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MAP YEAR:175018001810182018301860190019502024 
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JUNE
21
2024
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.

AUGUST
31
2022

 

Weaver’s Fields
Weavers Fields is an open space in Bethnal Green. At just over 6 hectares in area, it’s not the largest of London’s parks but is one of the most historic - its name derives from this area having once been the centre of the silk weaving trade.

The park was envisaged in the 1943 Abercrombie Plan. The first section was laid out in 1963 with more land acquired by compulsory purchase order in 1965. Fourteen local streets were wholly or partly lost to the park.
»read full article


AUGUST
31
2022

 

Marylebone to Baker Street walk
The Station Formerly Known As Great Central .
»read full article


AUGUST
30
2022

 

Melbury Road, W14
Melbury Road is a grand, sweeping avenue, laid out from 1875 onwards. Melbury Road runs between Addison Road and Kensington High Street. It is named after the original home of the Earls of Ilchester in Dorset.

Edward Fox-Strangways, the Fifth Earl of Ilchester, bought the estate from Lady Holland in the late 19th century. Lady Holland was allowed to continue living there. When she died, the Earl of Ilcester decided to use the land of Little Holland House to create an estate of individual, architect-designed, houses called Melbury Road.

It consists of some magnificent artist-studio houses designed by Norman Shaw and Halsey Ricardo. The south side formed a 19th century artists’ quarter.

Along the street, Tower House is an example of a magnificent and unique medieval design. Constructed between 1876 and 1881, it was developed with a fifteenth-century French Gothic design by architect William Burges.

Every room was originally decorated in accordance with a unique theme drawn from na...
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AUGUST
29
2022

 

Seabright Street, E2
Seabright Street is a shadow of its former self. Before the creation of the park of Weavers Fields, a number of Bethnal Green streets existed underneath its green expanse. This was one of them.

Many of the houses which formerly lined the road were old Weavers Houses, notable for their wide upstairs windows which let in more light for the weavers to work.

The road was named for William Seabright, or Sebright, (1541–1620) who owned land in Bethnal Green. He was a former Town Clerk of London.

In his 1620 will, he established the ’Sebright’s Endowed Schools’ charity.

The streets here were originally part of the Willett Estate. ’A History of the County of Middlesex’ states:

“In 1788 much of Willetts (George and Gravel fields) south of Bethnal Green Road was divided into lots, most of which were leased for 99 years to John May Evans, a Surrey builder, and William Timmins, a local brickmaker. They immediately built along ...
»more


AUGUST
28
2022

 

Lichfield Court, TW9
Lichfield Court is a 1930s block in Richmond. Lichfield Court was built on the site of Lichfield House, named after the London residence of the Bishop of Lichfield.

The house was described in 1907 as a "grand old red brick building with a beautiful formal garden" - Sir Henry George Norris was the final resident. The house and grounds were acquired in 1933 by George Broadbridge and redeveloped into the present two blocks of flats.
»read full article


AUGUST
27
2022

 

Maya House, SE1
Maya House, on Borough High Street, is notable for its distinctive sculptures. The ’Walls and Trumpets’ installation was created in 2007 by Israeli artist Ofra Zimbalista (1939-2014).

Three lifecasts were cast from real people who agreed to be covered in alginate plaster from which a mould was created and then turned into blue fibreglass.
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AUGUST
26
2022

 

Hounslow Gunpowder Mills
Crane Park is the site of the Hounslow Gunpowder Mills, built where the island is today. The Shot Tower in Crane Park is a Grade II listed building that was built in 1828. It was used to make lead shot for guns by dropping molten lead from the top of the tower into a water tank at the bottom. The tower is part of the former Hounslow Gunpowder Mills, which were established in 1776 and closed in 1927. The mills were one of the largest gunpowder producers in Europe.
»read full article


AUGUST
25
2022

 

Ruislip Street, SW17
Ruislip Street was the first completed road of the LCC Totterdown Fields cottage estate. Totterdown Fields in Tooting was the first London County Council cottage estate and built between 1901 and 1911 It contained 1244 individual houses built over 38 acres. The estate was designated a conservation area, on the 19 September 1978.
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AUGUST
24
2022

 

Caird Street, W10
Caird Street is the ’C’ street on the Queen’s Park Estate Built between 1874 and 1882 by the Artisans, Labourers & General Dwellings Company, originally there were more than 2000 homes arranged along First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth avenues.

