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Battersea ·
July
9
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.
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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
25
2020

 

Ashcombe Street, SW6
Ashcombe Street was part of the Morrison’s Farm Estate By 1895, Fulham was undergoing a property boom - large areas that were farms and market gardens were having housing built on them. One of these was Morrison’s Farm, situated to the west of Wandsworth Bridge Road and which stopped being a farm in 1894.

The Premier Land Company Limited had bought the farm’s freehold and drawn up a street plan to replace the fields. The streets were called Ashcombe Street, Beltran Road, Clancarty Road, Friston Street, Narborough Street, Settrington Road and Woolneigh Street.

William Gilbert Allen won the contract to build the estate.
»read full article


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.

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DECEMBER
31
2019

 

London Road, Isleworth 1907.
London Road, Isleworth (1907). A photo taken when Isleworth was still otherwise rural.
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DECEMBER
30
2019

 

Old Welsh Harp
The Old Welsh Harp was a famous inn beside the Edgware Road. As a result of an Act of Parliament, the company running the Brent Reservoir acquired more land. An increase in traffic on the Regent’s Canal had meant that more water was required to replace the loss from its locks.

The land was used to increase the height of the dam and the reservoir’s area expanded to 400 acres by 1854. The reservoir works included raising a new embankment to protect from flooding a tavern called the Old Welsh Harp which was situated just north of the Brent Bridge.

The pub may have been already existed as the ’Harp and Horn’ by 1751 but had become the Welsh Harp by 1803. It was also known as the Lower Welsh Harp.

In 1858 the lease of the Old Welsh Harp was taken over by William Warner of Blackbird Farm in Kingsbury. He created a large pleasure gardens behind the pub and obtained the rights to use the reservoir for recreational purposes. For the following 30 years the ’Welsh Harp’ became a very popular leisure...
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DECEMBER
28
2019

 

The Ridgeway, NW7
The Ridgeway is a very ancient, perhaps prehistoric, route. Parson Street was the northward continuation of Brent Street in Hendon. This road led via Holders Hill to Bittacy Hill, at the top of which it wase the Ridgeway - already called this by 1471. The Ridgeway followed high ground towards Highwood Hill, where it met a road which ran north-eastward across the parish from a point south of Edgware bridge to Totteridge, passing through the Hale and known in its western portion as Deans Lane, in the centre as Selvage Lane, and in the east as Marsh Lane. Another route established by 1594 left Parson Street and followed Ashley Lane, Dole Street and Milespit Hill, to join the Ridgeway at Mill Hill. A third route ran from the parish church along the present Hall Lane, Page Street, Featherstone Hill and Wise Lane, to join the Ridgeway beside the Three Hammers pub.
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DECEMBER
27
2019

 

Colindeep Lane, NW9
Colindeep Lane is a particularly old route. An important route from London via Hampstead, entered the parish of Hendon at Golders Hill and joined the Edgware Road north of the Hyde. Here it was called Colindeep Lane. The route was said in 1593 to be an ’ancient highway now unaccustomed’. Part of Colindeep Lane was known as late as 1863 as Ancient Street. At Colin Deep there was a ford across Silk stream and in 1826, a footbridge. A permanent bridge for vehicles was built later.
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DECEMBER
26
2019

 

Avenue Road, NW8
Avenue Road was an important road on the Eyre estate. In 1794, the Eyre family drew up a development plan based on the model of Bath. The Napoleonic wars intervened and the plan was never executed. From 1802, a new development plan for the Eyre estate was directed by John Shaw, a young architect who had been inspired by the town planning ideals of the late 18th century.

In 1819 Colonel Eyre began the first attempt to promote the construction of a public road through the estate. This was finally successful in the 1826 ’Finchley Road Act’. Avenue Road’s southern part existed by 1824 and the Hampstead portion also on the Eyre estate was built by 1829.

Building spread northward in the salient formed by the Finchley Road and Avenue Road. A building agreement was made in 1838 and several houses - called Regent’s Villas - stood in the Hampstead section of Avenue Road by 1842. Most later houses were detached and built by a number of builders: W. Wartnaby, C. C. Cook, E. Thomas & Son and Thomas Clark.
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DECEMBER
25
2019

 

All Souls Church
All Souls Church is an evangelical Anglican church situated at the north end of Regent Street. It was designed in regency style by John Nash and consecrated in 1824. It was designed to provide a vista up Regent Street where the road needed to curve to the left to line up with Portland Place.

