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Battersea ·
July
6
2020

The Underground Map is a project which is creating street histories for the areas of London and surrounding counties lying inside the M25.


In a series of maps from the 1750s until the 1950s, you can see how London grew from a city which only reached as far as Park Lane into the post war megapolis we know today. There are now over 85 000 articles on all variety of locations including roads, houses, schools, pubs and palaces.

You can begin exploring by choosing a place from the dropdown list at the top left and then clicking Reset Location.

As maps are displayed, click on the markers to view location articles.

You can also view historical maps of London - click on the "pile of paper" control on the top right of a page's map to change to a particular decade.

Latest on The Underground Map...
Zulu Mews, SW11
Zulu Mews lies within the curve of a Battersea railway. At time of writing it was the last street alphabetically in London. It arrived as the latest street in Battersea in 2010.

It had been an access road to the back gardens of Rowena Crescent but, London housing pressure being what it is, became filled with ten modern dwellings in a gated development.

The curious name comes about because Rowena Crescent was originally called Zulu Crescent when laid out in 1880. The nearby streets had all been named after 1870s British military victories. Rowena Cresent residents of the 1880s did not take to the name for the road.

When the 2010 developet was built, and needed a name, the original Zulu monicker was given to the new street.



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JULY
1
2020

 

Keeley Street, WC2B
Keeley Street has a dual history Little Wild^ Street came into existence around 1690 - there is a deed dated 1 September 1690 which refers to a "toft, peece or parcell of ground, being parcell of the garden late belonging to Weld House in or near Weld Streete … abutting towards the south to a new streete or passage of thirty foote in breadth there made or intended to be made, to lead out of Weld Streete towards Duke Streete and the arch in Great Lincolne’s Inn Fields." (N.b. Duke Street later became Sardinia Street).

There was a matching Great Wild^ Street which it lay off of. Towards the end of its history, the Little Wild Street Baptist Church and a school were notable buildings.

As part of the Aldwych scheme, Keeley Street was built over the top of Little Wild^ Street with its eastern end adjusted to reach Kingsway. All the existing buildings in the original street were demolished, leaving only its route.
»read full article


JUNE
26
2020

 

Lisson Grove, NW1
The southern end of Lisson Grove was the location of a hamlet and open space, both called Lisson Green Lisson Green is described as a hamlet in the Domesday book.

Originally Lisson Grove was part of the medieval manor of Lilestone which stretched north to Hampstead. Lisson Green broke away as a new manor in 1236 and had its own manor house.

’Lissing Green’ becames a recreation area for Londoners. By the 1790s, the Green was a large open space stretching down to Chapel Street and the Old Marylebone Road. Beside it on Lisson Grove, the Lissing Green/Lissom Grove village was part of a network of country lanes, on the east side of Edgware Road. At the southern end of the Green was the Yorkshire Stingo inn from whence stagecoaches set off for all parts.

Earlier, in 1771, Lisson Green was bought by James Stephens and Daniel Bullock, manufacturers of white lead. They set up the White Lead Manufactory next to the Nursery Garden, with unrecorded consequences to health. But until the late 18th century the district remained essentially rural.
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JUNE
24
2020

 

Castelnau, SW13
Castelnau was called Upper Bridge Road until 1889 leading as it did to Hammersmith Bridge Castelnau began in 1843 as 20 pairs of classical villas - Castelnau Villas - which were built along the road by Major Charles Lestock Boileau. In 1691, the 10th Baron of Castelnau and St Croix had fled France for England following persecution of the Huguenots. The family settled in north Barnes. Castelnau means ’new castle’ in the Occitan language given its name to Castelnau House which Charles Lestock Boileau built.

The church of Holy Trinity was consecrated in 1868 serving the now 800 residents of the area.

After the sale of the Boileau estate, other streets were laid out. In 1928 the London County Council created the 640 house Castelnau Estate. Streets were named after deans of St Paul’s as the cathedral was formerly owner of the manor of Barnes. In 1971 these passed to ownership of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

During the 1960s, Castelnau House was demolished being replaced by a library.

»read full article


JUNE
23
2020

 

Langthorne Street, SW6
Langthorne Street is final step in the Alphabet Streets of Fulham The ladder of tree-lined streets known as the ’Alphabet Streets’ are located between the Thames and Fulham Palace Road.

The first of the streets is Bishops Avenue which was there before the others were created. There is this no ’A’ street since Fulham Palace already existed south of Bishops Avenue. Incidentally, there is also no ’J’ street.

The streets largely contain large semi-detached period homes.

Langthorne Street was built over the orchard of Mill Shot Farm in around 1902. In 1903 the London Borough of Fulham approved the Allen and Norris partnership to build houses in some of the streets.
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MAY
31
2016

 

Addison Crescent, W14
Addison Crescent consists of north and south sections. Both parts run from Holland Park to Addison Road, but the south part forms the link in the red route one-way system. This part is an extremely busy traffic route. The road itself is wide and tree-lined.

