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Featured · Swiss Cottage ·
APRIL
16
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...
College Crescent, NW3
College Crescent was built by the Eyre family. The Eyre family were local landowners and became keen to promote building. In 1794 a plan was drawn up on the model of Bath, with a crescent, circus and a square. The plan was never executed but from 1802 development on the Eyre estate was directed by John Shaw, a young architect inspired by the town-planning ideals of the late 18th century. In 1803-4 he exhibited views of a projected circus and in 1807 building began on the Marylebone portion.

In 1819 Col. Eyre began the first of several attempts to promote the construction of a public road through his estate, ultimately successful in the Finchley Road Act of 1826. Finchley New Road and Avenue Road, the southern part of which existed by 1824, went northward into the Hampstead portion of Eyre’s land and were built by 1829. The Swiss Cottage tavern was built at the apex of the two roads by 1841.

College Crescent was then laid out in the 1840s, and by 1852 the first thirteen houses had been built there. T...

»more

APRIL
2
2021

 

Marble Arch
Marble Arch station was opened on 30 July 1900 by the Central London Railway Like all the original stations on the CLR, Marble Arch was served by lifts to the platforms but the station was reconstructed in the early 1930s to accommodate escalators. This saw the closure of the original station building, designed by the architect Harry Bell Measures, that was situated on the corner of Quebec Street and Oxford Street, and a replacement sub-surface ticket hall opened further to the west. The new arrangements came into use on 15 August 1932. The original surface building was later demolished.

The platforms, originally lined in plain white tiles, were refitted with decorative vitreous enamel panels in 1985. The panel graphics were designed by Annabel Grey.

The station was modernised in 2010 resulting in new finishes in all areas of the station, apart from the retention of various of the decorative enamel panels at platform level.
»read full article


APRIL
1
2021

 

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...
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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





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

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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

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FEBRUARY
28
2021

 

Belmont Road, UB8
Belmont Road was the original site for Uxbridge station. Uxbridge Common was enclosed in the 17th century to provide sites for country residences. Blue House or Belmont on the Common, west of the Harefield Road, was built in the late 17th century. The name for the house became the name for the road which was built to connect the Common with the town centre.

Uxbridge was a major centre for Quakers since 1658. The Friends Meeting House on the corner of Belmont Road and York Road dates from 1817 but this had replaced the original 1692 Meeting House on this site.

Also in the road, the Uxbridge Lancasterian or British School was a school for children ’of all labouring people or mechanics’ based in the Uxbridge Market House until premises in Belmont Road were erected in 1816.

Victorian housing became established in the road with building stretching from the Uxbridge end.

At the end of the nineteenth century, the Harrow and Uxbridge Railway Company was established under the auspice...
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FEBRUARY
27
2021

 

Flower and Dean Street, E1
Flower and Dean Street was a narrow street running east-west from Commercial Street to Brick Lane. Originally laid out in 1655 on land belonging to Thomas and Lewis Fossan by John Flower and Gowen Dean, Whitechapel bricklayers. The street was originally 16 feet wide and a mere 10 feet wide at its western end, a feature it maintained throughout its existence. The street also appears under the name ’Dean and Flower Street’ in maps of 1676 and 1682.

In 1657, a search conducted by the ’Tylers and Bricklayer’s Company’ showed that houses in Flower and Dean Street had been constructed using ’badd mortar using garden mould’ and such was the poor state of the properties that extensive rebuilding had to be undertaken by the mid-18th century. In Roque’s map of 1746, Flower and Dean Street was split by a large open square known as Broad Place, though it would seem this was a temporary feature brought about by demolition.

The construction of Commercial Street from 1844 caused a considerable shift in the local population which no doubt exacerbated o...
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FEBRUARY
26
2021

 

St Charles Hospital
The St Marylebone workhouse infirmary was opened in 1881 on Rackham Street, North Kensington and received a congratulatory letter from Florence Nightingale. In 1876 potential sites for an infirmary for the sick poor of the parish of St Marylebone were being considered in the West End, Hampstead and Ladbroke Grove in North Kensington. The last site was finally chosen - a 3.5 acre site in Rackham Street costing almost £8100 - and the foundation stone was laid in 1879.

