The Underground Map


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MAP YEAR:1750180018301860190019502020Fullscreen map
Battersea ·
July
4
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...
Zulu Mews, SW11
Zulu Mews lies within the curve of a Battersea railway. At time of writing it was the last street alphabetically in London. It arrived as the latest street in Battersea in 2010.

It had been an access road to the back gardens of Rowena Crescent but, London housing pressure being what it is, became filled with ten modern dwellings in a gated development.

The curious name comes about because Rowena Crescent was originally called Zulu Crescent when laid out in 1880. The nearby streets had all been named after 1870s British military victories. Rowena Cresent residents of the 1880s did not take to the name for the road.

When the 2010 developet was built, and needed a name, the original Zulu monicker was given to the new street.



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JULY
1
2020

 

Keeley Street, WC2B
Keeley Street has a dual history Little Wild^ Street came into existence around 1690 - there is a deed dated 1 September 1690 which refers to a "toft, peece or parcell of ground, being parcell of the garden late belonging to Weld House in or near Weld Streete … abutting towards the south to a new streete or passage of thirty foote in breadth there made or intended to be made, to lead out of Weld Streete towards Duke Streete and the arch in Great Lincolne’s Inn Fields." (N.b. Duke Street later became Sardinia Street).

There was a matching Great Wild^ Street which it lay off of. Towards the end of its history, the Little Wild Street Baptist Church and a school were notable buildings.

As part of the Aldwych scheme, Keeley Street was built over the top of Little Wild^ Street with its eastern end adjusted to reach Kingsway. All the existing buildings in the original street were demolished, leaving only its route.
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JUNE
26
2020

 

Lisson Grove, NW1
The southern end of Lisson Grove was the location of a hamlet and open space, both called Lisson Green Lisson Green is described as a hamlet in the Domesday book.

Originally Lisson Grove was part of the medieval manor of Lilestone which stretched north to Hampstead. Lisson Green broke away as a new manor in 1236 and had its own manor house.

’Lissing Green’ becames a recreation area for Londoners. By the 1790s, the Green was a large open space stretching down to Chapel Street and the Old Marylebone Road. Beside it on Lisson Grove, the Lissing Green/Lissom Grove village was part of a network of country lanes, on the east side of Edgware Road. At the southern end of the Green was the Yorkshire Stingo inn from whence stagecoaches set off for all parts.

Earlier, in 1771, Lisson Green was bought by James Stephens and Daniel Bullock, manufacturers of white lead. They set up the White Lead Manufactory next to the Nursery Garden, with unrecorded consequences to health. But until the late 18th century the district remained essentially rural.
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JUNE
22
2020

 

Kew Green
Kew Green is a large open space owned by the Crown Estate and extending to about thirty acres The northern, eastern and southwestern sides of the Green are largely residential with some pubs, restaurants, and the Herbarium Library. To the north of the Green is Kew Bridge and the South Circular Road leading from the bridge runs across the Green, dividing it into a large western part and a smaller eastern part.

At the south end is St Anne’s Church and at the west end of the Green is Elizabeth Gate, one of the two main entrances into Kew Gardens.

A large triangular space, Kew Green is mentioned in a Parliamentary Survey of Richmond taken in 1649. Kew Green became notable as a venue for cricket in the 1730s and a parcel of land at the edge of the Green was enclosed by George IV in the 1820s.

Near the northeast corner of Kew Green is Kew Pond, originally thought to have been fed from a creek of the tidal Thames. During high tides, sluice gates are opened to allow river water to fill the pond via an underground channel.
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JUNE
21
2020

 

Long Lane, UB10
Long Lane runs roughly parallel with and about half a mile east of the River Pinn Until the 20th century, there were only two major roads: the road from the district towards Harefield (later Park Road) and Long Lane running south from Ruislip and Ickenham to the London road east of Hillingdon village.

Ickenham village was situated at the junction of the modern Swakeleys Road and Long Lane. At this junction Long Lane widened to form a roughly triangular village centre for Ickenham. Until the 1930s most of the local houses were grouped around this spot.