The street was named after Joseph Addison who lived at Holland House. He was an essayist and poet of the late 17th Century who’s main claim to fame now is as the founder of the Spectator.

The houses are mainly detached and semi-detached villas, 2 or 3 storeys with basements. Most of the house have painted facades at ground floor level and exposed brick at upper floor levels. The houses have attractive front gardens.

Nos. 1-13 Addison Crescent were built by James Hall over a period of several years from 1857. James Hall built about 120 houses in the estate in the 1850s. He also built extensively in the Chepstow Villas and Pembridge Place area.

The plots in Addison Crescent had 60-foot wide frontages and the buildings were la...
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MAY
30
2016

 

Irving Street, WC2H
Irving Street is named after Henry Irving, the popular Victorian actor. The street was originally named Green Street, as it led to a bowling green near Leicester Square.
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MAY
29
2016

 

Westway, W10
Westway is the A40(M) motorway which runs on an elevated section along the W10/W11 border. On 28 July 1970 the Westway, A40 Western Avenue Extension flyover between White City and Paddington, at two and half miles, the longest elevated road in Europe at the time, was opened by Michael Heseltine, the parliamentary secretary to the transport minister. The opening ceremony was famously accompanied by a protest over the re-housing of the last residents alongside the road. As demonstrators disrupted the ribbon cutting, a banner was unfurled on Acklam Road, looking on to the flyover, demanding: ‘Get Us Out of this Hell. Re-house Us Now’.

When the Portobello farmhouse was painted in 1864, shortly before its demise, the only other building on the lane north of the newly opened Hammersmith and City railway line was the Notting Barn Lodge at the future junction of Cambridge Gardens. Florence Gladstone wrote in ‘Notting Hill in Bygone Days’: ‘There seems to be a natural break where the railway embankment crosses Portobello Road. At this point the old lane was ...
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MAY
27
2016

 

Hyett's hand-drawn 1807 map
William Hyett produced an amazingly accurate map of the London countryside in 1807, using just pen and paper. An interior decorator with royal patronage, Frederick Crace amassed some 1200 printed and hand-drawn maps charting the development of the city and its immediate vicinity from around 1570 to 1860.

A couple of these maps date from 1807 as William Hyett put pen and ink to paper and draw a remarkable accurate view of the than countryside around north and west London.

The individual settlements that make up this area of London are shown by red blocks, with boundary lines indicating the fields separating them. Shading and soft interlining indicate relief, neatly illustrated at Primrose Hill, the summit of which is left bare. The barracks at the edge of Hyde Park are illustrated at the very bottom of the map.

Please note that this map is only available at this zoom level - i.e. zooming in or out changes to a different set of mapping - this is in our special mapping section. Just in case you think things are acting a little weirdly.
»read full article


MAY
22
2016

 

St Bartholomew’s Hospital
St Bartholomew’s Hospital, also known simply as Barts and later more formally as The Royal Hospital of St Bartholomew, is a hospital located at Smithfield in the City of London and founded in 1123. Barts was founded in 1123 by Rahere, a favourite courtier of King Henry I. The Dissolution of the Monasteries did not affect the running of Barts as a hospital, but left it in a precarious position by removing its income. It was refounded by King Henry VIII in December 1546, on the signing of an agreement granting the hospital to the Corporation of London, which was reaffirmed by Letters Patent of January 1547 endowing it with properties and income entitlements.

The hospital became legally styled as the "House of the Poore in West Smithfield in the suburbs of the City of London of Henry VIII’s Foundation", although the title was never used by the general public. The first Superintendent of the hospital was Thomas Vicary, sergeant-surgeon to King Henry, and an early writer on anatomy.

It was here that William Harvey conducted his research on the circulatory system in the 17th century, Percivall Pott and John Abernethy developed important principles o...
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MAY
18
2016

 

Orange Hill Road, HA8
Orange Hill Road is named after a house which was built around 1818 and which stood on Abbots Road. Orange Hill House was rebuilt in 1912 and became the home of the famous aviator Claude Grahame-White, before becoming a Roman Catholic School, St. Roses Convent (Orange Hill House), in 1930.

The land directly to the east of Orange Hill Road, including parts of Watling Park, was called Shevesfield, a series of what were called common fields.

Common fields were fields divided into strips and rented out to a number of different tenants. These fields existed from medieval times right into the 1860s, with 33 acres divided between 46 different tenants, a bit like allotments.
»read full article


MAY
14
2016

 

Alton Estate
The Alton Estate is a historically significant municipal estate situated on Roehampton’s border with Richmond Park Much of the land constituted the grounds of Parkstead, a Palladian villa built in the 1760s for Lord Bessborough and later renamed Manresa House. Parts of its grounds were developed from around 1850 as a high-class suburban estate known as Coombe Park or Roehampton Park. Alton Lodge was an early-19th-century villa on the Kingston Road, occupied by Dr Thomas Hake from around 1854 until 1872.

