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Featured · Fitzrovia ·
November
27
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...
BT Tower, W1W
The BT Tower is a communications tower, previously known as the GPO Tower, the Post Office Tower and the Telecom Tower. The main tower structure is 177 metres high, with a further section of aerial rigging bringing the total height to 191 metres. The building was designed by the architects of the Ministry of Public Building and Works: Eric Bedford and G. R. Yeats.

The structure was commissioned by the General Post Office (GPO) and its primary purpose was to support the microwave aerials then used to carry telecommunications traffic from London to the rest of the country. It replaced a much shorter tower which had been built on the roof of the neighbouring Museum telephone exchange to provide a television link between London and Birmingham. The taller structure was required to protect the radio links’ "line of sight" against some of the tall buildings in London then in the planning stage.

The narrow cylindrical shape was chosen because of the requirements of the communications aerials: the building shifts no more than 25 centimetres in high wind speeds. Initially, th...

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OCTOBER
19
2021

 

Kilburn Toll
The Kilburn Toll Gate dated from 1710 The main road out of London towards the northwest was Watling Street. It had fallen into serious disrepair given its important status. A new source of funds was needed to maintain the highway. In 1710, a turnpike was established improving the road quality tremendously. There was a toll gate at Kilburn Bridge to charge road users at the entrance to Willesden parish.

Kilburn Toll Gate was situated at the southern end of Kilburn High Road beside the junction with Kilburn Priory.

After 1827, the Metropolitan Turnpike Trust was the body responsible for maintaining the main roads in the north of the conurbation of London. The commissioners took over from fourteen existing turnpike trusts, including the one at Kilburn, and were empowered to levy tolls to meet the costs of road maintenance.

Later the tollgate was moved to Shoot Up Hill before the turnpike was abolished altogether in 1872 as the Metropolitan Turnpike Trust was disbanded. The toll s...
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OCTOBER
18
2021

 

Golders Green crossroads
The Golders Green name derives from that of a local family - the Goodyers - and was first recorded in 1612 The hamlet of Golders Green originated as a group of cottages on waste ground on each side of the main road. In 1754, manorial waste at Golders Green stretched for some distance on either side of the main road from Hampstead.

By 1754 there were about 16 houses with small gardens at Golders Green, most of them on small inclosures from the waste and by 1751 there were two inns at Golders Green: the Hoop, commemorated later by the name ’’Hoop Lane’’, and the White Swan. The White Swan had tea gardens for summer visitors to Golders Green in 1882.

In the early 19th century, the manorial waste at Golders Green was enclosed for villas. In 1814 Golders Green contained ’many ornamental villas and cottages, surrounded with plantations’, and in 1828 detached houses spread on both sides of the road as far as Brent Bridge. The green was finally enclosed in 1873-4.

At Golders Green, a straggling hamlet in 1901, new hou...
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OCTOBER
17
2021

 

Lakeside Road, W14
Lakeside Road was built on the site of artificial lakes formed by local brickworks Black Bull Ditch (or Parr’s Ditch) was first mentioned in 1493 as a man-made tributary of the Stamford Brook, flowing into the Thames south of Chancellor’s Wharf where it formed the boundary between Hammersmith and Fulham.

The hamlet of Brook Green, around the ditch, was established by the 16th century, originating as an outlying farm of a manor. It was largely marshland with the brook running through, and where an annual fair was held until 1823.

Nearer to the River Thames, the good soil enabled farmers to grow soft fruits such as gooseberries, red currants, raspberries and strawberries which were taken by boat to sell at Covent Garden market.

Further from the Thames during the early 19th century a considerable amount of the local farmland was turned over to the creation of brickfields. The clay soil provided good building materials for London as it continued to expand westwards. Many ponds and lakes were formed as a result o...
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OCTOBER
16
2021

 

York Road, SE1
York Road skirts the western edge of Waterloo station To the west of York Road is the old County Hall, Shell Centre, Jubilee Gardens and, beyond, the London Eye and the River Thames.

The first Waterloo Bridge Act contained a clause for the continuation of Stamford Street across Waterloo Road to Westminster Bridge Road. The new road, which was for several years called Stamford Street, but which ultimately became York Road, was made across the land of the Archbishop’s manor of Lambeth.

