Featured streets are gleaned from the various Conservation Area guides issued by the London Borough of Camden.
ABBEY ROAD (1824)
Abbey Road at the northeast of the St John’s Wood West area was laid out in 1824 along an earlier medieval track.
ABERDARE GARDENS (1893)
The last road to be developed in the area was Aberdare Gardens, where Tomblin built most of the 29 houses erected between 1893 and 1897. The third edition Ordnance Survey of 1914 shows that building was complete throughout the area.
Adamson Road is a short, predominantly residential road with semi-mature cherry trees planted on the pavement. It formed part of the Eton College estate.
The red brick Hall School can be seen along Adamson Road and Crossfield Road and is the most notable building on these streets.
The triangular open space at the junction of Eton Avenue and Adamson Road forms part of the historic street pattern and is an attractive open space.
ADELAIDE ROAD (1840s)
Adelaide Road running east-west was laid out in 1840, effectively dividing the Eton Estate in two, and by 1853 there was considerable development of houses along both sides of the street. By 1856 the first local public omnibus service ran along Adelaide Road. Shortly after the principal roads had been laid out, in 1842, Primrose Hill was acquired for public recreation as an addition to Regent’s Park, increasing the attractiveness of the location for residential development.
Allcroft Ropad was built between 1862 and 1870 and links Queen’s Crescent with quiter roads to the south.
ALMA STREET (1855)
Alma Street was laid out in 1855-1860 and comprises two-storey mid-Victorian terraced housing, tightly lining both sides of the street.
AGINCOURT ROAD (1888)
Holylands, or South End Farm, was part of the estate of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster. When the Hampstead Junction Railway acquired eight acres of the farm in 1854 for £7,105 for their line between Camden Town and Willesden the holding was divided into two sections and its eventual use for building assured.
Joseph Pickett, the farmer, was allowed to continue in possession but in 1872, Cluttons the surveyors, exploited the slack estate management of the Dean and Chapter and the default of the railway company by arranging the sale of the southern half of the farm to T.E. Gibb, a Kentish Town developer in 1881.
Because of the effect on house prices by the Fever and Smallpox Hospital in Fleet Road, progress was slow. By 1894 only 75 houses in Agincourt Road and Lisburne Road had been built by Robert Thorne, who lived at ‘Sunnyside’ and John Sanders who lived in Lisburne Road. A second industrial site near the school had been let to Mansell, Hunt and Catty, makers of ‘Articles in paper for the serving of food and decoration of table’ in 1883. They become major employers, finally closing in 1969.
After the death of Gibb in 1894, F.T. Binnington took over responsibility for completing the estate.
In connection with the extension of their line to South End Green, the London Street Tramways had moved their depot from Southampton Road to a large site behind Fleet Road in 1887. In front of the stables, the remaining houses on Fleet Road were constructed by a Mr Geard.
To cope with increased traffic, a second tramline was laid along Agincourt Road to allow for one-way working, and in 1909 the trams were electrified. In the following year the number 24 bus started the service from South End Green to Victoria and Pimlico.
Akenside Road dates from the 1880s.
ANGLERS LANE (1840s)
Construction of Anglers Lane began in the early 1850s on land that a decade before had been marked on maps as ‘Bakers Nursery’.
Anglers Lane is a long narrow street which gently curves at its entrance from Kentish Town Road in the east. The street is characterised by a variety of architectural styles, dating from the 1850’s to the present day.
The predominantly residential streets surrounding Kentish Town Road bear vestiges of their industrial history, such as the surviving false tooth factory building on Angler’s Lane.
ANTRIM ROAD/ANTRIM GROVE
These roads, originally named Antrim Street, were constructed in the late 19th/early 20th century. Antrim Gardens at the northern end of Antrim Road is a small public open space which terminates the vista along the street. The area of allotments to the rear of the garden provides views to the rear of Belsize Grove with mature trees and reflects the character of the former market garden.
Antrim Mansions, dating to 1897 at the southern end of Antrim Road, is a consistent group of 3 storey brick mansion flat blocks of two differing designs located on both sides of the street.
Industrial uses populate the east side of Arlington Road, particularly the northern end close to Parkway.
AVENUE ROAD (1820s)
The first nineteenth century development close to the area and intrusion into the otherwise agricultural character of the Eton Estate was the construction of the London-Birmingham railway line in the 1830s. This through route for long distance travel provided London with its first long distance tunnel, running just south of the future course of Adelaide Road.
Urban development of the area occurred between 1840 and the early 1900s as major roads were built to provide links with central London. Finchley Road and Avenue Road, running north-south, were laid out in the late 1820s with the construction of large detached dwellings starting on Avenue Road in the 1840s.
The first houses were built at the southern end of Avenue Road, close to the canal and continued north to Swiss Cottage. The area was developed as spacious middle class housing, desirable because it was close to Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill. The development was directed by John Shaw, a young architect inspired by the town planning ideals of the late 18th century.
This narrow lane lies on the slope south of South Grove, and benefits from views of the trees in Highgate West Cemetery. The narrow entrance to this private road is marked by a metal barrier and by rough hewn granite bollards and kerbs, and is concealed by the high red brick walls to the corner properties. On the east side of the lane the older garden walls have robust brick buttresses which are in need of repointing and repair. The enclave was developed in the 1950s when a distinct group of eight houses were built on the site of the Old Hall kitchen garden and orchard and of a 19th century house. Mr Osborne, the then owner of the Old Hall, offered building plots for sale to a number of architects who built their own houses. The name ‘Bacon’s Lane’ was derived from the account in John Aubrey’s Brief Lives of how Francis Bacon, First Earl of Verulum, conducted an experiment in stuffing a live goose with snow at the foot of Highgate Hill. Bacon caught a chill and was carried to Lord Arundel’s house, on the site of the Old Hall, where he died.
When first built the street ran from Raydon Street to Dartmouth Park Hill and was called Colva Street, renamed a century ago because of its notoriety as a slum.
BASSETT STREET (1862)
Developed between 1862 and 1870.
BEDFORD NEW TOWN
To the east of Hampstead Road there is a distinct residential pocket, largely concentrated at the southern end of the Conservation Area. Developed on the Duke of Bedford’s Fig Meads Estate from 1834, the area was initially known as Bedford New Town, and featured taller and grander terraces than found elsewhere in the Conservation Area.
BELSIZE CRESCENT (1868)
The main area of mews development within the area was constructed on a triangular four acre field to the north of Belsize Lane, immediately north-east of Belsize Farm. This was let to Daniel Tidey on a building agreement in 1865. Terraced houses were built along Belsize Crescent with mews development infilling the residual areas either side. The terrace was the first significant development by William Willett and Son, father and son developers, and was built between 1868 and 1875. They had sub-let from Tidey who continued to develop up to 1870 when he went out of business and the principal
developers within the area became the Willetts, who returned to the area in 1885 to build on Eton Avenue and Strathray Gardens.
BELSIZE GROVE (1820s)
The first of eight parcels of Belsize Park land to be developed was one acquired by Edward Bliss adjacent to Haverstock Hill.
He realised the potential of the land on a main route into London for the development of houses. The Haverstock Hill frontage (between England’s Lane and the present Howitt Road) was consequently made available for piecemeal development from 1815. A tranche of mansions, lodges, villas and terraces was largely completed by 1826 and to some extent set the tone for development in the area.
Haverstock Terrace (later extended and re-named Belsize Grove) was built to provide access to Bliss’s fields to the west, presumably to enable their future development.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the land between the northern edge of London and the settlement of Hampstead was predominantly open land in agricultural use with a few scattered farms and houses. The land now within Belsize Park was split between two freehold owners. The Dean & Chapter of Westminster acquired the northern part of the Belsize area at the beginning of the 14th century, when the then Lord Chief Justice, Sir Roger le Brabazon, left Belsize House and its surrounding land to Westminster Abbey. The southern area, broadly the area to the south of Lancaster Grove and Englands Lane was given to Eton College by Henry VI in 1449.
In 1745, John Rocque produced a plan of London and the surrounding area. On this map, the only roads evident within the Conservation Area are Haverstock Hill leading north towards Hampstead and Belsize Lane. A footpath leads north from Belsize Lane, the remainder of which today links Belsize Place with Akenside Road. The main drive leading to Belsize House appears to correspond with the line of the present Belsize Avenue. The house itself had a substantial courtyard form and was surrounded by extensive gardens with views over London to the south. Indeed, the name Belsize is believed to be a derivation of the French for beautifully situated, ‘bel assis’.
BELSIZE PARK GARDENS (1860s)
Daniel Tidey developed Belsize Park Gardens (then St Margaret’s Road) in the early 1860s.
BELSIZE SQUARE (1860s)
Daniel Tidey was the principal developer in the area and developed Belsize Square in the early 1860s. St Peter’s Church was finally consecrated in 1869, and the original vicarage, now demolished, in Belsize Square was completed the following year.
BERTRAM STREET (1860s)
The north east corner of the area was developed as working class terraced housing from the 1860s, providing cottages for the labourers building the railways and houses. Bertram and Winscombe Streets
were built in the 1860s, as well as one side of Doynton Street, the other side following in the 1880s.
BIRKENHEAD STREET (1820s)
Birkenhead Street started its life as Liverpool Street in the 1820s onwards. It was renamed to Liverpool’s neighbour across the Mersey as a result of other Liverpool Streets around town.
Bisham Gardens to the west of Highgate High Street, differs from other streets in the village, due to the speculative 19th century nature of its densely and uniformly developed terraces and semi-detached properties. The houses were built on the site of Bisham House, which survived at least until 1875. The street sits along the contour of the hill and there are views towards St Michael’s Church to the west. It is dominated by two-storey terraced housing, influenced by Dutch architecture, constructed from red brick with stone and stucco dressings most of which have been painted white, and with slate-covered roofs.
Bloomsbury is widely considered to be an internationally significant example of town planning. The original street layouts, which employed the concept of formal landscaped squares and an interrelated grid of streets to create an attractive residential environment, remain a dominant characteristic of the area. Despite Bloomsbury’s size and varying ownerships, its expansion northwards from roughly 1660 to 1840 has led to a notable consistency in the street pattern, spatial character and predominant building forms. Today, the area’s underlying townscape combined with the influence of the major institutional uses that established in the district and expanded over time is evident across the large parts of the Conservation Area. Some patterns of use have changed over time, for example, offices and hotels came to occupy former family dwelling houses as families moved out of central London to the suburbs during the later 19th and 20th centuries. However, other original uses have survived and help to maintain the area’s distinctive and culturally rich character (the most notable include hospitals, university and academic uses, cultural institutions such as museums, legal uses, and on a smaller scale, specialist retailers including booksellers and furniture shops).
Bloomsbury is also internationally known as a result of its association with the literary Bloomsbury Group whose main proponents including Virginia Woolf were based in Gordon Square in the early 20th century.
The southern end of Prowse Place opens into Bonny Street. This street is dominated by the massive side elevation of Camden Road Station, built by EH Horne in 1870 for the North London Railway of yellow stock brick with stone dressings and Italianate arched windows.
BOSCASTLE ROAD (1860s)
Boscastle Road was originally called Grove Road.
BOURNE ESTATE (1905)
Around 1900 the warren of overcrowded streets west of Leather Lane was replanned in conjunction with two separate municipal projects: the London County Council’s Bourne Estate (Grade II), built 1905-09 on the site of the Griffin Brewery, and the creation of Brooke’s Market, created c. 1900 through slum clearance and now a public open space.
BRACKNELL GARDENS (1905)
Named after a Maryon Wilson estate in Berkshire.
BRIARDALE GARDENS (1896)
Architect Charles Quennell and developer George Hart were a major force in the development of the area.
Hart bought land from local landowner Thomas Platt and started to develop Briardale Gardens, Clorane Gardens, Rosecroft Avenue, Hollycroft Avenue and Ferncroft Avenue.
BRITTANIA STREET (1767)
The area to the east of Gray’s Inn Road was first developed in 1767 and the road layout survives to the present. The area was densely developed with small units, most of which were demolished and redeveloped in the later 19th century with the existing larger units of a commercial or semi-industrial nature.
BROADHURST GARDENS (1882)
On Broadhurst Gardens, the nearest road to the newly opened Metropolitan railway line, 116 houses were built between 1882 and 1894.
BROOKE STREET (1701)
Furnival’s Inn was a substantial courtyard house, built for the Furnival family but bought by lawyers in the fourteenth century and converted into one of the Inns of Chancery, which were colleges of solicitors. In the 1890s its site became the Prudential Assurance headquarters, now Waterhouse Square (Grade II*). Further west stood Brooke House, built c. 1620 and lived in by Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke, another favourite of Queen Elizabeth I; by c. 1700 its site was redeveloped to create Brooke Street.
BUCKLAND CRESCENT (1856)
Development of the Belsize area as a residential suburb began in the middle of the 19th century and it is the Italianate villas dating from this period that are most commonly associated with it. In 1853, Christopher Palmer, leasehold owner of Belsize Park, demolished Belsize House and developed his land as an exclusive estate with its own square and church. Although his initial intention was to arrange the road in such a way as to prevent through traffic, this was never realised. Daniel Tidey was the principal developer in the area during this period and as a consequence of its consistency
in appearance, the area became known as Tidey Town. Tidey initially leased land for building from Palmer and began constructing Buckland Crescent in 1856.
Unlike other areas built at the same time or slightly earlier there was no apparent demand for extensive stabling associated with each street. Indeed Thompson comments: “Belsize marked the beginning of a period in which the private transport of carriage-owning was no longer a requisite of high social standing”.
“BULL AND LAST”
North of Grove Terrace is the Bull and Last, a public house that appears in the Sessions Rolls of 1721 and was rebuilt in 1883. It was one of the coaching inns on the route north from London. It continues to be a public house and is prominent on the corner with Woodsome Road with a fascia and details of pilasters, fine Composite capitals, corbels, a projecting cornice, stucco details and metal gargoyle lamp-holders. Immediately to the north, the three houses of ‘Hillside’ terrace were built over the pub gardens in 1884, together with two adjoining houses in Woodsome Road.
BYRON MEWS (1995)
Tranley House and Byron Mews are accessed by small-gated roads from Mansfield Road. These are modern developments located to the rear of properties on Mansfield Road on former industrial sites. Byron Mews is curved in form and is situated in a basin below the level of Fleet Road. The properties within the mews were developed as housing of between 2 and 3 storeys high in the early 1995.
CAEN WOOD TOWERS FARM
This is a newly-acquired part of Hampstead Heath when approximately 1 hectare of land was donated from the grounds of Athlone House, which was being developed for private residences. Athlone House was until 2000 an NHS hospital nursing home and was formerly the grounds of Caen Wood Towers, whose last private resident up until 1942 was Sir Robert Waley Cohen, giving rise to the name of the adjacent Cohens fields. Caen Wood Towers was built in 1872 by Edward Brooke on the site of what were previously Fitzroy Farm and Dufferin Lodge. The building then became an RAF intelligence training centre. Although the date of its building is unclear, a ‘model farm’ was built in the south east corner of the Caen towers grounds, which is now remnant within the compartment.
This section had prior to the City taking over management been used as storage for garden waste, but had mostly been cleared prior to takeover. The landscape surrounding the present Athlone house has been associated with several estates and has been a designed landscape since the late C18.
CAMBRIDGE GATE (1875)
Cambridge Gate was built in 1875 by Archer and Green. The Cambridge Gate terrace is located on the Outer Circle between Nash’s Cambridge Terrace and the Royal College of Physicians. It occupies the site of the Coliseum, part of the original design, which displayed a famous panorama of London.
CAMBRIDGE GATE MEWS (1875)
Accessed from Albany Street, this mews is contemporary with the 1875 frontage development, but follows the same pattern of building as the earlier mews at Gloucester Gate to the north.
CAMDEN HIGH STREET
As far back as 1690 development is recorded at the fork in the ancient road which lead from London, to Hampstead and to Highgate. A tavern stood on the site where the Old Mother Red Cap public house now stands and the forks in the road exist today as Chalk Farm Road and Kentish Town Road. A coaching inn is recorded about fifty years later, as standing on the corner close to where Mornington Crescent Underground Station is today and by 1777 The Britannia Hotel and Public House, which gave its name to the junction, is known to have existed. Clearly, the area was first established as a convenient stopping place for travellers to and from London.
