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.



Freston Road, W10
Freston Road is a street with quite a history. In 1969 the Westway was opened. One of its effects was to cut one of the longest streets in the area - Latimer Road - in two.

The southern half was renamed Freston Road and the houses had been largely emptied and readied for demolition. In the early 1970s, most of the residents of Freston Road were squatters. When the Greater London Council planned to redevelop the area, the 120 residents first all adopted the same surname of Bramley with the aim that the council would then have to re-house them collectively.

The Council threatened formal eviction, so at a public meeting attended by 200 people, resident Nick Albery - inspired by both the Ealing comedy film Passport to Pimlico and a previous visit to Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen - suggested that they declare the street independent of the rest of the UK. A referendum returned 94% of residents in favour of the plan, and 73% in favour of joining the European Economic Community. Independence was d...



Cecil Street, WC2N
Cecil Street was built on the site of Cecil House. Cecil Street, and parallel Salisbury Street, were built on the site of Cecil House (sometime Salisbury House).

Cecil House was built by Robert Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury. It was described as a "large and stately mansion".

A portion of Cecil House, now consisting simply of one large room, was subsequently fitted with shops on both sides, and opened for a time as the ’Middle Exchange’. This was pulled down in 1696. Upon the site. Cecil Street was built. Strype calls it a "fair street with very good houses, fit for persons of repute".

Cecil Street disappeared during the 1890s.
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Woodside Avenue, SE25
Woodside Avenue skirts Woodside Green. Woodside Avenue is named for the hamlet of Woodside, between Addiscombe and South Norwood. It was first mentioned in 1332. The name "Woodside" is believed to refer to its proximity to the Great North Wood, an extensive forest that once covered the region and lends its name to the various ’Norwoods’ in the area.

This road, before it got its modern name, ran down the side of Woodside Green from an early date.

In the past, Woodside was primarily agricultural land. However, the heavy clay soil made farming a challenging endeavour. Though difficult for farming, the clay proved suitable for brick-making, and by the 1850s, a brick-making industry had emerged in the area.

A small settlement had already developed around Woodside Green by the early 19th century. The chimneys of Handley’s brickworks were a prominent feature of the landscape, and their hooter, which signalled the start and end of the rest period, could be heard throug...



Belvedere Court, N2
Belvedere Court is a residential block consisting of fifty-six flats Belvedere Court, on Lyttleton Road, was designed by architect Ernst L. Freud, and constructed by London-based contractor H Meckhonik in 1937/38 on land that was previously owned by the Church Estate Commissioners.

Initially, the flats were built solely for rental purposes and were primarily leased to Jewish families who had moved to Britain from Europe to escape the Nazi occupation. The flats featured numerous modern amenities, such as waste disposal chutes, fully equipped kitchens, and central heating, which were considered highly luxurious in the 1930s.

Television personality Jerry Springer spent part of his childhood living at Belvedere Court with his family. In the 1990s, the freeholder at the time, The Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society, attempted to sell the block to Frogmore Estates without first offering it to the residents, which was a requirement under the 1987 Landlord & Tenant Act. Following a High Court ruling, the plans were withdrawn, and ...



The Great Wheel
Hungarian impresario Imre Kiralfy arranged for the installation of a giant Ferris wheel, inspired by one at the 1893 Chicago Exhibition. The Earl’s Court exhibition grounds have a rich history that began in 1887 when businessman John Robinson Whitley leased spare land owned by the District Railway west of Earl’s Court station. Whitley’s goal was to bring "Buffalo Bill" Cody’s Wild West show to London, and the site proved to be the perfect location. The grounds featured a large arena capable of holding 25,000 people and an exhibition hall measuring 1100 feet long. The site was first used for the American Exhibition and Wild West Show, which ran from 9 May to 31 October 1887.

Following this initial success, Whitley sought to provide major events each year, though none quite reached the heights of Buffalo Bill’s show. The exhibition company was renamed The National Exhibitions Association Ltd, and a longer lease was agreed upon. The grounds hosted various exhibitions over the years, including an Italian Exhibition in 1888, a Spanish Exhibition in 1889 and an Oriental Exhibition...



Arsenal tube station is a Piccadilly Line station. Meanwhile, Arsenal is maybe a football club too... Arsenal tube station is a Piccadilly Line station. Originally known as Gillespie Road, it was renamed in 1932 after Arsenal Football Club, who at the time played at the nearby Arsenal Stadium. It is the only Tube station named directly after a football club.

Arsenal tube station was opened by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway (GNP&BR) as Gillespie Road on 15 December 1906. The GNP&BR later renamed the Piccadilly line after the consolidation & nationalisation of the Tube network as London Underground. The original station building and ticket hall were red terracotta-clad buildings designed by Leslie Green, similar to neighbouring Holloway Road and Caledonian Road stations.

At the time of Gillespie Road’s construction, it served a residential area and a local divinity college. In 1913, Arsenal Football Club moved to Highbury on the site of the college’s playing fields, and the club’s presence there eventually led to a cam...


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