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Featured · Shoreditch ·
APRIL
12
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...
Collingwood Street, E2
Collingwood Street was at the heart of the Old Nicol rookery. In 1680, John Nichol of Gray’s Inn leased just over four acres of gardens for 180 years to a London mason, Jon Richardson, with permission to dig for bricks. The land became built up piecemeal with houses. Many of the local streets were named after Nichol.

At least 22 houses were built in Old Nichol Street in 1801-2, probably on the sites of 17th-century ones.

An area of this was named Friar’s Mount probably after James Fryer who farmed it in the 1720s. Friar’s Mount was sold to Sanderson Turner Sturtevant, a tallow chandler who was leasing out ground on the west side of Turk Street by 1804. A John Gadenne was building on the west side of Mount Street in 1807. Mount Street, from Rose Street to Virginia Row, existed by 1806. Nelson Street and Collingwood Streets ran west from Mount Street by 1807.

A garden - Kemp’s Garden - was taken for building at about the same time. Mead built nine houses in Mead Street in 1806 and others were un...

»more

MARCH
31
2021

 

Howard Street, WC2R
Howard Street ran from Surrey Street to Arundel Street until 1974 Norfolk Street and Howard Street were built over the grounds of Arundel House which had been the property of the Howard family, Dukes of Norfolk.

Howard Street was demolished in the 1970s to build Arundel Great Court.
»read full article


MARCH
30
2021

 

Ayres Street, SE1
Ayres Street was formerly known as Whitecross Street Ayres Street changed name in tribute to Alice Ayres - also immortalised in Postman’s Park in the City. Ayres lost her life whilst saving three children from a fire in Union Street in 1885.

John Strype mentions Whitecross Street in his 1720 ’Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster’. He called it "a pretty clean Street, but ordinary Built and Inhabited." It is unknown how long before 1710 that the street was built.

The White Cross Cottages were built in 1890 by social reformer Octavia Hill and designed by Elijah Hoole, as model social housing. They include a hall with interior decoration by Walter Crane.

The dense grain of local small buildings was in part eroded after the Second World War. As redevelopment occurred, larger blocks, occupied by single uses, replaced the Georgian and Victorian houses, shops and warehouses. This is particularly evident in the area between Ayres Street and Southwark Bridge Road.
»read full article


MARCH
29
2021

 

Alpha Grove, E14
Alpha Grove runs from Strafford Street to Tiller Road Alpha Grove ran right through to the West India Dock fence dock - its cranes can be seen at the end of the road. When built in the 1800s, Alpha Road followed a section of the old Island path, Dolphin Lane.

Albert Terrace and Alfred Terrace were rows of houses in Alpha Road.

Alpha Road was renamed Alpha Grove in 1939, and was seriously damaged during WWII.

In 1964 the LCC declared this site as the Manilla Street Clearance Area, and this north end of Alpha Grove became a part of Manilla Street in the Barkantine Estate.

Alpha Road Methodist Chapel (Wesleyan Chapel, Alpha Grove Community Centre) was built in 1887. An additional hall was added in 1926. The buildings were converted into a community centre in the 1970s.
»read full article


MARCH
28
2021

 

Aldgate High Street, EC3N
Once the route to one of the six original gates of the Wall of London, Aldgate High Street has an important place in medieval London’s history Aldgate High Street was closely located to where the eastern part of the original Roman Wall, and in the medieval period, it led to town of Colchester in Essex.

Because of its connection to places outside London, Aldgate High Street was vital to the geography of medieval London. Unfortunately, any archaeological remnants of the Roman gate have been obscured, and there is no evidence of its precise location, but is believed to have straddled Aldgate High Street, the gate’s northern edge beneath the pavement of current address of 1-2 Aldgate High Street, and its southern edge beneath 88-89 Aldgate High Street.

There is some dispute over the etymology and meaning of "Aldgate," but various historians have provided some theories. The earliest record of Aldgate has it listed as East Gate, which makes sense, given its location as the easternmost gate on the Wall.

Another interpretation of its current name, "Ale Gate," indicates that an ale-ho...
»more





LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT



   
Added: 11 Apr 2021 20:03 GMT   

North Harrow
The North Harrow Embassy Cinema was closed in 1963 and replaced by a bowling alley and a supermarket. As well as the cinema itself there was a substantial restaurant on the first floor.