By the end of the 18th century the expansion of London had reached Camden Town and the open fields began to disappear under bricks and mortar. Local land owners Charles Pratt, Earl Camden, and Charles Fitzroy, Baron Southampton started selling leases for the construction of houses, Charles Pratt to the east of what is now Camden High Street and Charles Fitzroy to the west. Initially a grid of streets was laid out and it appears the High Street was quickly developed. Many of the streets within the Conservation Area are named after these two families.
By 1801/1804, as shown in Tompson’s Parish Map, terraces had been built in Gloucester Place (now Crowndale Road) and houses had been built on either side of the High Street, some of which survive as shops.
By the time the Regent’s Canal, which flows to the north of the Conservation Area opened for business in 1820, the development of Charles Pratt’s land was well under way. Arlington Road, Albert Street, Mornington Terrace and Delancey Street however remained undeveloped building plots until the railways arrived in the 1830s and generated increased speculative development.
From this period on everything changed rapidly, as goods and people travelled to service the booming city. The railway had a fundamental effect on the development of Camden. On the edge of expanding London, artisans and shopkeepers moved into the area to serve the new working class who made a living from the railways and canal associated activities. Shops were built on the front gardens of the terraces fronting the High Street, new public houses and hotels opened and poorer working people moved into the streets made grimy by the railways. The area attracted transient residents and provided cheap lodgings, work and entertainment.
By the 1840s the western part of the Conservation Area had been developed as family homes for professional families and created a transition between the grand Nash properties of Regent’s Park and Park Village and the gritty realities of working life in the more shabby industrial and commercial areas to the east. Towards the end of the 19th century, parts of the Conservation Area particularly around Britannia Junction, began to be redeveloped, small shops were replaced with larger shops with three or four storeys above and ornate front elevations.
In the 1960s the area became particularly popular with architects and designers attracted by the robust industrial architecture and mews buildings. During the later part of the 20th century the northern part of Camden Town has become the focus for youth culture and now attracts visitors from across the world attracted by the lively shops, markets, music venues and unstuffy atmosphere.
Between the High Street and Bayham Street, a series of mews run north south: Greenland Place, Pratt Mews and King’s Terrace. For many years the piano industry was concentrated in these mews, now disappeared.
CAMDEN MEWS (1849)
This mews is narrow and perhaps London’s longest, stretching from Rochester Square to York Way.
Camden Mews and Murray Mews were originally intended to serve the rear of houses via a cobbled roadway, but the mews in Camden New Town were not implemented as first intended, and were possibly curtailed after the success of the Camden Square development had been compromised by the impacts of the Midland Railway Line and the cattle market.
Only a few mews buildings were built to serve the grander houses of the Square; other plots remained empty until recommended planning densities were raised after the Second World War.
Camden Mews had until the 1950s remained largely undeveloped. The large number of vacant plots due to wartime bombing provided new opportunities and many of the 19th- or early 20th century buildings there were converted to residential use. At this time, an increase in permissible planning densities made the mews sites viable for development. Plots were gradually bought up, as land values were relatively low and the secluded location was appreciated.
Camden Mews and Murray Mews represent areas of artists/architects studio houses which became fashionable from the early 1960s. Parts of the mews remained unfinished, and years later, as traffic on main roads and land values increased, the relative seclusion and cheapness of the land made them popular places for architects to build their houses. This accounts for the inventiveness and variety that is characteristic of these mews.
CAMDEN PARK ROAD (1849)
Camden Park Road is a south east continuation of Torriano Avenue (leading from Kentish Town) and links to York Way.
In Camden New Town, an extensive wave of house-building commenced around 1845. There was much building activity from the mid-1840s. The first examples were large houses built around Camden Square. Soon, development was to spread along Camden Road, characterised by an essentially urban growth typical of mid nineteenth century London.
Although conforming to the essential pattern of building on the Camden Estate, its houses are terraced and more modest than, for instance, Cantelowes Road. At the entrance off Camden Road are blocks of flats replacing villas, at the junction with North Villas and Cliff Road the Lord Stanley public house faces the ragstone former church at the junction with North Villas and Cliff Road.
CAMDEN ROAD (1824)
Camden Road was laid out in 1824 as a new route running north-east from London to Tottenham. Camden Road passed over Regent’s Canal via a bridge completed in 1820.
Development on the east side of the road dates from the 1820s; the west side of the road was developed slightly later.
The 1870 OS Map shows how the North London Railway line was built on a massive brick viaduct above the southern end of Kentish Town between 1846-51, and cut through pre-existing urban fabric. The railway line was intended as a link to the docks on the London to Birmingham canal at Chalk Farm, and was authorised in 1846 by the East and West India Docks and Birmingham Junction Railway Act. When it opened in 1850 it was alternatively known as ‘The Camden Town Railway’. It was re-named the North London Line in 1853 once a further link had been made into the City.
The first station was a small wooden building on the south side of the viaduct (then much narrower), built on the site of watercress beds. Camden Road Railway station was opened in 1850; today’s Victorian building was constructed in 1870. ‘Camden Broadway’, a triangular area formed in the junction of Great College Street (as Royal College Street was then known) and Camden Road, is identified on a pre-railway map of 1849. As the development was projected, a third road, Brecknock Street, would have formed a straight, northern side of the triangular space.
Construction of the North London Railway (1846-51) resulted in the demolition of terraced houses on either side of Randolph Street and at the intersection of Camden Road and Royal College Street. The massive brick viaduct and two road-spanning iron bridges of the railway significantly altered the original character of the area, especially the street enclosure and residential character
of Randolph Street. Damage resulting from World War II bombing also brought changes to the area’s built environment.
Occupying a prominent corner site at Camden Road’s intersection with Royal College Street is a late 19th century building, in use as a public house by 1913 (‘The Eagle’) and still in the same use (now called The Grand Union).
North of the bridges, Camden Road is lined on either side by shops and businesses, some of which display their wares on the street, giving the impression of a colourful, busy urban shopping street.
Camden Town began life as little more than a handful of buildings beside a main road. In 1791 Charles Pratt, the first Earl of Camden, obtained an Act of Parliament that enabled him to develop land along the east side of Camden High Street, which he sold on leases of 40 years rather than the 99 that was customary in the better areas south of the New Road (today’s Marylebone and Euston Roads). Camden Town’s expansion as a major centre was advanced by the opening of the Regent’s Canal to traffic in 1820. By 1830 the canal was carrying 0.5 m tons of goods per annum, rising to 1.0 m tons by 1850. Further improvements to transport, especially the coming of the railways from the 1830s onwards, meant that, by the second half of the 19th century, the development of Camden soon linked up with the southern end of Kentish Town.
Comparison of an 1801 map, the 1834 Davies Map, 1849 St. Pancras Parish map and 1870 First Edition OS Map of Kentish Town and Camden show the dramatic change in the area from a landscape of fields to a network of streets and roads, much of it begun in the 1820s.
In the latter half of the 19th century the area became fully urbanised. Schools and churches were erected, sanitation and street lighting were improved, old inns were rebuilt and new pubs were built. Horse drawn trams were introduced in the 1870s. The opening of the Camden Town Underground station in 1907 marked the full assimilation of this once rural area into the north-west suburbs of London.
During the Second World War the railways were a major target and the area suffered bomb damage. Slum clearance in the post-war period removed some of the terraced housing, replacing it with blocks of modern flats.
Camley Street provides an east-west link below the railway lines into St Pancras Station. The eastern side of Camley Street forms the boundary to a Conservation Area. Beyond this is the Camley
Street Natural Park and the Regent’s Canal. The grade II listed late 19th century locomotive water point has been relocated from a position to the north of St Pancras Station to east of Camley Street bridge and becomes increasingly visible as one progresses northwards up Camley Street.
CANFIELD GARDENS (1881)
Development commenced broadly west from the Finchley Road and south from the railway line. Six houses were built in Canfield Gardens in 1881, 30 between 1885 and 1886, mansion flats in 1886 and 1889, and three shops were added in 1897.
CANFIELD PLACE (1884)
In 1884-5 eleven stables and six houses were built on Canfield Place by Ernest Estcourt and James Dixon, who also, with Wells, built Canfield and Greencroft Gardens, which by 1891 reached Fairhazel Gardens from its eastern junction with Goldhurst Terrace.
Cannon Lane winds down the hill to Well Road between Squire’s Mount and Cannon Hall, an early 18th century mansion. The name of both house and lane refers to the series of 18th and early 19th century cast iron naval cannon that serve as bollards along the west side of Cannon Lane.
CANTELOWES ROAD (1849)
Cantelowes Road is a broad street running north west to south east.
Cantelowes Manor was located in the area of modern Camden Square. Its lands were leased on long term agreements by the first Earl of Camden, who divided it into plots and building leases.
Cantelowes Road crosses the church site in Camden Square. This crossing was originally marked by the focal point of St Paul’s Church and spire.
CASTLE ROAD (1849)
Flowing downhill from the 17th century ponds at Hampstead and Highgate in the north through Kentish Town, the Fleet River was once a major feature of the area, providing local amenity and opportunities for fishing. The road to Highgate roughly followed the course of the river and shaped the dispersed, linear development of Kentish Town village. Development was likely to have grown outward from the various travellers’ inns established on this thoroughfare between London and the North. Man-made ponds slowed the flow of the river and were used as a sewer by newly constructed houses.
Coaching inns and their sprawling gardens became leisure retreats for the wealthy, the most notable being the Castle Inn on Castle Road, which by legend also served as King John’s royal hunting lodge.
The provenance of the name Castle Road is not certain but it is likely to be named after the Castle Inn, or possibly an earlier building.
South Kentish Town tube station, adjacent to the Castle Public House, opened in 1907, closing 17 years later following a strike and never reopening.
Castlehaven Road to the west runs on a north-south axis from Prince of Wales Road crossing Castle Road to the south.
In 1864, Castlehaven Road, part of which was then called Victoria Road, was extended south to Hawley Road. Grafton Road was known, at this time, as Junction Crescent.
The individual sections of Castlehaven Road were united under one name in 1938, after the Countess of Castlehaven who was buried in St Pancras Churchyard in 1743.
CATHCART STREET (1860s)
Cathcart Street was completed by 1868.
The site now occupied by Centre Point was first developed as terraced housing in the C17th. The area north of St Giles Church up to Great Russell Street became known as “The Rookery” in the C18th and was notorious for its poverty and crime. Between the mid C19th and mid C20th major road construction and redevelopment resulted in the urban environment being completely altered. The construction of New Oxford Street in 1847 cut through the Rookery and many properties were demolished. In 1887 Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue were constructed leading to further losses of C17 terraces. The building of Centre Point in the 1960s resulted in the area south of New Oxford Street and west of Earnshaw Street being demolished and the island site of Centre Point and the associated gyratory road layout being created. St Giles High Street became one way at this time and less of a primary route.
Centre Point was approved by the LCC as part of a deal which included traffic improvements. It was built between 1961-1966 designed by Richard Siefert and Partners. Its 34 storey tower dominates the skyline from many viewpoints and is considered one of the most significant speculative office developments of its period in Britain. The development is in two parts, which are linked at first floor
level. Fronting Charing Cross Road is the tower block, which is in office use. This was originally raised on pilotis, but the ground floor has now been infilled. Built in reinforced concrete with slightly convex sides, the pre-cast concrete structural frame is expressed in a complex facetted form. At first floor level it is linked to a lower block which has shops at ground floor level, two floors of offices and four floors of residential accommodation above. The smaller block has 3 banks of projecting balconies and mosaic clad walls. The Centre Point complex was listed at Grade II in 1996 in recognition of it being one of the most important speculative office developments of its period in Britain.
CHALCOT GARDENS (1880s)
Chalcot Gardens is a narrow private street adjoining England’s Lane that was built during the 1880s and took its name from the earlier Upper Chalcot Farm. The road provides access to the houses fronting the southern side. The street is separated from England’s Lane by a line of mature trees and brick boundary wall.
CHARING CROSS ROAD
By the early C18 the triangle of land around St Giles Hospital had been built on. Development included Crown Street, which was later redeveloped as Charing Cross Road, Dudley Court (later named
Denmark Place) and Lloyds Court (later named Flitcroft Street).
Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue were opened in 1887 by the Metropolitan Board of Works. Charing Cross Road was formed by the widening of Crown Street, which involved the demolition of the
western end of Denmark Street. It was built to link traffic between Tottenham Court Road and the new railway station at Charing Cross, to relieve traffic congestion and be a form of slum clearance and social control. The new Victorian architecture was greeted with some criticism. Two comments from the Building News in 1888 and 1893, “Private owners have vied with each other in putting up costly fronts with elevations of imposing height” and “Showiness is one of the elements; elaboration of detail, amounting to a crowded effect upon the eye, startling contrasts of materials – generally bright red brick with dazzling white stone dressings – producing a very spotty effect when one gets near, are present. The facade must be flashy; it need not be in accordance with any architectural canons of taste or of style, much less be correct in its proportions and details, all of which things are looked on as puristical and flat”.
oteworthy buildings which remain from this period include Shaldon Mansions (originally known as Halberstadt Mansions), built by the developer James Hartnoll, who was responsible for several mansion blocks of shops and flats on streets laid out or widened by the Board of Works.
The building of Charing Cross Road in the 1880s also involved the demolition of the northern end of St Giles High Street and the Crown Inn. This area was altered significantly in the 1960s when Centre Point was built and the whole of the northern side as well as part of the southern side of the High Street was demolished. A one way traffic scheme brought west bound traffic up St Giles High Street.
Charlotte Street, named after Queen Charlotte, has a concentration of pubs, cafes and restaurants. The Fitzroy Tavern, reputedly the reason for the area being known as Fitzrovia, is a local landmark along the street as is the Northumberland Arms. The BT tower is a feature travelling north.
CHESTER ROAD/WINSCOMBE STREET
A very significant element in the make-up of the character of the Dartmouth Park conservation area is the contribution of social housing, either in Camden Council or housing association ownership. St Pancras Borough Council acquired orchards and other land in the north of the conservation area for the “Homes for Heroes” Programme in 1919. Brookfield Estate was modelled on Hampstead Garden Suburb with curving streets, large garden areas and hedged boundaries. Brookfield Primary School was part of the concept and was opened in the 1920s.
Named after a Maryon-Wilson estate in Essex. Runs from Redington Road to Frognal Lane.
CHETWYND ROAD (1850s)
Land off Dartmouth Park Hill (Maiden Lane) and east of York Rise was acquired by Lord Ingestre, whose family name was Chetwynd and Lord Alfred Spencer Churchill in the 1850s from Lord Dartmouth for the Conservative Land Society. Churchill Road, Spencer Road and Chetwynd Road were laid out by them. The boundary of their land was the north side of Chetwynd Road, designed for middle-class housing, while the roads further south were essentially artisan.
The sale of Grove End Estate (the remains of the 17th century Cholmondley Estate between Highgate Road and York Rise) in 1874 led to Carrol Road (now Chetwynd Road West) and Twisden Road being built on the gardens as a loop, a pond separating it from the York Rise footpath. The River Fleet was covered in, the pond drained, and Carrol and Chetwynd (east) Roads joined to form today’s Chetwynd
Road. The terrace of seven houses (Zegers) at the south end of York Rise, on the west side, was built in 1877. Highgate Road Baptist Chapel was also built in 1876/7.
By the 1770s development had covered most of the area to Chitty Street on land previously known as Walnut Tree Field and the street pattern of the area had been established
CHURCHILL ROAD (1850s)
Lord Ingestre and Lord Alfred Spencer Churchill built this road in the 1850s.
CLARENCE WAY (1840s)
Castlehaven Road, Castle Road and Clarence Way were built on the pleasure gardens of the Castle Inn. The Castle Inn was demolished in 1849 to create Castle Road, and the existing Public House was constructed.
Clarence Way connects Harmood Street to Hartland Road. The street bends sharply beneath the railway line. Views along the street therefore lead to the raised bridge of the railway line with the tower of Holy Trinity Church beyond. The two blocks of terraced houses on either side date to before 1849. This is the only street in the local Conservation Area which has “historic” street lights (gas lights with electricity).
CLERKENWELL ROAD (1874)
Clerkenwell Road was created 1874-78 by widening existing roads.
Cliff Road, a slightly offset extension of North Villas links Camden Park Road to York Way, has a particular and varied character. Its north west side pre-dates North Villas. Opposite lie the 1930s LCC Camelot house flats built on the sides of a disused reservoir.
This was a small triangular space left undeveloped behind and south west of Murray Street off Agar Grove. An ingeniously designed pair of two storey studio offices by David Chipperfield Architects has occupied the space since 1990.