By 1820, the construction of both Regent Street and Langham Place were well advanced. Nash already had a clear sense of how the new church should stand: "facing the entrance to Langham Place and central to Chandos Street the Portico advancing westward from the East side of the New Street so that it be a central Object from Oxford Street along the New Street". The name All Souls is said to have been chosen in part because it offered a measure of ‘gratuitous accommodation’ for the whole parish, the poor included. "From the nature of the bend of the Street", Nash further wrote, "the portico and Spire will together form an object terminating the vista from the Circus in Oxford Street – the Spire (I submit) as the most beautiful of forms is most peculiarly appropriate to a ...
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DECEMBER
24
2019

 

St John's Wood
St John’s Wood is an affluent district, north west of Regent’s Park. St John’s Wood was once part of the Great Forest of Middlesex with the name deriving from its mediaeval owners, the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem (Knights Hospitallers), an Augustinian order. The order took over the land from the Knights Templar in 1323.

After the Reformation and the Dissolution of monastic orders, St John’s Wood became Crown land, and Henry VIII established Royal Hunting Grounds in what became known as Marylebone Park.

Until the end of the eighteenth century, the area was agricultural.

St John’s Wood was developed from the early 19th century onwards. It was one of the first London suburbs to be developed with a large amount of low density ’villa’ housing, as opposed to the terraced housing which was the norm in London up to the 19th century. Parts of St John’s Wood have been rebuilt at a higher density but it remains one of the most expensive areas of London.

St Jo...
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DECEMBER
23
2019

 

Northways Parade, NW3
Northways Parade replaced New College which was mainly located in College Crescent New College and much of College Crescent were pulled down in 1934 and replaced by Northways. This was two concrete blocks of flats and shops built by London and City Real Estate.

The period was notable for rebuilding - the whole of the Swiss Cottage site between Finchley Road and Avenue Road was redeveloped with the building in 1937 of the Odeon cinema and, after 1938, of Regency Lodge flats by R. Atkinson.
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DECEMBER
22
2019

 

Regent’s Park Estate
The Regent’s Park Estate is a large housing estate in the London Borough of Camden. The estate consists of some 2000 homes and lies on either side of Robert Street, between Albany Street and Hampstead Road. The estate incorporates the sites of Cumberland Market, Munster Square and Clarence Gardens.

The estate is mainly council housing built in the 1950s on land sold in 1951 by the Crown Estate to the Borough of St Pancras, following the destruction of most of the buildings in the area.

HS2 threatens the demolition of most of the estate.

Most of the Estate is named after places in the Lake District such as Windermere, Cartmel and Rydal Water.
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DECEMBER
21
2019

 

All Souls Place, W1B
All Souls Place is a short cul-de-sac in the shadow of All Souls Church, originating in the eighteenth century as a mews off Edward Street. Early in its history it was called Edward Yard or Court and later, until 1879, Edward or Edward’s Place.

The south side of All Souls Place, largely taken up by the backs of buildings in Riding House Street, was mostly redeveloped in the early twentieth century for the Radium Institute.

Riding House Street had run east from a street called Edward Street which disappeared for the creation of Langham Place in the early nineteenth century. All Souls Church took the site of the original junction.
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DECEMBER
20
2019

 

Wildwood Grove, NW3
Wildwood Grove was a terraced row begun in the 1860s. A local builder, T. Clowser, was permitted to build four houses there in 1871 and another six stood there and in Wildwood (probably Wildwood Terrace) by 1882.

Then name ’Wildwood Grove’ was later used for part of the ’Dollywood’ theme park in the United States.
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DECEMBER
19
2019

 

Parson Street, NW4
Parson Street was already in existence by 1321. Parson Street was the northward continuation of Brent Street - part of the medieval main route to the north of the parish of Hendon. It road led via Holders Hill to Bittacy Hill, at the top of which it became the Ridgeway, already called that by 1471.

It became the name of a distinct hamlet, still considered part of Hendon.

