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The Underground Map

MAP YEAR:1750180018301860190019502020Remove markers
Brondesbury Park ·
October
23
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...
The Elms
The Elms - also known as Elm Lodge - stood at the junction of Kilburn High Road and Willesden Lane. From around the 1750, The Elms was under the ownership of a number of people. Mr and Mrs Pickersgill were in occupation between 1829 and 1832. The husband, Henry William Pickersgill, was an eminent portrait painter. Mrs Pickersgill ran a school for ‘female education’.

From 1832 John Ebers, a widowed theatre manager with two daughters moved into The Elms. He moved into the world of publishing.

Next, the writer William Harrison Ainsworth lived in the house (his wife was Fanny Ebers, daughter of John). Here he began writing his novel ’Rookwood’, about the notorious highwayman Dick Turpin. John Ebers published the book. Although the inn where Dick Turpin met his accomplices is based on The Cock in Kilburn, the story is fictitious and there’s no historical evidence to link Turpin to Kilburn.

The Elms stood on the site of the later Gaumont State Cinema.

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OCTOBER
9
2020

 

Oakington Manor Farm
Oakington Manor Farm derived its name from a corruption of the name ’Tokyngton’ Oakington (Manor) Farm was an old Wembley manor and farm, first mentioned in 1171.

Gordon S Maxwell’s The Fringe of London (published 1925) talks of the small Middlesex hamlet of Monks Park, alongside the river Brent to the south of Oakington Farm.

In 1845, Richard Welford, a cowkeeper from Holloway, took over Warwick Farm, Paddington and founded what was to become J Welford & Sons Ltd. His dairy business became the largest retail milk business in the capital. The farm’s cowsheds were situated between the Harrow Road and what is now Warwick Crescent. The fields of Warwick Farm were built over and became Warwick Avenue, Warwick Place and Warwick Crescent.

In the mid 1850s, the Warwick Farm cowsheds were moved to Oakington Manor Farm in Wembley.

The farm was situated almost next to Watkin’s Folly in Wembley Park. What was later South Way was the farm’s access track but in 1906, the Great Central Railway bu...
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OCTOBER
8
2020

 

British Museum station
British Museum was a station on the Central line, located in Holborn and taking its name from the nearby British Museum in Great Russell Street British Museum station was opened by the Central London Railway on 30 July 1900 with an entrance at 133 High Holborn.

There had been ideas for an underground passageway between British Museum and Holborn (100 metres away and open in 1906) but tunnelling would have been complex. A proposal to enlarge the tunnels under High Holborn to create new platforms at Holborn station for the Central and to abandon the British Museum station was originally included in a private bill submitted to parliament as early as November 1913. The First World War prevented any work taking place. The works were eventually carried out as part of the modernisation of Holborn station at the beginning of the 1930s when escalators were installed. British Museum station was closed on 24 September 1933, with the new platforms at Holborn opening the following day.

British Museum station was subsequently used up to the 1960s as a military administrative office and emergency command post, ...
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OCTOBER
7
2020

 

Nether Street, N3
Nether Street was recognised by the mid-14th century as an old street, sometimes called ’Lower Street’ Nether Street was a link road from the main roads to Finchley properties such as Moss Hall and Brent Lodge. It was already called Nether Street by 1365 and ’le lower street’ in 1622. It was linked at both ends to Ballards Lane. Coles Lane, first mentioned in 1393 may have been the southern link. About 1867 the northern section was named Mosshall Lane.

By the time of the 1851 census, Nether Street had 17 houses, including Elm Place, Sellars Hall, Brent Lodge, Long Lodge, and Courthouse Farm, and housed two fund-holders, two members of the stock exchange and two solicitors.

West of Nether street is Dollis Brook, a tributary of the Brent. The viaduct carrying trains between Mill Hill East and Finchley Central was designed by Sir John Fowler and is the highest point above sea level on the London Underground.

The large house which is now Finchley Golf Club (here since 1929) was originally called Nether Court. This is one of the larg...
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OCTOBER
6
2020

 

Debden House
The Grade II listed Debden House was built in the early 19th century and was probably a former coach house Debden Green House, as it was then, was once part of the Debden Hall estate. In 1777, Alexander Hamilton is shown to be the owner of Debden Hall and Debden House in Debden Green. He owned Debden Green House from at least 1748. It seems that he used Debden Hall and House as his country estate.