COLLARD PLACE (1995)
Collard Place is a modern housing development which fits well into the historic streetscape. Two storey terraced houses, good quality street surfaces, and the careful consideration of the historic form of development and building line, ensure that the new buildings are sympathetic to their environment.
The Green Street Race course began in 1733 to the east of College Lane. College Lane gets its name from St. John’s College, Cambridge, which owned it after the College was bequeathed a farm on the site of Denyer House. Much of the area was copyhold tenure of the Manor of Cantelowes, belonging to the Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral.
COMPAYNE GARDENS (1886)
77 houses and three blocks of flats were built in Compayne Gardens (originally known as Chislett Road) between 1886 and 1894 by local builders, James Tomblin and E. Michael, which was developed to reach Fairhazel Gardens by 1891 and Priory Road by 1913.
CONSTANTINE ROAD (1891)
In 1891, the route of Constantine Road was realigned to give a direct link to Savernake Road and Gospel Oak.
Constantine Road was only fully built up in 1900.
CRESTFIELD STREET (1820s)
Chesterfield (now Crestfield) Street was developed as working-class housing in the 1820s.
CROFTDOWN ROAD (1870s?)
Croftdown Road was developed on the gardens of Croft Lodge by a local builder named Smerdon.
This street formed part of the Eton College estate and were developed speculatively by a number of different developers in the 1870s and 1880s. There is generally less ornamentation in this slightly later area of development and a wider variety of building type and style.
The yellow brick terraces on Crossfield Road provide a degree of enclosure to the street.
Crowndale Road, NW1
CUMBERLAND TERRACE (1826)
The grandest of the eleven terraces in Regent’s Park, Cumberland Terrace (800ft long) embodies the idea of a palace confronting a ‘natural landscape’ within the city. James Thomson was executant architect, and the terrace was completed in 1826.
CUMBERLAND TERRACE MEWS (1983)
A hidden terrace dating to 1983, this development is squeezed between Cambridge Terrace and 55-73 Albany Street.
DARTMOUTH PARK HILL
Dartmouth Park, a name found on early 19th century maps, lies in part of the old parish of St. Pancras that stretched from Tottenham Court Road to Highgate. The early settlement of Kentish Town around its High Street was established immediately south of the area in the 13th century or earlier. The area of Dartmouth Park had the first building development in the 17th century and was separated from Kentish Town by fields and meadows.
As London began to extend, development increased and by the early 18th century some buildings of note had been erected. To the north Highgate Village was growing. Ribbon development along Maiden Lane (now Dartmouth Park Hill) and Green Street (now Highgate Road) increased in a piecemeal fashion, due to divided land ownership.
DARTMOUTH PARK ROAD (1860s)
In the 1860s Lord Dartmouth developed land behind Grove Terrace to create Dartmouth Park Road and provide good quality houses set within spacious gardens that included landscaped layouts and street trees to give a semi-rural appearance. The 1874 0.S. map shows that the western end of Dartmouth Park Road (then Dartmouth Road)had been built up.
Originally known as Dudley Court and then Denmark Court, Denmark Place is a very narrow pedestrian alley, which is situated to the north of Denmark Street, and leads between Charing Cross Road and St Giles High Street. At its eastern end there is an even narrower link south into Denmark Street, which is accessed via an opening within no. 27 Denmark Street.
Denmark Place was originally formed between a terrace of small houses on the north side and the mews of Denmark Street to the south. The existing buildings were built as workshops at the end of C19
or early C20. The narrowness of the street, and the scale and height of the buildings contributes to the dense and intimate character of the CA, and the music industry uses (studios etc) link to those on Denmark Street.
DENMARK STREET (1687)
Denmark Street was built around 1687 and was named in honour of Prince George of Denmark who married Queen Anne in 1683.
Denmark Street was developed by Samuel Fortrey and Jacques Wiseman. The street ran east to west from the corner of the churchyard to Crown Street. It ran across the site of the largest remaining hospital building which appears on the Morgan’s 1682 map. This was probably the Master’s House.
By 1691 about 20 houses had been completed. Eight of the original houses survive and are of exceptional architectural interest. It is believed that within the old built-up area of inner London north of the Thames, such as it was in 1700, only about six streets with terraced houses of comparable date, status, number and degree of authority remain. Of these streets Denmark Street is the only one where original houses survive on both sides of the street. The houses of Denmark Street are therefore of great historic significance and are rare survivors of London terraced houses dating from the late 1600s.
Denmark Street’s residential character became increasingly commercial after 1800 when houses began to be used as shops at ground floor level. The back premises and upper floors became craft workshops, particularly for metal work. Music publishers first established themselves in Denmark Street in the C19 and by the 1930s popular music publishers occupied most of the premises and the street became known as “Tin Pan Alley”. The music publishing industry continued to flourish there until the 1960s when changes in the industry led to a decline in the buying and selling of sheet music, and music publishing has almost entirely left the street. Music, however, has stayed at the heart of the street, changing with the demands of the times. From this small street a wide variety of services were provided.
During the 1950s and 60s a number of small recording studios were created used by the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, Elton John, Jimi Hendrix etc. These continued to be used through to the 1990s. Small record companies, managers and agents were also based in the street. The New Musical Express was at 5 Denmark Street from 1952 until 1964.
Today the link to the music industry survives in the number of specialist musical instrument shops and workshops, with related businesses on the upper floors.
DOWNSIDE CRESCENT (1890s)
In 1808 the Belsize Estate was split into nine leasehold estates. At that time Belsize House was owned by Matthew Forster, a London merchant and MP.
John Lund built Haverstock Lodge for himself in 1819, which on completion was surrounded by parkland. The area was still predominantly meadow fields with the Load of Hay Public House and Haverstock Lodge shown on Wyld’s map of 1848.
The lodge was demolished in the 1890s to make way for Downside Crescent.
Doynton Street was built in two stages – one side being built in the 1860s, the other side following in the 1880s.
Running north to south is Drury Lane, one of the oldest roads in Covent Garden possibly dating back to the Saxon settlement of Lundenwic. On older maps it is known as Via de Aldwych and was a major route from what is now Aldwych to Holborn. The name is taken from Sir William Drury who built a house at the southern end of the road during the reign of Elizabeth I. A White Hart Inn has stood at the corner of Drury Lane and High Holborn since the 15th century. The White Hart became the property of Henry VIII in 1537 when there were probably no buildings surrounding it. Substantial development did not occur until the middle of the 16th century continuing into the early 17th century.
Earlham Street is predominately four storey with the scale and plot sizes of the original Seven Dials although it was almost entirely rebuilt in the 1880s as part of the Woodyard Brewery.
Two terraces of shops, known as Elizabeth Terrace, were developed along the north side of England’s Lane with a mews development known as Elizabeth Mews to the rear which provided stabling and
accommodation for carriage drivers. A similar terrace was also developed on the south side of the road, and also a butcher’s shop with an abbatoir.
Dates from the 1860s.
The ‘suburban’ morphology comprises a fluid pattern of generously laid-out streets that centre around the ‘tear-drop’ shape formed by Wadham Gardens and the western and central sections of Elsworthy Road. This area was developed by William Willett on the land between Primrose Hill and the already developed surrounding streets. The surrounding layout dates from two principal phases, the earliest being the development along Avenue Road from the 1840s onwards and the later development being the layout of King Henry’s Road and eastern Elsworthy Road and Elsworthy Terrace from the 1850s to the 1880s.
ELY PLACE (1772)
The last part of the area to be developed was the site of Ely House, which was claimed by Matthew Wren (uncle of Sir Christopher) in 1660. He was the last Bishop of Ely to live there, but failed to resolve the legal dispute over its ownership. In 1772 the government intervened and purchased the land through an act of parliament, selling it on to the developer Charles Cole.
He demolished the ruined medieval house except for its chapel and erected a street of smart terrace houses. Today, Ely Place is important as a relatively intact eighteenth-century development (mostly Grade II).
Endell Street was constructed in its present form in 1846 as part of plans drawn up by Pennethorne for improvements to London. As a result it is wider than most Seven Dials streets with a number of mid Victorian medium scale commercial buildings.
The track leading to Upper Chalcot Farm corresponds with Englands Lane. The surrounding land was in agricultural production with a combination of arable land and pasture supplying the capital.
The Washington Public House, at the west end of England’s Lane, was built in 1865 by the developer Daniel Tidey and is listed Grade II.
ETON AVENUE (1885)
Eton College began developing its land holding to the south-east of the Conservation Area in the 1840s but development was slow and it was not until the late 1870s and 1880s that its land within Belsize Conservation Area was developed. Much of Eton Avenue was constructed speculatively by William Willett and Son and was continued north along Strathray Gardens in a similar style. The College’s surveyor considered that mews developments created undesirable pockets of poverty in the area and therefore discouraged their construction. Willett then obtained land from the Dean and Chapter of Westminster’s estate to construct Eton Stables in Lambolle Place.
ETON COLLEGE ROAD
The land here was entirely within the ownership of Eton College, and had been given to the estate in 1449 by Henry VI. It was an area of farmland associated with Chalcot Farm. The present England’s Lane follows the same alignment as the track leading to the farm. One of the buildings on Haverstock Hill was Steele’s Cottage, once occupied by Sir Richard Steele (the early 18th century MP, author, playwright and publisher) and subject of a painting by Constable.
The potential of the land for building was first recognised in 1796 when the then college surveyors advised “a considerable part of this estate is eligibly situate(d) for building” as a consequence of its proximity to London and the roads leading north through Hampstead (Haverstock Hill) and later the main turnpike road north (Finchley Road – completed in 1835). However, this was not acted
upon for a number of years. As Nash’s Regents Park development neared completion, developers began to investigate the potential of the land to the north of Primrose Hill. Following a survey, undertaken in 1824, the area was found to be suitable for villa development. An Act of Parliament was subsequently passed in 1826 authorising the college to grant building leases.
The College again was slow to act and the land was not advertised until 1829 as being for sale in “lots of no less than half an acre for the erection of single or double detached villas”. By this time, however, building had slowed and little interest was shown other than along Haverstock Hill. Thomas Mortin, a plumber and decorator from Holborn, acquired two of the leases and Wilkins another three lots in the early 1830s. This led to the construction of the ribbon of villa development on Haverstock Hill in the 1830s.
It appears that Eton College Road was a service road that served villas constructed on the Haverstock Hill frontage. Further development was deferred in the area as a consequence of the construction of the London and Birmingham Railway. The route was first canvassed in 1831, but the line was not opened until 1837.
It was not until the 1840s, that the Provost and fellows of Eton College began to realise more fully the development potential of their land holding at Chalcot. In 1840 the college surveyor realised the mistake in the location of Eton College Road and ordered that new roads “secure double frontages as far as possible”. However, the college was not prepared to become involved in their construction, leaving this, and the form of the development, to the developers. Even though one of the college’s surveyors had drawn up a tentative plan, this was not followed up.
The construction of the New Road (now Euston Road) between Paddington and Islington in 1756 acted as one stimulus for urban development and the road rapidly became London’s northern boundary. The Act of Parliament that endorsed the development of the New Road however required that no buildings should be erected within 50 feet of it. Accordingly, although it became residential in character, properties were built with long gardens fronting onto the road.
King’s Cross derived its name from the sixty foot high structure which was erected as a memorial to King George IV in 1830-35. Built at the junction of the New Road (Euston Road), Maiden Lane (York Way) and Gray’s Inn Road, this structure was removed within fifteen years.
King’s Cross Station was designed by Lewis Cubitt, and completed in 1852. When it opened, it was the largest railway station in Britain. Given that the station was largely built on the garden plots to the west of Maiden Lane (later re-named York Way), the development of the station required limited demolition, although the Small Pox Hospital and Fever Hospital occupying part of the site were relocated.
As the character of the New Road – now Euston Road – became more commercial, shops replaced the large front gardens that previously fronted the south side of the road and many of the area’s earlier properties were converted into hotels to serve the passengers on the Great Northern Railway and Midland Railway.
FAIRHAZEL GARDENS (1879)
In Fairhazel Gardens (originally called North End Road), which crossed the three roads to link with Loudoun Road in St. John’s Wood, five houses were built between 1879 and 1881 and another 31 houses and three blocks of flats between 1886 and 1896.
Falkland Place runs perpendicular to the north off Leverton Place. Here is the smallest scale terraced development in the area, and the layout is fragmented where part of the terraces was cleared to form the public gardens and play area in Falkland Place.
FARRINGDON ROAD (1841)
In the second half of the nineteenth century the Hatton Garden area was transformed by a series of road schemes that cleared the notorious slums and created development sites:
Farringdon Road was created 1841-56 by culverting the River Fleet.
The east side of Saffron Hill was once densely built up with narrow houses backing onto the River Fleet, cleared when Farringdon Road was created in 1841-56.
Field Street is situated to the south of St Chad’s Place, and is a short street which formerly connected King’s Cross Road to Wicklow Street but is now bisected by the railway cutting.
Fitzjohns Avenue was named after a Sir John Maryon Wilson house in Great Canfield.
Sir John Maryon Wilson inherited his Hampstead lands from his brother in 1869. He was willing to negotiate the selling of his manorial rights to the Heath part of his estate. Following the Hampstead Heath Act 1871 East Park finally became public property in 1886.
A long legal battle had delayed the development of this area, accounting for its distinct 1880s character. Sir John Maryon Wilson was now free to grant building leases and decided to develop the Finchley Road part of the estate. He agreed in 1873 to divide the estate with his son Spencer, whose portion included two proposed new roads: Fitzjohns Avenue and Priory Road.
In 1875 the contract for Fitzjohns Avenue was let to Culverhouse (a tenant of two main estate farms on the site of Fitzjohns Avenue and a builder) at a price of £8,987, and road making began. Culverhouse had previously been given a lease to exploit the East Park estate as a brick-field. Bricks from the fields on the Heath were used for houses on Fitzjohns Avenue.
The design of Fitzjohns Avenue came from the grand vision of Spencer Wilson, with a 50ft wide road and 10 ft pavement.
The termination of the northern end of Fitzjohns Avenue raised problems where the impressive new road ended in a maze of alleys and courtyards. Town Improvements were proposed to clear slums and rearrange roads and a public meeting for this was held in 1881.
A compromise was found and the north-west end of the High Street was demolished and widened, Heath Street was extended southwards and a new intersection created to make the link between Swiss Cottage and Hampstead.
Three railway tunnels lie under the area and also influenced the street lay out. The North London Railway made a tunnel between Hampstead Heath Station and Finchley Road and Frognal in 1860. East of Fitzjohns Avenue it runs under properties and their gardens but the northern end of Netherhall Gardens was designed to lie over the tunnel.
The Midland Railway connection to St Pancras was opened in 1868. and the mile long Belsize Tunnel was created to link Haverstock Hill and Finchley Road.
Nutley Terrace was required to run over the line of the tunnel, which explains its angle to Fitzjohns Avenue. The tunnel was not able to meet the railway’s requirements and a second tunnel (known as the Belsize New Tunnel) was built in 1884.
The neighbourhood of Fitzjohns Avenue was built in the ten years after 1876. Netherhall Gardens and Maresfield Gardens were named after a manor and parish of the Mayon Wilson estate in Sussex. Architectural interest was increased as private individuals bought freeholds and commissioned architects, creating good quality buildings.
The name “Fitzrovia” is understood to have been coined in the 1930s, when people began using it to describe the area following gatherings of writers and other talented individuals at the Fitzroy Tavern. It was printed for the first time by Tom Driberg, an MP, in the “William Hickey” column of the Daily Express, in 1940.
Fitzroy Park curves towards the south and there is a group of 1970s/1980s houses, Fitzroy Close, built in the grounds of the former Heathfield House garden.
Fitzroy Park is a winding lane that falls from Highgate village and The Grove to Millfield Lane through the former grounds of Fitzroy House built c1780 for General Charles Fitzroy, Lord Southampton. Fitzroy House stood on the site of Sherricks Hole Farm, whose lands covered the south slope of the ridge between Highgate and Kenwood. In 1811 the house was acquired by the Duke of Buckingham. Fitzroy House was demolished in 1828 and the land was sold in lots.
Fitzroy Park still retains its original atmosphere of houses set in large gardens with many mature trees and boundaries in keeping with the rustic character of the lane. Fitzroy Park itself is an important green pedestrian approach to the Metropolitan Open Land of Hampstead Heath, and this quality is enhanced by its informal, unmade style, which give it a rustic appearance rare in the London suburbs.