In 1881 the St Marylebone Union Infirmary was officially opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales. The building was three storeys high, with a central block and four pavilions. It had accommodation for 744 patients (372 males in the two pavilions to the west of the central block and 372 females to the east) and 86 resident staff (the Infirmary also had 82 non-resident staff).

The staff included a resident Medical Officer, whose annual salary should have been £500, but the Guardians managed to beat this down to £450, an Assistant Medical Officer, who earned £150 a year, a dispenser (£120 a year) and a Matron, who earned between £100-15...
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FEBRUARY
25
2021

 

St Georges Row, SW1V
St Georges Row was built as Monster Row circa 1785, and renamed in 1833. The ground between Victoria Station and the river occupies the site of the old manor of Neyte, which belonged to the Abbey of Westminster until confiscated by Henry VIII in 1536. It was a favourite residence of the Abbots, and here also lived John of Gaunt, and here John, son of Richard, Duke of York, was born in 1448. In 1592 the manor became a farm and passed with the Ebury Estate into the possession of the Grosvenor family.

The manor-house stood on the later St George’s Row, and in Pepys’ time was a popular pleasure-garden. Between the Willow Walk (Warwick Street) and the river were the Neat House Gardens, which supplied a large part of London with vegetables. The name lingered until the present century among the houses on the river-bank, and is still commemorated by Neat House Buildings in Ranelagh Road. The whole area was low-lying and swampy, and the neighbourhood of Eccleston Square was occupied by a vast osier bed.

In 1827, Cubitt raised the ...
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FEBRUARY
24
2021

 

Westwood Road, E16
Westwood Road ran from Evelyn Road to North Woolwich Road. The Royal Victoria Dock opened in 1855, creating a need to house dock workers and their families. New settlements around the dock developed including the areas now known as West Silvertown. The casual nature of dock work meant poverty and squalid living conditions. Lacking water supply and sewage system, leading to the spread of cholera and smallpox.

The Royal Albert Dock was opened in 1880, and finally the King George V Dock in 1921.

On 19 January 1917, parts of Silvertown were devastated by a huge explosion at the Brunner-Mond munitions factory, killing 73 people. 900 local homes were flattened, and 60 000 buildings damaged

The artist Graham Sutherland visited Silvertown in 1941 and, in the aftermath of the Blitz saw “the shells of long terraces of houses, great ― surprisingly wide ― perspectives of destruction seeming to recede into infinity. The windowless blocks were like sightless eyes.”

After the devastation of...
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FEBRUARY
23
2021

 

Horbury Mews, W11
Horbury Mews is a T-shaped mews in Notting Hill. Horbury Mews Mews was built on the site of a nursery garden - the “Ladbroke Nursery”. Mr W.J. Worthington sought planning permission in 1877 to build the mews, together with the two houses that are now 20 and 22 Ladbroke Road, presumably as a speculation to meet the demands for stabling and coach-houses from the inhabitants of Ladbroke Road and nearby streets.

The mews seems to have been completed by 1878 - the central house at the end of the mews bears this date.

The Mews is T-shaped - possibly because the shape of the plot in which the developer had to work. Originally, all the houses would have had stables or coach houses below and accommodation for grooms and coachmen above.
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FEBRUARY
22
2021

 

Trafalgar Street, W6
Trafalgar Street was a small street in Hammersmith, off Aspen Place. The ’Creek’ area was said to be the worst slum in west London. The 1891 census recorded very cramped conditions with 213 people living in the 22 houses of Trafalgar Street.

The Creek was once a picturesque inlet of the Thames and was spanned by a wooden bridge called the High Bridge. At the High Bridge, four old footpaths converged - two on the east: the Lower Mall and Aspen Place and two on the west: the Upper Mall and Bridge Street. Aspen Place, which Trafalgar Street lay off of, seems to have been known by a variety of names at different periods as Ship Lane, Pingsworth Lane and Cutthroat Lane.

How long a bridge existed at this spot is difficult to say. There was certainly one as early as 1541. The bridge was repaired by Bishop Howley in 1820, and again by Bishop Blomfield in 1837.

The eastern bank of the creek became occupied by wharves.

The 1800 map shows the site of Trafalgar Street as an open field. The name sugge...
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FEBRUARY
21
2021

 

Woodcock Dell Farm
’Woodcock’ is derived from the old English word ’Woodcot’ meaning a dweller at a cottage in or near a farm. Woodcock Hill (Lane) is the road leading south from the crossroad of Kenton Lane and Kenton Road.