Hamilton died at Lincoln’s Inn in 1781 at the age of 88. When he died his eldest son William Hamilton inherited his property. William was also a lawyer who lived at Lincoln’s Inn.

William died in 1811 and as he had no sons his property was left to his nephew William Richard Hamilton. It seems that sometime after this both Debden House and the Hall were sold to Nicholas Pearse who was the husband of Sarah Hamilton, William’s daughter.

Nicholas Pearse was the son of a wealthy landowner and clothier and he had inherited property when his father died in 1793. Nicholas Pearse and Sarah Hamilton had no children and when Nicholas died in 1825 he lef...
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SEPTEMBER
21
2020

 

Barn Elms Farm
Barn Elms Farm sported majestic elm trees - hence the name. Barn Elms was recorded in 1540 and was formerly the manor house of Barnes. The land and manor belonged to St.Paul’s Cathedral and in 15th century was the home of Sir John Saye, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The manor house was later the home of Elizabethan spymaster Sir Frances Walsingham. The house was rebuilt by Thomas Cartwright in 1694.

Barn Elms Farm was variously the residence of William Cobbett (a political writer), Abraham Cowley (a poet) and of Heidegger (Master of the Revels to George II). Jacob Tonson lived in the old house called "Queen Elizabeth’s Dairy". He placed here a gallery for the Kit-Cat Club.

William Cobbett was an innovator of cultivation - experimenting with the growing of maize and the practice of self-supporting husbandry.

He saw himself as a champion of traditional rural society against the transformation due to the Industrial Revolution.

The Lobjoit family, Huguenot refugees, ha...
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SEPTEMBER
20
2020

 

Eastcastle Street, W1D
Eastcastle Street was originally called Castle Street East. Eastcastle Street belongs historically to two freehold estates: the Cavendish–Harley or Portland estate west of Wells Street, and the Berners estate to its east. Some forty years separate the two phases of its development, as the former properties were built up from the 1720s, the latter not until the 1760s. Today that difference counts for little, as all the early buildings have gone.

William Thomas, steward of the Marylebone estate had a difficult job in the 1720s and 1730s. The local streets were being built and he had many issues with their builders. He had further problems with more noble personages in the form of the Duke of Chandos who had to be rebuked about the location of his sewers, as well as about a smelly dunghill on his land north of Cavendish Square.

He wrote of his exasperation with managing the estate and one of his main antagonist was William Long who was extracting gravel north of Oxford Street. Long stubbornly kept his pit going and...
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SEPTEMBER
19
2020

 

Haines Street, SW8
Haines Street was named after the speculating solicitor, Frederick Haines, who built it. Haines Street ran south east from Nine Elms Lane from its construction 1862 until 1970.

Two side streets came off of the street: Tweed Street and Arden Street. It had one notable pub, the Prince Alfred situated at 15 Haines Street. The eastern boundary of the street was the vast London Gas Light & Coke Co. works.

In 1971, the New Covent Garden Market was sited on top of the old street and it ceased to be.
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SEPTEMBER
18
2020

 

Aylesford Street, SW1V
Aylesford Street was built in 1848. Aylesford Street, like the now-demolished Pulford Street, served the works of the Equitable Gas Company which had been established in 1830.

Geraldine Mitton in 1902 noted the St Saviour’s Mission House, built by the Duke of Westminster at a cost of £4000 which also served also for parochial meetings.

The gas works closed between the wars and the Tachbrook estate was built.

During the 1920s between demolition of the gas works and the building of the estate, Victoria Bus Station was located on the works site.
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SEPTEMBER
17
2020

 

Colney Hatch Lane, N11
Colney Hatch Lane, so called from 1846, was called Halliwick street in 1398 and Muswell Hill Lane in 1801. A new manor house was built in 1601 by John Trott Lord of the Manor. By 1900 it was a girls’ school. It stood on the west side of Colney Hatch Lane till 1930 when it was demolished. From the 15th century the manor was a copyhold under Hornsey Manor held by the Bishop of London.

When Hornsey recorded its boundaries in 1887, the most northerly point where Hornsey meets Friern Barnet and Clerkenwell Detached, at the junction of today’s Goodwyn’s Vale and Colney Hatch Lane was recorded as 399 ‘New Post marked 18 feet E’ beside first cottage.