A narrow lane to the left of The Lodge, marked by a wide timber entrance gate, leads towards the North London Bowling Club and the former Fitzroy Farm. The Bowling Club was established on this site in 1891 on former farmland. The early 20th century single-storey clubhouse backs onto a car-parking area. Its principal elevation faces the well-kept bowling green, which is surrounded by mature vegetation, and borders onto the backs of houses such as Westwind and Dancers’ End.
The land associated with Tottenhall Manor had been given to the Earl of Arlington by Charles II. The Earl’s daughter married Henry Fitzroy, (Earl of Euston) in 1672. In the 1760s, Charles Fitzroy (later Lord Southampton), their descendant and brother of the then prime minister, sought to maximise the value of his estate through speculative development. In 1768, an Act of Parliament was passed which enabled the development of Fitzroy Square.
The development was conceived as a planned estate designed by renowned architects, the Adam brothers. The street layout is visible on the Bedford Estate plan of 1795. They provided housing types attractive to both the aristocracy and the middle classes, served by facilities including shops and a market (in the vicinity of Whitfield Street), public houses and a church, which was located at the junction of Maple and Whitfield Streets.
The square was laid out in 1790 and building on the east side began in 1792, followed by the south side in 1794. The building of the north and west sides were delayed by the Napoleonic wars until 1827 and 1832-35 respectively which caused a rise in the cost of building materials and a scarcity of credit. The half-completed development of the square is shown on the St Pancras Parish Map of 1801. The original development was complete by the end of the 1830s. Notable early residents of Fitzroy Square included the painter Charles Eastlake (No 7), the chemist A W Hofmann (No 9) and Robert Gascoyne Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury as Prime Minister (No 21). The explorer Captain Matthew Flinders lived at No 56 Fitzroy Street. The Venezuelan patriot Andres Bellos and the pioneer of Latin American independence Francisco De Miranda both lived at No 58 Grafton Way.
The decline in the desirability of Fitzrovia as a residential area coincided with the construction of fashionable villa developments to the north and west, and led to an increase in non-residential uses during the 19th century. Several houses were converted to hotel use due to their proximity to the mid-19th century railway termini at Euston and Kings Cross. In 1878, decayed housing on Whitfield Street was replaced by a public baths (now a public open space).
The availability of cheaper housing, however, attracted artists and writers who added a Bohemian element to the neighbourhood. In the later 19th century, George Bernard Shaw and Virginia Woolf were resident at No 29 Fitzroy Square.
Fitzroy Square is now pedestrianised and is, as a result, quieter than the surrounding streets. It is a focal point within the area and has a significant unifying effect.
Some building had already taken place in the lower part of Fleet Road from 1850 onwards when the river itself was first culverted, but the establishment on the west side of the road of the Fever and Smallpox Hospital stifled any further progress.
Such was the ‘planning blight’ that there was serious talk of using the whole area for a new cemetery. This proposal was much resented by the inhabitants of neighbouring Gospel Oak into whose area the burial ground would drain.
By 1885, the local landowner, one T.E. Gibb had only been able to let one site to the School Board for London whose Fleet Road school had been opened in 1880, and another site for a steam laundry. In the meantime, he used the land for brick making, an activity halted by the vestry in 1885, and for a carpet-beating ground.
A major obstacle to development was a barrier maintained across Fleet Road until 1881 by a Mr Lund, a vigorous opponent of the hospital. Eventually, the St Pancras Vestry persuaded their Hampstead colleagues to ‘buy out’ Mr Lund’s barrier. This not only opened a through route to Gospel Oak, but also allowed access to South End for the horse trams in 1886. Even so, because of unease over the use of the hospital, which endured for several years, the market would only support the building of modest houses in the lower range of middle-class respectability with a minimum annual value of £42.
By the early 1820s, houses had been built in Gloucester Place (the western end of Leighton Road) and there were a few villas along the recently opened Fortess Road, but otherwise, Kentish Town retained its essentially linear pattern.
FROGNAL CLOSE (1880)
Frognal Priory was demolished in 1880 and the grounds became Frognal Close and Lindfield Gardens.
By the mid-18th century, Frognal and West End were linked hy West End Lane part of which was to become Frognal Lane in 1895.
Frognal Way is a wide unadopted road, laid out in the 1920s; the roadway has a gravel-type appearance and the pavement treatment varies from one house to the next. Some frontages have no pavement at all. At the eastern end of Frognal Way the alleyway up to St John’s Church offers fine views of the rear elevations of Church Row.
No. 20 is a faintly Spanish-colonial style house built for Gracie Fields that adds to the architectural variety of this relaxed road.
Gainsborough Gardens was laid out in 1882 on the site of the old spa buildings and their pleasure grounds with a fine group of Arts and Crafts villas of red brick enriched by tile hanging and white painted woodwork encircling the mature, well-maintained gardens in the centre.
At the junction of Highgate West Hill with Hampstead Lane stands the Gatehouse Public House. The earliest mention of the Gatehouse in the licensing records was in 1670. Curiously, the borough boundary between Middlesex and London ran through the building. When the hall was used as a courtroom, a rope divided the sessions to ensure prisoners did not escape to another authority’s area. More recently, Camden and Haringey shared responsibility for the building, but in 1993 the boundary was moved a few feet to allow Camden overall control. The building was rebuilt in 1905 in the present mock-Tudor style and is a prominent landmark, forming a group with No 1 Hampstead Lane. Comprising three storeys, this imposing building is typical of the Edwardian period, constructed from red brick with half-timbered, heavily gabled upper floors. The corner location is accentuated by a turret. A plaque on the flank wall reads, ‘Hornsey Parish 1859; S, P & P 1791’. The
Gardnor Road was built in the gardens of Gardnor House in the 1880s. This short road looks toward the Spencer Walk development on the High Street.
GARNETT ROAD (1930s)
Garnett Road was previously known as Lower Cross Road. Its present name was approved in 1934 by which time development was largely completed.
The decline in the market for larger houses, which began towards the end of the 19th century, led to the development of smaller terraced houses and mansion flats close to public transport links. Antrim Mansions was constructed in 1897 and the terraced houses on Glenilla, Glenloch, Glenmore and Howitt Roads were developed by the Glenloch Insurance Company at the turn of the century, taking advantage of the opening of Belsize Park Underground Station on the Northern Line in 1907.
Gloucester Gate is the most northerly terrace by John Nash on the east side of the Outer Circle. It was built in 1827, with later additions by J.J. Scoles.
The 45 degree curve of Goldhurst Terrace marks the Priory Estate’s northern boundary, and the extent of land owned by the Maryon Wilson Estate until the mid-19th century when the area was first developed.
Rrom the late 1870’s development commenced in earnest on Maryon Wilson’s demesne lands (then owned by Sir Thomas’s son, Spencer), and the streets which now make up the conservation area was the first major development in the southwestern section of their Estate. Roads were named after Maryon Wilson estates in Essex and Sussex and building began from the east end of the land with 20 houses by Charles Kellond in Goldhurst Terrace in 1879 and another 50 there between 1880 and 1885. From 1886 to 1900 a further 101 houses, some flats, and a riding school (which may have been at 109 Goldhurst Terrace) were developed, mostly by T. K. Wells of Kentish Town.
Goldington Crescent (grade II listed) forms a curved block overlooking the Gardens. The Crescent comprises a terrace of three-storey properties dated 1849-50 and is constructed of stock brick with orange brick detailing, with stucco to ground floor. The terrace has small front gardens bounded by modern iron railings set on a low brick wall.
The ‘triplet’ gas holders (1880) were three telescopic holders designed by John Clark, works engineer at St Pancras gasworks. The triplets and their parts remain grade II listed. The triplets stood on the site of previous gasholders with very deep tanks. The triplets formerly occupied a site to the north of Goods Way. It was the guide frames (and pumps and posts) that were dismantled in 2001-2002.
The Camley Street Natural Park is located on the northern side of Goods Way at its western end. Dense vegetation is visible from the road behind a recently erected tall wooden fence. The sloped edge with wildflower planting forms a soft contrast to the hard urban context.
GRAFTON ROAD (1840s)
Grafton Road links Prince of Wales Road with Gospel Oak to the north. The street gently curves at the junction with Inkerman Road and its southern end was one of the earliest streets in the Conservation Area to be laid out (before 1849).
Grafton Road was known, at this time, as Junction Crescent.
GRAY’S INN ROAD
Gray’s Inn Road, widened 1880s by demolishing east side.
GREAT QUEEN STREET
Great Queen Street was built in the first half of the 17th century begun by the speculator William Newton with the adjacent Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Named after James I’s Queen, Ann of Denmark it has
its origins in a royal private way to James I’s favourite residence in Hertfordshire. Great Queen Street formed a continuation of the north side of Lincoln’s Inn Fields until the construction of Kingsway opened in 1905.
GREENAWAY GARDENS (1914)
Honours author Kate Greenway who lived at Frognal.
This road, along with Bracknell Gardens, features a mix of Neo-Georgian and Arts and Crafts Free Style houses built either prior to, or shortly after, the 1914-18 war. The work of architect CIL Saunders and the builder W.J. King are the dominant force here although Quennell and Hart and William A. Burr with builder James Tomblin are also featured.
GREENCROFT GARDENS (1886)
Between 1886 and 1897 some 68 houses and Rutland House flats were built in Greencroft Gardens which was extended to Priory Road after 1891.
GREVILLE PLACE (1820s)
Greville Place, the first road built on the Greville Estate ended in open fields. Ot had been built along the line of a country path.
By the issue of Whitbread’s 1865 Map of London Extending Four Miles Round Charing-Cross, the land to the north had been developed and Greville Place in the west had been extended to Abbey Road. The terraces at its northeastern end (now part of Boundary Road) and along Bolton Road were complete.
GREVILLE ROAD (1820s)
In the 1820s, George Pocock developed land in Greville Road in the form of Nos 24 and 26, originally one house with a studio wing.
The principal copyholder in this area, Lord Dartmouth, enclosed part of the common around Highgate Road in 1772. Land was then released for development and as a result Grove Terrace was built between 1777 and 1824. A remnant of the common land survives as a slim strip fronting Grove Terrace and Grove End, as well as the pocket of open land directly opposite on the west side of Highgate Road protected under the London Squares Preservation Act, 1931.
HAMPSTEAD HILL GARDENS
Hampstead Hill Gardens forms a loop between Pond Street and Rosslyn Hill. The LNWR railway tunnel dissects the road, although not visibly. Development began in the 1870s with a fine group of stucco-faced semi-detached villas.
HANWAY STREET (<1600)
The primary routes of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road to the south and east of the conservation area form part of central London’s retail core. There is cartographic evidence of Hanway Street existing as early as 1600, linking these two major roads.
The street name is likely to have derived from Thomas Hanway, a commissioner of the Royal Navy. The name has also been attributed to Jonas Hanway(1712- 1786). Portsmouth-born traveller, philanthropist and eccentric who founded The Marine Society in 1756, became governor of the Foundling Hospital two years later and then went on to help establish the Magdalen Hospital.
Fully developed by the 1740s, Hanway Street was originally known as Hanover Yard.
The southern end of Harley Road was developed in the late 1890s by the speculative builder William Willett, who along with his son ran one of the most successful building firms in London in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
The initial agreement was for the development of 11 acres to build some 125 properties. The development was slow to commence and it was decided, probably due to the state of the then housing market, to build fewer but more expensive houses; thus in 1895 the proposed number was reduced to 60 and the houses were constructed between 1896 and 1911.
Prior to the Willett development, Elsworthy Road, Harley Road and Kings College Road had ended at the boundary of the Eton and Marylebone Cricket Club. The shape of the cricket ground gave Willett the freedom to lay out the roads as he wished. The new development linked Primrose Hill Road to Avenue Road by extending Elsworthy Road which became the south side of a ‘tear drop shaped’ section of land, with Wadham Gardens forming the northern half. Harley Road was extended to meet Wadham Gardens and the whole development was originally called the Avenue Road Estate.
The Willett development reflected a revolution in housing design as well as in the street environment. The rigid design of Victorian terraces gave way to greater emphasis on landscape and layout to create a new type of housing estate that heralded the beginnings of suburban architecture. The change in attitudes was not limited to the streetscape. William Willett Jnr was an innovator who campaigned for Daylight Saving, and as such he responded to late-Victorian changes in attitudes to servants and lifestyle which then influenced house design. The Willett houses clearly show this
change with their ground floor kitchens and better working and living conditions for servants. The only accommodation below ground was for cellars and boiler rooms.
Harmood Street lies in the valley of the River Fleet, within West Kentish Town, which derives its name from this waterway as Ken means a ditch or the bed of a waterway. The river was the reason for the siting of early settlement here, providing a water source and means of communication. At the time of the Norman Conquest this area of North London was mostly forest, and the Domesday Survey of 1086 records four manors in the present Kentish Town area. Of these, Tottenhall Manor came into the possession of Isabella, Countess of Arlington at the time of the Restoration in 1660. Isabella left it to her son, Charles Fitzroy, one of Charles II’s many progeny. It was still in Fitzroy ownership in the late eighteenth century when a later Charles Fitzroy became Lord Southampton, and much of the present townscape of the area is the result of development by subsequent members of the same family.
During the eighteenth century Kentish Town became fashionable as a rural retreat where many wealthy London citizens built houses for the summer months, particularly those with consumption and other disorders, to take the benefit of the wholesome fresh air and pure water. Another reason for the area becoming fashionable was the Kentish Town races, first established in 1733.
Following an initial burst of new housing in the 1820s-30s, in around 1840 important landowners such as Lord Southampton produced plans for the development of elegant streets of detached or semi-detached ‘villa residences’ in Kentish Town. However, the rich favoured choicer spots such as St John’s Wood and ultimately these grandiose schemes were never built and were replaced by less prestigious developments where landowners engaged speculative builders to build on a ‘building lease system’. For these buildings, ownership of the buildings and land reverted to the landowner at the expiry of the lease. The result was piecemeal development, mainly in terraces of three or four storey houses. The spacious layout of Prince of Wales Road (1834-54), Malden Road (1840), Queen’s Crescent (1840s) and Marsden Street (mid-1840s) to the north of the proposed conservation area remained the same but instead of the construction of detached villas, the land was filled with continuous terraces with extra streets slotted between the lots, with cul-de-sacs and narrow alleys in what should have been the villas’ large garden areas.
The social consequence of such rapid development ultimately led to the creation of a degree of overcrowding and poverty. The population of the borough of St Pancras (Kentish Town) grew from 46,000 in 1811 to 199,000 in 1861 and to 236,000 by 1881. A root cause of this increase was Victorian industrialisation together with the coming in the mid-19th century of the various railway lines, including the London to Birmingham line (1833-7), the Camden Town to Gospel Oak line (1850s) and the Kentish Town to Hampstead line (1860). The presence of these various railway lines became a dominant force in this part of London and the areas to the north of the great London terminals of Kings Cross, St Pancras and Euston, developed as residential suburbs where many of the railway workers lived. Pevsner notes that ‘the new suburbs were not a match for the smarter areas of West London…for the most part the nineteenth century suburbs consist of simple grids of streets lined with the usual London brick terraces with stucco dressings’.
War time bombing and slum clearance in the 20th century removed some of the terraced housing in the surrounding area, which is now largely occupied by groups of modern flats. The Talacre Open Space in part forms the northerly boundary to the Conservation Area and represents the only green space, with play areas and some trees.
Harmood Street was laid out in the late 1830s.
Harrington Square has been much altered. It was originally laid out as a planned mid 19th century composition, comprising two terraces overlooking a triangular open space, separated from Mornington Crescent Gardens by Hampstead Road. Part of the east side remains, a stucco-trimmed yellow stock brick terrace dating from 1834 with arched first-floor windows set in stucco panels. The northernmost stretch of this terrace was destroyed by World War II bomb damage, and has been replaced by a post-war housing block, Hurdwick House, which does not attempt to blend with its historic neighbour. The terrace on the south side of the square was demolished for local authority housing redevelopment in the 1960s. Today the gardens are overshadowed by the towers of the high-rise Ampthill Square Estate. Nonetheless, Harrington Square Gardens are the most significant green open space within the area.
