Shaftesbury Avenue was named after Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, Victorian politician and philanthropist.
In his London and Westminster Improved, published in 1766, John Gwynn suggested that a new street should be formed from the top of the Haymarket to Oxford Street and beyond. After the formation of Regent Street the need for further improvement in north-south communication in this part of Westminster was recognised in 1838 by the Select Committee of the House of Commons on Metropolis Improvements. The committee was concerned at the volume of traffic from Paddington and Euston Stations that might be expected to converge upon the east end of Oxford Street, and it recommended an improved line of street from St. Giles’s to Charing Cross.
This need was later filled by the formation of Charing Cross Road, but the committee made no recommendation on communication between Piccadilly and Bloomsbury.
In the 1860s and 70s the need for improved communication between Piccadilly Circus and Charing Cross, and between Charing Cross and Tottenham Court Road was frequently discussed, but little more was heard of the Piccadilly to Bloomsbury route until 1876. By that time a long line of improved east-west communication from Shoreditch to Bloomsbury was almost complete, and the Metropolitan Board of Works realised that the amount of additional traffic which would be brought into Oxford Street and which would make its way towards Charing Cross would require the formation of direct communication from Oxford Street to Piccadilly and to Charing Cross. The Board therefore applied to Parliament for the necessary powers, which were granted by the Metropolitan Street Improvements Act, 1877.
This Act authorised the Board to form the streets now known as Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue, to widen Coventry Street, and to carry out nine other improvements in various parts of London. The line of these new streets had been drawn up jointly by the Board’s superintending architect, George Vulliamy, and the engineer, Sir Joseph Bazalgette, and the plans approved by the Act defined the limits of deviation within which each street must run and within which the Board was empowered to purchase all the ground that it might require. About half the length of the new street from Piccadilly Circus to Bloomsbury was formed by widening existing streets, thus keeping to a minimum the amount of ground to be acquired.
Nearly ten years elapsed between the passing of the Act of 1877 and the opening of the two streets, the general standard of design of the buildings finally erected was deplorable, and in 1888 a Royal Commission was appointed to investigate the dishonest conduct of certain of the Board’s officers in the disposal of surplus land in Shaftesbury Avenue.
The delay in the formation of the two streets was caused by the obligation which was placed by Parliament upon the Board to provide housing for all displaced members of the slums which had previously been here.
The street from Piccadilly to Bloomsbury was opened in January 1886 and in in the following month the Board named it Shaftesbury Avenue, in memory of the recently deceased seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, much of whose work for the poor of London had been done in the area traversed by the new street. Charing Cross Road was opened in February 1887.
|CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY|
The Underground Map
Added: 8 Dec 2020 00:24 GMT
Othello takes a bow
On 1 November 1604, William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello was presented for the first time, at The Palace of Whitehall. The palace was the main residence of the English monarchs in London from 1530 until 1698. Seven years to the day, Shakespeare’s romantic comedy The Tempest was also presented for the first time, and also at the Palace of Whitehall.
Added: 27 Sep 2021 05:51 GMT
In 1794 my ancestor, George Webb, Clay Pipe Maker, lived in Hungerford Stairs, Strand. Source: Wakefields Merchant & Tradesmens General Directory London Westminster 1794
Source: Hungerford Stairs
Added: 21 Feb 2023 11:39 GMT
Error on 1800 map numbering for John Street
The 1800 map of Whitfield Street (17 zoom) has an error in the numbering shown on the map. The houses are numbered up the right hand side of John Street and Upper John Street to #47 and then are numbered down the left hand side until #81 BUT then continue from 52-61 instead of 82-91.
Added: 27 Aug 2022 10:22 GMT
The Underground Map
Michael Faraday successfully demonstrated the first electrical transformer at the Royal Institute, London.
Added: 7 Jan 2022 07:17 GMT
Smithy in Longacre
John Burris 1802-1848 Listed 1841 census as Burroughs was a blacksmith, address just given as Longacre.
Source: Batham/Wiseman - Family Tree
Added: 10 Feb 2021 12:11 GMT
In 1848 the Campbellites (Disciples of Christ) met in Elstree Street, where their congregation was presided over by a pastor named John Black. Their appointed evangelist at the time was called David King, who later became the Editor of the British Millennial Harbinger. The meeting room was visited in July 1848 by Dr John Thomas, who spoke there twice on his two-year ’mission’ to Britain.