Except for a fringe of cottages along Narrow Wall and for Phelps’ soap factory, which stood east of Narrow Wall (i.e. on ground between Belvedere Road and York Road and adjoining north on Waterloo Road) the land was undeveloped. It was divided by open ditches into fields: Float Mead, The Twenty-one Acres, and the Seven Acres.

In 1807 the Archbishop obtained an Act authorising the development of this ground for building. The road was cut in 1824, and between 1825 and 1830 practically the whole frontage...
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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Lived here
John Neill   
Added: 25 Nov 2021 11:30 GMT   

Sandringham Road, E10 (1937 - 1966)
I lived at No. 61 with my parents during these years. I went to Canterbury Road school (now Barclay Primary) and sang as a boy soprano (treble) in the church choir at St Andrew’s church, on the corner of Forest Glade.
Opposite us lived the Burgess family. Their son Russell also sang in my choir as a tenor. He later became a well-known musician and the choirmaster at Wandsworth Boys’ School.
Just at the end of WW2 a German rocket (V2) landed in the grounds of Whipps Cross Hospital, damaging many of the houses in Sandringham Road, including ours.

Reply
Comment
Tim Stevenson   
Added: 16 Nov 2021 18:03 GMT   

Pub still open
The Bohemia survived the 2020/21 lockdowns and is still a thriving local social resource.

Reply
Comment
STEPHEN JACKSON   
Added: 14 Nov 2021 17:25 GMT   

Fellows Court, E2
my family moved into the tower block 13th floor (maisonette), in 1967 after our street Lenthall rd e8 was demolished, we were one of the first families in the new block. A number of families from our street were rehoused in this and the adjoining flats. Inside toilet and central heating, all very modern at the time, plus eventually a tarmac football pitch in the grounds,(the cage), with a goal painted by the kids on the brick wall of the railway.

Reply

STEPHEN ARTHUR JACKSON   
Added: 14 Nov 2021 17:12 GMT   

Lynedoch Street, E2
my father Arthur Jackson was born in lynedoch street in 1929 and lived with mm grandparents and siblings, until they were relocated to Pamela house Haggerston rd when the street was to be demolished

Reply

Sir Walter Besant   
Added: 11 Nov 2021 18:47 GMT   

Sir Walter adds....
All the ground facing Wirtemberg Street at Chip and Cross Streets is being levelled for building and the old houses are disappearing fast. The small streets leading through into little Manor Street are very clean and tenanted by poor though respectable people, but little Manor Street is dirty, small, and narrow. Manor Street to Larkhall Rise is a wide fairly clean thoroughfare of mixed shops and houses which improves towards the north. The same may be said of Wirtemberg Street, which commences poorly, but from the Board School north is far better than at the Clapham end.

Source: London: South of the Thames - Chapter XX by Sir Walter Besant (1912)

Reply
Comment
   
Added: 6 Nov 2021 15:03 GMT   

Old Nichol Street, E2
Information about my grandfather’s tobacconist shop

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Comment
tom   
Added: 3 Nov 2021 05:16 GMT   

I met
someone here 6 years ago

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Comment
Fion Anderson   
Added: 2 Nov 2021 12:55 GMT   

Elstree not Borehamwood
Home of the UK film industry

Reply

SEPTEMBER
30
2021

 

Lady Margaret Road, NW5
Lady Margaret Road runs north to Ospringe Road with Leverton Street and Montpelier Grove running parallel to the east and west respectively. In 1861 there were still fields to the north of Kentish Town - however the city suburbs were expanding from the south. The Midland Railway Line cut through Kentish Town and ran to St Pancras.

By 1875, Leverton Street and Lady Margaret Road were laid out perpendicular to Leighton Road in an expanding grid of streets. By 1894 all the fields had been built over.

This network of streets was formerly part of a large estate owned by St John’s College, Cambridge. Lady Margaret Road is named after Lady Margaret Beaufort, foundress of St John’s College. Burghley Road is named after Lord Burghley, Chancellor to Elizabeth I and benefactor of St John’s. Similarly, College Lane, Evangelist Road and Lady Somerset Road are street names linked to the estate of St John’s College.