Ickenham began to change after the sale of most of the Swakeleys estate in 1922. By 1934, larger dwellings and blocks of flats had been built along Long Lane.

Early 20th-century expansion was to transform the formerly distinct settlements of the area. By 1934 private housing estates and access ways covered much of the triangular area between Hillingdon village, Colham Green, and Goulds Green. Further private building was concentrated north of Hillingdon village along Long ...
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JUNE
20
2020

 

Allington Street, SW1E
Allington Street was named after Allington in Lincolnshire. Allington Street is first found in 1827, a year when a rash of new streets and terraces appeared in the future Victoria area.

They were all named, and for no apparent reason, after towns scattered over the country: Allington (Lincs), Stockbridge (Hants), Shaftesbury (Dorset), Bedford, Trelleck (Mon), Pembroke, Hindon (Wilts) and Howick (Lanes). Names of towns were a common source of street names among uninspired builders.

Apart from Allington Street and Howick Place, they have all since disappeared.
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JUNE
19
2020

 

Allen Street, W8
Allen Street extends south from Kensington High Street. Local ratebooks date what became Allen Street (also ‘Allen’s Rents’) to 1817.

Thomas Allen was a ’Buckinghamshire gentleman’ and landowner. He was one of the innovators of stucco, according to Faulkner’s History of Kensington (1820): "Mr Allen is now building two large rows of houses in the modern style, covered with plaister to ressemble stone". Faulkner denounced this as "tasteless tasteless innovation".

Allen formed a street leading south out of Kensington High Street of ’similar width and character to Newland Street’. This cul-de-sac was the future Allen Street but was then called Phillimore Terrace.

While active all around, in Allen Street itself, Thomas Allen did not build and until building started on the estate to the south, Allen Street was a quiet side street. The southward extension of the street occurred from 1852.

The Britannia Brewery occupied the site of the present Allen Mansions since 1834. A...
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JUNE
18
2020

 

Rowena Crescent, SW11
Rowena Crescent was once called Zulu Crescent. The Falcon Estate, of which Rowena Crescent is part, was laid out by Alfred Heaver in 1880.

Rowena Crescent was set back some distance from the railway when the street opened that year. The original streets on the Falcon Estate were named after British victories throughout the Empire which had taken place before the Estate was designed. Therefore we find a Candahar Road, Khyber Road and an Afghan Road named after the 1870s Afghanistan campaign alone. There had also been a skirmish in southern Africa during the decade and Rowena Crescent was assigned the name Zulu Crescent.

Local residents petitioned against the name and the more peaceable Rowena Crescent came into being soon afterwards.
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JUNE
17
2020

 

Aaron Hill Road, E6
Aaron Hill Road is the first street alphabetically within the M25. Aaron Hill Road was built over the site of Beckton’s Tar and Liquor Works which existed north of Windor Terrace.

The coal tar and ammonia by-products industry started in the late 19th century. It was discovered that numerous organic and inorganic chemicals could be obtained when purifying coal gas.

By 1876, the Burt, Boulton and Haywood company was distilling 55,000 cubic metres of coal tar annually to manufacture ingredients for dyes, disinfectants, road tar and insecticides. It provided sulphur to local companies for such products as fertilisers.

A purpose-built chemical works, Beckton Products Works, was constructed in 1879 and was reputed to be the largest tar and ammonia by-products works in the world. Since the works was dependent on by-products of coal gas, it could not long survive the introduction of natural gas and closed in 1970.

In 1981 the London Docklands Development Corporation started transforming the site ...
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JUNE
16
2020

 

Elia Street, N1
Elia Street was named for local poet, Charles Lamb. Charles Lamb achieved fame in the 1820s when he published a series of essays in the London Magazine under the name of ’Elia’ - the last name of an Italian man that he had worked with when Lamb was a clerk at the South Sea Company.