Building took place in several roads at the same time. Houses were dated 1873 and 1874 on the east side and 1876 on the west side of Sixth Avenue, 1880 in Fifth Avenue, 1875 in Caird Street at the east end of the estate, and 1876 in Oliphant Street at the far end and in a nearby shopping parade in Kilburn Lane.

Queen’s Park, like the company’s other four residential parks in London, was the result of a well supported effort to improve working-class conditions. It came to be seen as a success, both in encouraging the company to buy land for the Noel Park estate in Tottenham and in comparison with the squalor of much canalside housing, including Kensal New Town.

Financial difficulties in 1877 brought delays, rent increases, and building...
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AUGUST
23
2022

 

Pontoon Dock
Pontoon Dock station opened when, on 2 December 2005, the King George V branch of the DLR (since extended to Woolwich Arsenal) was open to the public. Pontoon Dock is located in the east of Silvertown in the redevelopment zone known as Silvertown Quays.

The station is near to the small eponymous quay, Royal Wharf - a large commercial and residential development on the riverside - and the Barrier Point residential complex.

Royal Wharf covers a location previously owned by Brunner Mond, where the Silvertown explosion occurred and where there is a small memorial.

During the 2012 London Olympic games, Pontoon Dock was connected by a pathway over the road to the exit of the ExCeL centre.
»read full article


AUGUST
22
2022

 

Lover’s Walk, SE21
The walkway between Gallery Road and College Road has had many names. There was a medieval field system between the two roads. In 1989, the Museum of London carried out an exploratory dig here to verify this. Amongt the fields, a path became known as Lovers Lane or Pensioners’ Walk.

In 1768 the right of way received an official name - The Grove. Grove Field lay on its south side.

Lover’s Walk had become its informal name by 1876 - in May that year, a news report recorded an incident here. In 2012, the Dulwich Estate agreed to calls for Lover’s Walk to be the formal name.

For cyclists it has yet another name - it is part of the Traylen Trail.


»read full article


AUGUST
21
2022

 

Vernon Yard, W11
Vernon Yard is a mews off of Portobello Road. The name Portobello Road derived from the 1739 capture of Puerto Bello in Central America from the Spaniards by Admiral Vernon (1684-1757) with only six ships.

Vernon Yard is similarly named - it was known as Vernon Mews until 1932. It is a small L-shaped mews with its entrance under an archway between 117 and 119 Portobello Road. The terrace of houses in Portobello Road that backs onto the mews was originally called Vernon Terrace, and the mews served these houses.

Vernon Yard would have been built at the same time as Vernon Terrace, in the first half of the 1850s. The 1863 Ordnance Survey map shows two numbered units (Nos. 1 and 2) at the southern end of Vernon Yard; a further eight units (Nos. 3-10) along the western side) and one (No. 11) at the northern end. These were almost certainly stable blocks with accommodation above. On the eastern side, the map shows a number of unnumbered units which were probably warehouses or stabling belonging to the ad...
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AUGUST
20
2022

 

Rainham Road, NW10
Rainham Road, in Kensal Green, was laid out in 1895. The United Land Company bought a 6 acre triangle of land between Harrow Road and the Hampstead Junction railway in 1879, and an adjoining 21 acres from All Souls College in 1882. The whole area was laid out as high-density terraced housing and shops as far east as College Road.

The college leased 13 acres south of the L&NWR railway line to Edward Vigers, who by 1888 had laid out roads and started building 134 small terraced houses.

Rainham Road was let on building leases in 1895 and 30 houses had been built there by 1898.
»read full article


AUGUST
19
2022

 

Eton Avenue, NW3
Eton Avenue runs parallel with Adelaide Road, two blocks north. From 1873 onward, William Willett and his son worked together as the chief building team in the area. In the early 1880s, they accepted the challenge of the Eton College estate by constructing Eton Avenue and surrounding roads.

The Willetts then moved on to both Lyndhurst Gardens and Wedderburn Road.

The houses set a precedent for aesthetic architecture in the speculative market. Drawing inspiration from English Queen Anne designs of the late 17th century, they were built with red brick, steep pitched roofs and tall chimneys. Dormers, gables, ornamental glass and ornamentation were other features that set them apart. Every single house was distinct.
»read full article


AUGUST
18
2022

 

Maylands
Maylands was already in existence by 1420 and then called Mellonde. Maylands was part of the manor of Dagenhams as early as the 13th century, although it was let out on lease. Two fields beside the Brentwood Road were called Little and Great Dellams and were known in the Middle Ages. Around 1610, Maylands was leased to John Wright of Wright’s Bridge.

