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The Underground Map

MAP YEAR:1750180018301860190019502020Remove markers
Castelnau ·
September
27
2020
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...
Barn Elms Farm
Barn Elms Farm sported majestic elm trees - hence the name. Barn Elms was recorded in 1540 and was formerly the manor house of Barnes. The land and manor belonged to St.Paul’s Cathedral and in 15th century was the home of Sir John Saye, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The manor house was later the home of Elizabethan spymaster Sir Frances Walsingham. The house was rebuilt by Thomas Cartwright in 1694.

Barn Elms Farm was variously the residence of William Cobbett (a political writer), Abraham Cowley (a poet) and of Heidegger (Master of the Revels to George II). Jacob Tonson lived in the old house called "Queen Elizabeth’s Dairy". He placed here a gallery for the Kit-Cat Club.

William Cobbett was an innovator of cultivation - experimenting with the growing of maize and the practice of self-supporting husbandry.

He saw himself as a champion of traditional rural society against the transformation due to the Industrial Revolution.

The Lobjoit family, Huguenot refugees, ha...

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SEPTEMBER
16
2020

 

Parkway, NW1
Parkway is one of Camden Town’s older roads - originally called ’The Crooked Lane’ Parkway, a tree-lined street, was developed from Crooked Lane in the 1820s and 1830s with three-storey houses on both sides. Until 1938, Parkway was known as Park Street.

Just after the Second World War, a Camden Town local reminisced:
“Park Street, which we now call Parkway, was full of shops instead of architects’ offices and estate agents as it is now. By eight in the morning the shop boy was busy cleaning the windows and polishing the outside brasses, sweeping and burnishing inside ready to open at nine and close twelve hours later for seven shillings and sixpence a week. Shops were graded. Fenn’s, the grocers at the corner of Delancey Street and Park Street, was a cut above the others, wrapping all purchases in brown paper, while most used newspaper.”

The street now has a mix of retail and restaurant uses with some small businesses.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
14
2020

 

Downham
The Downham Estate dates from the late 1920s The Downham Estate arrived on the scene in 1926, but its name originates in 1914 when the London County Council (LCC) agreed to build three large housing estates. The land was acquired in 1920. Downham covered the lands of two farms, Holloway Farm to the west and Shroffolds Farm to the north. Before the Estate was built, there had been little building south of Whitefoot Lane - many local residents took weekend walks over the ’Seven Fields’.

The name ’Downham’ derives from Lord Downham who, as William Haynes Fisher was a former chairman of the LCC. Many of the road took their names from Tennyson’s ’Idylls of the King’. Other roads took their names from places in Devon.

By summer 1930, 6000 houses had been completed by builders Holland, Hannen & Cubbits. An additional section of just over 1000 houses was developed at Whitefoot lane in 1937 by builders Higgs & Hill and generally known as ’North Downham’. On completion, some 30 000 people l...
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SEPTEMBER
11
2020

 

Harold Hill
Harold Hill is an area in the London Borough of Havering and a district centre in the London Plan The name Harold Hill refers to Harold Godwinson who once held the manor of Havering-atte-Bower. Romford was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1937 and governed by Romford Borough Council, which was the local authority during the construction of the Harold Hill estate.

The housing development of Harold Hill was conceived in the Greater London Plan of 1944 in order to alleviate the housing shortages of Inner London. Before construction of the estate - completed in 1958 - it was the location of Dagnam Park house and grounds.

Most of the land for the estate was purchased in 1947 by the London County Council. The area was within the designated Metropolitan Green Belt, but an exception was made for the development because of the housing need in London following the Second World War.

Construction of 7631 permanent homes, housing 25 000 people, began in 1948 and was complete by 1958.

The development is fairly low density with ...
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SEPTEMBER
10
2020

 

Alexandra Crescent, BR1
Alexandra Crescent was known for its 1926 ’Downham Wall’ Alexandra Crescent was built as a private (unadopted) road in late 1925 by the developer Albert Frampton. In a last-minute change of name, it was called after Queen Alexandra of Denmark who had just passed away in November of that year.

As the Downham Estate was being built to the north in 1926, those who were just moving into the new Alexandra Crescent appointed Frampton to build a dividing wall. The private home owners wished to prevent the working class people of Downham from accessing their neighbouring middle-class area. The Alexandra Crescent residents also wanted to prevent the development of an access route into the centre of Bromley.

Frampton made a formal application to Bromley Council on 16 February 1926 to build the dividing wall. The council refused to take a decision but the seven-foot-high brick wall was built nonetheless. It was constructed across Valeswood Road at its junction with Alexandra Crescent.

The ’class wall’ ...
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SEPTEMBER
9
2020

 

Addiscombe Road, CR0
Addiscombe Road first appeared on a map dated 1594. Addiscombe Road connecting Croydon with the hamlet of Addiscombe (roughly on the site of today’s Sandilands tram stop) to its east.

It was known as Upper Addiscombe Road in the 19th century to contrast with Lower Addiscombe Road - water from a spring ran down the hill.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
8
2020

 

Mortlake
Mortlake lies on the south bank of the River Thames between Kew and Barnes. Historically it was part of Surrey and until 1965 was in the Municipal Borough of Barnes. The Stuart and Georgian history was economically one of malting, brewing, farming, watermen and a great tapestry works.

The Waterloo to Reading railway line runs through Mortlake - the station opened on 27 July 1846.

