April 2017 archive

Old and New London: Volume 1 – Fleet Street

Alas, for the changes of time! The Fleet, that little, quick-flowing stream, once so bright and clear, is now a sewer! but its name remains immortalised by the street called after it. Although, according to a modern antiquary, a Roman amphitheatre once stood on the site of the Fleet Prison, and Roman citizens were certainly …

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Kensington Estates

In the Domesday Book of 1086 the area is called ‘Chensit’s ton’, which is an Anglo-Saxon name thought to mean ‘Cynesige’s farm’. A few misspellings later and you have ‘Kensington’. Kensington High Street and Notting Hill Gate were originally Roman roads through the countryside. Kensington High Street was then merely the ancient road from London …

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When was your house built?

If your house was built after 1900, this map offers you the possibility of seeing when decade it dates from. As the original author from MappingLondon noted: The Valuation Office Agency publish some interesting open data sets from time-to-time. One that caught my eye recently was a breakdown of counts of residential buildings in each …

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Building the Stanmore Line, 1930 to 1932

A shorter version of this piece was written by Philip Grant as a “Secret History” article for the December 2007 issue of the “Brent Magazine”, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Stanmore Line, now part of London Underground‟s Jubilee Line. The copyright remains with Brent Magazine and not The Underground Map. …

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Jack Straw’s Castle

The following appeared in the 1912 volume: “Hampstead, its historic houses, its literary and artistic associations” by Anna Maxwell Beyond the flagstaff and on the same side of the pond stands the “Castle” Hotel where the Court Leet met. Concerning the full title of this inn, it is extremely doubtful whether Wat Tyler’s chief captain ever …

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Watling Estate, HA8

The extension of the Northern Line to Edgware in 1924 caused the London County Council to purchase 387 acres of farmland adjacent to the new Burnt Oak station.

Swan Lane, N20

Swan Lane is one of the roads built on the edge of the original Finchley Common.

1766: Hyde Park

A PLAN of HYDE-PARK with the CITY and LIBERTIES of WESTMINSTER &c. Shewing the several IMPROVEMENTS propos’d by architect John Gwynn (1766). This plan shows renovations in Hyde Park and around Westminster. Two Royal palaces have been planned, in Hyde Park and Green Park. The red lines show an intention to regularise the street plan, replacing …

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The alleyways and courtyards of London: Y

Yorkshire Grey Yard WC1 Yorkshire Grey Yard is not quite the picture we would expect to find if purely relying on the illusion conjured up by its haughty sounding name. This dejected cul-de-sac which once sported one of the most fashionable taverns in town is now private and just a little grubby. The Yorkshire Grey …

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The alleyways and courtyards of London: W

Walker’s Court W1 In the midst of the bustling Berwick Market, Walker’s Court links Berwick Street with Rupert Street – both of them a hive of activity. This is one of the many passageways which in years gone by was known as ‘Paved Alley’. The state of the walkway in these narrow thoroughfares was so …

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