Before 1930, a footpath was an alternative route to using Woodcock Hill Lane. It reached the location of Woodcock Dell, and then across fields to Harrow on the Hill - now the route of The Ridgeway and Northwick Avenue.

Woodcock Dell with its pond, by the time it came to adjoin the Metropolitan Railway, was a pig farm. A small ’cattle creep’ went under the nearby railway line in the direction of what is now Windermere Avenue.

Woodcock Dell Farm was demolished in the 1930s to make way for a new residential estate built by Costin, and Comben and Wakeling.
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FEBRUARY
20
2021

 

Tatsfield
Tatsfield sits high on the North Downs - at 240m above sea level it is one of the highest points in Surrey. Tatsfield is a community with a population of almost 2000, a village shop, a pub and a village pond with resident ducks. The village lies close to the Pilgrims Way, and along its western boundary runs the route of the old London to Lewes Road built by the Romans.

Tatsfield was listed in the Domesday book. It rendered 60 shillings to its feudal overlords every year.

During the mid 14th century the manor was held by Rhodri ap Gruffudd, brother of the last native Prince of Wales, and his descendants. In 1416–17 John de Stanyngden conveyed his rights in the manor to John Uvedale. William Uvedale inherited it on his father’s death in 1616.

It was acquired by the last in the line of the Gresham family. The ancient manor-house, called Tatsfield Court Lodge, stood near the church and was pulled down by this last Baronet, Sir John before his death in 1801, and a new house was built at the foot of the hill, near the Pilgrims’ Way.

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FEBRUARY
19
2021

 

Claremont
Claremont, an estate and suburb of Esher, takes its name from an 18th-century Palladian mansion of the same name. The house of Claremont is now occupied by Claremont Fan Court School and its landscaped gardens are owned and managed by the National Trust.

The first house on the estate was built in 1708 by Sir John Vanbrugh for his own use. He also built the stables and the walled gardens and very probably White Cottage, which is now the Sixth Form Centre of Claremont Fan Court School.

In 1714 he sold the house to the Whig politician Thomas Pelham-Holles, Earl of Clare, who later became Duke of Newcastle and served twice as Prime Minister. The earl commissioned Vanbrugh to add two great wings to the house and to build a fortress-like turret on an adjoining knoll.

The Earl of Clare named his country seat Claremont.

When the Duke died in 1768, his widow sold the estate to Robert Clive (of India). Lord Clive decided to demolish the house and commissioned Lancelot "Capability" Brown to build the present Palladian mansion on higher ground. Cli...
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FEBRUARY
18
2021

 

Peabody Square, SE1
Peabody Square was a traditional Peabody estate constructed in 1871 but subsequently modernised. By 1870 Blackfriars Road and the surrounding area had been overwhelmingly urban for more than 50 years. The population was at its peak and the population density was increasing as housing gave way to new railways from London Bridge to Charing Cross and Canon Street, and to expanding industrial concerns.

Strict tenancy terms and relatively high rents show that the landlords were not providing for the poorer section of the market and were careful to ensure a required return on their investment.

The quality of housing fell dramatically and the area had one of the worst records for unsanitary conditions and mortality rates.

Peabody Square was not the first example of purpose-built model dwellings built on a (part) philanthropic basis, but it was certainly the largest.

The grounds are particularly attractive - these were improved by Peabody in 2001.
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FEBRUARY
17
2021

 

Abingdon Road, W8
Abingdon Road stretches between Stratford Road and Kensington High Street. The present name recalls the parish connection with the abbey of Abingdon but the road began its life as Newland Street in 1817.

The street is tree-lined and very attractive.

The east section of Abingdon Road between Cope Place and Abingdon Villas was developed in 1852-4. Nos. 40-50 (even) were probably built by Richard Anderson, a builder from Plaistow who had a brickfield in the area, and No. 52 by Barnabas Jennings and William Stevenson. These were all builders involved in other parts of the Abingdon Villas and Scarsdale Villas area.