In 1919 and at an annual rent of £262, the tenant was a Mr G. Gotheridge who had purchased the farm that same year.

In the 1930s, Mr Hillman ran a civil aerodrome on Maylands Farm and organised aeroplane flights for 5/- per ride. When the Second World War ended, London County Council (LCC) didn’t acquire the farm as it was located outside of their housing estate area.

By the turn of the twenty first century, the old farm buildings had become the headquarters of The Maylands Golf Club.
»read full article


AUGUST
17
2022

 

Plaistow Road, E13
Plaistow Road has been in existence since the Roman era. Plaistow had historically been an agricultural area. The name first appears in records in 1414.

Throughout the 1500s and 1600 there were silk weaving works in Plaistow. After initially declining, these flourished again from 1882 to 1943.

Established in 1797, Luke Howard’s pharmaceutical factory was a fixture of Plaistow until 1805. Subsequently, the area saw the rise of a railway works which remained open until 1934 and was located on the Plaistow Road.

This north end of Plaistow Road, was known in the 1850s as ’Rob Roy Town’ - a short-lived name of unknown origin.

Manufacturing never completely took off in the area and nearby Silvertown was a local hub for industrial work.

Plaistow was known to be the hub of West Ham’s printing industry. This is because the Plaistow Press replaced the Whitwell Press as a place for printing services. In 1928, the Plaistow press relocated to a differen...
»more


AUGUST
16
2022

 

Hodford Farm
Hodford Farm was part of an estate stretching from the Hampstead border to the site of Golders Green station. The Hodford and Cowhouse estate consisted of a compact block stretching from the Hampstead border to a point north of Golders Green station and also from Cricklewood to Golders Hill.

The estate totalled 434 acres in 1855 and was split into three farms known in 1889 as Hodford (or Golders Green) Farm, Cowhouse (or Avenue) Farm, and Westcroft Farm. There is no record or involvement of a manor house, although one may have stood on or near the site of the 18th-century Golders Hill House.
»read full article


AUGUST
15
2022

 

Flask Walk, NW3
Flask Walk was named after the mineral water sold at a tavern here. Hampstead was a rural village where people fled to, to escape plague in the inner city. The village had clean mineral water which was collected, bottled and sold at a pub called the Thatched House at the beginning of the 18th century.

The sale of the water - at 3d per flask - was arranged by a London apothecary called Philips based in Fleet Street at the Eagle and Child pub. The advertising for the Thatched House claimed that "eminent physicians and many gentry who had previously drunk the Tunbridge waters" now preferred water from Hampstead.

The Thatched House was succeeded in 1874 by the Flask Tavern, which still exists as a pub today. Both the road and the pub became named after the flasks that were filled here with spring water.

Fairs were held on Flask Walk, and Well Walk and Church Row became fashionable promenades.
»read full article


AUGUST
14
2022

 

Lea Bridge Farm
Lea Bridge Farm (Leabridge Farm) was originally in the middle of Leyton Marsh. The farm was half a mile east of the River Lea and a shorter distance west of the Dagenham Brook.

Lea Bridge Farm had originally been called Black Marsh Farm. The River Lea floodplain was fertile but difficult to cross. A local archaeological report identified ’very dark grey sandy clay’. There were two ancient routes - the Black Path and another track from Marsh Lane, used by commoners sending cattle to the marsh Lammas lands for summer grazing.

A third track, the forerunner of the turnpike, reached Black Bridge over Dagenham Brook, near to the later site of the Hare and Hounds Pub.

When the Lea Bridge turnpike road across Leyton Marsh was opened in 1757, its four mile marker was situated opposite the farm gateway. This had prompted the name change.

The crops of Lea Bridge Farm included potatoes, hay and osiers for basket making. There were also plant nurseries. From the mid-19th century, the farm also arranged t...
»more


AUGUST
13
2022

 

Black Path, E10
The Black Path is an ancient route between London markets. The Black Path ran from Hackney to Walthamstow, on the way passing Broadway Market, Columbia Road and Smithfield. The historic diagonal path was also known as the Templars’ Path and the Porters’ Way.

The route was reputedly the pilgrimage from London to Waltham Abbey and possibly further to Walsingham. The route also became known as the Market Hauliers Way, along which were pulled barrows and carts bringing produce from the fields to the London markets. Today, the path is a strategic walking and cycle route connecting together a string of open spaces.

The route had been diverted over time and historic maps indicate the path split into three after crossing the Lea at Lea Bridge.