Today’s division of the road, splitting it between two postcodes, is the North Circular Road. North of it lies N11.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
16
2020

 

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.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
15
2020

 

Adair Road, W10
Adair Road is a street on the Kensal Town/North Kensington borders. Adair Road was laid out during the second wave of the development of Kensal Town in the decades before the turn of the twentieth century. The parts of Kensal Town further west date from much earlier in the 1800s. The laying out of Golborne Road meant building pressure on this area.

The already-developed part of Kensal Town had been in another parish - a detached part of Chelsea, miles from the rest of Chelsea. But development halted where Kensington began, just west of where Bosworth Road was laid out. The obscure boundary can be seen on the 1900 map.

After the Second World War, the street was redeveloped with the two tower blocks, Hazlewood Tower and Adair Tower put up in side streets off of Adair Road.
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SEPTEMBER
14
2020

 

Downham
The Downham Estate dates from the late 1920s. The Downham Estate arrived on the scene in 1926, but its name originates in 1914 when the London County Council (LCC) agreed to build three large housing estates. The land was acquired in 1920. Downham covered the lands of two farms, Holloway Farm to the west and Shroffolds Farm to the north. Before the Estate was built, there had been little building south of Whitefoot Lane - many local residents took weekend walks over the ’Seven Fields’.

The name ’Downham’ derives from Lord Downham who, as William Haynes Fisher was a former chairman of the LCC. Many of the road took their names from Tennyson’s ’Idylls of the King’. Other roads took their names from places in Devon.

By summer 1930, 6000 houses had been completed by builders Holland, Hannen & Cubbits. An additional section of just over 1000 houses was developed at Whitefoot lane in 1937 by builders Higgs & Hill and generally known as ’North Downham’. On completion, some 30 000 people l...
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SEPTEMBER
13
2020

 

Lithos Road, NW3
Lithos Road is a part of the NW3 postal area which lies west of the Finchley Road. Stone Yard power station was once situated in Lithos Road - it was the power station for Hampstead Borough.

The supply of electricity had been managed initially by the Council’s predecessor the Hampstead Vestry through its Electric Lighting Committee. Hampstead Metropolitan Borough Council Electricity Undertaking was authorised under the Hampstead (London) Electric Lighting Order 1892. The foundation stone was laid in 1892 and a Central Supply Station and Head Offices were built in 1893 at the Vestry’s Stoneyard,

Supply began in 1894 of single-phase high-tension alternating current. From 1921 the bulk supply of electricity was taken from Saint Marylebone Borough Council, and Lithos Road ceased to generate in 1922.

The Borough Council Bathing Station, also in Lithos Road, closed in 1960

Nowadays in Lithos Road, the Lithos Road Estate is there, built in 1991 with high and low rise blocks bordered on each side by railwa...
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SEPTEMBER
12
2020

 

Abbey Road, NW6
A small section of the north of Abbey Road lies in NW6. Abbey Road was a track leading from Lisson village to Kilburn Priory. Until dissolution in the 1500s, Kilburn Priory was attached to the Abbey of Westminster, which owned the fields through which the path ran. These were known as the Abbey Fields so the path became Abbey Road in the early nineteenth century. An offshoot of Abbey Road was named Abbey Gardens in 1880.
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SEPTEMBER
11
2020

 

Harold Hill
Harold Hill is an area in the London Borough of Havering and a district centre in the London Plan. The name Harold Hill refers to Harold Godwinson who once held the manor of Havering-atte-Bower. Romford was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1937 and governed by Romford Borough Council, which was the local authority during the construction of the Harold Hill estate.

The housing development of Harold Hill was conceived in the Greater London Plan of 1944 in order to alleviate the housing shortages of Inner London. Before construction of the estate - completed in 1958 - it was the location of Dagnam Park house and grounds.

Most of the land for the estate was purchased in 1947 by the London County Council. The area was within the designated Metropolitan Green Belt, but an exception was made for the development because of the housing need in London following the Second World War.

Construction of 7631 permanent homes, housing 25 000 people, began in 1948 and was complete by 1958.

The development is fairly low density with ...
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SEPTEMBER
10
2020

 

Alexandra Crescent, BR1
Alexandra Crescent was known for its 1926 ’Downham Wall’. Alexandra Crescent was built as a private (unadopted) road in late 1925 by the developer Albert Frampton. In a last-minute change of name, it was called after Queen Alexandra of Denmark who had just passed away in November of that year.