The oldest remaining building in this part of Hendon is now Hendon Hall, built in 1756 - later a hotel. It is believed that the famous actor David Garrick lived here. A small obelisk in the hotel garden dedicated to William Shakespeare and David Garrick originally stood in Manor Hall Road until 1957. In 1966 the England football team stayed at the hotel during the World Cup.

In the late 19th century nearby Tenterden Grove and Waverley Grove were laid out and several large houses built.
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DECEMBER
18
2019

 

Twyford Abbey Road, NW10
The name of Twyford Abbey Road was adopted from the nearby Twyford Abbey. Twyford was listed as ’Tveverde’ in the Domesday book of 1086 and means ’(place beside a) double ford’. In 1474, Sir John Elrington was "lord of the place of Twyford" and his manor house was then probably Lower Place Farm beside Barrett’s Green on Acton Lane.

In 1806 the Twyford manor house was sold to Thomas Willan. Willan engaged the architect William Atkinson to design an extensive ‘Gothick’ mansion around the original house. It was built between 1807-9. Willan gave his house a romantic pseudo-monastic association, calling it ’Twyford Abbey’.

In 1902 the Alexian Brothers bought Twyford Abbey and turned it into a Roman Catholic nursing home. West Twyford Farm remained as part of the grounds.

The road formerly called Twyford Lane was renamed Twyford Abbey Road to avoid confusion with the Acton lane of the same name.

Nearby was the site of the Royal Agricultural Society showgrounds at Park Royal. The Socie...
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DECEMBER
17
2019

 

Walnut Tree Walk, SE11
At the beginning of the 18th century Walnut Tree Walk was a lane leading out into the fields from Lambeth. Simon Harding - a gardener - had a cottage there with a small-holding of just over three acres at the beginning of the 1700s. There was no other development until 1755, when Robert Hardcastle, who held land elsewhere in the parish, was granted a 61 years’ building lease of ground on both sides of the road by the St. Olave trustees of the Walcot Estate. Walnut Tree Walk then extended on either side of Kennington Road.


»read full article


DECEMBER
16
2019

 

Milton Road, E17
Milton Road runs east off of Hoe Street. Land societies worked very like building societies. Members paid in a minimum every week until a minimum and became shareholders who could choose a plot of freehold land from the society. The society inturn acquired land from various landowners and divided it into the plots which could be purchased. Land society members were encouraged to buy books such as ’The Builder’s Practical Director’ or ’The Freeholder’s Circular’. These publications offered advice on such subjects as different types of bricks, digging trenches and mixing concrete. By the 1850s, there were sixty active socities in London.

The largest society was the National Freehold Land Society, founded in 1849. The society acquired freehold land and its first local estate was eight acres just off Hoe Street, purchased from Joseph Truman in 1851.

In 1854, the Tower Hamlets Freehold Land Society bought a large estate at Parsonage Hill, off Green Leaf Lane. It defined 425 parcels of lan...
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DECEMBER
15
2019

 

Walnut Tree Place, SE11
Walnut Tree Place was a minor street replaced by the China Walk Estate. In the 17th century, this area was open fields and a favourite recreation spot for Londoners who would cross the Thames by boat to escape the city. By the late 17th century a place of entertainment called Lambeth Wells had been established in the vicinity of Lambeth Walk at its junction with Lollard Street. Lambeth Walk was then a lane known as Three Coney Walk. John Rocque’s map of 1746 shows Three Coney Walk in an area of market gardens and sparse development.

The opening of Westminster Bridge in 1750 caused an increase in traffic which began to change the area. New turnpike roads were laid including Kennington Road. Although smart houses were built along Kennington Road, within a few decades the area behind it began to fill up with poor quality housing.

By the mid 19th century, the area was completely built over. It was by then notorious for its poverty and crime.

The poor housing conditions became a pressing concern after the First W...
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DECEMBER
14
2019

 

Plaistow Road (1901)
Looking south towards Plaistow station, railway works on the right. The road on the left is Grafton Road North which has now disappeared.

