Wednesday, 19 March 2014

North London Railway - Kentish Town West


North London Railway
The line from Kentish Town Junction to Willesden goes north eastwards
Post to the north Gospel OakGospel Oak and Kentish Town


Post to the south, north east corner of its square, Camden Town

Post to the east 
South West Quarter square Camden Road
South East quarter Square Camden Town

This posting covers only the north east corner of this square
Post to the south east corner Camden Market
Post to the south west Camden Railway Goods Yard




Fleet River
The Fleet flows southwards through this area deep underground in pipes

Alma Street
The street was laid out in 1855-56, commemorating the Battle of The River Alma, the first indecisive victory for the Allies in the Crimean War
8 owners who dug out their cellar are said to have discovered the River Fleet beneath their house

Anglers Lane,
Supposed to have been very beautiful where the Fleet River crossed and with the Jolly Anglers pub.
5-6a Mineral Teeth Manufacturers, Claudius Ash & Sons Ltd. former false-teeth factory. This is a brick three storey factory built in 1864s with some later additions. It has fifteen bays and a decorative gable.Ash had begun work as a goldsmith in 1820, in 1834 at Broad Street, Soho. He was making "mineral" teeth by 1840. Broad Street remained as offices and showroom and by 1914 the firm had branches in Moscow, Cairo, Toronto, New York and elsewhere. It later became The Dental Manufacturing Co Ltd. The factory had a chimney and a kiln which were since demolished. The building is now used for offices and light industry, having been for a while an electrical works.
24 Plaque on the wall about Boris, a local tom cat.
26 - the shop is ex-public toilets.
Bollard marked for St.Giles Board of Works

Athlone Street
Flats. Slums were demolished by St.Pancras Housing Society in 1937 and they built flats. They were opened by Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone and blocks were named after Lady Portland Mrs.J.B.Priestly and Leonard Day, and some society members.  They are now managed by Origin Housing – this is St.Pancras Housing Society plus some other similar organisations with which it has merged.
Athlone Hall. Tenants meeting rooms.

Azania Mews
The site is in an area which would have been on the east bank of the Fleet and kown as Tan Pill Field. This could have been the site of Richard Holmes 1805 tannery.
Housing managed by Arhag Housing Association set up to house African refugees.
Housing on the site of Royal Mail Yard which was a bus depot. 

Castle Mews
Trading units

Castle Place
Once a footpath going round the Castle pub, it is now a gated pathway into the Council estate. It was built on the site of a cow lair and then gardens for the house which had once belonged to Nelson's uncle. It was developed with housing, now gone, in the mid 19th

Castle Road,
Part of grounds of the Castle Pub the road is now mainly post war council housing. Some built in 1970, and some in 1958 by Max Lock and Partners. This was originally New Hampstead Road.
2 this has a strange little Gothic door and was the earliest house in the road built for the landlord of The Castle. Now part of the funeral business in Kentish Town Road.
77 Tapping the Admiral. This was previously the Trafalgar, and also Tavern Inn the Town.  The new name refers to the unsavoury habit of drinking brandy from Nelson’s coffin. In the 1980 it was the Fussock and Firkin.

Castlehaven Road,
Part of grounds of Castle Pub. Post war council housing some on a ‘forbidding’ scale 1958
83 Nelson Pub. Demolished and under housing block.

Cathcart Street
River Fleet runs down the road and the course can be traced in metal gratings.
20 This was a bus depot originally owned by Birch Bros. John Manley Birch was involved in the Camden Town Omnibus Association and opened premises in Cathcart Street. In 1887, he started a Royal Mail service between London and Brighton on contract to the Post Office. This resulted in the premises being called Royal Mail Yard. The Birch service was between Kings Cross and Rushden. They ran a regular service to the Wellingborough-Rushden boot and shoe area from here, using double-deckers in cream and green livery and there was also a taxi fleet.  Birch later built bus and coach bodies here.  The site was  built up in 1924 as a modern bus depot and took over the LGOC depot to the south. The business continued eventually as a coach hire firm. The coaching side of the business was retained, operating from the Kentish Town garage until 1971 when it was sold to the George Ewer Group.
33 huge entrance of a size to take a large bus.  There is a London and General Omnibus Co. depot marked on some maps here. It is assumed they were linked with the Birch operation next door.