HATTON GARDEN (1659)
In 1654 the courts ruled that the contested land once owned by the Bishops of Ely would be inherited by Christopher Hatton III, paving the way for the development of the area. In 1659 he laid out the grid of streets that survives today as an important early example of town-planning: Hatton Garden, Kirby Street, Greville Street, St Cross Street and Hatton Wall. Ogilby and Morgan’s map shows that the names have changed slightly, e.g. Hatton Garden was originally Hatton Street. Kirby Street, originally Great Kirby Street, is named after the Hattons’ country estate: Kirby Hall, Northamptonshire. The map also shows empty land to the north, which was acquired separately in 1676 and then built up.
The grid was eventually filled with good quality houses, their plot widths proportioned in relation to the street widths, with the largest houses on Hatton Garden. This is shown on an estate survey of 1694. Each house had a garden, and often a coach house and stables. The pattern of development was based on West End models and in 1720 Hatton Garden was described by Strype as ‘very gracefully built, and well inhabited by the gentry’.
A notable characteristic of the seventeenth-century street pattern is the number of yards behind the main thoroughfares, a few of which still survive, including Hatton Place (originally Hatt and Tunn Yard) and Bleeding Heart Yard. They were originally used for stables, but in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were appropriated for industrial uses.
The development of Hampstead village created a warren of alleyways, tenements and cottages that lay between Church Row and the High Street. After several years argument it was decided to demolish these slums, extend Heath Street to meet Fitzjohns Avenue, and widen the northern part of the High Street (which was then little more than fifteen feet wide). These improvements were completed in 1888 at a cost of £120,000, shared between the Hampstead Vestry and the Metropolitan Board of Works. The new streets lined with four storey red brick shops and Model Dwellings transformed the centre of Hampstead but many regretted the loss of a picturesque, but unsanitary, part of the old village.
Highgate West Cemetery, the older part, dating from 1838, was established by the London Cemetery Company. The original 20 acre site had been part of the grounds of the mansion belonging to Sir James Ashurst, who was Lord Mayor of London in 1693, where St. Michael’s Church now stands. The cemetery was consecrated in May 1839 by the Bishop of London; it was immediately successful and became popular as a place of burial and a focal point for visitors who came to enjoy the magnificent views over London as much as the artistry of the memorials. ‘In such a place the aspect of death is softened’ wrote The Lady’s’ Newspaper in 1850.
In the 1960s the United Cemetery Company had run out of money and Highgate Cemetery was under threat. In 1975 the Friends of Highgate Cemetery was founded. The cemetery is now owned by a company whose directors are members of the Friends of Highgate Cemetery.
HIGHGATE NEW TOWN
This sub area is an interesting mix of terraced housing from the 19th and 20th centuries. Highgate New Town was the name given to the area in the 19th century, providing working-class housing largely multioccupied from the start, and was re-used when redeveloped in the 1970s by Camden Council. Bertram Street and Winscombe Street are an enclave of late 1860s terraced houses. Generally the streets are a uniform set piece. Chester Road, Balmore Street and Doynton Street were built in the 1870s to 1880s with Raydon Street and streets north of it for railway and industrial workers. There are surviving stretches of an ancient footpath that ran from Croftdown Road to Bertram Street, Chester Road, and on to Balmore and Doynton Streets.
When redevelopment was first conceived in the 1960s it involved all the streets north and south of Raydon Street. As fashions changed the plans were altered and some of the Victorian terraces were kept. Three Stages of the redevelopment were built: the concrete Whittington Estate north of Raydon Street, the shops and flats between Chester Road and Balmore Street, and the New Town development between Dartmouth Park Hill and Raydon Street.
Holborn, widened 1863
HOLBORN CIRCUS (1860s)
Holborn Circus was created in the 1860s by demolishing the southern end of Hatton Garden.
HOLBORN VIADUCT (1869)
Holborn Viaduct, built 1863-69
HOLLY BUSH VALE
Holly Bush Vale is a short road off Heath Street, created as part of improvements of the 1880s and has some late 19th century buildings. A former Drill Hall is now a cinema, and behind that is the
Hampstead Parochial School. Terminating the road is a terrace of 1970s Council housing in red brick, New Campden Court.
HOLLY VILLAGE (1924)
Holly Village (listed Grade II, lying between Highgate Cemetery (East) and the Highgate New Town and Brookfield Estates, on a key junction between Swains Lane and Chester Road, is a unique formal
development with an introverted air and a distinct character. It contributes an intricate skyline to long views, gables, pinnacles, ornamental chimneys and turrets of the two-storey cottages rising
above the dense perimeter hedges. It was founded in 1865 by Angela Burdett-Coutts of Holly Lodge as a picturesque garden village on a corner of her estate, and designed by W.A. Darbishire in a fantasy
Gothic style. It is said to have been built by Italian workmen. It is enclosed by rustic lattice wooden fencing between moulded newel posts, broken occasionally by heavy timber gates with chamfered posts and rails, backed by hedges of evergreen holly.
HOLMES ROAD (1840s)
Holmes Road was formerly known as Lower Mansfield Place.
The constructed ponds along the Fleet River and the river’s use as a sewer by new households increasingly polluted the waterway. In addition it had a tendency to flood, which meant that by the 1850s, the Fleet River was culverted as far north as Holmes Road. This and the impact of the newly arrived railways, was a catalyst for the decline of the area from a salubrious upper class retreat and genteel suburb to a crowded, working class district. In 1872, the Metropolitan Board of Works covered the remainder as a precaution against the spread of disease.
INKERMAN ROAD (1850s)
Inkerman Road was first laid out in the early 1850s.
Just before Prowse Place tunnels under the railway, Ivor Street branches off and runs through to Royal College Street.
Jeffrey’s Place is a cobbled lane that branches off Prowse Place and turns through 90 degrees to join Jeffrey’s Street.
Jeffrey’s Street is one of the oldest complete streets in Camden, laid out circa 1800. The area was developed for housing as land was leased off east of Camden High Street and developments began to link up with the southern end of Kentish Town. It consists of early 19th century residential development, largely unchanged, save for the building of the North London Railway in 1850 which cut through residential developments, polluting the environment and changing the social status of the area. During the late 19th century and 20th century, development has largely taken place in the rear gardens of the Georgian houses.
In 1848, the rural landscape was transformed. Open land was cleared to make way for Kelly Street and the first Kentish Town Congregational Church, built in a 16th century Gothic style. Congregational Church Avenue, running west from Kentish Town Road to the Church, was at the time a leafy, picturesque approach from Kentish Town Road to the church.
Kelly Street was known as Church Street until 1870 when it took the name of John Kelly, who built many houses along Kentish Town Road and the newly formed streets behind it in the 1840s-1850s.
Kelly Street links the commercial thoroughfare of Kentish Town Road to residential streets to the west. When its western end was blocked off and re-landscaped in the late 20th century to prevent its use as a through-route it became a ‘cul-de-sac’ and is now only accessible to vehicles from Kentish Town Road. This and the location of major roads to either side of the road, contributes to the quiet and largely intact historic character of Kelly Street.
The relatively narrow tree lined road runs east to west in an elbow shaped curve, distinct where the prevailing street plan is predominantly a pattern of grids running perpendicular and parallel to the main historic road, Kentish Town Road. Prior to becoming a cul-de-sac, Kelly Street was a through route which linked Castlehaven Road to Kentish Town Road. The houses are distinct (in an area chiefly made up of typical 19th century terraces and post war housing) as a result of their brightly coloured stucco fronts, black cast iron railings, window guards and small front gardens.
Since being designated as a conservation area Kelly Street has blossomed into an immaculate, cheerfully painted enclave overflowing with potted plants, clearly a source of pride to its residents and evidence of gentrification of the wider area.
Unlike the relatively recent development of Camden Town, Kentish Town was first noted in 1208, during the reign of King John. Today, however, there are no visible remains of buildings dating to before the 18th century and its rural character has disappeared, as too has the River Fleet, which still runs through the area but has been culverted.
During the 18th century Kentish Town became fashionable as a rural retreat where wealthy London citizens built houses for the summer months. The Kentish Town races, established from 1733, further increased the area’s popularity. With Kentish Town Road as a major north-south thoroughfare, the early 19th century witnessed an enormous development in building particularly during the 1840s and 1850s. Large areas of land were also acquired for railway development.
The urbanisation of the locality continued apace. The fields between Kentish Town, Camden Road and Leighton Road were laid out as an area of upper-middle class housing with wide streets centred on a new church (St. Luke’s, Osney Crescent), superior to the densely-built areas to the west of Kentish Town Road.
The railways brought new industries to the area. For example, a large coal depot was established in Holmes Road and Kentish Town and Camden Town became a centre for piano making with dozens of factories in the area.
Industrialisation brought a subsequent increase in population and unfortunate social consequences in terms of poor housing, overcrowding and poverty. The population of the borough of St Pancras (Kentish Town) grew from 46,000 in 1811 to 199,000 in 1861 and to 236,000 by 1881.
Kentish Town and Camden Town became renowned centres of piano manufacture, and also produced such things as furniture, false teeth, wallpaper and artists’ materials. Laundries, metal works and suppliers to the building trades thrived in the back streets of west Kentish Town.
KENTISH TOWN ROAD
Kentish Town Road, the old coach road travelling north, is the commercial busy artery of the area with a national relevance.
By the beginning of the 20th century, Kentish Town Road was a vibrant commercial area lined with diverse businesses such as dairy, coal, bread, building, bookbinding, and fishmongery. Development slowed during the first two decades of the 20th century and was halted with the event of World War I.
Today Kentish Town Road is an active commercial street with a wide mixture of independent and chain businesses and Kelly Street and Castlehaven Road remain largely residential.
KIDDERPORE AVENUE (1870s)
Kidderpore Avenue takes its name from Kidderpore Hall and dates from the 1870s.
KIDDERPORE GARDENS (1870s)
Kidderpore Gardens runs from Kidderpore Avenue and Ferncroft Road. It was originally called Cecilia Road.
KING HENRY’S ROAD
Prior to the start of urban development there were only around half a dozen houses on the entirety of the Eton College Estate as it was principally used for farming. The College was slow to see the potential of its land for development, only becoming interested in building speculation in the 1820s by which time development was already progressing further north on land east and west of the college estate. In 1825 John Shaw, the developer of St. John’s Wood, was appointed principal surveyor, with John Shaw the Younger succeeding in 1832. The land was released to individual builders on 99 year building leases obtained by an Act of Parliament in 1826.
Samuel Cuming, a property developer, created the regular layout of semi-detached villas on King Henry’s Road in the 1860s, building similar villas on the northern end of Harley Road in 1866.
Cuming also created the Eton and Middlesex Cricket Ground on the northern edge of Primrose Hill. The grounds were moved in the mid 1870s because of the development of the eastern end of Elsworthy Road and the terraced townhouses on Elsworthy Terrace. The Grade II listed Church of St. Mary the Virgin was built in 1873.
In 1898 the LCC agreed a scheme for the development of a road linking Vernon Place in the north to the Aldwych in the south. This scheme completely altered the character and appearance of the area. The new road resulted in the demolition of the medieval street layout around the Aldwych as well as a complex 17th century street layout to the east of Drury Lane to create a north/south access route. The scheme meant the demolition of a very densely populated area, 3,700 residents were displaced from their homes. They were largely rehoused on the Bourne Estate and in Herbrand Street, as required by an Act of Parliament.
Kingsway was possibly the first attempt in London to deal with traffic problems in a co-ordinated manner by incorporating a tramway line beneath the road and linking the tramway systems of north and south London. It is the only underpass in London built specifically for trams.
The LCC created a broad avenue 30 metres wide (24 metres wide in Southampton Row) and described it as ‘the largest and most important improvement which has been carried out in London since the construction of Regent Street in 1820’.
It was opened in 1905 by Edward VII. The LCC also created development sites alongside Kingsway which they sold on 90 year leases. Most buildings were completed before 1914, although all the buildings fronting Kingsway were not complete until the early 1930s.
Service on the underground tramway between the Angel and the Aldwych began in February 1906 with single decker trams; it was subsequently deepened in 1930 to take double decker trams. After an experiment with trolley buses the tramway was closed in April 1952 and in January 1964 the southern section was opened to traffic as an underpass to Waterloo Bridge. The cutting and tracks where the trams emerged (at a gradient of 1 in 10 feet) in Southampton Row still survive (listed in 1998).
The majority of buildings in Kingsway were constructed in a relatively short period between 1900 and 1922. The London County Council attempted to introduce order and coherence by introducing a new scale and character to the streets replacing the intensely congested streets and courts. The redevelopment was guided by general constraints on height and materials. The sites lining this new thoroughfare were developed as a series of prestigious commercial buildings in a neo-classical style, generally uniform in materials, scale and massing and following a consistent building line. As such, it provides a complete example of large scale Edwardian architecture. Pevsner says “It still retains much of its Beaux Arts panache, lined with commercial buildings on a colossal scale.” Generally the buildings have shops at ground floor level and offices above.
LADY MARGARET ROAD (1875)
Perpendicular from Leighton Road runs the generous proportions of Lady Margaret Road, and the parallel Leverton Street. These streets are lined with terraced uniform developments as they were built in a short space of time by developers. The houses have a particular style – brick and stucco in Lady Margaret Road. The Church of Our Lady Help of Christians in Lady Margaret Road with its tall spire is a local landmark.
LAMBOLLE ROAD (1870s)
Development progressed along the road from north-west to south-east over a period of about thirty years beginning in the mid 1870s.
The land at the corner of Eton Avenue and Lancaster Grove was reserved for a church but used as a saw mill in the interim. It is likely that this supplied the timber for the development of the surrounding area. By 1895, it was considered that the construction of a church was not required to give the neighbourhood respectability and the impressive Arts and Crafts influenced fire station, now listed for its special architectural interest, was developed on the site in 1914-15 by the London County Council.
LAURIER ROAD (1870s)
From 1870 Laurier Road (then Lewisham Road) was laid out and developed on the Dartmouth estate.
The character is typically of semi-detached pairs of houses with substantial trees in front and rear gardens. Post-1945 flats replace war damage at the corner with Upper Park Road and at the other end with Fleet Road: Troyes House is a Council-owned block at the south end of the street which is set back from the street behind lawns and mature trees and is embellished by a GLC coat of arms, built on the site of a convent bombed in the Second World War.
Leather Lane stands out due to its bustling street market, often thronged at weekday lunchtimes. When the market is operating it presents a lively streetscape, with moveable stalls lining both sides of the road and permanent stalls on a widened pavement near Brooke’s Market. At lunchtime the pungent aroma of different foods adds to the experience.
The origin of Leighton Road lay in a path from the Assembly House to Maiden Lane. Development began when landowner Joshua Prole Torriano sold small plots of land freehold to private individuals for houses. This resulted in piecemeal development initially known as Evans Place, later around 1820-30 as Gloucester Place, before finally being linked up later in the nineteenth century to Torriano Avenue. The plots provided individual houses, or small groups developed at one time.
The Midland Railway Line cut through Kentish Town and ran to St Pancras. At this point, the houses to the south of Leighton Road lost gardens and stables. By 1875 Leighton Road was lined with development all the way to Torriano Avenue. Torriano Cottages at the east end of Leighton Road were also built. To the north of Leighton Road, Leverton Street and Lady Margaret Road were laid out perpendicular to Leighton Road in an expanding grid of streets; the pattern was established by 1875, and by 1894 all the fields had been built over.
Leverton Place is a short street linking Kentish Town Road and Leverton Street.
The Assembly House pub was constructed in 1898 on the site of an older sequence of taverns known as the Flask which had been a landmark for travellers and a stopping point for stage coaches. A marble table stood under the roadside elms, and a cobbled yard lay between the Flask and 304 Kentish Town Road (known as the Village House). In the nineteenth century, the right of way across the Flask forecourt (Assembly House) became Leverton Place, and the forecourt was filled with shops.
LEVERTON STREET (1875)
To the north of Leighton Road, Leverton Street and Lady Margaret Road were laid out perpendicular to Leighton Road in an expanding grid of streets; the pattern was established by 1875, and by 1894 all the fields had been built over.
LINDFIELD GARDENS (1880)
Lindfield Gardens links Arkwright Road to Langland Gardens to the north. It was named after a village on the Maryon Wilson estate in Sussex and much of its western side and part of its eastern side were developed in the 1880s.
LISBURNE ROAD (1865)
To cater for the spiritual needs of the local predominantly lower middle-class population, a Methodist church had been opened in 1865 in Lisburne Road. A more pretentious church, the last to use red bricks from the Gospel Oak brickworks, was completed locally in 1900 to the design of Professor Beresford Pite.