It was at first called Alfred Street. James Rhodes laid out Sudeley Street, Alfred Street and Vincent Terrace by 1837 and Gordon Street (later Quick Street) in 1838. A few houses in Elia Street, which ran to the New River beside the Scotch church, had already been completed by 1838. Rhodes used at least three builders, William Beckingham, John Wilson, and Thomas Allen, and probably also built the short terrace facing the river between Elia Street and Vincent Terrace.


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JUNE
15
2020

 

Tadworth
Tadworth is a suburban village in Surrey situated in the south-east area of the Epsom Downs. On a local farm - South Tadworth Farm - is an Iron Age ’Banjo’ enclosure, dating from 400–100 BC.

Tadworth appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as ’Tadeorde and Tadorne’. Its assets were: 2 hides, 5 ploughs and woodland worth 4 hogs.

For centuries after that, a manorial system was in place: namely North Tadworth Manor, South Tadworth Manor and the Rectory Manors of Banstead.

In 1874 a school board was formed for Banstead, Tadworth, and Kingswood, and in 1875 Tadworth and Kingswood School was opened by the board - now Kingswood Primary School.

In 1911 topographer and historian H. E. Malden describes Tadworth as "a hamlet on the Reigate road, included now in the ecclesiastical district of Kingswood".

On 1 July 1900, the railway station opened as ’Tadworth & Walton-on-the Hill’. It is the penultimate station on the Tattenham Corner Line.

The British Transport Police’s training ...
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JUNE
14
2020

 

Allcroft Road, NW5
Allcroft Road was built between 1862 and 1870 to links Queen’s Crescent with roads to the south. The church of St Martin’s was built in 1865 at the expense of John D. Allcroft. Allcroft was a wealthy Shropshire gentleman who was concerned about the spiritual welfare of the hundreds of workers and artisans moving into the developing neighbourhood. A memorial to him was erected in the church after his death in 1893.

J. Sainsbury built an important North London depot in Allcroft Road in the 1880s.

After Second World War devastation in the area, the northern section of the road went under the bulldozer and disappeared.
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JUNE
13
2020

 

St Albans Place, N1
St Albans Place was home to a famous Islington strong man. During the 18th century, there was a pub here called the ’Duke’s Head’ on the south east corner of the street. It was known from 1600 onwards and presumably this dates the street to the rural origins of Islington.

The pub was kept at that time by Thomas Topham (1710-1749), a famous strongman who had been a publican at Coldbath Fields at the age of 24. He was originally a carpenter and stood 5 feet 10 inches according to contemporary records.

In nearby Bath Street, during 1741, he lifted three barrels of water - weighing 1183 pounds - by his neck in front of a huge crowd of thousands which included Admiral Vernon, the naval victor of Portobello and Carthagena. Portobello Road is named after Vernon.

Topham could also twist pewter plates into the shape of three-cornered hats. In the British Museum can be found a dish made of the hardest pewter that had been rolled up by Topham.

His story didn’t end well. After stabbing h...
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JUNE
12
2020

 

Alan Coren Close, NW2
Alan Coren Close is named for an important contributor to Cricklewood culture. Alan Coren (1938–2007) was an English writer and satirist. He was well-known as a regular panellist on the BBC radio quiz ’The News Quiz’ and a team captain on BBC television’s ’Call My Bluff’. Coren was for almost a decade the editor of ’Punch’ magazine.

Alan Coren was born in East Barnet and educated at East Barnet Grammar School followed by Wadham College at Oxford. He studied for a doctorate in modern American literature at Yale and Berkeley.

He began his writing career by selling articles to ’Punch’ and was later offered a full-time job there. In 1966, he became Punch’s literary editor, becoming deputy editor in 1969 and editor in 1977. When Coren left Punch in 1987, he became editor of The Listener, continuing there until 1989.

In 1977, Coren was invited to be one of the regular panellists on BBC Radio 4’s then-new satirical quiz show, ’The News Quiz’. He continued until 2007.