Church Avenue
Gated passageway running to the Congregational Church at the rear. This was the approach to the church in 1848 and an original gate post and gates remain.

Crown Place
This once went through to Raglan Road. Until the 1930s the British Piano Manufacturing Co. was there. Also a 'carton pierre' works - French papiere mache stone.
Carr Bros Blacking Factory was here and the site later used as Maple's Furniture Store depository. In 1927 the building was taken over by St.Dunstan's, the charity for the blind. Here materials to be used in various of their works were purchased and distributed and then received back for sale. This closed in 1961.
Four hidden mews houses, each arranged around a small courtyard by the Crawford Partnership. This was originally called Crockers Place after a previous owner, and later called Strawberry Place.

Dalby Street
Talacre Sports Centre. The adjacent land was a cleared bomb site which was designated as pleasure grouds in 1962. In 1971 it was used by Inter Action and was later declared as open space. It was cleared of houses in 1974 and an adventure playground was opened there. Later the InterChange Studios was built and used for sport, arts and a club why a park was laid out round it. Camden Gymnastics Club began in the late 1980s and became successful in competitions and increasingly well known. The park meanwhile was improved with compensation money for power cable tunnel and renamed Talacre Gardens.  The Sports Council then part paid for a new Sports centre with modern facilities. It is now run by Greenwich Leisure Ltd.

Grafton Crescent
Laid out in the 1850s on a boundary of Bassett's brickfield
3 block of 1960s offices used by the Water Board until the 1990s.

Grafton Road
55 East Fleet House. Building in office use said to be a chapel built 1867 by Primitive Methodists and used by them until 1923. It then appears to have been used as an electrical substation, but by whom isn’t clear - said to be St.Pancras Borough. It has also been used as an engineering works and a warehouse for Abbey National.
61 print works which was once the Stanhope Press and at one time used by Scottish Fisheries.
73 The Carlton Pub. This is now flats
104-108 Star House. Industrial units and offices
110-114 Ann Roy. Art gallery
Brinsmead Piano Factory. Ryland House is now on part of the Factory site. John Brinsmead had begun piano manufacture in 1836 and became a leading maker. At its height the firm claimed to make one piano every hou and had a royal warrant.. The firm closed in 1919 following a strike. They were taken over by Cramers and the works became Dell's Confectionary factory. It was later bombed.

Grafton Yard
This was once called Grafton Mew until 1937. In the 1880s there was a wheelwright here, plus Sargeant and Petts bicycle works, Charles McVay Piano works. Later there was Charles Atto Dettmer and Sons, Piano string makers, John Smith Tozer who made covers for piano hammers, and Bi-Gum adhesives.

Hadley Street
Laid out on Bassetts brickyard in 1859.

Harmood Street
Called after family which owned the field it was built in. Some simple terraces remain.  Early development around Chalk Farm Road.
Forge Place
Mutton Place. Low, brick clusters of separate three- and four-storey houses and flats; 1980-1, with landscaping by Michael Brown Partnership.

Inkerman Road
The Crimea Pub. Built between 1855-1868. Closed, and it is now flats

Kelly Street
Part of grounds of Castle Pub in Kentish Town Road.  The junction with Kentish Town Road was the site of Gambee's Cottage
Congregational church. The original church dared from 1807 and was in Kentish Town Road but by the 1840s this was too small. The foundation stone of a new building on our present site. In 1927, the first chapel was sold and new halls were built at the rear of the new chapel but the church declined and by the 1950s the attendance was just twenty one people. The old chapel had been bombed and was demolished, and services were held in the church hall. In 1960 a prefabricated building was erected and services were held in this until 1990. In 1990 the site was redeveloped in co-operation with a local housing association and new premises were opened in June 1991