Both Margaret Audley (in 1616) and David Doulben (in 1633) left money in their wills for the upkeep of the route.

The route is shown in John Coe’s map of 1822, which coincides with the opening of the new iron Lea Bridge in 1819-22.»more


AUGUST
12
2022

 

Meadway Gate, NW11
Meadway Gate marks the western end of Meadway as it joins Temple Fortune Lane. Meadway was an important approach to the central area of Hampstead Garden Suburb. It began with one of Unwin’s ’gates’ which marked the approach to the Suburb from Hoop Lane.

’The Builder’ magazine of 1912 regrets the abandonment of Parker and Unwin’s original design for Meadway Gate. But there is a symmetrical arrangement of houses, four on each side, forming a crescent. They overlook a small garden where the pedestrian access to Meadway can be found.
»read full article


AUGUST
11
2022

 

Lambeth Walk, SE11
Lambeth Walk was the site of two wells, the road to which slowly became lined with houses. Lambeth Walk appears on a map of 1746 under its earlier name of Three Coney Walk — a name that reflects the street’s then-rural nature at the time - ’coney’ means a rabbit or hare. Housing followed in the 19th century.

By the 1840s, Lambeth Walk had an established market and by 1861 it had 164 costermongers’ stalls.

The ’Lambeth Walk’ song was made famous by the 1937 musical “Me And My Girl”.

After bomb damage during the Blitz, the area became run down and was subsequently rebuilt. Some older buildings survive, including the Henry Moore Sculpture Studios.




»read full article


AUGUST
10
2022

 

Centre Drive, CM16
Centre Drive follows the alignment of the railway, some 100 metres to its east. It connects Station Road at its northern end with Ivy Chimneys Road in the south. The road already appears, albeit without any other buildings, on the 1920 Ordnance Survey map

On this side of the railway, development started in the late 19th century with St John’s Road and Chapel Road. After the Second World War, Epping Urban District Council built housing estates on this side at Beaconfield, Coronation Hill, Steward’s Green and Centre Drive.

Standing at the junction of Centre Drive and Woodland Grove, until the late 1980s, the firm of British Mathews and W. C. Pantin Ltd manufactured a wide range of mechanical handling equipment that was sold to Ford at Dagenham, the steel manufacturing plants of the Midlands, breweries and others.

The company had had offices and manufacturing sites in London and South Woodford. Having outgrown these sites, the entire operation was moved to the former Cottis brick and nail making site at Epping in 1937.
»read full article


AUGUST
9
2022

 

Epping to Theydon Bois walk
The outer limits of the Central Line .
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AUGUST
9
2022

 

Gordon Square, WC1H
The completion of Thomas Cubitt’s Gordon Square in 1860 marked the final development of Bloomsbury. The square was started by Thomas Cubitt in the 1820s, with Tavistock Square as its twin (a block away with the same dimensions). It was named after the second wife of the 6th Duke of Bedford, Lady Georgiana Gordon, daughter of Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke of Gordon.

16–26 Gordon Square, on the western side, were completed in 1855, and they are some of the last buildings created by Thomas Cubitt.

The garden was originally for the residents’ private use but now belongs to the University of London and is open to the public. The university also owns many of the buildings in the square.
»read full article


AUGUST
8
2022

 

Regent’s Place
Regent’s Place is a mixed use business, retail and residential quarter on the north side of Euston Road. Regent’s Place was developed by British Land from an earlier speculative property development ’Euston Centre’ that included Euston Tower. The Euston Centre scheme had been developed between 1962 and 1972 and designed by Sidney Kaye.

Work by British Land commenced in 1996 and the first stage involved the demolition of the head office and studios of the former TV company Thames Television and the subsequent development of the central part of the site. This included four new office buildings and a pedestrian plaza called Triton Square.
»read full article


AUGUST
7
2022

 

Wood Green
Wood Green is a suburban district lying to the east of Alexandra Palace, identified by the London Plan as one of the metropolitan centres in Greater London. The name Wood Green derives from ’Woodlea’, a Saxon word meaning ’’open ground near a wood’. In this case it relates to an opening in Tottenham Wood, an extensive area of woodland which formerly covered most of this area. Records suggest that settlement around Wood Green did not start till after the Norman Conquest. The earliest surviving written record of the placename is a reference in documentation dating from 1256, which relates to a grant for Ducketts Manor which used to be located just to the east of the present-day Wood Green High Road.