Source: Embassy Cinema in North Harrow, GB - Cinema Treasures

Reply
Lived here
KJ   
Added: 11 Apr 2021 12:34 GMT   

Family
1900’s Cranmer family lived here at 105 (changed to 185 when road was re-numbered)
James Cranmer wife Louisa ( b.Logan)
They had 3 children one being my grandparent William (Bill) CRANMER married to grandmother “Nancy” He used to go to
Glengall Tavern in Bird in Bush Rd ,now been converted to flats.

Reply
Comment
charlie evans   
Added: 10 Apr 2021 18:51 GMT   

apollo pub 1950s
Ted Lengthorne was the landlord of the apollo in the 1950s. A local called darkie broom who lived at number 5 lancaster road used to be the potman,I remember being in the appollo at a street party that was moved inside the pub because of rain for the queens coronation . Not sure how long the lengthornes had the pub but remember teds daughter julie being landlady in the early 1970,s

Reply

Graham O’Connell   
Added: 10 Apr 2021 10:24 GMT   

Lloyd & Sons, Tin Box Manufacturers (1859 - 1982)
A Lloyd & Sons occupied the wharf (now known as Lloyds Wharf, Mill Street) from the mid 19th Century to the late 20th Century. Best known for making tin boxes they also produced a range of things from petrol canisters to collecting tins. They won a notorious libel case in 1915 when a local councillor criticised the working conditions which, in fairness, weren’t great. There was a major fire here in 1929 but the company survived at least until 1982 and probably a year or two after that.

Reply
Born here
Joyce Taylor   
Added: 5 Apr 2021 21:05 GMT   

Lavender Road, SW11
MyFather and Grand father lived at 100 Lavender Road many years .I was born here.

Reply
Born here
Beverly Sand   
Added: 3 Apr 2021 17:19 GMT   

Havering Street, E1
My mother was born at 48 Havering Street. That house no longer exists. It disappeared from the map by 1950. Family name Schneider, mother Ray and father Joe. Joe’s parents lived just up the road at 311 Cable Street

Reply
Comment
Fumblina   
Added: 27 Mar 2021 11:13 GMT   

St Jude’s Church, Lancefield Street
Saint Jude’s was constructed in 1878, while the parish was assigned in 1879 from the parish of Saint John, Kensal Green (P87/JNE2). The parish was united with the parishes of Saint Luke (P87/LUK1) and Saint Simon (P87/SIM) in 1952. The church was used as a chapel of ease for a few years, but in 1959 it was closed and later demolished.

The church is visible on the 1900 map for the street on the right hand side above the junction with Mozart Street.

Source: SAINT JUDE, KENSAL GREEN: LANCEFIELD STREET, WESTMINSTER | Londo

Reply
Comment
Fumblina   
Added: 27 Mar 2021 11:08 GMT   

Wedding at St Jude’s Church
On 9th November 1884 Charles Selby and Johanna Hanlon got married in St Jude’s Church on Lancefield Street. They lived together close by at 103 Lancefield Street.
Charles was a Lather, so worked in construction. He was only 21 but was already a widower.
Johanna is not shown as having a profession but this is common in the records and elsewhere she is shown as being an Ironer or a Laundress. It is possible that she worked at the large laundry shown at the top of Lancefield Road on the 1900 map. She was also 21. She was not literate as her signature on the record is a cross.
The ceremony was carried out by William Hugh Wood and was witnessed by Charles H Hudson and Caroline Hudson.

Source: https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageviewer/collections/1623/images/31280_197456-00100?pId=6694792

Reply
JULY
31
2020

 

Ampthill Square, NW1
Ampthill Square is a name which has existed in two different time periods. The first Ampthill Square was part of an area east of Hampstead Road which disappeared under railway track widening. Edward Walford in 1878 pointed out: "Ampthill Square, which we have now reached, and which is in reality not a square, but a triangle, is so named after Ampthill Park, in Bedfordshire, formerly the seat of the Earls of Upper Ossory, but afterwards the property of the ducal house of Bedford, to whom the land about this part belongs."

The second Ampthill Square is part of the Somers Town estate. The names Ampthill Estate and Ampthill Sqaure are both used for the modern development.