Kentish Town Road
The road was once known as Great Green Street.
Chestnut Row - at the Rochester Road junction. Two chestnut trees here were said to have been planted by Emma Hamilton. They were growing through the pavement and pulled up in 1964.
Rochester Hall School. here in  19th.
119-131 Providence Place – in the early 19th this was the name of the houses  between what was then Clarence Road (now Clarence Way) to Castle Road. 119-128 are early 19th or earlier. 129-133 are probably 18th and 133 has a bricked up window.
St.Andrew's Greek Orthodox Church. Previously St.Barnabas Church of England church built 1884-5 by Ewan Christian in brick. It was made redundant in 1956 and has since become Greek Orthodox, so the building has been refurbished to reflect the Greek Orthodox Church. All internal walls and ceilings have been decorated by a master iconographer from Athens, with biblical scenes and representations of prophets, saints and martyrs in the traditional Byzantine style. These works began under the supervision of Archimandrite Chrysostomos Mavroyannopoulos
124 Abbey Tavern. The Abbey Tavern with a beer garden which was once a yard for horses. It has striped brickwork and has been open in its current manifestation since 2004. It was built in 1861 and was called The Albany.
126- 150. This row of shops includes the site of Bartholomew Place and Belle Vue House.  The land was owned by St.Bartholomew’s Priory.  18th Antiquarian William Stukeley's house was here and he had piped water and a Druid Walk.  He had bought a 'hermitage' in Kentish Town.  It is also where Mary Shelley lives after Percy Shelley’s death.
(remaining part of the west side of the road is in an adjacent square)
133 Site of an old house. Shops and a café have been built in what was the garden.
141-145 South Kentish Town Station now in use as a shop. Opened in 1907 on Yerkes’ Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway. Yerkes. It was originally going to be called Castle Road Station. It is in the Leslie Green house style with ox-blood glazed tiles and bold arches incorporating a mezzanine office floor.  The ground floor originally housed the booking office and upper lift landing whilst a mezzanine floor contained the lift winding gear. The façade is still intact but in bad condition.  The station was closed during a labour strike at the Underground Group's Lots Road power station in 1924 and was never reopened. The platforms were used during World War II as air-raid shelters and are now removed.
147 The Castle – Called the Castle until 2002 and since then called the Flowerpot, the Bullet Bar, and the Verge and more recently Heroes.  It was built in 1849 as replacement for the original Castle dating at least to the 17th - it is recorded in 1651, and possibly the 16th as a hunting lodge. It is said to have has a tiled mural in one an entrance showing jousting knights. This was captioned 'Beneath the castle walls the lists/names are set where Knighthood Chivalry and Beauty met’.  The gardens of the old Castle Inn stretched around the area as far as the River Fleet to the south and there were games and teas in the gardens.   There is a story that after the death of Admiral Nelson, Emma Hamilton lived locally and came here Nelson’s uncle had lived near here and he is said to visited to ‘keep an eye on the Fleet’.
157 part of this site was a house which may have been where Emma lived after Nelson's death.
163-177 Hawley Place built on the site of Clarke's Farm in 1848
177 Telephone Exchange.  This is for what was the Gulliver Exchange and  also the site of the Post Office and sorting office. The building currently used as a coffee shown was built by Archibald Scott in 1929 and closed as a post office in 1959.  It was once the site of the village pound.