LISMORE CIRCUS (1846)
In 1854 the construction of the Hampstead Junction Railway bisected a farm and the land between the railway and the footpath became ‘ripe for development’. The 27 acres around Lismore Circus had been sold for £10,200 in July 1846 for the construction of an estate of detached villas, which did not materialise. The Lismore estate was later completed with more modest villas and terraced houses ‘for the Labouring classes’.
“LOAD OF HAY”
John Roque’s map of 1746 shows that Haverstock Hill Road was broad, with wide verges, and most fields are shown as meadow; by 1800 Belsize was almost all meadow, hence the name of the Load of
Hay Public House.
LOWER MERTON RISE
The London-Birmingham railway line, first built in 1838, was extended in 1879 to provide another tunnel on the south side of the original Primrose Hill Tunnel. The 1894 Map does not show the line of the tunnel but its presence is noticeable from the brick airshaft located in the back garden of No 10 Wadham Gardens. It runs under St Mary’s Church and the rear gardens of the north side of Elsworthy Road, under Nos 1, 2 and 4 Lower Merton Rise, and under the rear gardens between Wadham Gardens and King Henry’s Road. The land above is made up: hence the gap adjacent to Compton Lodge, No 7 Harley Road.
LULOT STREET (1880s)
Lulot Street was laid out in the early 1880s.
LYNDHURST GARDENS (1873)
The area between Belsize Lane and Belsize Avenue was bought by Richard Pierce Barker in 1868 but not developed until 1873. Barker envisaged the development of substantial properties for the upper end of the market and wrote into the agreement that the trees in the street were to be retained and that houses should be set back 50 feet from the road. Willett, in developing his properties, kept to
the spirit of this agreement.
MACKESON ROAD (1899)
T.E. Gibb, a Kentish Town developer, bought this land in 1881.
After the death of Gibb in 1894, F.T. Binnington took over responsibility for completing the estate. Mackeson Road was named after the first vicar of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Mansfield Road and completed in 1899.
Macklin Street (formerly Lewknors Lane, and later Charles Street) and Parker Street were formed in the early 17th century on the site of Rose Field; pastureland attached to the Rose Inn with a western boundary on Drury Lane.
During the 19th century housing conditions seriously deteriorated around Macklin Street, as in other parts of central London. In 1886 the medical officer of health for St Giles recommended that the area around Macklin Street and Parker Street should be cleared as the houses were beyond repair and severely overcrowded. The 1884 Royal Commission into housing conditions made the link between health and overcrowded, insanitary living conditions. Clearance was seen as the solution to a very high death rate and the Metropolitan Board of Works agreed a clearance scheme in 1886, known as
the Shelton Street Improvement Scheme. In practice the Board had no power to erect housing and when the land was cleared in 1889 it displaced everyone who had lived there.
Shown on 1849 map.
MANSFIELD PLACE (1861) maybe now HOLMES ROAD?
Mansfield Place is a secluded quadrangle of low, two storey cottages approached down a narrow path between long front garden plots.
MANSFIELD ROAD (1879)
The first houses to be built on the Earl of Mansfield’s estates were those along Mansfield Road and Roderick Road. Here the trustees of the St Pancras Church Lands had, on June 7 1876, exchanged their four-acre field further to the north, occupied by Mr Thomas Jolley, for meadow land fronting Mansfield Road. This estate was let on 99-year building leases. Adjacent to the Hampstead boundary, the trustees set aside a small area of half an acre for commercial purposes, initially used as a brickfield.
House building started in 1879 and by 1882 the whole of the north side of Mansfield Road, including 10 shops had been completed. Rona Road, Courthope Road, Estelle Road and Savernake Road followed, the last named being completed in 1899.
The builder for the majority of the ‘Mansfield Road Estate’ was William Turner, who in 1881 was living with his family at Number 4 Shirlock Road.
In 1898, to meet the demands for school places, the school board for London opened a temporary school on the site of the allotments next to Gospel Oak station. Here in 1900 they built a permanent school for 772 children at a cost of £21,654.
MARQUIS ROAD (1849)
(By 1849, this road had been laid out but was unnamed. Most of these residential streets were built quickly from 1860s and were fully developed by the 1880s.)
MARSDEN STREET (1840s)
Formerly Durnford Place
Several streets in Somers Town, to the west of St Pancras Gardens, including Medburn Street, Goldington Street and Goldington Crescent, were laid out during the 1840s with three-storey terraced houses, some of which have survived subsequent redevelopment and Second World War bombing.
Millfield Lane had a few cottages and farm buildings established by the 18th century, by which time the land had become part of the Southampton Estates, owned by the Fitzroy family. By the mid 19th century the benefits of the proximity of the Heath had resulted in the construction of some larger villas on what had been market gardens on the south facing slopes. The development of this edge to Highgate proceeded gradually but consistently over the next century. Development in the late 19th century continued as the houses along West Hill were developed and Bisham Gardens was constructed.
MORNINGTON STREET and MORNINGTON PLACE
Mornington Street and Mornington Place, streets running east-west in the grid, are terminated by the Euston railway line. Mornington Place (formerly Crescent Place) originally continued to Park Village, whereas Mornington Street ended at Mornington Terrace, the other side of which was lined with semi-detached villas before the widening of the railway cutting. Mornington Street was extended across the cutting as a bridge to form a link with Park Village East. Much of their original 19th century character has been lost to post-war low rise public housing as a consequence of bomb damage. In Mornington Street, low-rise development of one to two storeys has infilled former garden space. An interesting example is the low-lying interior design showroom at No 70, a modern low-key infill behind one of the Albert Street terraces.
The arrival of suburban railway lines in the mid 19th century allowed greater accessibility to central London and increased the desirability of areas close to the lines. The Tottenham and Hampstead Junction Railway was built in 1868. When it was built the line had a station called Highgate Road that was located west of Highgate Road. The railway lines effectively cut Mortimer Terrace in half.
In the 1690s the lawyer Walter Baynes purchased the land once belonging to St Mary’s nunnery and converted an ancient spring into a medicinal attraction called the Cold Bath (demolished 1887). This became the centrepiece of a residential development begun in 1719 by Baynes in partnership with a banker, John Warner, on Mount Pleasant (then Dorrington Street), where some of the original houses survive today as Nos. 47-57 (Grade II). The hilly terrain gave rise to an irregular street pattern that partly survives around Mount Pleasant, Warner Street and Eyre Street Hill.
MULBERRY CLOSE and VANE CLOSE
Laid out in the 1970s on the site of Vane House.
MURRAY MEWS (1849)
Two mews were laid out at the same time as Camden Square. Known in the 19th century as ‘Camden Mews North’ and ‘Camden Mews South’, they followed the 17th-century London mews pattern: intended for stables and coach houses to service the grand townhouses of the Square, they were laid out with mains drainage and a roadway of granite setts.
Murray Mews is about a third of the length of Camden Mews. Only five properties were built by 1894, and the rest has been developed from the 1960s onwards.
MURRAY STREET (1849)
(By 1849, this road had been laid out. Most of these residential streets were built quickly from 1860s and were fully developed by the 1880s.)
NEW COMPTON STREET (1671)
New Compton Street was originally named Stidwell Street and Kendrick Yard. In 1671 a license was granted to Sir Richard Stydolph to build on the pasture ground attached to the Hospital. He then let ground to “severall poore men who build hansome and uniforme houses”. Christopher Wren viewed Stidwell Street and approved of the scheme, suggesting that it might “tend in some measure to cure the noisomnesse of that part”. Many of the houses were rebuilt in 1775-6 and the street name was changed to New Compton Street in 1775.
The Bishop of London established a tollgate in the fourteenth century (1386) at the highest point on the hill, where the North Road and Hampstead Lane now meet and where the Gatehouse Public house stands. The tollgate was probably known as ‘High Gate’ , it was closed in 1876 as were all tollgates, and it was finally removed in 1892.
NORTH VILLAS (1849)
(By 1849, this road had been laid out but was unnamed. Most of these residential streets were built quickly from 1860s and were fully developed by the 1880s.)
OAK HILL PARK
Oak Hill Park was laid out in 1851 with a number of Italianate villas.
OAKHILL AVENUE (1907)
To the north of West End Lane, a footpath is evident on the 1814 map linking Branch Hill to West End, This today is the approximate route of Oakhill Avenue.
From 1904, Charles Quennell and George Washington Hart built parts of Reddington Road and Heath Drive and laid out Oakhill Avenue in 1907, originally Barby Avenue. Oakhill Avenue became the name in 1912.
Oakley Square lies to the east, beyond Eversholt Street, and like its contemporary neighbour is a planned composition of townhouses overlooking communal gardens with mature trees. The west side is all that remains after war damage, with houses of a similar scale to elsewhere on the Duke of Bedford’s land, but noted for their ground floor entrance porticoes. Of contrasting design is the Old Vicarage, a grade II listed detached dwelling in a Gothic Revival style with polychromatic brickwork, situated at the northern end of the terrace. Dating from c 1861 it was designed by John Johnson, as the vicarage for the demolished St Matthew’s Church, which stood next door.
Oriel Place is a paved alley between tall brick flank walls of Heath Street and High Street. It was rebuilt as part of the slum clearance of the 1880s and opens out in the middle with a small green and large plane trees, dominated by Wells Court, an austere five-storey block of tenements.
PARLIAMENT HILL NASSINGTON ROAD
Parliament Hill, Nassington Road and Tanza Road were developed by Joseph Pickett, on land he had leased (and previously farmed) from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The area formed part of South End Farm, which was cut off by the Railway’s failure to fulfil its obligation to make new access roads across the lines, On higher ground backing onto the now preserved Heath, proved more attractive than the southern part of the farm being developed at the same time by T.E.Gibb. South Hill Park Road (later Parliament Hill) and Nassington Road were laid out in 1878-90 houses being built between 1879 and 1892. The first houses were finished by the end of 1880 and building continued at a rate of-about ten houses a year until 1894. Two remaining plots were filled in 1899. The planned extension of the roads into Lord Mansfield’s lands in St Pancras Borough was halted by the addition of Parliament Hill Fields to the Heath in 1889. The abrupt termination of Parliament Hill is an important indicator of the historical development in the history of Hampstead Heath.
Although Roman remains have been discovered in the vicinity of York Way, there is no evidence of settlement in the King’s Cross area until the development of the hamlets of St Pancras and Battle Bridge during the medieval period. The former developed in the vicinity of the St. Pancras Old Church, which was rebuilt during the 12th Century and may have been built on the site of a 4th Century Pagan temple. It is considered to be one of the earliest Christian sites in the country and was originally built to serve the Parish of St Pancras, which covered an area extending from Hampstead and Highgate in the north to Bloomsbury and Tottenham Court Road to the south.
A small settlement developed in the vicinity of the church, which was situated on a hillock overlooking the River Fleet which was culverted beneath Pancras Road in 1825.
Other developments in the area during this period include the Small Pox Hospital, which was built in 1767 on land north-west of Battle Bridge, now occupied by King’s Cross Station, the Fever Hospital constructed next to it in 1802, and the Royal Veterinary College in 1791. The College is thought to be the first veterinary college in the country and remains within the northern part of the Conservation Area. At the southern end of Pancras Way, a workhouse was also built in 1809 and rebuilt and its infirmary accommodation much enlarged after 1880. That site is now occupied by the Hospital for Tropical Diseases (St Pancras Hospital).
The area between the two later stations was developed with residential streets during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In advance of development, the fields were dug over for brick making, while tile kilns and dust yards, where refuse was sifted, added to the pollution of the air. This, and the dampness of the Fleet Valley, discouraged the building of further houses.
The grade II listed German Gymnasium (1864-5) to the south of Stanley Buildings Built at the same time as Stanley Buildings (1864), it was a unique, purpose-built gym for the German Gymnastic Society and designed by Edward Grüning. The gym is of great historic and aesthetic importance. It was part of the movement towards the establishment of the Olympic Games and was important in the development of public sport and fitness. Its style is a Prussian neo-medieval vernacular.
As part of the move of Eurostar trains to serve St Pancras station, Pancras Road was re-routed to pass along the eastern side of the German Gym and Stanley Buildings. The realigned road forms a gyratory system that passes beneath the station extension and connects to Midland Road, on the western side of the station.
Cheney Road and Weller’s Court were demolished though the former Cheney Road alignment is partly used by the new route of Pancras Road.
Parkhill Road was first called Saint John’s Park Road as shown on an 1862 map by Weller, then Park Road by 1875, until renamed Parkhill Road on the 1914 Ordnance Survey map. The development was known as the St John’s Park Estate, a title intended to appropriate some of the allure of St John’s Wood.
This road is lined with tall four-storey Victorian semi-detached houses. Blocks of flats have been inserted (probably due to bomb damage). There the houses were substantial: it was a rare occurrence for the Victorians to build coach houses, and most of the infill development dates from the late twentieth century, with varied results.
Parkway is a tree-lined street leading up a gentle slope towards Regents Park. It was developed in the 1820s and 1830s with modest three-storey houses on both sides, with flat-fronted yellow stock brick façades adhering to classical proportions, devoid of elaborate decoration other than continuous eaves parapets and simple openings for painted timber sash windows. On the north side, a pair of houses in their original state survive at Nos 98 & 100, but the remainder of properties were converted to retail uses at ground level from the mid 19th century onwards. The street currently offers a mix of retail and restaurant uses with some small businesses providing specialist services.
PERCEVAL AVENUE (1910s)
A short winding road that links Belsize Lane and Ornan Road.
PERREN STREET (1868)
Perren Street was initially laid out as cul-de-sac between 1868-1873, but remained in agricultural use for a few years. The most visible evidence of Victorian small-scale enterprise exists in Perren Street, Wilkin Street and Ryland Road, where various industrial and commercial buildings were built between 1873-1894 encouraged by the opening of the Hampstead Junction Railway.
Pond Square takes its name from the ponds which provided drinking water to the village, until 1864 when they were filled in. The square is designated as a Public Open Space in the UDP, is listed in the London Squares Preservation Act 1931, and is registered as a Village Green and as Common Land.
Pond Square is a quiet and tranquil backwater lying close to the heart of the village, an informal gravelled square which has at its centre a shady enclosure of mature trees with an area of grass. It is a retreat from the bustle of the High Street and West Hill and to some extent from South Grove.
PHOENIX STREET (1670s)
Significant urban development started in the early C17 after the apportioning of the lands of St Gile’s Hospital, forming the present street pattern by the C18. Phoenix Street was built prior to 1680.
The northern side of the street is dominated by the Phoenix Theatre and Cinema. The Theatre was built in 1929/30 designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, Cecil Masey and Bertie Crewe. The street allows a pleasant vista westwards across the Borough boundary to the sculptured stone entrance of Central St Martins College of Art & Design, which is within the City of Westminster.
Duval’s Lane, or Devil’s Lane as it was also known, became Platt’s Lane in 1837, taking its name from the local landowner Thomas Platt.
Towards the end of the 18th century a military telegraph station was established on a high point towards the northern end of Duval’s Lane. Telegraph Hill, as it become known, formed one of twelve signal posts designed to link the Duke or York’s London headquarters with the east coast on the threat of a French invasion.
By the mid-19th century the majority of the area was in the ownership of the Maryon Wilson family, They farmed the area from the Manor Farm, Frognal, which was located to the north-west of the junction between Frognal and Frognal Lane until about 1780 when the farm relocated to the south-west side.
More modest sections of the area were owned by Henry Weech Burgess (to the north of Platt’s Lane) and Thomas Pell Platt (to the south of Platt’s Lane).
PRIMROSE GARDENS (1873)
On the remainder of Bliss’s landholding, an area of smaller terraced houses was developed on a rectangular field.
This road, Primrose Gardens (formerly Stanley Gardens) was built between Englands Lane and Haverstock Terrace (renamed Belsize Grove) whilst on a larger field to the south-west, Lambolle Road was
built and Belsize Park Gardens and Lancaster Grove extended. The Vestry Hall was built in 1878 at the junction of Haverstock Hill and Belsize Avenue in the grounds of Hillfield House.
The southern end of the street comprises two long curved terraces sloping down to England’s Lane, overlooking an elongated oval open space with listed telephone kiosks at either end. The open space provides an important focal point within the street and is one of the few areas of open space within the area.
PRIMROSE HILL ROAD
One of the principal builders involved in this area in the 1840s was Samuel Cuming, a property developer. He constructed Primrose Hill Road in the 1860s.