Ilchester Mansions was built by James Turner and Charles Withers in 1892-3. The designs were by George Eves. Eves was the estate surveyor for the Allen-Stevens Estate which owned much of the land in this area.
»read full article


FEBRUARY
16
2021

 

Middle Row, W10
Middle Row is one of the original streets laid out as Kensal New Town. Kensal New Town was developed in the period 1840-1859 by Mr Kinnard Jenkins on his land between the Great Western Railway and the Grand Union Canal, to provide housing for employees of the canal, the railway, the gas works, and the Kensal Green Cemetery in Harrow Road on the other side of the canal. He laid out the roads following his field boundaries- Kensal (Albert) Road, West Row, Middle Row, East Row and South Row, divided the blocks up and built cottages, and named it Kensal New Town.

The residents were largely Irish immigrants, many employed in the laundry business, the area becoming known as the "laundry colony". The village had six public houses.

Charles Booth in his "Life and Labour of the People in London" (First Series, Volume 1, pub 1902, pp.243,246) described Kensal New Town: "Kensal New Town retains yet something of the appearance of a village, still able to show cottages and gardens, and gateways between houses in its streets leading back...
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FEBRUARY
15
2021

 

Kemp’s Court, W1F
Kemp’s Court is situated in the heart of Berwick Street Market where a line of stalls stretch down both sides of the road. All varieties of fruits and vegetables are available and the market has a tradition of specialising in the most exotic species. The street markets of London have been a feature of the City for many years and the market in Berwick Street has been here since 1840 – not the oldest by far but certainly one of the most popular.

Trading is at its peak around lunchtime when the street turns into a bustling hive of brisk activity, and at the close of business many of the items can be had for little more than a song.

The present panorama is a scene quite in contrast to the salubrious sounding description of Berwick Street outlined by Edward Hatton (New View of London) in 1708: ‘a kind of row like a small piazza, the fronts of the houses resting on columns.’ Number 83 was the studio of John Hall, engraver; it was here in 1791 that he meticulously worked from the portrait of Sheridan by Sir Joshua Reynolds

The modern King of Corsica public hou...
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FEBRUARY
14
2021

 

Risley Avenue, N17
Risley Avenue is part of the Tower Gardens Estate. The Tower Gardens Estate has a very special place in the history of Council house building. It was one of the first ’garden suburbs’ in the world and its architecture is of extremely high quality.

At the turn of the twentieth century Tottenham was a suburb served by new railways and at the end of the tram lines. It was surrounded by fields which the newly formed London County Council (LCC ) could acquire using as-yet hardly-used powers to buy land and build housing.

Early experiments in housing design for workers had produced beautiful picturesque estates outside London modelled on traditional rural housing, such as Port Sunlight and Bourneville. They were designed by some of the most progressive architects of their day and funded by rich social reformers. Their architectural philosophy respected co-operation between architects and craftspeople and was called the ’Arts and Crafts Movement’.

The LCC wanted to improve housing conditi...
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FEBRUARY
13
2021

 

Crouch Hill
Crouch Hill is a railway station as well as a street in north London. The area of Crouch Hill was still mostly farmland until Crouch Hill station opened in July 1868.

After the railway arrived, housebuilding started in earnest. Each of the road called Crouch Hill, John Farrer built Cecile Park in the 1880s and 1890s. To the west, W.J. Collins was at work at the same time.

Between the two world wars, Crouch Hill saw council housing appears. In 1972, the Holly Park estate’s 17-storey Ilex House was completed.

Crouch Hill crosses over the Parkland Walk, a public foot and cycle path and linear park that stretches from Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace, and follows some of the course of the Northern Heights planned rail extension to the Northern line, abandoned on 9 February 1954.

Since January 2010, trains from Crouch Hill run every 15 minutes in each direction, towards either Gospel Oak or Barking throughout the day.
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FEBRUARY
12
2021

 

St Ann’s Villas, W11
St Ann’s Villas, a tree-lined if busy road, leads into Royal Crescent from St Ann’s Road. The Norland estate had been 52 acres of ground, bounded on the east by the streets now known as Portland Road and Pottery Lane, on the south by Holland Park Avenue. By the mid 1830s, Norland was looking attractive for speculative building.

In 1836, the incorporation of the Birmingham, Bristol and Thames Junction Railway occurred. The company proposed the construction of a line from Willesden to the Kensington Canal. The route authorised was north-south a few yards outside the western boundary of the Norland estate, across the Uxbridge Road at Shepherd’s Bush.