187 Pizza Express. This was one of the buildings of the educational institution, latterly the North London Polytechnic, the main part of which is in Prince of Wales Road.  It is said to have housed the library and the student union bar and/or the assembly hall/gym. The polytechnic specialised in library studies and this library was said to be ‘magnificent’.  It was designed in 1929 by Riley and Glanfield but was however built separately from the rest. Now closed pending redevelopment.
197 Gaumont Cinema. This was originally The Palace Cinema designed by John Stanley Beard. It opened in 1913 but became an army recruiting station in the Great War.. It has decorative front entrance, with terra-cotta detail and in the auditorium was with columns topped by naked female figures. It was operated by Palatial Cinemas Ltd, and taken over by Provincial Cinematograph Theatres (PCT) in 1920. In 1929 PCT were taken over by Gaumont British Cinemas and it was re-named Gaumont in 1948. It closed in April 1959 and has been part demolished with a warehouse on the site. The remaining building is used by as offices. Previously on the site was Salmon and Glickstein, claiming to be the largest tobacconist in the world and the founders of the Lyons teashop chain.
207-209 Chapel. This is the site of the second Kentish Town Chapel built in 1456 on land given by the Grocers Company. It replaced an earlier chapel traditionally was founded by the Cantelupe Brothers in the 13th and was dedicated to St.John the Baptist.  The site is not known. The second chapel was demolished as a dangerous structure in the 1780s.
213-223 Blustons. drapers shops in an arcade shop front, once common, but now very rare. The shop front dates from  1931 and is in Vitrolite with three-dimensional lettering and extensive glazing. It has Art Deco sunbursts, neo-classical mouldings and Moderne materials.  The shop had previously been a pawnbroker.
Farmhouse - this dated from 1784 and was the other side of a lane by Old Chapel House. Replaced by houses
Old Chapel House. This was an 18th house used as a school in the 19th and later converted into shops.
227 Nandos. This was the Jolly Anglers Pub, mentioned in 1725 as The Compleat Angler. On the lower half of the frontage are bottle green tiles with a series of shields with a motif of "RB" - this could refer to Reid's Brewery since it was latterly a Watney, Coombe, Reid house.
Anglers Lane junction. This junction was formed in 1881, previously the lane was entered via a passageway under a house.
233 conversion of a double fronted house with the original address of 3 Old Chapel Place
259-263 Solicitors office in the buildings of the Green Dragon, licenced from 1751.  It later became the Kings Arms in 1785 and closed in 1969.
277 Vicarage Farm Dairy Ltd. this is now the site of Old Dairy Mews. This included bottling plant and a distribution yard. They were later taken over by Express dairies. It had been the site of the Kentish Town vicarage until 1845.
281 Dawson and Briant. Pawnbroker. Shop with flat above built 1840 in brick. On the ground floor is a 19th shop front having large gilded lettering. Projecting cast-iron clock and pawnbroker's sign. Inside are display cabinets with glazed wall-mounted cupboards and a Lincrusta ceiling
289 -291 O’Reilly. This was The Old Farm House of 1869 rebuilt in 1885 and at one time also called the Star and Garter owned by Hoare and Co of the Red Lion Brewery, East Smithfield.  It was renamed O'Reilly in 1885. On the fascia is 'TOBY ALE' in raised lettering. High on the wall is a carved head and some information.
Tollhouse. Near O'Reilleys was the site of a wooden tollhouse in a part of the road then known as Old Chapel Row which was here until 1864. There was a toll gate here and from 1855 a barrier on Holmes Road.

