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
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 of this activity and the name of Lakeside Road is a reminder of this extremely profitable business. The brook itself became polluted with waste from nearby brick fields, was eventually covered, and finally converted to a sewer in 1876.
On the site of Lakeside Road, lay the ’Ocean’ - an area of flooded workings.
did not begin to be desirable for suburban expansion until after the 1850s. The largest proportion of properties were built later in the 19th century as a response to improved transport links in the area and to increased pressure for housing.
By 1896 the Victorian building boom was largely complete. There are a number of street names that no longer exist. Alexandra Road became part of Milson Road
, Havelock Road became Irving Road
, while Craven Cottages are now Hofland Road
(although the cottages themselves still exist).
Lakeside Road started its life as Wharton Road in the 1870s. On 13 March 1906 it was renamed Rayleigh Road and became Lakeside Road by the late 1940s.
In the mid 19th century, the area from Brook Green to Shepherd’s Bush & east to Counter’s Creek was almost wholly devoted to brickmaking. Lakeside Road lay in the heart of the gravel pits between Shepherd’s Bush and Brook Green, known as the ‘Ocean’ owing to its marshes and lying water caused by digging for brick clay.
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