Drainage problems posed by the construction of the railway promoted the development of the Norland Estate. Between the Uxbridge and Hammersmith roads the railway was to extend along or very close to the course of the Counter’s Creek sewer, the natural open ditch which discharged surface water into the Kensington Canal. In 1837–8 the Westminster Commissioners of Sewers insisted that the railway ...
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FEBRUARY
11
2021

 

Severus Road, SW11
Severus Road is almost opposite the main entrance to Clapham Junction station and runs down to Eckstein Road. In 1885, the area which became Severus Road and other local streets consisted of meadowland and gardens. In that year and for the following four years, builder Alfred Heaver and architect C. J.Bentley went to work. Having paid £16 000 for the land, Heaver named the area St John’s Park and proceeded to build 225 houses on five streets.

Most of the land was acquired from the Whiting family. Also included was George Alder’s former house on St John’s Hill, which gave main-road access from the north. The area was bounded on the east by St John’s Road and to the south by Battersea Rise.

Alfred Heaver suggested names for the new roads: Markfield Road, Winton Road, Manbury Road and Danehurst Road. Boutflower Road already existed as a lane. The Metropolitan Board of Works rejected the new road names as ’unsuitable’ and suggested instead, rather exotically, Aliwal Road, Comyn Road, Eckstein Road and Severus Road. Boutflower Road, for the existing lane,...
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FEBRUARY
10
2021

 

Unknown as yet
The Philharmonic Hall was a major music hall throughout the 1860s and early 1870s. The Philharmonic Hall was built by the contractors Holland and Hannen on the site of some former tenements. It opened with a banquet on 7 November 1860. The Hall was the first of many places of entertainment that would be built on this site, culminating in the Islington Empire of 1908.

The Hall was redecorated in 1874 and the building was also renamed the Philharmonic Theatre, with a seating capacity for some 758 people. Alas it was destroyed by fire in September 1882. The Grand Theatre opened on its site in August 1883.

Like its predecessor, the (first) Grand Theatre was destroyed by fire, this time only four years after being built, during the staging of the annual Christmas pantomime on 29 December 1887.

The owners, Holt and Wilmot, immediately set about rebuilding the Theatre with Frank Matcham again doing the redesign. The second Grand Theatre reopened a year later on 1 December 1888 with a production of ’The Still Alarm’.
...
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FEBRUARY
9
2021

 

XX Place, E1
XX Place is one of the oddest street names that ever existed in London. XX Place was built in 1842 for workers employed at the nearby Charringtons Brewery who called it "two X place" or "Double X Place".

It was a very short road consisting of ten terraced houses running along one side of the street. Each house had a very small backyard.

On the other side was a Stepney Borough Council depot where kerbstones were stored.

There was a corner shop at the junction of XX Place and Globe Road. In the 1920s, it was for a while a doctor’s surgery. It then became a children’s clothing store and after that a radio shop.

There was a pub on the Mile End Road called the Black Boy. There was an alleyway down to the pub which was closed at the beginning of the 20th century to allow the redevelopment caused by the opening of Stepney Green station in 1902.

XX Place was demolished in 1958 as part of a London County Council slum clearance programme.
»read full article


FEBRUARY
8
2021

 

Cecil Court, WC2N
Cecil Court is a pedestrian street with Victorian shop-frontages. It links Charing Cross Road and St Martin’s Lane. The street is still owned by the Cecil family who first built it. The buildings there today were built around 1894 during the tenure of another Cecil - Prime Minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury.

Cecil Court was laid out in the late seventeenth-century on open land between St Martin’s Lane and Leicester Square. Early maps identify a hedgerow running down the street’s course.

Landowner Robert Cecil had been created first Earl of Salisbury by James I after he smoothed over the transition from the house of Tudor to that of the Stuarts. The land on which Cecil Court now stands was purchased in 1609. It had previously been St Martin’s Field. Cecil Court was built on a five acre tract formerly known as Beaumont’s lands, probably in the 1670s.

A substantial part of Cecil Court burned down in 1735. This was almost certainly arson by a Mrs Colloway who wa...
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FEBRUARY
7
2021

 

Choumert Square, SE15
Choumert Square is reputedly London’s smallest square. Choumert Square consists of small Victorian houses that were infilled a garden of a Rye Lane house in the c 1870s.

