Doughty Street, WC1N

Road in/near Bloomsbury, existing between the 1790s and now.

(51.52348 -0.11648, 51.523 -0.116) 
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Doughty Street is a broad tree-lined street in the Holborn district.

The southern part is a continuation of John Street, off Theobalds Road. The northern part crosses Guilford Street and terminates in Mecklenburgh Square.

Once known as Upper John Street, this thoroughfare runs from Mecklenburgh Square to Henry Street. It was developed over thirty years beginning in 1792 by Henry Doughty of Bedford Row when the Foundling Hospital extended Guilford Street east over his land. Doughty Street now consists of (mainly grade II listed) Georgian houses which were built between 1790 and the 1840s. Many of the houses have been converted into legal offices though in the last few years, many have been converted back to family homes.

In the nineteenth century, Doughty Street was an exclusively residential and had portered gates at either end to restrict entry.

One notable resident was Charles Dickens. On 25 March 1837, Dickens moved with his family into number 48 on which he had a three-year lease at £80 a year.

He remained here until December 1839 and wrote Oliver Twist in the house. In 1925, the Dickens Fellowship acquired his former house at No. 48, saving it from demolition and opening it as a museum. Other buildings were destroyed in the Second World War but reconstructed resembling their original style. With its gates and distinguished residents, Upper John Street remained an elegant enclave through changing times.

Other notable residents included clergyman and editor Josiah Pratt at No. 22 from 1797; chemist Edward Charles Howard, who discovered mercury fulminate around 1799-1802 at his laboratory at No. 6; witty author Sydney Smith at No. 8/14 from 1803; architect William Brooks, whose son Charles was born at No. 52 in 1816 and became Punch editor; Alfred Ainger, architect of the first University College Hospital, whose son Alfred was born at No. 10 in 1837.

Other mid-century residents were builder Thomas Cubitt at No. 53 and Daily Telegraph founder J.M. Levy at No. 51. In 1869, poet Charlotte Mew was born at No. 30/10 where her father was an architect's assistant. No. 46 later housed health campaigner Edith Summerskill's childhood home.

The London Post Office Railway passes underneath the street, but is now disused.

Main source: Wikipedia
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Added: 22 Mar 2024 15:33 GMT   

Polygon Buildings
Following the demolition of the Polygon, and prior to the construction of Oakshott Court in 1974, 4 tenement type blocks of flats were built on the site at Clarendon Sq/Phoenix Rd called Polygon Buildings. These were primarily for people working for the Midland Railway and subsequently British Rail. My family lived for 5 years in Block C in the 1950s. It seems that very few photos exist of these buildings.


Added: 19 Mar 2024 08:42 GMT   

Road construction and houses completed
New Charleville Circus road layout shown on Stanford’s Library Map Of London And Its Suburbs 1879 with access via West Hill only.

Plans showing street numbering were recorded in 1888 so we can concluded the houses in Charleville Circus were built by this date.

Source: Charleville Circus, Sydenham, London

Added: 19 Mar 2024 08:04 GMT   

Charleville Circus, Sydenham: One Place Study (OPS)
One Place Study’s (OPS) are a recent innovation to research and record historical facts/events/people focused on a single place �’ building, street, town etc.

I have created an open access OPS of Charleville Circus on WikiTree that has over a million members across the globe working on a single family tree for everyone to enjoy, for free, forever.

Source: Charleville Circus, Sydenham, London

Added: 8 Mar 2024 20:45 GMT   

My House
I want to know who lived in my house in the 1860’s.


Added: 7 Mar 2024 11:41 GMT   

Telephone House
Donald Hunter House, formerly Telephone House, was the BT Offices closed in 2000

Paul Cox   
Added: 5 Mar 2024 22:18 GMT   

War damage reinstatement plans of No’s 11 & 13 Aldine Street
Whilst clearing my elderly Mothers house of general detritus, I’ve come across original plans (one on acetate) of No’s 11 & 13 Aldine Street. Might they be of interest or should I just dispose of them? There are 4 copies seemingly from the one single acetate example. Seems a shame to just junk them as the level of detail is exquisite. No worries if of no interest, but thought I’d put it out there.

Added: 28 Feb 2024 13:52 GMT   

New Inn Yard, E1
My great grandparents x 6 lived in New Inn Yard. On this date, their son was baptised in nearby St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch

Source: BDM London, Cripplegate and Shoreditch registers written by church clerk.

Vic Stanley   
Added: 24 Feb 2024 17:38 GMT   

The postcode is SE15, NOT SE1


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Cromer Street
TUM image id: 1547917827

In the neighbourhood...

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British Museum station
Credit: London Transport Museum

Mount Pleasant Sorting Office on the north-east corner of Farringdon Road (1910). The present building is on the site of the Coldbath Fields Prison where the punishments were particularly cruel in that they were not only long and physically hard but also pointless. The pub at the back used to open at 9am to serve postal workers.

View looking upwards of the stairway at Bevin Court. Bevin Court (1946-54) designed by Berthold Lubetkin and Tecton.
Credit: Wiki Commons/Steve Cadman

Coldbath Square in Clerkenwell was named after a cold water well that stood originally in fields. Cold Bath was fed by a spring which was discovered by a Mr Baynes in 1697. The discoverer declared the water had great power in nervous diseases, and "equalled those of St Magnus and St Winnifred". The bathing hours were from 5am to 1pm, the charge two shillings. The old bathhouse was a building with three gables, and had a large garden with four turret summer houses. In 1811 the trustees of the London Fever Hospital bought the property for £3830, but, being driven away by the frightened inhabitants, the ground was sold for building, the bath remaining as late as 1865.

Cromer Street

Pluto Lamps were first demonstrated in 1897. They included an automatic machine that could dispense a gallon of hot water, or a halfpenny worth of beef tea essence, cocoa, milk, sugar, tea or coffee. Pictured here is the inauguration of the first Pluto lamp in Exmouth Street (now Exmouth Market), Clerkenwell 1899. The Pluto Lamps initiative disappeared almost as quickly as it arrived.
Credit: Islington Local History Centre

Eyre Street Hill, Little Italy, c. 1890
Credit: Bishopsgate Institute
Licence: CC BY 2.0

Farringdon Road and the Metropolitan Railway, 1868. Looking north from Turnmill Street

John Street, looking up Doughty Street (1949)
Credit: Rene Groebli
Licence: CC BY 2.0

Percy Circus from above Percy Circus was once referred to as "one of the most delightful bits of town planning in London". Percy Circus was begun in 1841 but not completed until 1853. Around the railed central garden are still fifteen of the original twenty-seven houses.
Credit: Wiki Commons

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