PRINCE ALBERT ROAD
Prince Albert Road was was part of Nash’s original plan for Regent’s Park.
PRINCE ARTHUR ROAD
Prince Arthur Road follows an old field pattern and was laid when Fitzjohns Avenue was created in the 1870s.
PRINCE OF WALES ROAD (1830s)
Prince of Wales Road is an west to east route linking the A502 Haverstock Hill and Kentish Town Road.
A development plan of 1840 for this part of the Southampton Estate proposed spacious villas, however apart from a group by Malden Crescent, the street was built up with terraces. Early development of Prince of Wales Road began before 1849. The first buildings were the ‘Aged Governesses’ Asylum’, later Richard of Chichester Catholic Secondary School and now converted to residential use.
PRIORY ROAD Kilburn
The southern end of Priory Road was laid out in the 1820s. The northern section, then called Canfield Road, was constructed in 1874.
Priory Road marked the boundary between the Maryon Wilson Estate and the estate of Colonel Cotton to the west, with whom land was exchanged. By 1875 plots were for sale in (north) Priory Road, and between 1877 and 1882 51 mostly detached houses were constructed there.
Development of the area around Provost Road and Eton Road by carpenter Samuel Cuming started after 1844 as well as his development of Adelaide Road to the south. St Saviour’s Church, the
centrepiece of the development, was built in 1850. This was promoted by the Eton College surveyor as being necessary to give the new development the respectability to attract the upper middle classes. The paired, rendered villas along Provost Road were more modest in scale than the earlier development along Adelaide Road by Cuming (subsequently demolished to enable widening of the railway). The introduction of a horse drawn omnibus along Adelaide Road may, in part, account for the lack of significant mews development in the area. However, the modest scale of development seems to have been aimed at a sector of the market that would not be carriage owners. The villas developed in the Provost triangle were smaller and accommodated fewer servants.
Prowse Place contains a number of small scale, mews type developments.
RAGLAN STREET (1850s)
Raglan Street was laid out in the late 1850s and early 1860’s. Nos.12-20 are on the 1860 Parish map. By 1868 terraces were built on either side of this straight street. The terrace on the east side of the street was demolished after the Second World War and has been replaced by a 1960s development.
Randolph Street was named after Rev Thomas Randolph, a 19th century prebendary of Cantelowes.
The two railway bridges cut diagonally across Randolph Street, thereby creating two small distinct areas at opposite ends of the street.
The Charlotte Street Conservation Area is situated in an area known as ‘Fitzrovia’. The area was developed speculatively as a primarily residential area in a relatively short space of time (1750-1770) with building progressing northwards across the area from the slightly earlier Rathbone Place, developed in the 1720s. As in many areas of Georgian London the three or four storey terraced townhouse was the favoured form.
Prior to the middle of the eighteenth century the land in the area was mainly agricultural land on the edge of London within the demesnes of Manor of Tottenhall (Tottenham Court). The land, recorded as being owned by the Canons of St Paul’s Cathedral in the Domesday Book, had a succession of owners as the balance of power changed through the centuries. Following the Restoration, it was seized by the Crown and leased to the Earl of Arlington (1667), who passed it to his daughter and her husband, Henry Fitzroy (Earl of Euston and Duke of Grafton).
On John Roque’s 1746 Map of London, the line of Tottenham Court Road can already be seen bearing the same name. Rathbone Place (also named on Roque’s Map), leading north to the conservation area from Oxford Street had been developed in the 1720s following the example of development on the Cavendish Estate to the west.
Outside the Hatton and Baynes-Warner estates, the Hatton Garden area declined in status over the seventeenth century, especially around the noxious River Fleet. Saffron Hill and Leather Lane became built up with narrow timber-framed houses, none of which have survived. At Hockley-in-the-hole, now Ray Street, there was a notorious bear-baiting garden at the Cock Inn where violent blood
sports took place (now the site of the Coach and Horses pub).
RAYDON STREET (1880s)
Raydon Street went up in the early 1880s.
REDINGTON ROAD (1875)
Up until the 1870s the area was undeveloped fields separating Hampstead Village and Frognal Lane to the east from West End to the west.
It developed from the Frognal end in a piecemeal fashion.
A narrow passage that curves round the end of Nos. 108-132 St Pancras Way leads to Reed’s Place, a small paved space between short rows of two storey plain fronted Victorian cottages of painted stucco with rusticated ground floors. At the north-eastern end, a birch tree marks the junction of Reed’s Place and Rochester Place. Reeds Place offers a tranquil and green residential haven away from the busy main roads.
RETCAR STREET (1880s)
Retcar Street was built during the early 1880s. After the completion of Chester Road, the area became briefly known as Highgate New Town.
ROCHESTER PLACE (1870s)
The street opens in a gentle curve off Rochester Road and lies south of Rochester Terrace rear gardens. Rochester Place is characterised by low mews type buildings, originally built from the 1870s to serve the properties in Rochester Terrace.
ROCHESTER ROAD (1848)
Within a period of 25 years, from the mid 1840s to 1870, Kentish Town was transformed. Initial development was caused particularly by the sale of Lord Southampton’s land in 1840 and subsequent construction of the streets between Kentish Town and Haverstock Hill. The fields on either side were filled with houses and the railways carved their several paths through the area.
The 1849 Parish map shows the streets of the Conservation Area laid out with Wilmot Place houses already constructed as well as some on Rochester Road. The 1860 map shows the completion of Rochester Road and Rochester Terrace. Rochester Terrace properties had gardens that extended to Rochester Place.
By 1890 the railways affected the development of the area. First came the North London Line, built on a massive brick viaduct above the southern end of Kentish Town in 1850. The branch that cuts through west Kentish Town up to Gospel Oak and Hampstead Heath followed in 1860, by which time the streets south of Prince of Wales Road and Rochester Road had been largely built-up.
ROCHESTER SQUARE (1824)
The area remained rural until the 18th century. At the beginning of the century, most land was turned over to grass to feed the animals that provided the growing capital city with milk and meat. At the end of the century the only exceptions to grassland were a few nursery gardens such as Montgomery’s Nursery that stood near to the site of Rochester Square.
In the later 18th century much of the Cantelowes Manor lands were leased on long term agreements by the first Earl of Camden, who by Act of Parliament laid out the southern part of his estate and divided it into plots and building leases.
In 1824, Camden Road was constructed across the fields, and was originally known as ‘the New Road to Holloway and Tottenham’. It was at this time that the streets around Rochester Square began to be laid out. Here the terraces were developed in a slow and somewhat piecemeal fashion by small speculative builders who ventured a few houses at a time. Early maps show that the south east end of Murray Street was the first to be occupied.
From the beginning a nursery garden was located in the centre of Rochester Square, and houses in Stratford Villas backed onto this nursery on the east side. Plots were leased for small developments as the Estate started tentatively. A feature of this smaller development was that mews were not developed.
The south west side of Rochester Square was lost to Second World War bombing and was replaced with a housing estate that replaced the semi detached houses with large blocks set in open shared space. The Square’s vegetation turned wild and the nursery became derelict. It is designated a private open space and is not accessible to the public.
ROCHESTER TERRACE (1850s)
Rochester Terrace was developed in the 1850s.
RODERICK ROAD (1879)
The earliest sign of development in the area is the ‘Hedge’, the Anglo-Saxon ditch on Hampstead Heath which still marks the boundary between the former parishes of St John at Hampstead and St Pancras. The Hedge descended from the height of Parliament Hill.
Fleet Road, Agincourt Road, Cressy Road , Constantine Road, Mackeson Road and Lisburne Road were built within the Parish of St John at Hampstead, which later became part of the Borough of Hampstead.
Roderick Road, Mansfield Road, Shirlock Road, Rona Road, Courthope Road, Estelle Road and Savernake Road were on the eastern side of the Hedge and within the ancient Parish of St Pancras which later
became the Borough of St Pancras.
The area bounded by Roderick Road, Savernake Road and Mansfield Road furthermore was formerly part of the Manor of Tottenhall. This manor originally extended from Camden Town to Kenwood, and had been in the possession of the canons of St Paul’s Cathedral. In the survey made in 1761 for Charles Fitzroy (created Baron Southampton in 1780) the land is recorded as being farmed by a Mr Gould.
By 1803, it is a dairyman’s farm with land attached, the property of Earl Mansfield, known as ‘the common’ and held by Edward Austin. The southern boundary was the footpath from Kentish Town to Hampstead along the banks of the River Fleet.
The tree-planted streets now contain solid three-storey Victorian family houses of remarkable uniformity which have kept their original external features, and provide a coherent example of late 19th century urban residential development.
Beyond the railway, the purchase of Parliament Hill Fields in 1889 had safeguarded what was to become one of the areas greatest natural assets, Hampstead Heath, and in 1895 the London County Council paid for the footbridge access to it from the top of Roderick Road.
ROSEBURY AVENUE (1887)
Rosebery Avenue was created 1887-92 through clearance.
Rousden Street, once known as Little Randolph Street but later re-named after a Dorset village like the nearby Lyme Street and Lyme Terrace, is a short street which has its origins in the 1820s but has since undergone much repair, rebuilding and re-development.
ROYAL COLLEGE STREET (1820)
A map of 1801 shows the land as a (hay) Rick Yard and open fields lying on the west side of a rural road known as Grays Inn Road, today’s St. Pancras Way. Royal College Street (formerly Great College Street) and Camden Road were laid out in c.1820 and, with the exception of the north side of Camden Road, a map of 1832 shows that the conservation area’s street pattern and built environment was complete by that date. The whole of the area bounded by Randolph Street, St Pancras Way, Camden Road and Royal College Street was built by 1832, giving the area a distinct architectural unity.
RYLAND ROAD (1875)
In the 1870s, the governesses closed a retirement home and the subsequent construction of Ryland Road, across part of its gardens began. The gardens can be seen on the 1875 Ordnance Survey map. More houses were built behind the retirement home on Grafton Road.
Although built only 20 years later than the adjacent streets the architectural detail is quite different.
Sandy Road hamlet lies at the end of Sandy Road which until the 20th century was a public road that linked West Heath Road to North End. It rises gently from North End Way and has an attractive cluster of buildings.
Savernake Road was fully completed in 1899.
The air raids of the Second World War proved more damaging than those of the first. A bomb on Hampstead Heath near a playground severely damaged houses in Savernake Road and Estelle Road, and in 1944
Mansfield Road School was completely destroyed by a flying bomb.
Prefabricated homes, some of which lasted until the 1980s were placed on the cleared sites until rebuilding was undertaken.
By the 10th century the area north of the Strand and south of Holborn had become part of the Westminster Abbey estates. From the 11th century land to the west of Drury Lane was used as a garden for the Abbey while the area around the Seven Dials was owned by The Hospital of St Giles, a leper hospital founded in 1117. In 1537 the land was taken over by Henry VIII and let on a series of leases.
The distinct layout around the Seven Dials is the legacy of an ambitious building plan devised by Thomas Neale, a speculator and Master of the Mint, at the end of the 17th century. The plan was unique, the only one of the 17th and 18th century developments in the West End which departs from a grid plan. Instead a radiating plan of streets was formed around a small central polygonal circus with a Doric column at the centre surmounted by sundials. The column was removed in 1773 probably by order of the Paving Commissioners to rid the area of the undesirables who congregated around it. The column was later re-erected on Weybridge Green. A replica of the column was erected in 1989 by the Seven Dials Monument Charity and unveiled by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
SHELTON STREET (former)
Shelton Street was identified as St. Thomas Street in the Morgan map 1682, and as King Street in 1792. The street ran east of Drury Lane.
SHELTON STREET (later)
Present day Shelton Street was named in 1937-38 and lies west of Drury Lane.
Shirlock Road was completed in 1882.
SOUTH END GREEN
The expansion of the railways affected the development of Hampstead – the greatest impact was to the south west of the village. In 1837 the London and Birmingham Railway cut the first Primrose Hill Tunnel through the southern slopes. In 1860 the Hampstead Junction Railway opened stations at Edgware Road, Finchley Road and Hampstead Heath. The opening of the Hampstead Junction Railway’s station in 1860 stimulated the urbanisation of Hampstead and, together with trams and horse drawn omnibuses, brought on Bank Holidays and weekends crowds of trippers to South End Green and the Heath. South End Green was soon transformed into an important centre. A tunnel was built between Hampstead Heath Station and Finchley Road and Frognal Station in 1860 that lies beneath Hampstead Hill Gardens.
SOUTH HILL PARK (1871)
South Hill Park and South Hill Park Gardens were developed by Thomas Rhodes from 1871 onwards, as housing for the growing middle classes. Hampstead Heath Station was built before their development of the Conservation Area and provided the stimulus for its development as an early residential suburb. Development was restricted by the New River Company’s Water Works Reservoir to west and by the railway cutting to the south. Land to the east and north east formed part of neighbouring, as yet undeveloped estates.
South Hill Park was laid out in a ‘squash racket’ shaped loop. mainly to make the best use of the restricted space available, creating ing the maximum amount of building frontage within the cofines of the shape of this field, It has also been suggested that the shape may have resulted from a desire to frustrate Lord Mansfield’s aims to develop Kenwood Estate to the north.
The first buildinh on South Hill Park was The Magdala Tavern, which was built by 1868. Development progressed northwards and by 1873 several properties in South Hill Park were already occupied. Development continued over the next decade.
South Hill Park became a renowned location for experimental designs by the generation of post-second world war architects.
SOUTH VILLAS (1849)
North Villas and South Villas were built at high density from the mid-1860s when the new cattle market was affecting the saleability of property north east of Camden Square. The houses are of the same style as Camden Terrace which lines the north east end of the Square.
SPENCER ROAD (1850s)
Along with Lord Ingestre, Lord Alfred Spencer Churchill acquired land in the 1850s from Lord Dartmouth for the Conservative Land Society. Spencer Road was named after Lord Churchill, laid out as working class housing.
ST ALBAN’S ROAD (1850s)
In the early 1850s proposals were made by Horace Jones for developing the Hurd estate, creating St Albans Road. Only St Albans Villas on Highgate Road and two or three pairs of substantial villas were built at that time. St Anne’s Church, West Hill Road, was designed by G. Plucknett for Anne Barnett in memory of her brother in 1852 to provide for the increasing population north of Kentish Town.
ST ANDREW’S TERRACE (1823)
St Andrews Terrace on the north end of Park Square East faces north towards the Royal College of Physicians. It is the mirror image of Ulster Terrace across the square. Together they form the returns of Park Square on the Outer Circle. Built in 1823, the stuccoed front has symmetrical coupled bow windows at the ends, unique within the Nash Terraces.
ST ANNE’S CLOSE
St Anne’s Close was built in the 1950s in the grounds of the St. Anne’s Church. The private road has some lock-up garages on the south side and the 1950s Vicarage, but past those is a pleasing group
of houses designed by Walter Segal, an important figure in the self build movement, as a co-operative scheme.
ST AUGUSTINE’S ROAD (1849)
(By 1849, this road had been laid out but was unnamed. Most of these residential streets were built quickly from 1860s and were fully developed by the 1880s.)
ST CHAD’S STREET (1820s)
To the south of Euston Road, St Chad’s Street was laid out and standardised late Georgian, “third class” housing, consisting of three storeys plus a basement level, was developed from the 1820s onwards.
ST LEONARD’S SQUARE (1840s)
Buildings constructed 1849 and 1862 and is a rare example of a local square.
ST MARK’S SQUARE
St. Mark’s Square is not a conventional square, but an intersection of a number of roads, with St. Mark’s Church and its yard forming a focus. The church was built in 1851-2 by Thomas Little.
The church not only dominates the Square but is also prominent in views from Regent’s Canal, Regent’s Park Road, Primrose Hill and Regent’s Park.
ST PAUL’S CRESCENT
St Paul’s Crescent angles down as an extension from Marquis Road parallel to St Augustine’s Road before turning around 45 degrees to the south, crossing Agar Grove and ending at the Camden’s 1970s Maiden Lane estate.
ST PAUL’S MEWS (1991)
In contrast to Camden Mews and Murray Mews, St Paul’s Mews was built all at one time to CZWG’s design (1987-91), laid out in a double curve. The composition is similar to a ‘parade’ of shops. The townhouses are linked by a ground floor plinth consisting of panelled garages and entrances, with two storeys of accommodation above in brick.