Added: 11 Sep 2020 19:47 GMT
Millions Of Rats In Busy London
The Daily Mail on 14 April 1903 reported "MILLIONS OF RATS IN BUSY LONDON"
A rat plague, unprecedented in the annals of London, has broken out on the north side of the Strand. The streets principally infested are Catherine street, Drury lane, Blackmore street, Clare Market and Russell street. Something akin to a reign of terror prevails among the inhabitants after nightfall. Women refuse to pass along Blackmore street and the lower parts of Stanhope street after dusk, for droves of rats perambulate the roadways and pavements, and may be seen running along the window ledges of the empty houses awaiting demolition by the County Council in the Strand to Holborn improvement scheme.
The rats, indeed, have appeared in almost-incredible numbers. "There are millions of them," said one shopkeeper, and his statement was supported by other residents. The unwelcome visitors have been evicted from their old haunts by the County Council housebreakers, and are now busily in search of new homes. The Gaiety Restaurant has been the greatest sufferer. Rats have invaded the premises in such force that the managers have had to close the large dining room on the first floor and the grill rooms on the ground floor and in the basement. Those three spacious halls which have witnessed many as semblages of theatre-goers are now qui:e deserted. Behind the wainscot of the bandstand in the grillroom is a large mound of linen shreds. This represents 1728 serviettes carried theee by the rats.
In the bar the removal of a panel disclosed the astonishing fact that the rats have dragged for a distance of seven or eight yards some thirty or forty beer and wine bottles and stacked them in such a fashion as to make comfortable sleeping places. Mr Williams. the manager of the restaurant, estimates that the rats have destroyed L200 worth of linen. Formerly the Gaiety Restaurant dined 2000 persons daily; no business whatever is now done in this direction.
Added: 11 Mar 2021 11:37 GMT
Lambeth North station was opened as Kennington Road and then Westminster Bridge Road before settling on its final name. It has a wonderful Leslie Green design.
Added: 30 Jan 2023 11:28 GMT
The Beatles on a London rooftop
The Beatles’ rooftop concert took place on the rooftop of the Apple Corps building in London. It was their final public performance as a band and was unannounced, attracting a crowd of onlookers. The concert lasted for 42 minutes and included nine songs. The concert is remembered as a seminal moment in the history of rock music and remains one of the most famous rock performances of all time.
Added: 23 Mar 2021 10:11 GMT
Author Dennis Potter lived in Collingwood House in the 1970’s
Added: 22 Feb 2021 04:33 GMT
Tisbury Court Jazz Bar
Jazz Bar opened in Tisbury Court by 2 Australians. Situated in underground basement. Can not remember how long it opened for.
Added: 21 Jan 2021 16:53 GMT
Buckingham Street residents
Here in Buckingham Street lived Samuel Pepys the diarist, Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling
Added: 29 Jul 2021 07:53 GMT
I jave a jewelled item of clothong worn by a revie girl.
It is red with diamante straps. Inside it jas a label Bermans Revue 16 Orange Street but I cannot find any info online about the revue only that 16 Orange Street used to be a theatre. Does any one know about the revue. I would be intesrested to imagine the wearer of the article and her London life.
Added: 18 Mar 2021 13:08 GMT
White Conduit Street, N1
My mum, Rosina Wade of the Wade and Hannam family in the area of Chapel Street and Parkfield Street, bought her first “costume” at S Cohen’s in White Conduit Street. Would have probably been about 1936 or thereabouts. She said that he was a small man but an expert tailor. I hope that Islington Council preserve the shop front as it’s a piece of history of the area. Mum used to get her high heel shoes from an Italian shoe shop in Chapel Street. She had size 2 feet and they would let her know when a new consignment of size 2 shoes were in. I think she was a very good customer. She worked at Killingbacks artificial flower maker in Northampton Square and later at the Halifax bombers factory north of Edgware where she was a riveter.