Perren Street
1a Hercules Works. site of Frederick Jones & Co who made slag wool.
Toledo Steel Works - they made bicycles here in the 1880s.
Imperial works – a five storey industrial building used by a variety of light industries and offices – as it appears to have done since the 1920s. These have included in the past an British Reeds - an organ reed manufacturer and lighting engineers. It was once part of the Brinsmead Piano Works. and then became the Imperial Organ and Piano Co. still on site in 1965. 

Prince of Wales Road
Main west east route. As part of the Southampton Estate it retains some of its 19th character.
1. The North Western Polytechnic was opened by The Prince of Wales in 1929 and taught social sciences, humanities and arts. It was used as Headquarters for Group 7 of Local Authorities in the Second World War.  The H.G. Wells Society worked with the Polytechnic to establish an H.G. Wells Centre here. By 1967, it was the largest Polytechnic in London. It combined with the Northern Polytechnic to form the Polytechnic of North London. It later became the London Metropolitan University, and was sold off.  One entrance had 'Women's Entrance' above it.
Hope Chapel, dated 1871. This is now the Church of Christ. It derives from a church begun in Hatton Garden in 1837.
K2 telephone kiosk.
Una House -large complex of local authority flats. In the 1870s part of the site was an Irvingite church later becoming a mission hall and a hall for St. Bartholomew's Church. In 1905 St.Pancras Council bought the site for a Carnegie Library, but the council's control changed and the site was left derelict. Una House was built by the council in 1922.
Baths.  The foundation stone was laid in 1900. On the façade are, Saint Pancras and Saint George- when the baths were built, the area was part of the Vestry of St Pancras.  It was designed by J. Aldwinckle and it originally had separate first and second class men's baths and a women's baths, 129 slipper baths along with a public hall.  There was also a public washhouse and a gymnasium. It has now been updated as Kentish Town Sports Centre and run by Greenwich Leisure Ltd.
River Fleet the Fleet crossed the road
Kentish Town West Station.  Opened in 1867 it lies between Camden Road and Gospel Oak on the North London Line now part of London Overground. It opened as 'Kentish Town’ and in 1924 was renamed ‘Kentish Town West’. In 1971 it was burnt down and closed in 1976 but reopened in 1981
7 Garden Cinema this was almost opposite St. Pancras Baths and Public Hall. It was an ‘open air’ cinema, operating during July and August each year until 1913. The Polytechnic was built on the site,
20 Grafton Arms
26 Brandon Centre. London Youth Advisory Centre which was previously S.Pancras Schools Treatment Centre.
40 Asylum for Aged Governesses built in 1849 by Thomas Henry Wyatt and David Brandon. Altered and enlarged 1877-9 for Camden School for Girls, by EC Robins. In 1870 they were driven out by the railway and became part of Miss Buss's North London Collegiate School.  This was the school started by Miss Buss and on the weathervane of the building is a small 'buss' - a replica fishing boat.  There are wrought iron gates with 'GI' for Governesses Institution. Then the site became Camden School for Girls and the St.Richard of Chichester's RC School. Later it was a training site for hotel workers, and now it is flats.
53-55 Buildings once part of the station. Now used by timber merchants, Buttles, established 1919
75 Prince of Wales Pub. Closed and turned into flats

Raglan Road
One of several roads in the area with names relating to the Crimean War.
Raglan House.  Camden NHS centre for elderly with mental problems which dates from 1973. This is on the site of the St.Pancras Maternity and Child Welfare Centre and was later a London County Council welfare centre until the early 1960s.
Garages on the site of Redan Pub - another name associated with the Crimean War.
Raglan Estate. Camden Council Estate which includes Monmouth House, a 1960s 13 storey tower block and Alpha Court. There is also a concrete slab sculpture.

Royal College Street
Dunn's hat factory at the junction with Kentish Town Road. The ground floor had detailed 1930s windows with stained glass. This is now an estate agents. Dunn's, clothiers and hatters, were here 1895-1984. The building was their central depot distributing items to over 100 branch shops.

Ryland Road
Built on the site of the Governesess' Institution garden. The northern end was the site of Ansell's Nursery.
Ryland House. Brick warehouse on the site of the piano factory, now refurbished for mixed use,
Portland House Delbanco Meyer and Co. Linen wholesalers but originally bristle manufacturers. It was originally part of the Brinsmead Piano Works. Also called Freedex House.
37 Kentish Town Day Nursery in some of the old Institution buildings.

Spring Place
Named for springs which fed into the Fleet and which supplied a brewery here. This, along with a ropewalk was part of Richard Holmes estate.

Wilkin Street
Piano factory - In 1967, Delbanco Meyer and Company Ltd moved in. they dated from 1936 and became the largest bristle merchants in the world. The company has since expanded into household textiles
2 Old chapel. The old chapel and Sunday school for the Methodist chapel.

Willes Road
17 rear extension demolished to create light space.  Glass doors, zinc roof and concrete work tops added to Victorian house.
76 George IV. Foliage covered pub dating from the early 1870s and a rebuild of an earlier pub with the same name on the other side of the road.
72 site of the works of William James who made ornamental glass for pubs.


Sources
Aldous, London Villages
Allinson and Thornton. London’s contemporary architecture
Barton. London’s Lost Rivers
Brewery History Society. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
British Post Office Architects. Web site
Camden History Review

Camden History Society. Streets of Camden Town
Cinema Theatres Association Newsletter
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London
Connor.  Forgotten stations
Day. London Underground
Field. London Place Names
GLIAS Newsletter
Hillman. London Under London
Kentish Towner. Blog site
London Borough of Camden. Web site
Lucas. London
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Robins. The North London Railway
Savetalacre. Web site
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