On Lady Margaret Road is the Grade II listed Catholic Church of Our Lady Help and there is a handful of shops.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
29
2021

 

Hartington Road, SW8
The area where Hartington Road was eventually built was part of an area of Vauxhall called "The Nine Acres". In 1774 a footpath which ran along the line of the present Hartington Road divided the nine acres into a western portion, containing about five acres and planted with gooseberry and currant “trees”, and an eastern portion, part grass and part ploughed land.

Another footpath on the line of Wilcox Road bounded the close on the north side. The western portion was let on two building leases to John Roupell, lead-smelter, in 1824 and 1825. Landsdowne Place and Spring Grove - which later were consoldated into Hartington Road - were laid out in the 1820s.

The eastern portion was purchased by Thomas Allen at an auction in 1821 and was not let on building lease until after his death. The portion was developed after 1857 by John Abbot, builder, who laid out Brough Street and Kenchester Street.

Since the houses between Hartington Road and Brough Street were destroyed by a flying bomb in the war of 1939–45, their sites became covered with tempora...
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SEPTEMBER
28
2021

 

Green Lane, HA6
Green Lane is the main street of Northwood. It is home to Northwood station on the Metropolitan Line.

In 1914 the local Voluntary Aid Detachment established an auxiliary hospital in an iron hut on the corner of Green Lane and Hallowell Road. The building had originally been St John’s Presbyterian Church, founded in 1905, which had recently moved to its newly built premises in Hallowell Road.

The Hospital closed in 1918 and, in May 1919, the hut and its outbuildings were taken over by the Northwood War Memorial Committee, who converted it into the initial Northwood and Pinner Cottage Hospital with 12 beds.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
27
2021

 

Elstree Way, WD6
Elstree Way connects Shenley Road and the A1 in Borehamwood. Elstree Way was constructed in the early 1930s and has contained the municipal centre of the town with Hertsmere Borough Council’s Civic Offices, the Police, Fire and Ambulance Stations, Library, the Venue Leisure Centre, Oaklands College and the Job Centre.

This end of Borehamwood originally had three farms and all the roads that linked them were just paths and tracks.

By 1938, development on both sides of Elstree Way had commenced. Through the following decades in a number of small individual building clusters sprung up. Notable along Elstree Way at various times were Elliots/GEC/Marconi, Sellotape, Carl Zeiss Scientific Instruments and Christian Salvesen.

Elstree Way was best known though for its film studios. Amalgamated was being constructed in Elstree Way when the developer went bankrupt and Lord Rank purchased the facility and 120 acres of land before it opened and then leased it to the Government at the outbreak of war.
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SEPTEMBER
26
2021

 

Budge Row, EC4N
Budge Row lies off the north side of Cannon Street, about 80 yards west of the main line station. About 500 years ago the area surrounding here was closely associated with the clothing trade. If you had walked along Cannon Street in those times you would probably have seen a representation of few other trades than drapers and skin merchants selling their wares. In the adjoining alleys and courts the wives of traders would be busy throughout the day and night making up articles of clothing for the stalls. It was no coincidence, but for local convenience, that the Skinners Company, in 1327, established their Hall in nearby Dowgate Hill and have held their gatherings there ever since.

Women of the day were restricted in their choice of clothing according to their status. In 1338, and again twenty years later, the City authorities ordered that women of low standing should not wear clothing made from buge or wool. If the like had bought an old fur coat for a penny or two at the local jumble sale her fate could well have been a prison sentence for wearing it.

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SEPTEMBER
25
2021

 

Addison Place, W11
In the nineteenth century, Addison Place was known by two names - Phoenix Place and Crescent Mews East. Addison Place is a part-cobbled through-road between Queensdale Road (opposite Queensdale Place, a redeveloped Mews) and Addison Avenue. The Mews is part of Kensington’s Norland Conservation Area; first designated in 1969.

Addison Place contains some period houses built by James Hall over several years from 1857. He built about 120 houses in the estate in the 1850s. He also built extensively in the Chepstow Villas and Pembridge Place area.

In 1940, a high explosive bomb is recorded falling onto Royal Crescent, just south-west of the Mews.

Building of the area began in the 1840s and was completed fifteen years later.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
24
2021

 

Middlesex Street, E1
Middlesex Street is home to the Petticoat Lane Market. In Tudor times, Middlesex Street was known as Hogs Lane, a pleasant lane lined by hedgerows and elms. It is thought city bakers were allowed to keep pigs in the lane, outside the city wall; or possibly that it was an ancient droving trail.