Tram tracks were laid down in 1903.
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DECEMBER
13
2019

 

The Angel Inn
The Angel Inn was a favourite watering hole of Graham Chapman and the Monty Python team - some sketches were written here. A brewery is known to have stood on the site of The Angel Inn before the end of the 15th century.
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DECEMBER
12
2019

 

Kennington Road, SE11
Kennington Road was a turnpike road created in 1751. The building of Westminster Bridge caused a large increase of traffic on the Surrey bank. Once outside the immediate vicinity of the bridge, the roads became poor. The ’Turnpike Trustees of Surrey, Sussex and Kent’ were supported by a parliamentary act passed in 1750–1. The Act allowed the Trustees to repair or widen some existing roads and to lay out new ones.

One of the new roads was Kennington Road - at first known as New Road or Walcot Place. It linked Westminster Bridge Road with Kennington Common and was laid out as a straight road across open fields and gardens. It crossed the estates belonging to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Walcot Charity and the Duchy of Cornwall. Most of the road frontage was built up in the early years of the 19th century.

The artist Vincent van Gogh lived at Ivy Cottage, 395 Kennington Road in 1874-5.

As a child, Charlie Chaplin lived at 287 Kennington Road and at various other locations on the road ...
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DECEMBER
11
2019

 

Kennington Tollgate
The Kennington toll gate stood at the intersection of Kennington Park and Camberwell New Road/Brixton Road. The Kennington Turnpike was one of a number of ’turnpike’ roads that sprang up. Roads were improved and then charges levied, following the General Turnpike Act of 1773. Turnpike trusts were created as a result. However, the act that created this turnpike was passed in 1751.

The Kennington Turnpike lay on the main route for coaches and omnibuses to and from the south. The toll gate stood on the junction where the two old Roman roads out of London diverged.

The toll was abolished on 18 November 1865.
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DECEMBER
10
2019

 

North End Avenue, NW3
North End Avenue runs south from North End. On the east side, a second North End House was built by 1913. In 1923 Brandon House and Wyldeways were built north of it.

Myrtle Lodge, still further north was renamed Byron Cottage after Fanny Lucy, Lady Byron and later Lady Houston (1857-1936), who went to live there in 1908.

Pitt House was enlarged by the addition of a billiard room. in 1899 Sir Harold Harmsworth, later Viscount Rothermere, bought it and added a storey. He sold it in 1908 and it was occupied during the First World War by Valentine Fleming MP, and his sons the writers Ian and Peter.
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DECEMBER
9
2019

 

Abbey College London
Abbey College is part of a group of independent sixth form colleges which are based in London, Manchester and Cambridge. The oldest of the colleges - DLD - was established in 1931. After ten years located in Marylebone, the College merged with its younger sister Abbey College. It moved in 2015 to brand new, purpose-built facilities in the centre of London, overlooking the River Thames, opposite the Houses of Parliament.
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DECEMBER
8
2019

 

Plevna Street, E14
Plevna Street forms part of the St John’s Estate. Building lots on the new streets of Atworth Street, Galbraith Street, Launch Street, Castalia Street and Plevna Street were auctioned in 1881–2 by the British Land Company.

The brochure for the estate claimed that the estate was "within a few minutes ride of the city" - quite an exaggeration!

After Second World War bombing, the St John’s Estate - including a rebuilt Plevna Street - was built by Poplar Borough Council in the the triangle formed by Manchester Road, East Ferry Road and Glengall Grove.
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DECEMBER
7
2019

 

Britannia Street, WC1X
Britannia Street, King’s Cross, dates from the 1770s. The patriotic fervour which led builders to name their streets ’Albion’ and ’Britannia’ seems to have been a phenomenon of the Georgian era; since the Hanoverian kings were personally unpopular, loyalty to the motherland was expressed by these vague but loaded names (except when victories occurred, to engender a profusion of Nelsons, Trafalgars Waterloos).

After Victoria’s accession in 1837 the incidence of Albions and Britannias in London shows a marked decrease accompanied by an outburst of Victoria Terraces, followed within the decade by dozens of Alberts.
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DECEMBER
6
2019

 

Woburn Mews, WC1H
Woburn Mews ran parallel between Woburn Place and Upper Bedford Place to the west of Woburn Place. Horwood’s 1807 map shows ’Wobourn Place’ but no Mews, instead having a sketched continuation of Great Coram Street. It is shown but not named on the 1819 edition.