Added: 31 Dec 2021 00:54 GMT
Burdett Street, SE1
I was on 2nd July 1952, in Burdett chambers (which is also known as Burdett buildings)on Burdett street
|LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT|
Added: 20 Sep 2023 21:10 GMT
I was born in the upstairs front room of 28 Tyrrell Avenue in August 1938. I was a breach birth and quite heavy ( poor Mum!). My parents moved to that end of terrace house from another rental in St Mary Cray where my three year older brother had been born in 1935. The estate was quite new in 1938 and all the properties were rented. My Father was a Postman. I grew up at no 28 all through WWII and later went to Little Dansington School
Added: 19 Sep 2023 18:10 GMT
Bombing of Arbour Square in the Blitz
On the night of September 7, 1940. Hyman Lubosky (age 35), his wife Fay (or Fanny)(age 32) and their son Martin (age 17 months) died at 11 Arbour Square. They are buried together in Rainham Jewish Cemetery. Their grave stones read: "Killed by enemy action"
Added: 8 Sep 2023 16:02 GMT
Tenant at Westbourne (1807 - 1811)
I think that the 3rd Marquess Townshend - at that time Lord Chartley - was a tenant living either at Westbourne Manor or at Bridge House. He undertook considerable building work there as well as creating gardens. I am trying to trace which house it was. Any ideas gratefully received
Added: 30 Aug 2023 10:43 GMT
The tracks through Roding Valley were opened on 1 May 1903 by the Great Eastern Railway (GER) on its Woodford to Ilford line (the Fairlop Loop).
But the station was not opened until 3 February 1936 by the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER, successor to the GER).
Source: Roding Valley tube station - Wikipedia
Added: 30 Aug 2023 09:52 GMT
Roding Valley is the quietest tube station, each year transporting the same number of passengers as Waterloo does in one day.
Added: 30 Aug 2023 09:47 GMT
The connection with Bletchley Park
The code-breaking computer used at Bletchley Park was built in Dollis Hill.
Added: 29 Aug 2023 15:25 GMT
The deepest station
At 58m below ground, Hampstead is as deep as Nelson’s Column is tall.
Source: Hampstead tube station - Wikipedia
Added: 29 Aug 2023 15:15 GMT
Not as Central as advertised...
Hendon Central was by no means the centre of Hendon when built, being a green field site. It was built at the same time as both the North Circular Road and the A41 were built as major truck roads �’ an early example of joined up London transport planning.
Admiral Duncan The Admiral Duncan is well-known as one of Soho’s oldest gay pubs. British Museum 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. De Hems De Hems has become a base for London’s Dutch community, serving bitterballen and frikandellen. Leicester Square Leicester Square, while indeed a square, is also the name for a tube station. L’Escargot L’Escargot is one of London’s oldest restaurants. Queen’s Theatre The Queen’s Theatre is located in Shaftesbury Avenue on the corner of Wardour Street. St Giles St Giles is a district of central London, at the southern tip of the London Borough of Camden. Tottenham Court Road Tottenham Court Road runs from St Giles’ Circus (the junction of Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road) north to Euston Road. Trident Studios Trident Studios was located at 17 St Anne’s Court between 1968 and 1981. Andrew Borde Street, W1D Andrew Borde Street was situated opposite the end of Sutton Row and under the Centre Point development. Archer Street, W1D Archer Street was Arch Street in 1675, Orchard Street in 1720 and Archer Street by 1746. Arne Street, WC2E Arne Street was named after the 18th century composer Thomas Arne, who was born near here. Bainbridge Street, WC2H Bainbridge Street takes its name from Henry Bainbridge, a local resident in the 17th century. Banbury Court, WC2E Banbury Court is named for Nicholas Knollys, 3rd Earl of Banbury, who owned a house here called Banbury House. Bateman Street, W1D Bateman Street was named for Sir James Bateman, local landowner and Lord Mayor of London in the 1670s. Bedford Square, WC1B Bedford Square was designed as a unified architectural composition in 1775-6 by Thomas Leverton. Bloomsbury Street, WC1A Bloomsbury Street runs from Gower Street in the north to the junction of New Oxford Street and Shaftesbury Avenue in the south. Bloomsbury Way, WC1V Bloomsbury Way - the name Bloomsbury is first noted in 1201, when Norman landowner William de Blemond acquired the land. Bow Street, WC2B Bow Street was built in the shape of a bow between 1633 and 1677. Bow Street, WC2E Bow Street was first developed by Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford in 1633. Brewer Street, W1D Brewer Street runs west to east from Glasshouse Street to Wardour Street. Bury Place, WC1A Bury Place is one of the streets of London in the WC1A postal area. Charing Cross Road, WC2H Charing Cross Road is a street running immediately north of St Martin-in-the-Fields to St Giles Circus. Ching Court, WC2H Ching Court is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area. Covent Garden, WC2E Covent Garden, is the name of a district, but also the name of the central square which formerly hosted a fruit-and-vegetable market. Cranbourn Street, WC2H Cranbourne Street was named after local landowner the Earl of Salisbury, Viscount Cranbourn (Cranbourne) after the town in Dorset. Crown Court, WC2E Crown Court is one of the streets of London in the WC2B postal area. Dansey Place, W1D Dansey Place is one of the streets of London in the W1D postal area. Dean Street, W1D Dean Street is one of the streets of London in the W1D postal area. Drury Lane, WC2B Named from Sir William Drury, Knight of the Garter in Queen Elizabeth’s reign, who owned land on its site. Duck Lane, W1F Duck Lane is one of the streets of