In 1951 the architect’s department at the London County Council selected this area as the site for one of the largest and most radical housing developments ever undertaken in London. The best villas and some of the landscaping were preserved but 130 acres were otherwise totally cleared to make way for the project.

The Scandinavian-inspired Alton East was completed in 1955 and it was followed four years later by the much larger Alton West, which was influenced by the high-rise creations of the French architect Le Corbusier. Both stages include a mix of tower blocks, m...
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MAY
11
2016

 

Allum Hall
Allum Hall was a community centre and lately a venue. Allum Hall was built as Elstree Manor House, probably with 17th century origins.

The Grade 2 listed building has records of residents living here as early as 1827 when Thomas Jemmitt lived here, over the next 100 years the house stayed as private residence where many different families called the manor house home including army captains.

In the 1940s it was decided a community centre was needed in Elstree and Borehamwood and, after many years of discussions, in July 1953 Allum Hall filled this purpose.
»read full article


MAY
9
2016

 

Shenley Road (1930s)
Shenley Road, Borehamwood in the 1930s In this 1930s view, we are looking along the line of Shenley Road when the road featured houses rather than shops.

All Saint’s church (built in 1910) is just out of shot on the right. Central Garage is likewise out of shot but outside of it is roughly where the camera is positioned.

A stench pipe can be seen running along the road.

The near-left hand side on a 2015 view would be dominated by a branch of Nando’s.
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MAY
6
2016

 

ABPC Elstree Studios
British National Pictures Ltd purchased 50 acres of land on the south side of Shenley Road and began construction of two large film stages in 1925. The first film produced there was Madame Pompadour in 1927. British International Pictures Ltd (BIP) took over the studios in 1927 and the second stage was ready for production in 1928. In 1929 Blackmail, the first British talkie to go on release, was produced at the studios. With the death of silent films came the construction of 6 new sound stages on the site and three of these were sold on to the British and Dominions Film Corporation with BIP retaining the remaining stages. BIP were absorbed into the Associated British Picture Corporation (ABPC) in the early 1930s.

In 1946 Warner Brothers acquired a substantial interest in ABPC, appointed a new board and decided to rebuild the stages. The rebuild was completed in 1948 and work began on Man On The Run followed by The Hasty Heart starring Richard Todd and Ronald Reagan. In 1968 Electrical and Musical Industries (EMI) bought control of ABPC and the studios were renamed EMI Studios, later Thorn-EMI Studios. In 1985 they were put up for sale. Under Herron-Cannon Group ownership,...
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MAY
5
2016

 

66 Shenley Road, WD6
66 Shenley Road used to lie on the corner of Furzehill Road.
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MAY
3
2016

 

Royal Artillery Memorial
The Royal Artillery Memorial is a stone memorial at Hyde Park Corner, dedicated to the First World War casualties of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. The memorial was designed by Charles Jagger and Lionel Pearson, and features a giant sculpture of a BL 9.2-inch Mk I howitzer upon a large plinth of Portland stone, with stone reliefs depicting scenes from the conflict. Four bronze figures of artillerymen are positioned around the outside of the memorial.

The memorial is famous for its realist contrast with other First World War memorials, such as the Cenotaph designed by Edwin Lutyens, and attracted much public debate during the 20th century.
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MAY
2
2016

 

St Pancras and Islington Cemetery
St Pancras and Islington Cemetery is actually two cemeteries, owned by two other London Boroughs, Camden (formerly St Pancras) and Islington. Following the Metropolitan Burials Act 1852 and later acts which were designed to alleviate serious health and other problems caused by over-crowded burial grounds and lack of management and accountability, the cemetery was established in 1854 as the first municipally owned cemetery in London when the St Pancras Burial Board bought 88 acres of the former Horseshoe Farm on Finchley Common. A further 94 acres were annexed in 1877 and the total area was divided between Islington and Camden, the former having two areas to the north-west and east, the latter having the remainder. A bank and ditch along the eastern edge marks the parish boundary between Finchley and Hornsey. To the south the cemetery is bordered by the ancient woodland of Coldfall Wood, to the north the North Circular road and to the west by the A1000 Great North Road. The cemetery features several chapels and a large crematorium built by Albert Freeman in 1937.

Although Brookwood Cemetery in Woking, Surrey, ...
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MAY
1
2016

 

Cranbourn Street, WC2H
Cranbourne Street was named after local landowner the Earl of Salisbury, Viscount Cranbourn (Cranbourne) after the town in Dorset. It was built in the 1670s.
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