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London Miscellany

Free Information

Two lists of London Street name changes that occurred between 1857-1929 and between 1929-1945. Now available as an eBook with many more changes and greater detail.

A finding aid for London Postal Districts by name and number with a current map.

A list and map of the Metropolitan Boroughs used in the street name list.

Notes on the Administration of England & Wales including sections specific to London, Civil Registration, Metropolitan Boroughs etc., as it was in 1929.

A brief history of London Street Maps and Atlases. On this page there is also a list of London Street Atlases.

A time line of events as an aid to dating London Maps produced between 1856 and 1966.

A description and history of Spitalfields, with three charming engravings, from Charles Knight & Co's 1842 edition of "London".

I don't usually put external links on here but, if you are interested in seeing if a particular street was damaged during the Blitz, these three sites are astonishing.
All bombs in Greater London 7/10/1940 - 6/6/1941
Flying bombs and rockets in South London 1944/45
V2 rockets in Greater London and beyond 1944/45

Books

See the London that was old in 1815 with Ancient Topography of London. Available as a paperback facsimile.

eBooks

Lost London Streets, three eBooks to help you find places that no longer exist, or have changed name.

Read John Stow's contemporary description of Elizabethan London in his Survey of London from 1598.

Remarks on London, a guide to London from 1722; for Locals and "Strangers".

See the full list of available eBooks.

Free software is available to read eBooks on your computer. Follow these instructions and you can't go wrong.

Free Books

City Street Names. The origin of the names of the Streets, Lanes, Alleys and Courts of the City of London. Read online or download the free eBook version.

Anecdotes and pictures from 700 years of the history of the Old Serjeants' Inn in Chancery Lane. Available free as an eBook.

Disappearing London. A short book by E. Beresford Chancellor from 1927 with 12 beautiful contemporary prints. View online or download the free eBook version. High-resolution scans of the prints are available to purchase.

Read online the four books covering London from the Beautiful England series. Each has 12 evocative and detailed, early 20th century watercolours by E. W. Haslehust. High-resolution scans of the pictures are available to purchase.

This is London by 'Jimmy'. A guide book published in 1944 with 40 photographs of wartime London. Available free as a downloadable eBook.

Read online a history and description of Spitalfields in 1842 with engravings of Booth Street, Pelham Street and Spitalfields Market.

Download these and other free eBooks from the shop or see the full list of free eBooks.

Free Maps

Bartholomew's Pocket Atlas and Guide to London from 1929

Map and Guide to Epping Forest c. 1910

Street map of Cambridge c. 1912

Street map of Manchester c. 1890

Street maps of Rome c. 1885 and Paris c. 1879

Caveat

The information in the above pages is provided "as is", I have been very careful but make no claim to infallibility. My children amuse themselves by referring to me as an anorak, I prefer "enthusiast". Fellow enthusiasts have taught me a great deal, for which I am grateful. If you have a problem with enthusiasm, or have some other passion please do not tell me about it. However, praise is always welcome.

I have also tried very hard to keep to the facts. Verbatim copies of old documents are presented on pages with a white background, any comment should be obvious. On other pages if, very occasionally, my peculiar beliefs, prejudices or strange sense of humour surfaces, I beg your indulgence.

It has been said that there are three types of people. Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who ask "what happened?" I have observed that every day three and a half million travellers on the London Underground divide themselves into three groups. Those who walk on the escalators, those who stand, and those who stand on the wrong side.

Amongst the first group is yet another, more elite group of people; Londoners. They know where the exit is at their destination; so they get in the carriage nearest to this exit. They also stand (never sit) on the side of the train that will open at the station concerned*. They are first out, first up, and first where they need to be - Vivat Londinenses.

            Bruce

* Some of these skills have been rendered less necessary by the current relentless plethora of announcements on every form of Transport for London.

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