The Conservation Area lies within the ancient parish of St Giles, first mentioned in a decree of 1222. The first known development of the area was the establishment of the St Giles Leper colony, founded by Queen Matilda in 1117, outside the City of London walls. The colony provided for 14 London Lepers and consisted of a church, master’s house, outbuildings and orchard, bounded by what are now Charing Cross Road, St Giles High Street and Shaftesbury Avenue. The leper colony “received this beautiful name because it was dedicated in honour of St Giles of Provence, regarded as the special patron of lepers and outcasts”. St Giles probably became a hospital when leprosy was eradicted, and by C16th a village had grown around it. The hospital was surrounded by a high wall, which was still partly standing in 1658, and was entered by a Gatehouse in the High Street.
The church yard, which is now a public garden, has great historic significance as a burial ground. The first cases of the Great Plague were in St Giles parish. In 1665 there were 3216 deaths and in July alone of that year about 1300 victims were buried in the churchyard at St Giles. In about 1680 12 Roman Catholic martyrs were buried there.
ST GILES HIGH STREET
The present street pattern of St Giles High Street and Charing Cross Road has existed since at least the C12th. St Giles High Street was one of two major thoroughfares leading west from the City until 1847, when New Oxford Street was built. The High Street was the first part of the area to be built on, and formed a village around the parish church in medieval times. A key feature from at least 1452 was the Crown Inn which stood at the corner of the High Street and Hog Lane (later named Crown St after the Inn, then Charing Cross Road). North of Denmark Place the frontage to the High Street was fully built on before 1658.
ST PANCRAS WAY
Unlike Camden Road and Royal College Street which were planned and laid out in a straight line as part of the early 19th century development of the area, St. Pancras Way, formerly known as King’s Road, follows the winding course of a much earlier rural route to Kentish Town.
Bomb damage led to the demolition of properties on most of Stacey Street and part of Phoenix Street. In the early 1960s the London County Council demolished a terrace of C18 houses on the northern
side of New Compton Street. The vacant sites were occupied as car parks during the 1960s and 1970s before being redeveloped. The northern side of New Compton Street has two residential blocks, one
built in the 1970s and one in 1996. Stacey Street has a residential block built in 1994. At the junction of New Compton Street and Stacey Street, Phoenix Gardens, a community park, was created in 1985.
The main road layout was completed by around 1850.
An 1866 plan shows the development of the streets surrounding the church as largely complete. The larger buff brick and stucco semi detached villas, intended to attract the wealthy middle classes, had been built along parts of the southern side of Steele’s Road and the detached villa on the frontage of Fellows Road (No. 2) had been built. Steele’s Mews South is shown, probably serving the large villas between Steele’s Road and Eton Road. The area to the north of Steele’s Road with the exception of the England’s Lane frontage remained undeveloped at this time.
The north side of Steele’s Road, which is attractively lined with mature plane trees, is partly comprised of grade II listed dwellings, developed for occupation by artists, in some cases for specific occupants. The properties were all developed in the 1870s by the architects Brydon, Batterbury and Huxley.
Steele’s Mews North and Steele’s Mews South
The two mews were built, it would appear, primarily to service the Haverstock Hill properties and the dwellings in Steele’s Road.
Steele’s Mews North, built in conjunction with the further development of Steele’s Road to the west, comprises seven two storey units, most of which appear to have been converted to separate residential occupation. Access to the Mews is via an arch, clad in Virginia creeper and a setted crossover. The Mews retains its original granite setts and it terminated by the development at Steele’s Studios and a substantial tree screen.
Steele’s Mews South is also reached via an arch flanked by a painted brick symmetrical two-storey development of mid 19th century origin. The entrance retains the rather grand pediment which has evidently been lost from the entrance to Steele’s Mews North.
STRATFORD VILLAS (1849)
Stratford Villas links Rochester Square to Camden Square. It was at first called Stratford Place.
STRATHRAY GARDENS (1885)
Built in 1885 by William Willett and Son who became the principal developers in the area.
STUKELEY STREET (1640)
Stukeley Street (formerly Goldsmith Street, and before that Coal Yard) was laid out in about 1640.
There was an ancient footpath from the foot of Swains Lane to St Michaels until 1905 when Mr. Burdett Coutts gave land to widen Swains Lane and paid £1000 in return for gaining control of the footpath. Inns such as the Gate House, the Angel, the Flask, and others provided stopping points on what, by the 18th century, had become the main droving road from the North to London; over 40 have been recorded in Highgate over the centuries.
TALACRE ROAD (1840s)
Formerly Weedington Street.
TANZA ROAD (1890)
Tanza Road was laid out in 1890 to connect existing roads.
Tasker Road was previously known as Church Road. The present name was approved in 1937.
TEMPLEWOOD GARDENS (1912) and TEMPLEWOOD AVENUE (1909)
Charles Quennell and George Washington Hart built these streets between 1910 and 1914.
The Grove runs almost due south from the junction with Hampstead Lane to the triangle formed by Highgate West Hill and South Grove at the south end. The street reflects the desirability of Highgate at the end of the 17th century and was said to have contained the grandest houses in London.
There follows another group of six houses: The Hexagon, formed around a cul-de-sac off of Fitzroy Park in a dip in the land, consists of flat-roofed two-storey houses in brick with timber cladding by the architect Leonard Michaels, dating from c1960.
The lane links Leighton Road and Torriano Avenue and retains a number of swan neck lampposts.
The character of the Torriano Cottages is based on the winding unmade road and the original stock brick cottages with red dressings, interspersed with twentieth century additions and set in some lush vegetation.
TWISDEN TERRACE (1870s)
Built in the 1870s the road forms a loop off Chetwynd Road, a particular feature of it being the way pairs of terraced houses step down the slope.
UNITY MEWS (1992)
Unity Mews, which is situated to the rear of the buildings fronting Goldington Crescent, is a more recent addition to the local Conservation Area, dating from 1992.
UPPER RARK ROAD (1862)
By 1862 development grew along the south-east side of Lawn Road, and along Upper Park Road and Parkhill Road on a curved pattern. By 1894 much of the development along these roads was completed.
In part, the roads followed the original field boundaries, in a picturesque way. The semi-detached villas paired villas were laid out on a very generous scale with ample gaps between the buildings and long gardens which collectively make up a green oasis behind the street fronts, such as the crescent space behind Lawn Road, Upper Park Road and Garnett Road. These houses were intended for well-to-do bankers and city workers, attracted to the new area by the new railway into the City and thus not requiring their own carriages for commuting.
The spaces between the pairs at the sides of the houses, were never intended to be filled with coach houses.
The estate intended to provide commonly rentable mews in Fleet Road for the use of these new houses, but they never materialised due to residential building ceasing on the arrival of a Fever Hospital in 1865 to treat a smallpox epidemic (now the site of the Royal Free Hospital). The proximity of infectious diseases scared off new buyers which led to a long gap before more houses were built, for instance in Lawn Road explaining the street’s fascinating diversity of architectural styles.
VALE OF HEALTH
The Vale of Health is a tightly knit enclave of modest houses in a hollow completely surrounded by the Heath. It stands on the edge of a large pond, built as a reservoir in 1777 by the Hampstead Water Company. Today a man-made island refuge for birds at the centre increases the pond’s visual attraction. The development of the enclave began when the reservoir was created and the remaining drained land became available for building.
WADHAM GARDENS (1896)
Prior to the middle of the eighteenth century the land hereabouts was entirely agricultural and some distance from the edge of London. Since the fifteenth century, the majority of the land had been owned by the Eton College Estate. Until the nineteenth century, the land was principally farmed as pasture providing hay and manure.
By the turn of the nineteenth century, although the area was still farmland, the northward advance of London and the development of outlying villages were becoming more marked.
The 1834 ‘Topographical Survey of The Borough of St. Marylebone’ and the 1837 ‘Two-Penny Post Delivery’ map published by John Cary show the area around Primrose Hill and to the north as open ground beyond the limit of the delivery boundary. The only development in the area consisted of large houses along the western side of Avenue Road to the north (from its junction with the old Primrose Hill Road, now Prince Albert Road, running round the northern edge of Regent’s Park). The route of the London and Birmingham Railway is now shown as being tunnelled between Swiss Cottage and Chalk Farm.
Other structures of note were the Shooting Ground and the Reservoir at Barrow Hill (to the south-east).
By the time of the issue of ‘Cross’s New Plan of London’ in 1861, Avenue Road had been completely developed with large houses set in substantial gardens, the earliest ones being described as Woodstock Villas. The site of Wadham Gardens remained undeveloped – there was a cricket ground on the current site of the east end of Elsworthy Road.
By 1865 a plan for the layout of the local streets was illustrated on ‘Whitbread’s Map of London’. While the design is similar to that of today, parts of the layout were never realised in its illustrated form. While King Henry’s Road and Harley Road remain, in part due to early development at their north-eastern ends, the planned Bolingbroke Road and Wellesley Crescent (which largely followed the course of the modern Elsworthy Road and Wadham Gardens respectively) were never built and King’s College Road (a reference to the Etonian origins of the land) was lost completely to development in 1901.
The 1894 Ordnance Survey map shows the eastern end of Elsworthy Road and Elsworthy Terrace as finished, the Eton and Middlesex Cricket Ground having albeit briefly relocated to the area now occupied by Wadham Gardens and the western end of Elsworthy Road.
William Willett’s development of Wadham Gardens and the remaining section of Elsworthy Road commenced between 1896 and 1911.
Waterlow Park was given to the community in 1889 by Sir Sydney Waterlow and became such a popular place that when Sir Sydney last visited the park in 1904, all the local children lined up and cheered him. A memorial statue to him was unveiled in 1900 by the Duchess of Argyle. The park now belongs to London Borough of Camden.
Wellington Road, forming the southern junction of Queen’s Grove, was constructed in 1826.
WEST HEATH ROAD
A route roughly following the boundary between open heath land and enclosed fields was established by the mid-18th century. This is now West Heath Road.
West Hill was not constructed until the end of the 17th century and prior to that Millfield Lane was the route north linking Highgate Road with Hampstead Road.
West Street and Tower Street were laid out in the early 17th century before the Thomas Neale plan for Seven Dials, and had to be incorporated into the radiating street plan.
The large triangular blocks that radiate from the Seven Dials column remain a distinctive feature of the area despite 200 years of urban development. Thomas Neale imposed building agreements on the leases he granted which specified the materials and size of the houses to be built.
During the 19th century the character changed as the houses were divided into lodgings. Seven Dials became notorious for its links with crime and corruption.
Whitfield Street was named after George Whitefield who founded Whitefield’s Tabernacle in Tottenham Court Road in the mid 18th century. It is a quiet, narrow street that falls slightly in level from north to south. The east side opens into the tree-lined Whitfield Place, a well-used open space which brings activity to the area. The site was formerly occupied by a public baths and was originally home to the Fitzroy Market (developed by Charles Fitzroy).
A small hospital was built on the site of what is now the Whittington Hospital in 1846, moving from Kings Cross: it included isolation rooms for smallpox together with a vaccination centre. The hospital, together with three nearby hospitals erected for the treatment of fever, was taken over by the London County Council in 1929. The hospitals were amalgamated after the Second World War and renamed the Whittington Hospital. In 1948 the National Health Service assumed responsibility for the unified hospital in the area.
Wildwood Grove is an unmade road with a terrace of two storey brick cottages with very small front gardens. Built in 1886-7 with Wildwood Terrace by a local builder. They have keystones over the flat
arched windows and a parapet to the roof. The rear boundary lies on Hampstead Way.
WILKIN STREET (1855)
The street was laid out before 1855 and developed incrementally, several years after the Hampstead Junction Railway line was constructed on a viaduct at roof level. The railway line dissects the street in a north/south orientation and the viaduct terminates views west on Wilkin Street. The first building to be constructed on the street in 1867 was the former Methodist Chapel.
WILLES ROAD (1855)
Willes Road was laid out between 1855-1860 and is dissected in half by Inkerman Road.
Willes Road was first proposed in the early 1850s. The local streets were built over two fields on either side of the river Fleet, between Holmes Road in the north and Prince of Wales Road in the south. The street names commemorate various battles, generals and politicians of the Crimean War. By 1860 Willes Road, Grafton Road, Inkerman Road and Alma Street were all fully laid out.
At the south entrance to Willes Road is a landmark building, St Pancras Public Baths, built between 1898-1900 and were opened in 1901.
In 1875 Carlisle House, which stood back from the High Street where Willoughby Road now runs, was sold off for building. Over the next 15 or 20 years its extensive grounds were developed into Willoughby Road, Rudall Crescent, Denning Road, Carlingford Road, Kemplay Road and Worsley Road (now Pilgrims Lane), lined with three and four storey terraced houses typical of late 19th century developments. Gayton Road and Crescent were developed in the 1870s on land that had been used for 40 allotments. Willow Road and the southern part of Christchurch Hill were developed at the same time in a similar style.
WILMOT PLACE (1846)
The contemporary census shows that the earliest house building began in Wilmot Place in 1846.
Windmill Street was first laid out in the mid 1720s. The street was named after a windmill that once stood at the northern end of Rathbone Place next to a reservoir.
Middlesex Hospital, which had been established in two former houses on Windmill Street in 1745 moved to its site on the west side of Cleveland Street by 1760 and a concert room was built in Tottenham Street (1772). A workhouse was built on Cleveland Street in the late 1770s and is now the Middlesex Hospital Annex.
WINSCOMBE STREET (1860s)
Winscombe Street was built in the 1860s.
WOODSOME ROAD (1870s)
The Vine was established as a coaching inn, first licensed in 1751, and was the first transport terminus to be built in Kentish Town. The Bull and Last is first mentioned in 1759. At that time a footpath ran from the rear of the pub to Highgate: Woodsome Road now covers the first section of the path and was laid out in the 1870s.
WORONZOV ROAD (1840s)
Cross’s Plans of London for 1850 and 1851 show development around Queen’s Grove, Woronzow Road and Norfolk Road, whilst the land to the north was still sparsely developed.
York Rise runs north/south as a central spine from the junction of Croftdown Road, passing through the houses of Dartmouth Park Road and related roads to the smaller houses of Chetwynd Road.
It marks the course of a branch of the Fleet River, and formed a line of division between developments from Dartmouth Park Hill to the east and Highgate Road to the west. Until the late 1870s there was very little building in the street itself, and its building development has been very patchy.
St. Pancras House Improvement Society was founded in 1924 by Father Basil Jellicoe. The Society (now known as the St Pancras and Humanist Housing Association) built a number of garden estates in north London including the blocks known collectively as the York Rise Estate. The estate occupied 2.5 acres of former fields, arranged in five blocks and was completed in 1938, designed by Ian Hamilton the Association’s architect. It was funded by the London Midland & Scottish Railway which was obliged to rehouse a large number of people who lost their homes in the scheme to enlarge Euston Station. The LMSR, which retained ownership of the site until 1985, paid £90,000 for the building construction and the names of the blocks reflect the source of funding for their construction; Brunel, Faraday, Newcomen, Stephenson, and Trevithick Houses. Previously the site was occupied by a large house known as St John’s Farm, associated with College Lane and belonging to the St John’s College, Cambridge. The flats were occupied by the displaced community from Euston.
During the early medieval period this area was a patchwork of country estates. An ancient route ran through the area linking St Pancras to Kentish Town and Highgate roughly following the River Fleet valley. There was a cluster of houses around St Pancras Old Church to the south, but by 1593 the church stood isolated. Flooding of this settlement by the river influenced the establishment of late medieval settlement to the north at Kentish Town making an elongated parish that was around four miles in length.
In the medieval period, St Pancras Manor House, later Mr Agar’s House, occupied the land near the present Agar Grove to the east of what was then King’s Road, now St Pancras Way. Cantelowes Manor stood a little to the north and comprised about 210 acres.
The ancient settlement of Battle Bridge developed, and inherited its name from, the point where Maiden Lane crossed the River Fleet. Until the early 19th Century, the river dominated the locality’s topography and bisected the areaa, flowing along the western side of Pancras Road before turning eastwards towards Gray’s Inn Road.
The ancient Maiden Lane wound its way from Highgate to St Pancras passing to the east of Kentish Town Road; in the nineteenth century it was metalled and known as York Road after the London and York Railway which terminated at the southern end of the road at the old King’s Cross station, north of the canal.
The massive thirty acre Metropolitan Cattle Market was built along the road – a vast area of cattle pens etc, with associated noxious trades including soap making and bone grinding. Cattle were herded along the road from Kentish Town train depot until the 1930s.