The lane’s rural nature changed, and by 1590, country cottages stood by the city walls. By 1608, it had become a commercial district where second-hand clothes and bric-à-brac were sold and exchanged, known as ’Peticote Lane’. This was also where the Spanish ambassador had his house, and the area attracted many Spaniards from the reign of James I. Peticote Lane was severely affected by the Great Plague of 1665; the rich fled, and London lost a fifth of its population.

Huguenots fleeing persecution arrived in the late 17th century; many settled in the area, and master weavers settled in the new town of Spitalfields. The area already had an association with clothing, with dyeing a local industry. The cloth was pegg...
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SEPTEMBER
23
2021

 

Newport Court, WC2H
Newport Court was laid out approximately on the site of the courtyard of Newport House. Newport Court (or Alley) first appears in the ratebooks in 1685 with eight houses. In 1720 Strype described Newport Court as "a great Passage into So Ho, and those new-built Places. It is for the Generality inhabited by French; as indeed are most of these Streets and Alleys, which are ordinarily built, and the Rents cheap. It is a Place of a good Trade. Out of this Alley is a Passage into Newport Market". Three goldsmiths, one plateworker (all with names of French origin) and one jeweller are recorded as working in Newport Court in the first half of the eighteenth century.

During the nineteenth century, when the character of the area degenerated, Newport Court became known as ’Butchers’ Row’. In 1872 there were no less than ten butchers in the court, which was described in a newspaper of this period as a ’fountain of foul odours’.

The north side of the court was demolished in the 1880s to make way for Newport Dwellings and Sandringham Buildings....
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SEPTEMBER
22
2021

 

Tottenham High Road, N17
Tottenham High Road is the successor to Ermine Street, the Roman road from London to Lincoln and York. A settlement is recorded at Tottenham in the Domesday Survey of 1086, and a manor house existed by 1254, on or near the site of Bruce Castle. Known historically as Tottenham Street, the High Road was an important northern route into London, reflected in the number of inns that existed to service travellers. The linear settlement grew along the High Road and the village centre, as such, was marked by the adjacent Green and the High Cross, commemorating the medieval wayside cross that once stood there.

By the 16th century Tottenham was a favoured rural retreat for city merchants, a number of whom had mansions along the High Road. The High Road’s development over the next two centuries reflects Tottenham’s continuing attraction as a place of residence for wealthy Londoners. It also became noted for its schools, including several private boarding schools, and numerous charitable and religious foundations.

Thomas Clay’s map of Tottenham (1619) for the Ea...
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SEPTEMBER
21
2021

 

Thrawl Street, E1
Originally built by Henry Thrall around 1656, Thrawl Street ran east-west from Brick Lane across a former tenter field owned by the Fossan brothers, Thomas and Lewis. Most, if not all, of the properties on Thrawl Street were timber-built and many were still standing as late as 1736. Little George (later Keate) Street was extended west from the junction of Thrawl and George Streets by the 1740s.

Between 1807-30, rebuilding leases were granted, but none seems to have taken place, although repairs were made albeit poorly done and Thrawl Street, like others in the neighbourhood, continued to deteriorate. It soon became known for its lodging houses and mean tenements and at this time was only joined to Commercial Street by Keate Street and then a narrow alleyway called Keate Court. This part was opened up c.1883 following the demolition of properties in readiness for the later construction of Charlotte De Rothschild Dwellings on the north side and Lolesworth Buildings to the south. Subsequently, Keate Street was renamed as part of Thrawl Street in 1884.

The model dwellings of Thrawl Street and the surrounding area were demo...
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SEPTEMBER
20
2021

 

Battersea Power Station
Battersea Power Station is a former power station and an Underground station on the Northern Line. Battersea Power Station is a major Lodon landmark and is a decommissioned coal-fired power station, located on the south bank of the River Thames.

It was built by the London Power Company to Art Deco designed by J. Theo Halliday and Giles Gilbert Scott. The station is one of the world’s largest brick buildings.

Battersea Power Station comprised two power stations, built in two stages, in a single building. Battersea A Power Station was built between 1929 and 1935 and Battersea B Power Station, to its east, between 1937 and 1941. Due to the intervening Second World War, the building was finally completed in 1955.

