The Underground Map

(51.51924 -0.06724, 51.537 -0.211) 
MAP YEAR:175018001810182018301860190019502024 
Use the control in the top right of the map above to view this area on another historic map
The Underground Map is creating street histories for the areas of London and surrounding counties lying within 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.

The aim of the project is to find the location every street in London, whether past or present. You are able to see each street on a present day map and also spot its location on older maps.

There's a control which looks like a 'pile of paper' at the top right of the map above. You can use it to see how an area has changed on a series of historic maps.



Cannon Street, EC4R
Cannon Street follows the route of a riverside path that ran along the Thames. Linking the Monument to St Paul’s Churchyard, Cannon Street does not refer to cannons at all but to candles - being the street of the candlemakers and first appearing in 1183 as ’Candelwrichstrete’ (’Candlewright Street’). The City ward of Candlewick come from the original name before it was corrupted.

In the late Victorian period, Cannon Street was occupied by large warehouses - especially of cotton goods. It had been lengthened and widened in the mid-1850s, clearing away a maze of small streets. Cannon Street station as the new terminus of the South-Eastern Railway opened in 1866.

The London Stone, from which distances were measured in Roman times, was originally situated in the middle of Cannon Street.
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Edgware bus station
Edgware Bus Station lies behind Edgware train station. In August 2009, writer Tanya Gold attempted to be the writer in residence at the bus station emulating Alain de Botton who had a similar position at Heathrow Airport.

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Abbey Wood
Between Plumstead to the west and Erith to the east, Abbey Wood takes its name from the nearby Lesnes Abbey and Bostall Woods. The original 19th century Abbey Wood (known locally as The Village) is the area immediately south of Abbey Wood railway station, built where Knee Hill became Harrow Manorway and crossed the railway (North Kent Line). This is now the centre where three phases of house building (almost) meet.

The Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society (RACS) bought two farms on the hillside to the south and between 1900 and 1930 built the Bostall Estate. Once known as Tin Check Island after the Society’s dividend system, this has streets named for Co-operative themes (Alexander McLeod, Rochdale, Robert Owen, Congress), a school & shops but no pubs.

Between 1956 & 1959 the London County Council built the Abbey Estate on former Royal Arsenal marshland to the north (between the railway and the Southern Outfall sewer bank heading for Crossness). Predominently conventional brick houses with gardens, equipped with shopping centres, schools and open spaces, the estate...



Bush Theatre
The Bush Theatre is located in the Passmore Edwards Public Library, Shepherd’s Bush. The Bush Theatre was established in 1972 to showcase for the work of new writers. The theatre strives to create a space which nurtures and develops new artists and their work. The Bush Theatre has produced many premieres, many of them Bush Theatre commissions, and hosted guest productions by theatre companies and artists from across the world.

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Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art
The Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, formerly the Webber Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Art, was a drama school, and originally a singing school. It was one of the leading drama schools in Britain, and offered comprehensive training for those intending to pursue a professional performance career. During its 100-year history, the Academy produced many established actors of stage and screen, including Angela Lansbury, Julian Fellowes, Antony Sher, Donald Sinden, Hugh Bonneville, Minnie Driver, Amanda Root, Julia Ormond, Terence Stamp, Natalie Dormer, and Miranda Raison.

The school was founded in London in 1926 as the Webber Douglas School of Singing, by Walter Johnstone Douglas and Amherst Webber. It was created from the singing academy founded in 1906 in Paris by Jean de Reszke. By 1932 the school had added full theatrical training to its curriculum, and it was renamed the Webber Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Art. It was located at 30 Clareville St in South Kensington.

In 2006, the academy was absorbed into the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Many of the academy’s past alumni ha...



Shepherd’s Bush Village Hall
Shepherd’s Bush Village Hall is a Victorian building on Wood Lane. Shepherd’s Bush Village Hall was originally constructed as a drill hall for the 1st City of London Volunteer Artillery. It is now a community centre.

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham sold it to Wigoder Family Foundation in 2012. Among the charities which continue to use it is the West London School of Dance.

Shepherd’s Bush Village Hall falls within the Shepherd’s Bush Conservation Area.
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Conway Crescent, UB6
Conway Crescent was a 1930 estate of privately-built homes. By the 1840s, Perivale was former wheat fields - which had grown wheat of some prestige - had been converted to grow hay. The coming of the Grand Union Canal made the formerly isolated village better connected to serve London’s growing population of horses. John Betjeman’s poem ’Return to Ealing’ states:

"...And a gentle gale from Perivale / blows up the hayfield scent."

The population of Perivale remained very low until the start of the twentieth century. In 1901, the census counted only 60 people.

In the 1930s, the Western Avenue was built, running east-west across the fields of Perivale and led to its rapid expansion. In the 1930s, many factories and houses arrived in Perivale. The Hoover Building opened in 1932 and employed more than 3000 people at its height. Sanderson’s wallpaper factory also went up in 1929, eventually employing some 2000.

In contrast to the pattern of development in many ...



Weymouth Avenue, W5
Weymouth Avenue dates from the period of the First World War. Little Ealing village existed by 1650 and was situated where Little Ealing Lane and Northfield Avenue (then Northfield Lane) and Windmill Road (then Windmill Lane) met. The manor house of Coldhall lay along Little Ealing Lane between the village and South Ealing Road. Until the late 19th century Little Ealing was only a small hamlet.

In 1883, the Metropolitan District Railway built its Hounslow extention as a branch from Acton Town. At first there were two stations in the area - South Ealing and Boston Road (now Boston Manor). By 1908, the Northfields area begun to develop and a halt was built. The station and platforms were then on the west side of Northfield Avenue.

The bridge where Weymouth Avenue now crosses the railway, preceded the laying out of the road and linked the right of way which connected Little Ealing and Allacross Road. Weymouth Road built to connect Little Ealing Lane northwards to Windermere Road, integrated this bridge which forced th...



Pottery Lane, W11
Pottery Lane takes its name from the brickfields which were situated at the northern end of the street. The local soil was stiff clay and after 1818, the clay begun to be dug out here and used for brickmaking to supply London’s growing suburbs. Bricks and tiles were stored in sheds lining Pottery Lane and were fired in large kilns. Parts of the diggings flooded and a particular area became known as ’The Ocean’. Rubbish and effluent ended up here and it was bounded by dangerous walkways. Over the years, many drowned there.

Roughly at the same time as the brickmaking took off, pig keepers moved into the area. They had been evicted by their landlord from the Tottenham Court Road area and settled here. Many of those families lived together with the pigs in their houses.

As the area thus became a slum known as either The Potteries or The Piggeries. Conditions in Pottery Lane became so bad it became known as Cut Throat Lane.

On Sundays, there was cockfighting, bull-baiting and the killing of rats by dogs to amuse the residents.



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