The Estate consists of three flats with yellow, blue and red motifs and were built in 1965.

Swapping between the 1860 maps and current map shows the radically different cityscapes.
»read full article


JULY
30
2020

 

Friern Barnet Road, N11
Friern Barnet Road was Betstile Lane between 1549 and 1785, Southgate Lane in 1801, High Road in 1879, and its current name from 1889. At the eastern end of Friern Barnet Road was the hamlet of Betstile. Before 1815 most of the houses lay in Hertfordshire or Edmonton, apart from Betstile House on the corner of Friern Barnet Road and Oakleigh Roads, but by 1846 others stood north of the road, on the site of the former Friern great park, and the former Friern little park in Oakleigh Road had been divided into plots with cottages. Since the mid 19th century Betstile has been better known as New Southgate.

The White House and the Orange Tree inn stood on the north-west, a little below Brook House, the Priory on the north-east, with the Woodlands, Green bank, and Springfield further north, and the Hermitage and several cottages on the south-west by 1783.

There was very little change in the 19th century before the construction of the county lunatic asylum, and in 1882 Colney Hatch was described
as a village which had sprung up to serve the staff.
»read full article


JULY
29
2020

 

Astonville Street, SW18
Astonville Street is the easternmost street of ’The Grid’. On 11 September 1940, 89 Astonville Street was hit by a high explosive bomb. No-one was killed but scores of people lost their homes.
»read full article


JULY
28
2020

 

Station Road, WD6
Station Road was laid out shortly after the railway was built to connect new industry built alongside the railway with the centre of the village. The first studios build were Whitehall Studios built in 1928. This became a sound studio in 1929.

In 1929, Andrew Harkness first entered into the screen-manufacturing business with his 18-year-old son Tom, the business operating partly out of the Whitehall Studios. His business rapidly grew and became hugely successful manufacturing woven screens and then washable woven screens. At one time the facility made the Guinness world record largest movie screen.

Nearly at the junction of Shenley Road, there is a building with a ’chequered past’. It was originally built as a Baptist Chapel in 1894. Then it became the ’Gem’ cinema in 1914, where local people could watch themselves as extras in silent films made in their village. In the 1930s the local council used the building as offices and finally it became a public convenience before a florist business took over.

While always called Station Road, the road only became the site of the stat...
»more


JULY
27
2020

 

Besant House, NW8
Besant House is named after local Sir Walter Besant who wrote extensively about London history. The Ainsworth Estate is a post-war housing estate named after novelist William Harrison Ainsworth (1805-1882) who lived in Hampstead.

The Houses on the estate commemorate local writers and artists: Sir Walter Besant, nineteenth-century novelist, who lived at Frognal ; Henry Fielding, author of Tom Jones, who frequented the district; Kate Greenaway see Greenaway Gardens; John Linnell, a painter of Hampstead scenes; Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849), an Irish novelist and frequent visitor to Hampstead, and Robert Louis Stevenson, at one time a resident of Hampstead.
»read full article


JULY
26
2020

 

Bellingham
Bellingham, which means ’the water-meadow belonging to Beora’s people’, was built between 1920 and 1936; about 2666 houses and flats were built and interspersed with open spaces and trees. Before the building of the Bellingham Estate, the neighbourhood had been farmland.

Provision was made for schools, shops, churches, parks and other amenities with Randlesdown Road serving as a high street. The Bellingham Estate is bordered to the east and west by railway lines running south from Catford.

Bellingham has its own train station situated at the top of Randlesdown Road (near the entrance to the industrial estate). The station, which lies on what today is known as the Catford Loop, was opened on 1 July 1892.
»read full article


JULY
25
2020

 

Fludyer Street, SW1A
Fludyer Street used to be a street which lay parallel to, and south of, Downing Street. Fludyer Street, built in 1767, occupied the site of Axe Yard - where Samuel Pepys and his wife lived for a while - and Duffin’s Alley. This street was named after Sir Samuel Fludyer, the landowner of the site, and who was Lord Mayor in the 1760s.

The eminent surgeon Sir Charles Bell lived in lodgings in Fludyer Street.