Coren published...
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JUNE
11
2020

 

Cricklewood Broadway (1933)
Smiths of Cricklewood were notable clockmakers. The photo can be accurately dated due to the performance of "The One Girl" listed on the poster.
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JUNE
10
2020

 

Castor Street, E14
Castor Street existed between the 1810s and 1960s. Until the building of the East India Dock Road in 1806, the only roads running north from Poplar High Street were Bow Lane, Robin Hood Lane and North Street. East India Dock Road’s arrival at the beginning of the nineteenth century started development planning.

The land to the north of Pennyfields as far as East India Dock Road was owned by Mary Burch. In 1812, Castor Street was laid out and a number of leases were granted there to carpenters, a bricklayer and a builder. Henceforth a number of small houses were erected in Castor Street and Sandpit Road (later this was renamed West Street and again in 1875 renamed Birchfield Street).

Mary Burch offered short leases of 31 years - these were too short to encourage a high standard of building. Some nearby occupiers complained of filth ’of every kind’ in Castor Street.

By 1832, Joel Langley and his family had acquired the land from Miss Burch. From about 1855 Joseph and George Mills establ...
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JUNE
9
2020

 

Hornsey Road, N7
Hornsey Road is main road running through the Islington and Highbury area In very early times, Hornsey Road was called Tallington Lane or Tallingdon Lane. It was part of the old road to Whetstone by way of Crouch End.

Its variable name came from the settlement of Tollington which was already located around the junction of Heame Lane and Tollington Lane (later Seven Sisters Road and Hornsey Road) by 1000 - a moated farmhouse lay on the south side of the junction. Although Tollington remained in use as a placename to the end of the 17th century, it was superseded by Holloway and the hamlet had ceased to have a separate identity by the 18th century.

The junction of Hornsey Road and Holloway Roads was known as Ring Cross by 1494.

By 1586, there was a freehold house with a garden, orchard and moat called Lower Place alongside the roadHornsey Roadin the Kinloch Place area. By 1721, this had become an inn.

By the eighteenth century, Hornsey Road has become called Duval’s Lane. About 1802 it was said...
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JUNE
8
2020

 

Lodge Farm
Lodge Farm was owned by Merton Priory until the dissolution of the monastery in 1538. Sir Richard Garth was Lord of the Manor in the 1600s.

This farm was originally called Spital Farm - it is not known when its name changed to Lodge Farm. It was a mixture of arable, grass, orchards and market gardening.

From the late 1700s to the early 1900s, the farm was owned by members of the Hoare banking family but they only lived at The Lodge (a large house) next door until the mid nineteenth century. The farm itself was by then run by their bailiff but in the latter half of the 1800s, the land was divided and leased to various farmers.

In 1910, The Lodge is described as being of timber with a pantile roof. It had a sitting room, kitchen, two bedrooms, a wash room, an outside toilet and a garden. Various cow stalls were described and three farm yards mentioned. There were also stables.

There was a public footpath through the farm estate which went from Central Road (formerly Morden Lane) to Bishopsford Road (formerly Su...
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JUNE
7
2020

 

Wharf Road, E14
Wharf Road is now part of Ferry Road but had an independent history. Wharf Road ran parallel to the river and had various wharves along its length: the Port of London Wharf, Millwall Boiler Works and a horse shoe makers on the Millwall side. On the Cubitt Town side there was more industry.

The Millwall Extension Railway opened a station called North Greenwich but the site of the station split Wharf Road into two parts. The railway company ran a subway between the vestigial Wharf Road and the cut-off - and much longer - section which eventually became Saunders Ness Road from 1937.

Wharf Road dated from the 1850s and its housing dated from the following decade. Three cross streets were built: Barque Street, Ship Street (later Schooner Street) and Brig Street.
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JUNE
6
2020

 

Shoulder of Mutton Alley, E14
Shoulder of Mutton Alley might derive its name from an inn - or something more earthy. Shoulder of Mutton Alley might derive its name from a food market. There was one here of the same name. But there was, in older times’, another use of the word ‘mutton’ - a slang term for prostitutes. This was prime dockland territory, after all.
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JUNE
5
2020

 

Frying Pan Alley, E1
Frying Pan Alley is situated close to Middlesex Street and its Petticoat Lane market. Frying Pan Alley is an indication of the businesses that used to operate here.