London in the W1F postal area. East Street, W1T East Street is one of the streets in the Twickenham postal district. Endell Street, WC2H Endell Street, originally known as Belton Street, is a street that runs from High Holborn in the north to Long Acre and Bow Street in the south. Excel Court, WC2H Excel Court is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area. Galen Place, WC1A Galen Place is one of the streets of London in the WC1A postal area. Garrick Yard, WC2E Garrick Yard, together with the more familiar Garrick Street to the northeast of here, both took their names from the Garrick Club which commemorates the famous 18th century actor, David Garrick. Great Windmill Street, W1F Great Windmill Street has had a long association with music and entertainment, most notably the Windmill Theatre. Greens Court, W1D Greens Court is one of the streets of London in the W1F postal area. Ham Yard, W1D Ham Yard is one of the streets of London in the W1D postal area. High Holborn, WC2B High Holborn is a road which is the highest point in the City of London - 22 metres above sea level. Hog Lane, WC2H Hog Lane was a lane that went from St Giles’ leper hospital (set up in the 12th century) to the monument to Eleanor at Charing Cross. 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. King Street, WC2E King Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2E postal area. Lion Court, WC1R Lion Court is one of the streets of London in the WC1V postal area. Litchfield Street, WC2H Litchfield Street is possibly named after Edward Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield, who was brother-in-law of Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton and son of Charles II. Long Acre, WC2E Long Acre is one of the streets of London in the WC2E postal area. Maiden Lane, WC2E Maiden Lane runs from Bedford Street in the west to Southampton Street in the east. Manette Street, W1D Manette Street in Soho is named after the character from Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Meard Street, W1D John Meard, the younger was a carpenter, later a landowner, who developed the street. Moor Street, W1D Moor Street is one of the streets of London in the W1D postal area. Museum Street, WC1A Museum Street is so-named since it approaches the main entrance of the British Museum. Neal Street, WC2H Neal Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area. New Row, WC2E New Row is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area. Newport Court, WC2H Newport Court was laid out approximately on the site of the courtyard of Newport House. Newport Place, W1D Newport Place was named after Mountjoy Blount, Earl of Newport (Isle of Wight), who owned a house on Newport Street in the 17th century. Odhams Walk, WC2H Odhams Walk is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area. Parker Mews, WC2B Parker Mews is one of the streets of London in the WC2B postal area. Peter Street, W1F Peter Street is one of the streets of London in the W1F postal area. Rathbone Place, W1T Rathbone Place honours Captain Rathbone who was the builder of the road and properties thereon from 1718 onwards. Romilly Street, W1D Romilly Street is a small street that runs behind Shaftesbury Avenue and takes its name from lawyer Samuel Romilly. Rose Street, WC2N Rose Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2E postal area. Royalty Mews, W1D Royalty Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1D postal area. Rupert Court, W1D Rupert Court was named for Prince Rupert of the Rhine, the First Lord of the Admiralty when the court was built in 1676. Rupert Street, W1D Rupert Street – after Prince Rupert of the Rhine, noted 17th century general and son of Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of King James I. Seven Dials, WC2H Seven Dials was built on the site of the Cock-and-Pie Fields, named for a nearby inn. Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D Shaftesbury Avenue is a major street in the West End of London, named after Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury. Sicilian Avenue, WC1V Sicilian Avenue is a shopping parade that diagonally runs in between Southampton Row and Bloomsbury Way. Smiths Court, W1D Smiths Court is one of the streets of London in the W1D postal area. Soho Square, W1D In its early years, Soho Square was one of the most fashionable places to live in London. Soho Street, W1D Soho Street is one of the streets of London in the W1D postal area. Stephen Mews, W1T Stephen Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area. The Arcade, WC2B The Arcade is one of the streets of London in the WC2B postal area. The Market, WC2E The Market is one of the streets of London in the WC2E postal area. The Piazza, WC2E The Piazza is one of the streets of London in the WC2E postal area. Tower Court, WC2H Tower Court is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area. Walker’s Court, W1D Walker’s Court is one of the many passageways which in past years was known as ’Paved Alley’. Wardour Street, W1D The W1D part of Wardour Street south of Shaftesbury Avenue runs through London’s Chinatown. Wardour Street, W1F Wardour Street is a street that runs north from Leicester Square, through Chinatown, across Shaftesbury Avenue to Oxford Street. West Street, WC2H West Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area. Wild Street, WC2B Wild Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2B postal area. Admiral Duncan The Admiral Duncan is well-known as one of Soho’s oldest gay pubs. Clock House The Coach & Horses is a pub on the corner of Romilly Street and Greek Street. De Hems De Hems has become a base for London’s Dutch community, serving bitterballen and frikandellen. Dog and Duck The Dog and Duck is on the corner of Frith Street and Bateman Street.