The Foreign Office was built over the site in 1864-65.
»read full article


JULY
24
2020

 

Wheatstone Road, W10
Wheatstone Road was the former name of the eastern section of Bonchurch Road. Originally laid out in 1868, Wheatstone Road was part of an area covered by traditional Victorian terraced streets. Central to the area, Portobello Road and Wornington Road ran off Ladbroke Grove. The population of the area exceeded the availability of housing. By 1903, the area was reported as full of slums.

After the Second World War, the slums were cleared and new developments were built. This included the Wornington Green estate hereabout and Trellik Tower at the top of Golborne Road. It was during this time that the access to Wheatstone Road and Bonchurch Road from Ladbroke Grove was blocked off for vehicles.

Early in the new millennium, the street became the centre of the new Portobello Green scheme and, renamed as part of Bonchurch Road, once again linked Ladbroke Grove with Wornington Road.




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»read full article


JULY
23
2020

 

Thorold Road, IG1
Thorold Road dates from 1889-90. The name Thorold Road might reflect a Lincolnshire association since, while not a village name, there are two pubs called ’The Thorold Arms’ - one in Marston and the other in Harmston. The Reverend Henry Thorold lived in a vicarage in the former. A housemaster at Lancing College, he wrote for the acclaimed ’Shell Guides’ to the counties of England.

More likely is the theory that the name is derived from James Edwin Thorold Rogers (1823-1890) who was Liberal MP for Southwark. He had been influential in the ’National Liberal Land Company’. The company was renamed the ’National Land Company’ in 1893.

While not landowners in Ilford, the Balfour Group and the National (Liberal) Land Company had close political links and it was the Balfour Group - trading locally as Hobbs and Company - which developed Thorold Street.

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JULY
22
2020

 

Cockspur Street, SW1A
Cockspur Street is possibly after the cock fighting that formerly occurred here, cocks often having spurs attached to their feet during fights. A map of 1572 shows Cockspur Street in existence.

In 1746, John Roque’s detailed map of London and ten miles around shows the street and two very narrow passages connecting which were later variously abolished and widened.

After Regent Street was built heading north, Pall Mall was extended directly east. This enabled the present one-way flow around the triangle facing the north side of Cockspur Street. All the small-plot properties between Cockspur Street and the newly-formed Pall Mall East were pulled down leaving a triangular site which was taken by the College of Physicians and the Union Club.

Number 1, Oceanic House, was originally the London office of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company trading as the White Star Line, which operated famous liners including the RMS Titanic. Oceanic House is inscribed twice on the building and it forms part of Canada House.
»read full article


JULY
21
2020

 

Holders Hill Circus, NW7
Holders Hill Circus has long been the junction of Dollis Road, Bittacy Hill and Holders Hill Road. It is locally named "Kelly’s Corner" - Kelly’s were monumental masons.

The parade of shops at Holders Hill Circus date from the late 1930s with Holders Hill Court and some surrounding properties also dating from this time.

On the circus lies the Mill Pub, built in the 1960s.

In 1934, the St Mary Magdalene church was put up. This was a mission church which has now been demolished. Some of the fittings were moved to other churches in the area.

In the 1930s, the road layout in the area took its modern form - much of Holders Hill Road and the buildings fronting it began to take shape.


»read full article


JULY
20
2020

 

Waterloo Road, SE1
Waterloo Road is the main road in the Waterloo area straddling the boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. At the northern end near the river are the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Hayward Gallery to the west, the National Film Theatre below the road, and the Royal National Theatre to the east. In earlier times, this was the location of Cuper’s Gardens.

Just to the south in the middle of a large roundabout with underground walkways is the British Film Institute (BFI) London IMAX Cinema. Nearby to the east is the James Clerk Maxwell Building of King’s College London, named in honour of the physicist James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), who was a professor at the college from 1860.

A little further to the south is St John’s Waterloo church, designed by Francis Octavius Bedford and built in 1824 to celebrate the victory of the Napoleonic Wars. The church was firebombed in 1940 and much of the interior was destroyed. It was restored and reopened in 1951, serving as the parish church for the Festival of Britain on the South Bank nearby.

Continuing so...
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JULY
19
2020

 

Downing Street, SW1A
Downing Street has been the home of British Prime Minsters since the eighteenth century. For more than three hundred years Downing Street has held the official residences of the First Lord of the Treasury, an office now synonymous with that of Prime Minister, and the Second Lord of the Treasury, an office held by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Prime Minister’s official residence is 10 Downing Street; the Chancellor’s official residence is next door at Number 11. The government’s Chief Whip has an official residence at Number 12, although the current Chief Whip’s residence is at Number 9.