The University Boat Race finishes at Mortlake every March/April.
»read full article


SEPTEMBER
7
2020

 

Gloucester Road, SW7
Gloucester Road is a main street in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Gloucester Road runs north-south between Kensington Gardens (at which point it is known as Palace Gate) and the Old Brompton Road at the south end. At its intersection with Cromwell Road is Gloucester Road underground station, close to which there are several pubs, restaurants, many hotels and St Stephen’s Church (built in 1867 and, notably, the church warden of which was the poet T. S. Eliot).

In 1612 or earlier it was called Hogs Moor or Hogmire Lane. It was a ’lane through marshy ground where hogs are kept’, a name that was still used until about 1850. and it was the site of an ultimately unsuccessful pleasure garden (and for a while a pick-your-own fruit and flower farm) in the late 18th century. At that time most of the vicinity was filled with nurseries and market gardens.

The road is now named after Maria, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh who built a house there - Villa Maria (later Orford Lodge) - in 1805, on part of the pleasure garden...
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SEPTEMBER
6
2020

 

Argyle Road, N12
Argyle Road runs from Nether Street to Dollis Brook after which it is named Lullington Garth. It follows the line of an old footpath which crossed the brook at what was called Frith Bridge.

The very short stretch of road between Nether Street and a footbridge over the railway was created in 1872 with the road beyond this bridge having been an early twentieth century construction.
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SEPTEMBER
5
2020

 

Brickfield Cottages, WD6
Brickfield Cottages lie between Theobald Street and the railway. Brickfield Cottages were built in 1858 by Charles Morgan, who owned the brickfield next door.

Further cottages were built in 1868 for railway workers but of interest to their further story is a parallel story of local Henry Robinson. who came into possession of some of them.

Robinson built the ’Red Road’ bridge over the railway - this linked Parkfield to Theobald Street and additional gave access for Tilehouse Farm to reach some of its fields cut off by the new line.

Robinson owned much of the land in Borehamwood and in 1871 built a parade of shops in Theobald Street almost opposite the entrance to Brickfield Cottages. The shops became known locally as ’Robinson’s Folly’ - they expected the venture to fail. But the venture didn’t and the shops remain in existence today.

Robinson gave two of the Brickfield Cottages to his daughter as part of her dowry.
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SEPTEMBER
4
2020

 

Bounds Green
Bounds Green is an area in the London Borough of Haringey with a station on the Piccadilly Line. Bounds Green was originally an overnight stop for travellers, being just short of the tollgate at Turnpike Lane. The name is derived from the former Bounds Green Farm near Cline Road.

Nowadays Bounds Green is a residential suburb, just north of Wood Green.

Bounds Green underground station opened in 1932 in an area previously known as Bowes Park - there is also a Bowes Park railway station.
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SEPTEMBER
3
2020

 

Land of Promise, N1
The Land of Promise - a short cul-de-sac - got its curious name from its former existence as a piece of land. The Land of Promise formed a part of the estate of Richard Haryong in the sixteenth century. The plan of the Land of Promise shows that at the south-west corner it did not reach Hoxton Street - the boundary ran to a point 75 feet from the street.

In 1545, Richard Haryong bequeathed a life interest in his lands to Margaret. He also bequeathed a legal title to his daughter, Alice Marowe. In 1557, Alice and her husband sold on to Thomas Cudsden and Alice Haddon. After the death of Margaret, of a messuage, two barns, a stable, a garden and three acres of Hoxton land came into their ownership. By 1626, Richard Middleton owned the property and land.

In 1633, Middleton sold it to the parish of Shoreditch as three tenements and three acres of land. In 1776, an existing lease was surrendered. A fresh lease was granted for the western part of the property, and the eastern portion used for the provision of a workhouse. On the expiry of the western lease in 1847 th...
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SEPTEMBER
2
2020

 

Fitzjohn’s Avenue, NW3
Fitzjohn’s Avenue links Hampstead with Swiss Cottage. Before Fitzjohn’s Avenue was built, Hampstead was bounded to the south by a broad belt of green meadows, known as the Shepherds’ or Conduit Fields, across which ran a pathway sloping up to the southwestern corner of the village, and terminating near Church Row. On the eastern side of these fields wass an old well or conduit, called the Shepherd’s Well, the source of the River Tyburn.

In the early 1870s, it was proposed by some of the inhabitants of Hampstead to purchase a portion of these grassy slopes, and to devote them to public use as a park.

However, in 1871 F. J. Clark had suggested a new road direct to Hampstead and in 1872 Spencer Maryon Wilson was hoping to create a "truly imposing road". In 1875 he contracted with John Culverhouse, who since 1871 had been the tenant at will of the two main demesne farms, to make Fitzjohn’s Avenue, from College Crescent off Finchley Road to Greenhill Road, and to plant ornamental trees.

I...
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SEPTEMBER
1
2020

 

Greatorex Street, E1
Greatorex Street was formerly called High Street. Daniel Greatorex was a clergyman and for 40 years was chaplain to the Sailor’s Home in Dock Street. He was at the same time vicar of St Paul’s Whitechapel. Greatorex Street is named after him.

Little is known about the earliest developments but the district’s growth seems to have started along the High Street (Greatorex Street), an early means of access from Whitechapel and ’The Church Way’ (now part of Hanbury Street). The latter ran eastward from Spitalfields towards Mile End. By the late seventeenth century, the settlement was divided from east to west by the Common Sewer, a drainage ditch which later formed the boundary between the two estates into which Mile End New Town was divided. As late as 1838 the Common Sewer was still an open ditch.

Building development seems to have begun shortly after 1680. New streets were laid out at this early stage, but building was slow and spasmodic.

High Street (Greatorex Street) was closed a...
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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.