In 1980 the whole structure was given Grade II listed status and the power station shut three years later.

The building remained empty until 2014, during which time it fell into near ruin. Various plans were made to make use of the building, but none were successful.

In 2012, administrators Ernst ...
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SEPTEMBER
19
2021

 

Abbey Road, NW8
Abbey Road, after which the Beatles album was named, runs from St John’s Wood to West Hampstead. Abbey Road was laid out in 1829, replacing a track called Abbey Lane when St John’s Wood was developmed. The name derives from nearby Kilburn Priory. In the 1840s, large villas where built along the road in a number of different styles. After 1851 slightly less exclusive properties were built on the western side.

St Mary’s church and St John’s Wood synagogue were built on Abbey Road to serve the area’s two main religious communities.

EMI’s Abbey Road Studios are located at the southern end - the Beatles and many other famous popular music performers have recorded there. The Beatles named their last studio LP Abbey Road. The album’s cover photograph shows the four group members walking across the zebra crossing located just outside the studio entrance. As a result of its association with The Beatles, since 1970 this section of Abbey Road has been featured on the London tourism circuit. In December 2010 the crossing was given Grade II Lis...
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SEPTEMBER
18
2021

 

Shirland Road, W9
Shirland Road is one of the main thorughfares of Maida Vale. Before the turn of the nineteenth century, the area was largely covered in pasture meadows. Through these fields ran the River Westbourne (sometimes called Bays Water).

East of the Westbourne, the land belonged to the Bishop of London. Most of the parish west of the Westbourne was Westminster Abbey’s Westbourne manor. Part of the future Queen’s Park belonged to All Souls’ College, Oxford.

The opening of the Paddington Branch of the Grand Union (Grand Junction) Canal in 1801 led to the first villas being built on Hill House Fields, the highest part of Paddington. But even in the 1820s, apart from a row of houses at Orme’s Green on the Harrow Road, the area remained open countryside.

In the late 1850s the River Westbourne was culverted which allowed building to spread northward from Westbourne Green during the 1860s.

By 1865 the name St Peter’s Park, commemorating landowner Westminster Abbey, was given to a proposed ...
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SEPTEMBER
17
2021

 

Notting Dale
From Pigs and bricks to Posh and Becks... As houses were springing up all over the rest of northern Kensington, one corner of the borough was developing into a slum whose notoriety was probably unsurpassed throughout London

It lay at the foot of the hill on which the Ladbroke estate was laid out, directly north of Pottery Lane, on badly draining clay soil between the Norland Estate and Notting Barns Farm.

Its first occupants were to give it two infamous names: the brick makers, who seemed to have arrived in the late lath century, and the pig-keepers, who moved there in the early l9th century.

To make bricks and tiles involved large excavations, which soon filled with stagnant water. The keeping of pigs entailed collecting refuse and offal from the kitchens of hotels and private houses, feeding most of it to pigs and boiling down the fat.

The combination of both bricks and pigs spelt disaster for the area.

Samuel Lake of Tottenham Court Road, a scavenge...
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SEPTEMBER
16
2021

 

Little Green Street, NW5
Little Green Street was built in the 1780s and is one of the few intact Georgian streets in London. The street has only eight houses on one side and two on the other, all built in the 1780s and Grade II listed. The original inhabitants included manual workers such as carpenters with the street marked by Booth’s poverty map as being a mixture of poor and fairly comfortable.

Little Green Street inspired the 1966 song ’Dead End Street’ by The Kinks and they made one of the first music videos for it in the street.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
15
2021

 

Mayplace Road East, DA7
Mayplace Road East runs west-east through the DA1 and DA7 postcodes. The road dates from before the suburbanisation of the area, as Mayplace Lane and then Mayplace Road. Mayplace Farm lay along its side as the lodge to Martens Grove was also on the road. The Bexley heath windmill stood where Erith Road and Mayplace Road now meet.

The Wates building company largely laid out the Barnehurst Park Estate in 1933 on land to the south of the road. It was one of the most affordable new estates in the London area at the time.

Crayford Urban District Council acquired May Place itself in 1938 - now part of the clubhouse for Barnehurst golf course.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
14
2021

 

Kensington Park Road, W11
Kensington Park Road is one of the main streets in Notting Hill. Kensington Park Road was built over a long period between the early 1840s and the 1870s by a variety of different developers.

Originally, there was no north-south road parallel to Portobello Lane (as Portobello Road was known). In 1840, after the failure of the Hippodrome racecourse (the main entrance of which was about where Kensington Temple now is), James Weller Ladbroke signed an agreement with a developer, Joseph Connop, under which Connop agreed to develop a large portion of the estate between Portobello Road and roughly what is now Ladbroke Grove. The deal was that Connop would arrange for the building of roads, sewers and houses and Ladbroke undertook then to give him 99-year leases of the houses for a small ground rent; Connop would then recover his costs through letting the houses. A plan for Connop’s land was drawn up by an architect called John Stevens.

Kensington Park was the name chosen by the developer Pearson Thompson when in 184...
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SEPTEMBER
13
2021

 

Bonner Street, E2
Bonner Street was named for Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London from 1539–49 and again from 1553-59. Bonner Street was once split into Bonner Street as its southernmost part and Bonner Lane in the north.

The area east of Bethnal Green was rural but Bishop’s Hall existed, occupied by Bishop Bonner. In 1655, the local manor house was demolished and the material used to build four new houses in the area. By 1741, the four houses were described as joining the main building on the west. The most easterly house, next to the lane, was a public house - probably the Three Golden Lions.

Other houses were built in Bonner Street by 1800 and spread eastward during the next decade.


»read full article


SEPTEMBER
12
2021

 

Green Lanes, N21
Green Lanes is part of an old route that led from Shoreditch to Hertford. Green Lanes may have been in use from the second century during Roman times - its name derives from its connecting a series of greens en route, many of which no longer exist as greens.

In the mid 19th century the southernmost part was renamed Southgate Road - until that occurred, the Green Lanes name referred to a much longer thoroughfare. It possibly originated as a drovers’ road along which cattle were walked from Hertfordshire to London.


Green Lanes ultimately runs north from Newington Green, forming the boundary between Hackney and Islington, until it reaches Manor House. As it crosses the New River over Green Lanes Bridge, it enters the London Borough of Haringey. From the junction with Turnpike Lane the road temporarily changes its name and runs through Wood Green as ’High Road’, resuming its Green Lanes identity again after the junction with Lascott’s Road. It then continues north through Palmers Green and Win...
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SEPTEMBER
11
2021

 

Pinner Park Farm
One of the last of the major Middlesex farms. Pinner Park Farm is a 93 hectare site surrounded by suburban residential areas. It is owned by the London Borough of Harrow and leased to Hall & Sons (Dairy Farmers) Ltd, which formerly ran it as a dairy farm. It is designated as a Site of Nature Conservation Importance.

Pinner Park has existed since the 13th century, when it was part of a large area around Harrow placed under the control of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The woodland was then used as pannage for pigs, but by the 15th century most of the trees had been cut down for timber and charcoal and the cleared areas were used mainly for pasture. Part of the park was also stocked with roe deer, protected from the depredation of local people by a high bank (parts of which still exist) and two ditches. The park held about 100 deer by the end of the 15th centre.

From the middle of the 15th century, the park was leased by the archbishopric to local farmers. In the 16th century, when the lordship and owne...
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SEPTEMBER
10
2021

 

Winchmore Hill
Winchmore Hill is a district in the London Borough of Enfield bounded on the east by Green Lanes (the A105) and on the west by Grovelands Park. Once a small village hamlet in the parish of Edmonton, Winchmore Hill borders Palmers Green, Southgate, Edmonton, Enfield Chase and Bush Hill Park. At the heart is Winchmore Hill Green, a village green surrounded by shops and restaurants. The nearest Underground station is at Southgate which is on the Piccadilly Line.

Of particular note in Winchmore Hill is Grovelands Park which originated as a private estate before being partly being sold to the council in 1913. What remained in private hands, is the famous Priory Clinic.

Prior to occupation by the Romans, the area was occupied by the Catuvellauni tribe. It is believed that this tribe built an ancient hill fort on the mound where the Bush Hill Park Golf clubhouse now stands.