The street was built in the 1680s by Sir George Downing, 1st Baronet, on the site of a mansion, Hampden House. What was on the site before the mansion is vague, but there is evidence towards a brewhouse called The Axe, owned by the Abbey of Abingdon. Downing was a soldier and diplomat who served under Oliver Cromwell and King Charles II, and who invested in properties and acquired considerable wealth. In 1654, he purchased the lease on land east of Saint James...
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JULY
18
2020

 

Kingsway, N12
Kingsway forms the lower part of the North Finchley triangle. To improve access to the North Finchley tram depot in Woodbury Grove, Woodhouse Road was extended to form the Kingsway in 1934.

The new road ran through the grounds of Orchard Lodge, which had been owned by T.C.Newman, a prominent local benefactor. Orchard Lodge had been demolished in 1927.

»read full article


JULY
17
2020

 

Torquay Street, W2
Torquay Street underwent name changes and building changes. Formed after 1855 as Desboro Terrace, Torquay Street was called Marlborough Street by the turn of the twentieth century.

The Brindley extension of the post-war Warwick estate cleared away the streetscape, though the line of the street remained.


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JULY
16
2020

 

Totteridge Lane, N20
An east-west route existed by the early 18th century - the portion from Totteridge to Whetstone being called Totteridge Lane by 1651 Totteridge Lane was occasionally called Brick Lane in the early 19th century.

Across the junction of the Great North Road, it continued eastward across Friern Barnet along the line of the modern Oakleigh Road to Betstile.

The Butcher and Conjuror pub was licensed in 1731, stood north of the junction of the Great North Road with Totteridge Lane.

Newly built tenements at Whetstone existed in 1489. A cottage stood in Totteridge Lane by 1651 and five cottages by 1763. The Limes on the west side of the Great North Road, north of Totteridge Lane, was built by 1734, a brown-brick two-storeyed building with later additions.

Totteridge Lane crossed Dollis brook from Whetstone by 1754 and Finchley and Totteridge shared the cost of maintaining a bridge there by 1787. It was probably the footbridge which in 1826 lay south of a great ford there. A larger bridge, built in 1843 by John Hey Puget, continued to be maintained by both parish...
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JULY
15
2020

 

Wardour Street, W1F
Wardour Street is a street that runs north from Leicester Square, through Chinatown, across Shaftesbury Avenue to Oxford Street. Wardour Street is named for local 17th century landowners the Wardour family, and formerly was called Colmanhedge Lane after a nearby field. The section south of Brewer Street was formerly Prince Street prior to 1878, in parallel with Rupert Street.

There has been a thoroughfare on the site of Wardour Street on maps and plans since they were first printed, the earliest being Elizabethan. In 1585, to settle a legal dispute, a plan of what is now the West End was prepared. The dispute was about a field roughly where Broadwick Street is today. The plan was very accurate and clearly gives the name Colmanhedge Lane to this major route across the fields from what is described as "The Waye from Uxbridge to London" (Oxford Street) to what is now Cockspur Street. The old plan shows that this lane follows the modern road almost exactly, including bends at Brewer Street and Old Compton Street.

The road is also a major thoroughfare on Faithorne and Newcourt’s map s...
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JULY
14
2020

 

Borough High Street, SE1
Borough High Street was the Roman ’Stane Street’. Tt has always been one of London’s major streets as it leads to London Bridge, the only bridge across the Thames until 1750.

The earliest recorded name for the street is simply ’The Borough’. The southernmost part was called St Margaret’s Hill but by the Tudor period all of it was called ’Longe Southwark’ (’Short Southwark’ is now Tooley Street). The northern section from the junction with Duke Street Hill was renamed Wellington Street to commemorate the Duke of Wellington. From the 1890s the London County Council started to rename duplicate roads and ’Borough High Street’ became the name.