Ironmongers and braziers used the frying pan as the emblem of their trade and they would hang a pan outside their shop so people could see what their business was. Over time, the name stuck, but the frying pans are long gone.

According to folklore, a shopper was once hit on the head by a pan here as it dropped down and nearly flattened him. From that time on, people walked by the shop on the opposite side of the path in an attempt to avoid another incident.

It is unknown so far just how old Frying Pan Alley is - but it was already appearing on the oldest detailed London-wide map - that of John Rocque in the 1750s/1760s.
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JUNE
4
2020

 

Batts Farm
Batts Farm is first mentioned in the will of Peter Batt in the late eighteenth century. The farm consisted of arable meadow, pasture land, coppice ground and 70 acres known as Batts Land. There was also a barn, stable yard and a house. Part of the land extended on the west to Green Wrythe Lane and to the River Wandle on the east.

Peter Batt left the farm to his sisters Mary Batt and Elizabeth Bassett. In 1798, Mary Batt leased it to a Henry Hoare for a term of 21 years. There was a proviso in the lease that "he did not cut all the trees".

Henry Hoare sold the farm in 1828 - it then consisted of various farm buildings and two new brick-built cottages. These cottages were mostly used by agricultural labourers employed by the farm.

By 1841, the Charles Pimm ran Batts Farm, living there with his son William and daughter Anne. The farmhouse was probably rebuilt in the late 1850s. When Charles died in 1869, William took over and farmed there until he died in 1892. By then, the farm mostly grew grain and vegetables. There was some li...
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JUNE
3
2020

 

Theobald Street, looking north
This image probably dates from the 1950s. Immediately to the right of the photo we see ’The Crown’, a pub situated at the Shenley Road/Theoald Street junction until the 2010s - replaced by a supermarket in the same building.

The war memorial was deemed too much of an obstruction to traffic and so was moved to the junction of Shenley Road and Elstree Way later.

The building behind the war memorial is the original building of ’The Crown’, demolished in 2020 despite listed building protection.


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JUNE
2
2020

 

Sloane Street, SW1X
Sloane Street runs north to south, from Knightsbridge to Sloane Square, taking its name from Sir Hans Sloane, who purchased the surrounding area in 1712. By 1760, the Swan (or New Swan) inn occupied a group of buildings facing the lane later enlarged into Sloane Street, with a tap house (later the Clock House inn) facing Brompton Road.

The Swan inn dated back at least to 1699, but was largely rebuilt in 1755–6 when a new lease was granted to Joseph Barnham, innkeeper. There was a yard with stables and coach-houses stretching to the west roughly up to the present Hooper’s Court.

Development started in the immediate environs of the inn. Here twelve houses known initially as Gloucester Row were erected under building leases of 1764 from Joseph Barnham to Joseph Clark and William Meymott, both carpenters. Clark built four houses next to the Swan, all leased in 1764. Meymott, a substantial builder based in Southwark and Bermondsey, built the following eight, leased in 1764–7. These were all small and orthodox Georgian terrace houses.

Joseph Clark (described as ‘Joseph Clark the elder’...
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JUNE
1
2020

 

Gracechurch Street, EC3V
Gracechurch Street is in the heart of Roman Londinium - it runs directly over the site of the basilica and forum. The word ’Gracechurch’ is derived from ’Gres-cherch’ or ’Gras-cherche’. The ’Gracechurch’ version was not used until after the destruction of all of the buildings in the street during the Great Fire of London in 1666. During its history, the street was for a period named Gracious Street.

It was a late Anglo-Saxon street and seems to have been built around the same time as London Bridge (10th/11th century) to which it provided access.

The church is was named after - St Benet Gracechurch stood at the junction with Lombard Street. It was destroyed in the Great Fire.

In medieval times a corn market was held beside the church. Leadenhall Market dating from the 14th century is still the street’s most noted attraction.

Originally at its southern end, it was called New Fish Street. North of Cornhill, Gracechurch continued as Bishopsgate Street.

The street was on the royal processional route. When the ...
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