From the latter half of the 14th century, a number of estates developed around Wood Green, including Ducketts. In the early 17th century, the lord of Tottenham Manor, the Earl of Dorset, conducted a survey of his land. It showed that Wood Green had only sixteen houses and 50 inhabitants.

At around the same time as the survey, the New River was constructed through Wood Green. The proximi...
»more


AUGUST
6
2022

 

Golders Green Estate
The Golders Green Estate is a private housing development in the Cricklewood area. The Estate was built by John Laing & Co on the site of the Handley Page factory and aerodrome (Cricklewood Aerodrome) which closed in 1929.

The area was the childhood home of actress Jean Simmons.
»read full article


AUGUST
5
2022

 

Benhilton
Benhilton is an area of northern Sutton, centred around All Saints Church, which was designed by Samuel Sanders Teulon in a Gothic Revival style. Benhilton is significantly elevated above the surrounding area of the London Borough of Sutton.

The derivation of the name Benhilton was Benhill Farm, which stood close to the corner of Benhill Street and the High Street. It was the largest farm in Sutton and covered much of where Benhill Avenue is now.

The earliest recorded name for the area is ’Benhull’ from the 1385 Carshalton Court Rolls. A 1912 history of Surrey quotes: "The district called Benhilton, properly Bonhill, Bonehill or Benhill". The area to the east of Sutton Common was known as ’Bonhill Common’ in the 18th century.
»read full article


AUGUST
4
2022

 

Hanover Square Rooms
The Hanover Square Rooms (also called the Queen’s Concert Rooms) were assembly rooms principally for musical performances. The Hanover Square Rooms were located on the corner of Hanover Square and established by Sir John Gallini in partnership with Johann Christian Bach and Carl Friedrich Abel in 1774.

For a century this was the principal concert venue in London.

The site had previously been occupied by a mill - the previous name was Mill Field - and Mill Street was also named after the mill.

Gallini owned half the freehold and the other two a quarter each. They constructed assembly rooms for concerts and public meetings.

The final concert took place in 1874 and in 1875 the property was sold and became the premises of the Hanover Square Club, which had already been holding committee meetings there. The building was demolished in 1900.
»read full article


AUGUST
3
2022

 

Downham Tavern
The Downham Tavern was for some years the world’s largest pub. The Downham Tavern was the only public house built on the area of the Downham Estate, then owned by the London County Council.

It opened on 29 May 1930 and had two saloon bars, a public lounge, a dance hall, a beer garden and a lunchroom (with waiter service).

It is rumoured that it had to be camouflaged during the Second World War to stop the Luftwaffe using it as a landmark.

In the 1990s, Lewisham Council sold the site to the Courage Brewery who in turn sold the site to the local Cooperative Society. The Co Op demolished the tavern and in its place built a supermarket together with a smaller pub in 1997 only licensed for 280 people.

»read full article


AUGUST
2
2022

 

Waterlow Court, NW11
Waterlow Court was designed for ’businesswomen’ by Baillie Scott. Waterlow Court was built by the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company and opened in 1909. The company had been established by Sir Sydney Waterlow in the 1860s.

This remarkable set of buildings exhibits an Arts and Crafts spirit, organised around a courtyard with an arcaded cloister.

The round-arched arcades which create a ’cloister’ effect and which serve as a walkway to ground-floor flats.

Accommodation comprised of three, four or five room flats, simply designed with plank doors and open fireplaces. The originally communal dining area was in the gabled block to the rear of the courtyard.

The bicycle shed exhibited the architectural treatment of the new structures, used by women who exemplified the modern Edwardian spirit.
»read full article


AUGUST
1
2022

 

Hampstead Lane, NW3
Hampstead Lane connects Jack Straw’s Castle with Highgate. On the north side of Hampstead Lane was Bishop’s Wood. This wood, another further to the north called Mutton Wood, and another to the west called Wild Wood, was a portion of the great wood attached to the estate of the Bishop of London.

The Spaniards Inn (from 1585) and its old tollhouse opposite (built circa 1710 ) still cause a bottleneck in Hampstead Lane that causes slow traffic. Both being listed structures, the road layout will no doubt remain for more centuries. The Spaniards was built on the Finchley boundary and formed the entrance to the Bishop of London’s estate. A boundary stone from 1755 can be seen in the front garden.

Hampstead Lane was once south of its current course until landowner Lord Mansfield, who purchased Kenwood in 1754 and Bishop’s Wood in 1755, had it rerouted around his property.

Lord Mansfield acquired Kenwood for £4000. He and his wife, Betty used it as their weekend country villa. Lord Mansf...
»more


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