Borough High Street had many coaching inns - twenty three in total at their peak. These included the Bear, the Catherine Wheel, the George, the King’s Head, the Queen’s Head, the Tabard and the White Hart. Many of them were in use as coaching inns up to the mid nineteenth century and the railway age. These inns featured in literature such as in C...
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JULY
13
2020

 

Granville Road, N12
Granville Road connects the High Road with Ballards Lane. The junction of Granville Road with the old Great North Road, opposite Summers Lane was known as Fallow Corner - first recorded in 1429.

By the 18th century there was a small hamlet of houses next to Cobley Farm. The access roads from the corner to the main road formed the distinct bow shape of Bow Road we see today.

The Etchingham Park Estate, built between 1878 and 1920, gradually developed over Cobley Farm, which had finished as a farm in 1905. Finchley Cottage Hospital opened with 18 beds in 1908. After the First World War, Finchley council decided not to erect a war memorial and instead used the money raised to extend and rename the hospital as Finchley Memorial Hospital in 1922.
»read full article


JULY
12
2020

 

Whitgift Street, CR0
Whitgift Street commemorates an Archbishop of Canterbury. John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury (1583-1604), lived at Croydon Palace, and is buried in Croydon Minster.
»read full article


JULY
11
2020

 

Appold Street, DA8
Appold Street was named after a pump. Messrs Easton & Anderson made a pump called the Appold pump at their works nearby.

John George Appold (1800-1865) was a fur dyer and engineer. Inheriting his father’s business at the age of 22, he introduced so many scientific improvements that he amassed a fortune and was able to devote his time to mechanical pursuits. He patented few of his ideas, preferring to give them freely to the public.

His Appold centrifugal pump procured him a ’council medal’ at the Great Exhibition in 1851. Appold’s pump with curved blades showed an efficiency of 68%, more than three times better than any of the other pumps present. Sir William Anderson of Easton & Anderson improved and marketed a design of the hydraulic pump in partnership with John Appold.

He is commemorated with a memorial tablet inside St Leonard’s, Shoreditch and buried at West Norwood Cemetery.
»read full article


JULY
10
2020

 

Alperton Street, W10
Alperton Street is the first alphabetically named street in the Queen’s Park Estate, W10. The Queen’s Park estate was built between 1874 and 1900 by the ‘Artisans and Labourers’ General Dwellings Company.

The architecture of the 2000 homes is Gothic style with distinctive brickwork adorned with pinnacles and turrets along the main avenues. The estate still retains the ’six avenues’ and originally, the streets were named A to P.

Over time the streets were given full names such as Alperton, Barfett, Caird Street and so on. The lettered streets represented some person or place connected with the company. Droop, for example, was one of the directors, and Alperton was the location of the company’s brickworks.
»read full article


JULY
10
2020

 

Silverdale Road, WD23
Silverdale Road lies between Aldenham Road and Grange Road. The road dates from the Edwardian era.
»read full article


JULY
9
2020

 

Carrington Close, WD6
Carrington Close lies off of Carrington Avenue. Houses here were built slightly later than most of Borehamwood, dating from 1958. The area backs onto Woodcock Village Green.
»read full article


JULY
8
2020

 

East Lodge
East Lodge was home to the Davies family. Mr and Mrs Tom Davies lived at East Lodge with their three daughters - Anne Askew Davies and her sisters. The family was descended from John Davies, a draper of Oswestry Shropshire, and his wife, Anne Askew Whitridge. Tom Davies was manager at Hills Chemical Works.

There was a summer house looking out over the river and extensive gardens with trees planted by the Davies sisters.

East Lodge was demolished in the early years of the twentieth century with its site later used by the Yacht Club.


»read full article


JULY
8
2020

 

Elephant and Castle
Elephant and Castle is one of five London tube stations named after a pub. One thing Elephant and Castle is not named after is 'La Infanta de Castilla', seemingly referring to a series of Spanish princesses such as Eleanor of Castile and María, the daughter of Philip III of Spain. However, Eleanor of Castile was not an infanta - the term only appeared in English about 1600. María has a strong British connection because she was once controversially engaged to Charles I, but she had no connection with Castile. Infanta de Castilla therefore seems to be a conflation of two Iberian royals separated by 300 years.

Regardless, the pub of that name gave its name to the station, and in turn the station to the nearby area - originally called Newington.

Elephant & Castle tube station is on the Bank branch of the Northern Line between Kennington and Borough, and is the southern terminus of the Bakerloo Line.