From fruit and veg to Froo Tan VetchCovent Garden
is a district in London on the eastern fringes of the West End, between St. Martin’s Lane and Drury Lane
It is associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, and the Royal Opera House
, which is also known as Covent Garden
. The district is divided by the main thoroughfare of Long Acre
, north of which is given over to independent shops centred on Neal’s Yard
and Seven Dials
, while the south contains the central square with its street performers and most of the elegant buildings, theatres and entertainment facilities, including the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
, and the London Transport Museum.
Though mainly fields until the 16th century, the area was briefly settled when it became the heart of the Anglo-Saxon trading town of Lundenwic
. After the town was abandoned, part of the area was walled off by 1200 for use as arable land and orchards by Westminster Abbey, and was referred to as ’the garden of the Abbey and Convent’. The land, now called the Covent Garden
, was seized by Henry VIII, and granted to the Earls of Bedford in 1552. The 4th Earl commissioned Inigo Jones to build some fine houses to attract wealthy tenants. Jones designed the Italianate arcaded square along with the church of St Paul’s. The design of the square was new to London, and had a significant influence on modern town planning, acting as the prototype for the laying-out of new estates as London grew.
A small open-air fruit and vegetable market had developed on the south side of the fashionable square by 1654. Gradually, both the market and the surrounding area fell into disrepute, as taverns, theatres, coffee-houses and brothels opened up; the gentry moved away, and rakes, wits and playwrights moved in.
By the 18th century it had become a well-known red-light district, attracting notable prostitutes. An Act of Parliament was drawn up to control the area, and Charles Fowler’s neo-classical building was erected in 1830 to cover and help organise the market. The area declined as a pleasure-ground as the market grew and further buildings were added: the Floral Hall, Charter Market, and in 1904 the Jubilee Market
. By the end of the 1960s traffic congestion was causing problems, and in 1974 the market relocated to the New Covent Garden
Market about three miles (5 km) south-west at Nine Elms. The central building re-opened as a shopping centre in 1980, and is now a tourist location containing cafes, pubs, small shops, and a craft market called the Apple Market, along with another market held in the Jubilee Hall.
tube station is a Grade II listed building and was opened by Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway on 11 April 1907, four months after services on the rest of the line began operating on 15 December 1906.
Like the rest of the original GNP&BR stations, the street level station building and platform tiling was designed by Leslie Green. The station building is a classic red ’Oxblood’ building which has two elevations fronting onto the end of James Street
and Long Acre
. The platform wall was tiled with two shades of yellow and white tiling which formed geometric shapes along with three blank spaces to incorporate the station name. As part of TFL’s investment programme, the ageing tiling dating back from the station’s opening was replaced in 2010 in a like-for-like basis, retaining the look and feel of the platforms.
station is one of the few stations in Central London for which platform access is only by lift or stairs and often becomes congested due to the Covent Garden
area’s popularity with tourists. To control congestion on Saturday afternoons, when the surrounding shopping areas are at their busiest, the station was previously exit only to avoid the risk of dangerous overcrowding of the platforms, but following replacement of the lifts, this restriction has been lifted. There are four lifts which give access to street level, although a final flight of stairs from the lifts to the platforms means that the station is wheelchair inaccessible. Alternatively, there is an emergency spiral staircase of 193 steps (The equivalent to a 15 storey building). During the lift journey a recorded announcement is played asking passengers to have their tickets/passes ready as they exit the lifts and advising where to turn for Covent Garden
Image: Chris Ross