As the Downham Estate was being built to the north in 1926, those who were just moving into the new Alexandra Crescent appointed Frampton to build a dividing wall. The private home owners wished to prevent the working class people of Downham from accessing their neighbouring middle-class area. The Alexandra Crescent residents also wanted to prevent the development of an access route into the centre of Bromley.

Frampton made a formal application to Bromley Council on 16 February 1926 to build the dividing wall. The council refused to take a decision but the seven-foot-high brick wall was built nonetheless. It was constructed across Valeswood Road at its junction with Alexandra Crescent.

The ’class wall’ ...
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SEPTEMBER
9
2020

 

Addiscombe Road, CR0
Addiscombe Road first appeared on a map dated 1594. Addiscombe Road connecting Croydon with the hamlet of Addiscombe (roughly on the site of today’s Sandilands tram stop) to its east.

It was known as Upper Addiscombe Road in the 19th century to contrast with Lower Addiscombe Road - water from a spring ran down the hill.
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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...
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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.
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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


SEPTEMBER
4
2020

 

Bounds Green
Bounds Green is an area in the London Borough of Haringey with a station on the Piccadilly Line. Bounds Green was originally an overnight stop for travellers, being just short of the tollgate at Turnpike Lane. The name is derived from the former Bounds Green Farm near Cline Road.

Nowadays Bounds Green is a residential suburb, just north of Wood Green.

Bounds Green underground station opened in 1932 in an area previously known as Bowes Park - there is also a Bowes Park railway station.
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SEPTEMBER
3
2020

 

Land of Promise, N1
The Land of Promise - a short cul-de-sac - got its curious name from its former existence as a piece of land. The Land of Promise formed a part of the estate of Richard Haryong in the sixteenth century. The plan of the Land of Promise shows that at the south-west corner it did not reach Hoxton Street - the boundary ran to a point 75 feet from the street.

In 1545, Richard Haryong bequeathed a life interest in his lands to Margaret. He also bequeathed a legal title to his daughter, Alice Marowe. In 1557, Alice and her husband sold on to Thomas Cudsden and Alice Haddon. After the death of Margaret, of a messuage, two barns, a stable, a garden and three acres of Hoxton land came into their ownership. By 1626, Richard Middleton owned the property and land.

In 1633, Middleton sold it to the parish of Shoreditch as three tenements and three acres of land. In 1776, an existing lease was surrendered. A fresh lease was granted for the western part of the property, and the eastern portion used for the provision of a workhouse. On the expiry of the western lease in 1847 th...
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SEPTEMBER
2
2020

 

Fitzjohn’s Avenue, NW3
Fitzjohn’s Avenue links Hampstead with Swiss Cottage. Before Fitzjohn’s Avenue was built, Hampstead was bounded to the south by a broad belt of green meadows, known as the Shepherds’ or Conduit Fields, across which ran a pathway sloping up to the southwestern corner of the village, and terminating near Church Row. On the eastern side of these fields wass an old well or conduit, called the Shepherd’s Well, the source of the River Tyburn.

In the early 1870s, it was proposed by some of the inhabitants of Hampstead to purchase a portion of these grassy slopes, and to devote them to public use as a park.

However, in 1871 F. J. Clark had suggested a new road direct to Hampstead and in 1872 Spencer Maryon Wilson was hoping to create a "truly imposing road". In 1875 he contracted with John Culverhouse, who since 1871 had been the tenant at will of the two main demesne farms, to make Fitzjohn’s Avenue, from College Crescent off Finchley Road to Greenhill Road, and to plant ornamental trees.

I...
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SEPTEMBER
1
2020

 

Greatorex Street, E1
Greatorex Street was formerly called High Street. Daniel Greatorex was a clergyman and for 40 years was chaplain to the Sailor’s Home in Dock Street. He was at the same time vicar of St Paul’s Whitechapel. Greatorex Street is named after him.

Little is known about the earliest developments but the district’s growth seems to have started along the High Street (Greatorex Street), an early means of access from Whitechapel and ’The Church Way’ (now part of Hanbury Street). The latter ran eastward from Spitalfields towards Mile End. By the late seventeenth century, the settlement was divided from east to west by the Common Sewer, a drainage ditch which later formed the boundary between the two estates into which Mile End New Town was divided. As late as 1838 the Common Sewer was still an open ditch.

Building development seems to have begun shortly after 1680. New streets were laid out at this early stage, but building was slow and spasmodic.

High Street (Greatorex Street) was closed a...
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