The station was built in two stages. The Northern Line station opened on 18 December 1890 as part...
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JULY
7
2020

 

River Way, SE10
River Way is a short street with a long history. River Way dates ultimately from 1801 with the first appearance in the Greenwich rate books with occupants in 1804.

The site had been owned by George Russell (died in 1806). He was a soap maker of Blackfriars but had been using this part of the Greenwich Marsh as a brickfield.

In 1800, William Johnson of Bromley, Kent, had patented a tidal water wheel but lacked a site for it. In September 1801, he came to an agreement with George Russell and applied to the Commission of Sewers for ’permission to open the sea wall’.

Ceylon Place was built and the extension of the cottages to the Thames were called River Terrace and the road (eventually) River Way leading to the "Causeway in Bugsby’s Hole", licensed to Russell in 1801.

The land around quickly industrialised at the dawn of the twentieth century, River Way becoming sandwiches between a power station and a steel works.
»read full article


JULY
6
2020

 

Hounslow West
Hounslow West was once the terminus of the London Underground Hounslow branch. The original station was opened by the District Railway (now the District line) on 21 July 1884. It was originally named Hounslow Barracks since it was situated close to the Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow which were south of the station on Beavers Lane.

At first, the station was the terminus of a single track branch line from the now-closed Hounslow Town station on Hounslow High Street. This branch diverged from the main route about 300 metres east of the present Hounslow East station. When the branch opened there were no intermediate stations between this station and Osterley & Spring Grove (now called Osterley).

New stations were eventually opened and on 1 December 1925 Hounslow West, Hounslow Central and Hounslow East received their current station names. The branch had been electrified in 1905.

The original building was demolished and a new Stanley Heaps and Charles Holden-designed Hounslow West opened on 5 July 1931 on the Bath Road.»more


JULY
5
2020

 

Gants Hill
Gants Hill is an area of Ilford within the London Borough of Redbridge, 15 km northeast of Charing Cross. The name ’Gants Hill’ may derive from the le Gant family, stewards of Barking Abbey, who were originally from the Ghent area (’Gand’ in French). The name ’Gantesgrave’ appears in records from 1291.

The area was remote farmland until after the First World War.

The government had begun to provide funds to subsidise public housing. The Corporation of London proposed an estate of 2000 cottages between Cranbrook Road and Horns Road but abandoned the project before it was even half way complete.

After the Eastern Avevue was carved through the site in the mid 1920s, a developer - Charles Lord - bought the abandoned Corporation of London site and largely completed the scheme. Especially profitable for him was the conversion of properties that faced the Eastern Avenue into shops.

The focus for the new area was the Gants Hill roundabout. Largely retail, the The art deco Savoy cinema was built in 1934 (but demolished...
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JULY
4
2020

 

Ceylon Place, SE10
Ceylon Place consists of a short row of Georgian cottages and a pub called ’The Pilot’. The cottages date from 1801 and were sited on an existing lane to a large house called ’East Lodge’ which stood beside the river. The land had been owned by George Russell who was a London soap manufacturer with works near to Blackfriars Bridge. William Johnson of Bromley in Kent had patented a new design of tide mill - a mill powered by the tide. In 1801, Johnson met Russell who agreed to finance the mill. As a result, construction of the mill and the workers’ cottages of Ceylon Place began. Ceylon had recently become part of British jurisdiction. The road gained the name but the cottages were called River Terrace.

The ’Pilot’ public house also came onto the scene. It is almost certainly named after the politician William Pitt who was described in a contemporary song as "The Pilot who weathered the storm".

For nigh on one hundred years, the cottages, mill and the big house with gardens were bordered by six acres of millponds with meadows beyo...
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JULY
3
2020

 

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 Crescent residents of the 1880s did not take to the name for the road.

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


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JULY
2
2020

 

Tottenham Lane, N8
Tottenham Lane forms the north-east approach to The Broadway in Crouch End. It dates from the 18th century or before and is a shopping street with three storey terraces of red brick. The street runs from the centre of Crouch End at the clock tower, north to the junction of the High Street and Turnpike Lane.

The narrowness of Tottenham Lane, the height of the buildings and continuous frontage gives it considerable sense of enclosure, with the clock tower providing a focus for the view looking south-west.
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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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