It is now a car-free cul-de-sac off of Choumert Grove and was built as a row of one-bedroom cottages without back gardens. Each cottage has a small front garden which are generally well-tended.

While called a ’square’, it is more of a lane which has a community of residents which opens itself for a summer Open Day once every year.


»read full article


FEBRUARY
6
2021

 

Barclay Road, SW6
Barclay Road runs from Fulham Road to the rails of the District Line. The history of Barclay Road is linked with that of Fulham, and later Walham Green. Originally part of Fulham Fields, and from Norman times the Manor of Fulham, it remained sparsely populated and predominantly involved in agriculture.

By 1706 this part of Fulham was being described as "a village in which lives a considerable number of people, mostly gardeners, whose kitchen greens, plants, herbs, roots and flowers dayly supply Westminster and Covent Gardens. Here are no houses of considerable note."

In 1813, Thomas Faulkner describes this part of Fulham as the "great kitchen garden, north of the Thames for supplying London". There were orchards of apples, pears, cherries, plums and walnuts, with soft fruit such as raspberries and gooseberries grown in between the trees. Once vegetable growing became more profitable, many orchards were replaced and land given over to vegetables. The market gardeners often cultivated a succession of crops throughout the yea...
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FEBRUARY
5
2021

 

Wollstonecraft Street, N1C
Wollstonecraft Street was the first name to be chosen from a naming competition by the developers of N1C. Mary Wollstonecraft was a nineteenth century writer, philosopher and advocate for women’s rights. She wrote ’A Vindication of the Rights of Woman’. She is buried in the graveyard of St Pancras Old Church.
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FEBRUARY
4
2021

 

Treverton Street, W10
Treverton Street, a street which survived post war redevelopment. Treverton Street was one of a number of streets built in the 1870s as Ladbroke Grove was extended northwards.

Originally, Treverton Street was accompanied by Rackham Street, Hewer Street, Raymede Street, Branstone Street and Bransford Street in a block bounded by Exmoor Street, Ladbroke Grove, Barlby Road and Saint Charles Square.

A rather poor area, the area was marked for redevelopment and improvement in a 1935 plan. However, the Second World War intervened before much could take place.

A huge bomb fell on Rackham Street during the Blitz, making the area surrounding unfit for habitation.

In 1950, the area was largely levelled and new blocks taking the place of the old houses.
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FEBRUARY
3
2021

 

Acorn Street, EC2M
Acorn Street, Bishopsgate, was named from an old tavern sign. The writer Dodsley said that it was named after the" Acorn," which stood on the site of the King’s Arms Tavern, Bishopsgate. An acorn was one of the badges of the Arundel family but there is no evidence that they had any connection with the neighbourhood.

Adams Court near Old Broad Street, probably bears the name of a former owner of the property. Sir Thomas Adams was Lord Mayor in 1645.

Once called both Acorn Court and Acorn Alley it originally ran west from Bishopsgate to Skinner Street, appearing in John Strype’s Survey of London (1598).

It seems to have been rebuilt in 1799.

Acorn Street was finally demolished to make way for an expansion to Liverpool Street station.
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FEBRUARY
2
2021

 

Holly Walk, NW3
Holly Walk connects Holly Hill with Church Row. In 1811, Hampstead vestry bought a 2½ acre field on the east side of Holly Walk for a churchyard, which it made from only the southern portion.

Most of the cottages which line Holly Walk date from 1813.

St Mary’s Catholic Church was built in 1796 by and for refugees who fled their homeland during the French Revolution.

Beyond the church a plaque on the wall of number 9 Holly Place, named The Watch House, advises that "in the 1830s the newly formed Hampstead Police Force set out on its patrol and nightly watch from this house."
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FEBRUARY
1
2021

 

Zoffany Street, N19
Zoffany Street is the last street, alphabetically, in London. It was named after Johann Zoffany (1733-1810) a painter born in Regensburg, Germany.

Zoffany first migrated to England in 1758 and remained until 1772 often in most penurious circumstances, but was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 1769.

He returned to England from 1779 to 1783 when he went to India but returned to England in 1790 and lived at Strand-on-the-Green in his later years and is buried in Kew churchyard.
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