The earliest recorded mention of Winchmore Hill is in a deed dated 1319 in which it is spelt Wynsemerhull. By 1565 the village was known as Wynsmorehyll, becoming Winchmore Hill by the time it was ment...
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SEPTEMBER
9
2021

 

St Giles
St Giles is a district of central London, at the southern tip of the London Borough of Camden. There has been a church at St Giles since Saxon times, located beside a major highway. The hospital of St Giles, recorded c. 1120 as Hospitali Sancti Egidii extra Londonium was founded, together with a monastery and a chapel, by Queen Matilda, wife of Henry I. St Giles (c. 650 – c. 710) was the patron saint of lepers and the hospital was home to a leper colony, the site chosen for its surrounding fields and marshes separating contagion from nearby London.

A village grew up to cater to the brethren and patients. The crossroads which is now St Giles Circus, where Oxford Street, Charing Cross Road, Tottenham Court Road and New Oxford St meet, was the site of a gallows until the fifteenth century. Grape Street, in the heart of the St Giles district, runs beside the site of the hospital’s vineyard.

The monastery was dissolved during the Reformation and a parish church created from the chapel. The hospital continued to care for lepers until the ...
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SEPTEMBER
8
2021

 

Tite Street, SW3
Tite Street crosses Royal Hospital Road. Tite Street was laid out from 1877 by the Metropolitan Board of Works to give access to the Chelsea Embankment. The street was named after William Tite who was a member of the Board of Works.

Gough House stood on the eastern side of the street, predating it being built around 1707. It became a school in 1830, then the Victoria Hospital for Children in 1866. The site is now occupied by St Wilfred’s convent and home for the elderly.

In the late 19th century, the street was a favoured and fashionable location for people of an artistic and literary disposition including Oscar Wilde, Gustav Pope (artist), John Singer Sargent (American portrait painter), James McNeill Whistler (artist), Wendela Boreel (artist) and Sir Wilfred Thesiger (explorer and travel writer).
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
7
2021

 

Fourth Avenue, W10
Fourth Avenue runs south from Ilbert Street. Once, Fourth Avenue run all the way south to the Harrow Road but post-Second World War redevelopment changed the road layout at the southern end.

The Queen’s Park Estate, like Kensal New Town on the opposite side of the Grand Union Canal, began in a geographical curiosity known as ’Chelsea Detached’ - a part of the parish of Chelsea situated miles away from the remainder of Chelsea.

In the 1740s, the local fields were pasture. There was a wooded area beside Kilburn Lane and some farm buildings on the Willesden side of the lane. The Grand Junction Canal was later cut just south of Harrow Road, leaving much less than half of Chelsea Detached to the south.

In the 1830s and 1840s, the original part of Kensal Town was laid out stretching up to the Chelsea parish boundary but no further. The northern part of Chelsea Detached belonged to All Souls’ College, Oxford.

Confined by the canal to its north, Kensal Town did not ur...
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SEPTEMBER
6
2021

 

Corringway, NW11
Corringway included a unique Hampstead Garden Suburb feature - a large block of garages (now demolished) The rigidity of Edwardian society is shown by the way the chauffeurs’ flats were built directly over the garages. The houses on each side of Corringway were specifically intended for members of the Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust’s staff.
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SEPTEMBER
6
2021

 

Curtain Road, EC2A
Curtain Road was the first location of a place called a ’theatre’ - in the sense of a location where acting is performed. Curtain Road began in the shadow of Holywell Priory. The Walbrook River flowed as a small ditch on its western edge.

Holywell Priory had been an important religious location in Shoreditch. Established in the 12th century, the Priory fell victim to the dissolution of the monasteries during 1539.

The priory’s land remained an area of importance in Shoreditch for the following decades. A builder and part-time actor James Burbage lived in a house that connected to the priory’s former brewhouse near to a walled garden called ’The Curtain’. That name derived from the curtain wall of the adjacent priory.

Dramatists and performers were prohibited from performing within the City of London walls - this is why Southwark, south of the Thames boomed. It boomed in the ’unsavoury arts’ banned in the City, due to this edict.

Meanwhile here north of the City, in 1576, Burbage began construction on a building he called The Theat...
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SEPTEMBER
5
2021

 

Kensal House, W10
Kensal House was designed in 1936 to show off the power of gas and originally had no electricity at all. Built next to Kensal Green Gas Works, Kensal House was designed by architect Maxwell Fry in collaboration with Elizabeth Denby to set new standards.

