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Londonist Maps...Ye Olde London

M@
By M@ Last edited 104 months ago
Londonist Maps...Ye Olde London

Fulla, Padda and Waendel were three wealthy Saxons. No one has the slightest clue what they looked like or what they were up to; whether they died young or lived to a grand old age. None can say if they exchanged farming tips, fisticuffs or bodily fluids with other notable Saxons Gisla, Wynman and Putta. They are murky names in crumbling Anglo-Saxon chronicles. Yet we recall them every day, whenever we mention Fulham, Paddington or Wandsworth; Islington, Wimbledon or Putney.

This is why we all love London. We can't escape our 2000 year history of Celts, Romans, Saxons, Angles, Normans, and all who followed. Nor do we want to. Their echoes are coded into the modern gazetteer as surely as Churchill, Nelson, Wellington and Gladstone. In 100 years, might our descendants be hovering down Livingstone Corridor or skating along Boris Glissade?

In this post, we attempt to map the names of London that have fallen out of service. Areas and districts are marked with purple pointers, whereas street names are indicated in blue.

It's only a starting point. London shifts and changes like the hallways of Hogwarts and their are no doubt many other forgotten names missed off. Please give generously in the comments, and we'll add them to the map.

Two books were key to starting off this map. Cyril M. Harris' excellent, if predictably titled, book 'What's in a Name?' gives much more detail about the origins of places linked to Tube stations. The Times History of London fills in the gaps with street names and areas not served by the Tube. Both books are highly recommended.

Last Updated 29 July 2008

paulcox

Fan-tastic. I don't know if this has a place on the map, but for the record I'd like to mention Ossulston Street in Somers Town, a utilitarian backstreet which preserves the name of Ossulstone, the Saxon Hundred corresponding to London north of the river plus parts of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Haringey and Hounslow. The Hundred was named in turn after Oswald's Stone, a pre-Roman monolith that was the first thing (of which we know) to stand at Tyburn.

Dave

Excellent stuff!

How about 'The Clerk's Well' a.k.a. Clerkenwell? See here.

There's also the mystery of the Isle of Dogs. Was it so-named due to various kings keeping their hunting dogs there? Or it the name a corruption of the 'Isle of Dykes', referring to the Dutch engineers (or engineering works) that spent some time there trying to sort out the various marshy waterways?

And while we're looking at that part of London, how about Mudchute? It was named after the chute that was constructed to relocate mud from the excavation of Millwall Outer Dock in the 1860s.

M@

Excellent knowledge, guys.
The map's really about old place names as opposed to name derivations. 'Mudchute' and 'The Clerk's Well' aren't disused place name, so I'm hesitant to include them. But thanks anyhow.

Paul - I didn't know any of that. I'm not sure how to put it on the map, though, unless the Tyburn area was ever known as Oswald's Stone.

eas_e

Love this!

eatyourgreens

Here's the Tyburn Tree, from a map of London in 1746.

It's kind of interesting to look at the same area in 1792 and see just how the number of buildings around Hyde Park had changed.

showmethesquaremile

you can add the Ossulston Hundred using a shady area. if you want to.

Meanwhile, there was the Bordhawe (just north of Cheapside and roughly translating as the place where the whores lived) in which was the infamous Gropecuntlane (just about Fredericks Place, hard to pin down).

You can also rename the top end of Wood Street "Via Decumana" as it was 1900 years ago when Wood Street was the north-south axis of the Roman fort.

New Broad Street was called Petty France because of Huguenots, Newgate Street was called The Shambles, and King Edward Street was once (take your pick from) Chick Lane, Blowbladder Street and the very marvellous Stinking Lane.

That's some for now.

showmethesquaremile

you can add the Ossulston Hundred using a shady area. if you want to.

Meanwhile, there was the Bordhawe (just north of Cheapside and roughly translating as the place where the whores lived) in which was the infamous Gropecuntlane (just about Fredericks Place, hard to pin down).

You can also rename the top end of Wood Street "Via Decumana" as it was 1900 years ago when Wood Street was the north-south axis of the Roman fort.

New Broad Street was called Petty France because of Huguenots, Newgate Street was called The Shambles, and King Edward Street was once (take your pick from) Chick Lane, Blowbladder Street and the very marvellous Stinking Lane.

That's some for now.

showmethesquaremile

you can add the Ossulston Hundred using a shady area. if you want to.

Meanwhile, there was the Bordhawe (just north of Cheapside and roughly translating as the place where the whores lived) in which was the infamous Gropecuntlane (just about Fredericks Place, hard to pin down).

You can also rename the top end of Wood Street "Via Decumana" as it was 1900 years ago when Wood Street was the north-south axis of the Roman fort.

New Broad Street was called Petty France because of Huguenots, Newgate Street was called The Shambles, and King Edward Street was once (take your pick from) Chick Lane, Blowbladder Street and the very marvellous Stinking Lane.

That's some for now.

showmethesquaremile

i'm sorry i posted that three times. in my defense the button was jammed because a piece of bread had got stuck underneath it.

paulcox

Wikipedia identifies Gropecunt Lane with the present Milton Street by the Barbican, called Grub Street in between.

M@

Cheers all. I've updated the map. Keep the additions coming.

showmethesquaremile

re: gropecuntlane - wikipedia is mistaken.

Gropecuntlane was in the area known as the Bordhawe (pronounced "bored whore") in the parishes of St Mary Colechurch and St Pancras, in the ward of Cheap. See Harben's Dictionary of London (1918) on British History Online.

That means it was somwhere about two-thirds down Cheapside, in the vicinity of Old Jewry and what is now No1 Poultry.

http://www.british-history.ac....

Lazy lazy wikipedia not checking its facts again.

Any evidence to the contrary is welcome - if I'm wrong I'd rather know about it.

showmethesquaremile

Alternatively, there might have been more than one Gropecuntlane, the first from the 14th century as mentioned, and a later one in the Barbican area. Or there might have been two. There was certainly more than one Love Lane (same profession, better class of service) and Maiden Lane (ditto) at various times.

showmethesquaremile

i was wrong. Gropecuntlane wasn't where I said it was. But it was close. Instead of the north side of Poultry, it was off the south side, between what is now Queen Street and Bucklersbury Passage.