a 14th-century structure and the tower was added in the 15th century. It is constructed of Kentish Ragstone with brick additions.

The chapel of ease arrangement allowed parishioners to practise their religion locally, but were still obliged to attend St Dunstan’s at Stepney on religious holidays and to help pay for the church’s upkeep.

In 1497, an agreement was reached, whereby the people of Bow promised to acknowledge themselves as parishioners of Stepney and agreed to pay 24 shillings annually for repairs of the mother church. They could now dispense with their attendance there.

In 1556...
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MARCH
7
2020

 

Glenfarg Road, SE6
Glenfarg Road was one of the roads built by Archibald Cameron Corbett. Archibald Cameron Corbett, a Scot, inherited his father’s property business during 1880.

He purchased 278 acres of land from the Earl of St Germans’s North Park Farm near to the new Hither Green railway station and then spent three years building over 3000 high quality homes for working class and middle class tenants between 1896 and 1911.

Many of the roads such as Glenfarg Road, Balloch Road and Muirkirk Road, are named after Scottish villages. He later became an MP and was elevated to the peerage as Lord Rowallan.

Originally called the St Germans Estate, the area become known as the Corbett Estate.

By 1910 there were six churches, four schools, six shopping parades, a railway station and a library.

After loaning the South Eastern Railway £3400 to build a more convenient entrance, the railway company agreed to sell cheap season tickets to Corbett tenants, a major selling point for prospective buyers.»more


MARCH
6
2020

 

Woodlands Street, SE13
Woodlands Street is crossed by the Prime Meridian - 0° longitude. Woodlands Street was laid out by W.J. Scudamore, builder - who started work on it in 1896 and additionally built Benin Street and Blashford Street.

It was built along the line of a track to a nursery at Woodlands House which formerly lay at the western end of the current street. At the eastern end of Benin Street on Hither Green Lane lay Hope Cottage, which was built around 1840.

Hope Cottage was situated next to a pathway which led to a house called Bright Side which eventually lent its name to Brightside Road.

Park Fever Hospital was completed in the mid 1890s at the same time as the sale of North Park Farm (its farm track later became Duncrievie Road) and in 1896, Hope Cottage and its land was sold by its owner - Charles Butler to W.J. Scudamore.

Woodlands Street was from the outset a working class street and it was reported as ’overcrowded’ in 1901. Only the southern side of the street was housing with the grounds of ...
»more


MARCH
5
2020

 

Blattner Close, WD6
Blattner Close was named after Ludwig (Louis) Blattner, cinema pioneer, when built in the late 1990s. Ludwig Blattner was a pioneer of early magnetic sound recording, licensing a design from German inventor Dr Kurt Stille, enhancing it to use steel tape instead of wire, thereby creating an early form of tape recorder. The BBC saw a potential to record and timeshift BBC radio programmes and rented several Blattnerphones from 1930 onwards, one of which was used to record a speech by King George V. In 1939, the BBC used a Blattnerphone to record Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s announcement to Britain of the outbreak of World War II.

Prior to the First World War, Ludwig Blattner managed the ’La Scala’ cinema in Wallasey from 1912 to 1914 and conducted the cinema’s orchestra.

In early 1928, Blattner was planning a 400-acre ’Hollywood, England’ estate complete with a hotel, hospital, aeroplane club and the largest collection of studios in the world. Blattner then formed the Ludwig Blattner Picture Corporation in Borehamwood in the studio comple...
»more


MARCH
4
2020

 

Merton Road, SW19
Merton Road has connected Merton High Street to Wimbledon since the 18th century. The name Merton dates from the 10th Century, and means ’farmstead by the pool’.

The road formed the western boundary of the 160 acre Merton Place estate. In 1801, Horatio Nelson separated from his wife Fanny. His mistress, Emma, Lady Hamilton found Merton Place situated next to the Wandle River. Lord Nelson paid £9000 for it in 1803.

After his death, Nelson left Merton and its contents to Emma, but within three years, her mounting debts caused her to sell it.

After standing empty for many years, the estate was eventually auctioned ’into lots adequate for detached villas’ in 1823. It was finally pulled down in 1846 - no attempt was made to save it for the nation.

Merton Road became a mix of residential and commercial.

Just after the dawn of the 20th century, Wimbledon entertainment venues were lining Merton Road: the Apollo Electric Theatre (the first cinema in the area), the Wimbledon Theatre and King’s Palace Theatre.
»read full article


MARCH
3
2020

 

Wimbledon
Wimbledon is home to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and New Wimbledon Theatre, and contains Wimbledon Common, one of the largest areas of common land in London. The residential area is split into two sections known as the village and the town, with the High Street being part of the original medieval village, and the town being part of the modern development since the building of the railway station.

Wimbledon has been inhabited since at least the Iron Age when the hill fort on Wimbledon Common is thought to have been constructed. In 1087 when the Domesday Book was compiled, Wimbledon was part of the manor of Mortlake. The ownership of the manor of Wimbledon changed between various wealthy families many times during its history, and the area also attracted other wealthy families who built large houses such as Eagle House, Wimbledon House and Warren House. The village developed with a stable rural population coexisting alongside nobility and wealthy merchants from the city. In the 18th century the Dog and Fox public house became a stop on the stagecoach run from London to Portsmouth, then in 1838 the London and Sout...
»more


MARCH
2
2020

 

Macfarlane Place, W12
Macfarlane Place - a road with two lifetimes. Macfarlane Place began its life as a farm track which ran from Wood Lane to Old Oak Farm.

Supported by the Metropolitan Railway and the Great Western Railway, the Hammersmith & City Railway was built from the GWR’s main line a mile west of Paddington station to Shepherd’s Bush and Hammersmith. Built on viaduct largely across open fields, the line opened on 13 June 1864.

The viaduct crossed the farm track but as at did so, Macfarlane Place was created between it and Wood Lane.

After a 60 year hiatus, Macfarlane Place then became a new pedestrian-only street which cut through the BBC Television Centre car park after the Centre was redeveloped.
»read full article


MARCH
1
2020

 

Barge House Street, SE1
Barge House Street is a renamed section of Upper Ground Street. Old Barge House Stairs once marked the outflow of a stream - though more an open sewer which ran in a wide loop.

Embankment walls were build along the river bank at Upper Ground and sewers carried off water either to the river or south to St George’s Fields. Until 1809, when the Surrey and Kent Sewer Commission obtained permission to build new main sewers, the whole area was subject to flooding whenever there was an exceptionally high tide and most of the ground was too marshy for building.

However, from at least as early as the 14th century there was a fringe of houses along Upper Ground.

Sometime before 1420 the land was farmed out to John, Duke of Bedford. In 1655, William Angell, a grocer from London, bought the area for £500. The land comprised ’ten messuages, eighty cottages, twenty tofts, twenty gardens, twenty orchards, ten acres of land, fifty acres of meadow, thirty acres of pasture and one acre of woodland’. A large part ...
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