Originally, the building was intended for the housing of the employees of the Gas Light and Coke Company and was situated on the company site. Until the Second World War, blocks of flats were often designed to include communal amenities. For the wealthy, these were an added luxury or convenience paid for by a service charge, while for the less well-off in state housing they were a way of sharing basic facilities. In this progressive modernist housing scheme there were communal workshops and other shared facilities, including a community centre, crèche, communal laundry and canteen facilities.

The original design of the Kensal House flats was intended to act as a competitor to the advance of electricity as both as lighting and power source. As originally designed, in Kensal House, there was no electricity su...
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SEPTEMBER
4
2021

 

Addison Avenue, W11
Addison Avenue runs north from Holland Park Avenue and was originally called Addison Road North. The street is named after the 17th century poet Joseph Addison who lived at Holland House. Addison was founder of The Spectator magazine.

The southern section of Addison Avenue (up to Queendale Road) was built between 1840 and 1843. Nos. 18-36 (even) are on the east side and overlook Queensdale Walk at the back. Nos. 17-35 (odd) are on the west side. They are generally two-storey houses with stuccoed façades built in pairs.

The houses were of various designs because individual plots were taken by many different builders.

Smaller houses were built closer to Holland Park Avenue.
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SEPTEMBER
3
2021

 

South Ealing
South Ealing is notable in Underground trivia for having, along with Mansion House, every vowel in its name. South Ealing station was opened by the District Railway on 1 May 1883 on a new branch line from Acton to Hounslow. At that time there was no stop at Northfields and the next station on the new line was Boston Road (now Boston Manor).

Electrification of the District Railway’s tracks took place and electric trains replacing steam trains on the Hounslow branch from 13 June 1905.

The Northfields district then was just a muddy lane passing through market gardens. But housing began to be built at Northfields and in 1908, a small halt was built there.

Housing also began to appear to the north of South Ealing station - the area became rather commercial with new shops around the station.

The lines of the London Underground came under one ownership and, services from Ealing along the District Line into London having a lot of intermediate stops, it was decided to extend the Piccadilly Line parallel to the District tracks. Piccadilly...
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SEPTEMBER
2
2021

 

Boleyn Electric Theatre
The Boleyn Electric Theatre originally opened in 1910 The Boleyn Electric Theatre and the adjacent Boleyn pub were called Boleyn after a large house that had stood nearby and thought to be associated with Anne Boleyn.

Cinema architect Cecil Masey made alterations in 1929 - improvements were made to accommodate sound films and a canopy was installed over the entrance. In 1932 it was taken over by another owner and re-named the New Boleyn Electric Theatre.

In 1936 it was purchased by the Oscar Deutsch chain who decided to demolish the old Boleyn Cinema and rebuild and open as the Odeon Theatre on the same site. It was designed in an Art Deco style by cinema architect Andrew Mather and opened on 18 July 1938 with Max Miller in ’Thank Evans’. It continued as the Odeon East Ham until it was closed by the Rank Organisation in 1981.

After laying boarded up and unused for over a decade, it was taken over by an independent operator who re-opened it as the Boleyn Cinema in 1995 screening Bollywood f...
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SEPTEMBER
1
2021

 

Dukes Place, EC3A
Duke’s Place was formerly called Duke Street. It a street running northwest-southeast as a continuation of Bevis Marks down to Aldgate. Originally known as Shoemaker Row, it had been renamed Duke Street by the end of the 18th century after the house of the Duke of Norfolk, which had been built by Sir T. Audley after he pulled down the priory of Holy Trinity, and which, coming to the Duke by marriage, was called Duke’s Place.

The area was an early settlement for Jews after they were permitted to enter Britain by Oliver Cromwell in 1657, resulting in the building of the Sephardic Bevis Marks Synagogue (1701) and the Ashkenazi Great Synagogue. The latter was established in 1620, subsequently rebuilt in 1766 and 1790 and was destroyed during an air-raid on 11th May 1942. The following year, a temporary structure was erected on the site and was used until 1958 when it moved to Adler Street, Whitechapel. The Adler Street synagogue closed in 1977.

Duke Street was renamed Duke’s Place in 1939 and has sin...
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