It was developed as a mews for Woburn Place.

There is now no trace of its location beneath the vast Royal National Hotel, built in 1974.
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DECEMBER
5
2019

 

Manilla Street, E14
Manilla Street was originally Alfred Street, renamed in 1875. Alfred Street was named after Alfred Batson. Its name was changed in 1875, matching the change to international names of other streets in the area.

A Limehouse shipbuilder, Robert Batson, had purchased land in 1793 and rented parcels of it out.

Robert Batson senior died in 1806. His son, also called Robert Batson, set about laying out the first formal streets. One street ran along the southern boundary of the rope walk, and he named this Robert Street. A little further south, he created Alfred Street, named after his younger brother. They were connected by a short street, named Cross Street.

By 1818, a map was showing piecemeal development along Alfred Street. It would be the 1860s before the street was fully developed when newer streets were built in the area.

By 1862, the east end of Alfred Street shared a corner with the fledgling Alpha Road.

The houses were plain: two-up, two-down, terraced cottages with ...
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DECEMBER
4
2019

 

Platt’s Lane, NW3
A farmhouse on the edge of the heath was enlarged by Thomas Platt before 1811 and who gave his name to the lane. By the mid 18th century, Platt’s Lane was running from West End and Fortune Green to Hampstead and Hendon.

In the 1830s, farm buildings were erected on Thomas Platt’s estate fronting Platt’s Lane.

On a field of Platt’s estate, four houses fronting Finchley Road were built in the 1840s in the district which was briefly called New West End.

In 1843, T. Howard built Kidderpore Hall, a stuccoed Greek revival house for John Teil, an East India merchant with tanneries in the district of Calcutta from which the house took its name. Its grounds became a private park and two lodges were added, one on Platt’s Lane in the late 1860s. The 1860 Stanford’s map labels it as Pratt’s Lane.

By 1870 the farm buildings at Platt’s Lane had been replaced by a house. Two cottages were built in Platt’s Lane in 1875 and 13 more houses between 1884 and 1886.

In 1890 Kidderpore Hall was acquired by Westfield Col...
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DECEMBER
3
2019

 

Golders Green Road, NW11
Golders Green Road - known by many other names too during its history - lies along an ancient road from London to Hendon. In 1751 there were two inns at Golders Green: the Hoop (whose name was preserved in Hoop Lane) and the White Swan. In 1754, it was reported that there were about 16 houses with small gardens at Golders Green.

Half a century later, Golders Green contained ’many ornamental villas and cottages, surrounded with plantations’.

By 1828 detached houses had spread on both sides of the road as far as Brent Bridge. The green of Golders Green - a manorial waste both sides of Golders Green Road finally disappeared in 1874.

The villas in their wooded grounds - Alba Lodge, Golders Lodge, Gloucester Lodge, the Oaks, Grove House and Woodstock House - gave Golders Green its special character. They disappeared rapidly with the growth of suburban housing after the extension of the Underground.
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DECEMBER
2
2019

 

South Lambeth Place, SW8
South Lambeth Place links South Lambeth Road to Bondway. The road is older than the railway, following an above ground route at first. It was then simply the northern extension of South Lambeth Road which lead to Vauxhall Cross.

For most of its length, it runs through the viaduct bridge below Vauxhall Station. This alignment through the viaduct is due to the presence of the River Effra flowing beneath.

At the Bondway end stands the former Elephant and Castle pub (later a coffee shop). Dating from the mid-late 19th century, its upper floors are in stock brick. The decorative stucco work include elephant emblems and large elephant and castle statues decorate each of the parapets.

In the 2010s, the Vauxhall Street Food market was created underneath the arches.
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DECEMBER
1
2019

 

Woburn Place, WC1H
Woburn Place is situated on the Bedford estate, running north from the east of Russell Square to the east of Tavistock Square. It was laid out on the route of a track along the eastern boundary of the Bedford ducal estate. This was upgraded during the eighteenth century into a private road to improve the Duke’s access to the New Road (Euston Road).

It first appears as Wobourn Place, half-developed on Horwood’s map of 1819 and was named after Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire, the principal seat of the Dukes of Bedford,

Its houses were intended for the wealthy and middle classes.
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