The Underground Map

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Borehamwood ·
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...
Clarendon Road, WD6
Clarendon Road runs north from Shenley Road. The road is older than most streets in Borehamwood, dating as it does from prior to the First World War. It receives its name from the Earl of Essex and Clarendon who also built the Nascot estate in Watford a few decades previous to its construction.

Clarendon Road and Eldon Avenue are now the two entrances into the BBC Elstree Centre, previously ATV/Central TV and the Rock Studios before that.




Streatham Vale
The development of Streatham Vale dates from the 1920s Although the Greyhound Inn was established around 1730, the area was rural until the early twentieth century.

In 1875, the western half of Greyhound Lane became Streatham Vale.

From 1922, the Streatham Vale Estate - built largely by two firms, R.H. Miller and Wates of Norbury - kickstarted suburban development.

Around 1930 schools opened on Streatham Vale, the Greyhound Inn was rebuilt and the River Graveney was culverted to prevent flooding.
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Abercairn Road, SW16
Abercairn Road was the first road laid out in the Streatham Vale Estate Abercairn Road and its offshoots were first constructed by the builder R.H. Miller in 1922.
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Eardley Road, SW16
Eardley Road dates from the 1870s In 1875, the local station was renamed Streatham Common in place of its former name of Greyhound Lane.

Just after this date, the first houses appeared on Eardley Road and a handful of industries were established, bringing local employment opportunities.
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Streatham Vale, SW16
Streatham Vale was created when Greyhound Lane was split in two by the arrival of the railway The lane began as a track connecting Mitcham with Norwood. By 1730, the Greyhound Inn was in existance.

The opening of Greyhound^ Lane station in 1862 at first brought few changes to the rural area. In 1875 the station was renamed Streatham Common and after that date half of Greyhound Lane became Streatham Vale.

In 1922, the Streatham Vale Estate was built. The building firm Wates of Norbury built eastwards from Streatham Vale to the railway.

Subsequently, schools opened on either side of Streatham Vale and the Greyhound Inn was rebuilt.
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Nickleby Close, UB8
Nickleby Close is a road of terraced housing, established in the 1980s. The other roads on the estate all have literary names - either authors or fictional characters from 19th century English literature.

Nicholas Nickleby was the hero of a Charles Dickens novel. His father had died and left Nicholas and his family penniless. While Nicholas was honest and steadfast, his youth led him to be naïve, and emotional. He devoted himself primarily to his friends and family and fiercely defied those who wronged the ones he loved.

In his preface to the novel, Dickens writes: "There is only one other point, on which I would desire to offer a remark. If Nicholas be not always found to be blameless or agreeable, he is not always intended to appear so. He is a young man of an impetuous temper and of little or no experience; and I saw no reason why such a hero should be lifted out of nature."
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Gorringe Park Avenue, CR4
Gorringe Park^Avenue predates the rest of this area’s development by half a millennium. Gorringe Park was the old name for this far northern part of Mitcham. As noted by ’Hidden London’, it is an answer to the riddle that there’s no word rhyming with ‘orange’.

Already by the 15th century, the future Gorringe Park^Avenue was the track leading to Biggin Farm - a farm and later also a grand house - in the 15th century from the London Road. Also known as Biggin Grove, the fields covered the area east of Figge’s Marsh up to the South London, Peckham and Sutton Railway’s line.

Biggin Grove was pulled down in 1821 and the grounds became largely agricultural. However, in the 1860s, a villa named Gorringe Park had been built, owned by the Wilson family.

In the 1890s and 1900s, the surrounding land owned by the Wilsons was developed with housing.

The Wilsons helped fund the neo-gothic St Barnabas church on Gorringe Park^Avenue, designed by architect Henry Burke-Downing.

Gorringe Park became a ...



Union Street, W1W
The easternmost section of Riding House Street was previously known as Union Street. Riding^House^Street (previously called Riding^House Lane) extended west from Edward Street only as far east as Great Titchfield Street. East of Great Titchfield Street this was Union Street, which became part of Riding House Street in 1937.

The name Union Street dates from 1764 and reflects an accord between the Portland and Berners Estates, whose boundary line the street followed. Its layout dates from 1759 or so.
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Riding House Street, W1W
Riding House Street commemorates a riding house and barracks of the First Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards. In 1726, John Wood was granted a lease by the Cavendish–Harley Estate to build a riding house on the open ground north of the present line of Mortimer Street. It was one of a number of such buildings to appear on the margins of London in the early eighteenth century. In them, military officers and gentlemen would learn equine comportment.

The riding house here was completed in 1727 and was about 120 feet long, barn-like and with a high-pitched roof. It stood immediately south of what became called Riding House Lane. Off Great Portland Street, a passage gave access to the barracks at the back of the site.

In 1736, a stable range on its south side was added by John Lane, Surveyor of the Horse Guards. This left room for houses along Mortimer Street.

The Troop was disbanded in 1788. In 1789, Isaac Stacey replaced the barracks and stables with a coach repository. The riding house itself was subsequently adapted for use as livery stables.



Mitcham Eastfields
Mitcham Eastfields is a railway station which opened on 2 June 2008. Eastfields is an area situated between Mitcham and Streatham. It is home to St Mark’s Academy and the area has two council estates, Laburnum and Eastfields Estate, 5 minutes away from each other.

Proposals for the station at Mitcham Eastfields had existed since the 1930s. Initially known as simply ’Eastfields’ during planning and construction, building started in October 2007.

Mitcham Eastfields cost £6 million to put into operation and it was the second station to be built to a modular design developed by Network Rail.
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All Saints Road, W11
Built between 1852-61, All Saints Road is named after All Saints Church on Talbot Road. The church of All-Saints-With-St Columb was built by the the Reverend Samuel Walker, who came from St Columb Major, near St Ervan Cornwall: hence also the names of nearby Cornwall Crescent and St Ervan’s Road.

In 1852, Walker bought several fields of Portobello Farm and spent thousands of pounds developing them, starting with the church.

The church was isolated and derelict for ten years and local residents and irreverently called it ’Walker’s Folly’ or ’All Sinners in the Mud.

By the 1950s, All Saints Road was attracting its first West Indian immigrants. Nearby was the Tavistock Road lodging house of Mrs Fisher, who was known as the first Notting Hill landlady to rent to black people.

Amongst many cinematic claims to fame, Ringo Starr’s ’walkabout’ from ’A Hard Day’s Night’ partly took place in the street.

The Westway motorway was built to the north of All Saints Road in 1969 and betwe...



Ada Street, E8
Ada Street was named for one of the Pritchard family, local landowners. The Pritchards owned an estate covering this land in the early nineteenth century. The northern limit of the estate was Duncan Road with Sheep Lane on its eastern limit.

Some streets, laid out around 1831 or later, were named after the first names of family members, including Ada Street, Emma Street and Marian Street.

Broadway Market, at the western end of Ada Street, was from about 1800 known as Margaret Place. In 1831, to the north of the Cat and Mutton Bridge, it was renamed Pritchards Place and then Duncan Place. Later it was called Broadway with the ’Market’ added in the late 19th century.
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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 ot...



Brick Lane, E2
The northernmost section of Brick Lane lies within the E2 postcode. Formerly called Whitechapel Lane, Brick Lane was named after the brick manufacture that took place in the area after the 15th century.

In 1890, the northernmost section was extended northwards across Bethnal Green Road as far as Columbia Road, absorbing Tyssen Street and Turk Street.

In the 1950s, this north section was truncated below Chambord Street.
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1900 and 1950 mapping is reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence.