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Timeline to aid dating London Maps 1857 - 1966

Many maps are undated. Those that are usually give the date of publication, which is not always the date of last revision. It is often only possible to get to the nearest decade without careful examination and specialist knowledge. The following list of events, Railway and Station name changes etc., from the introduction of Postal Districts in 1857 to the abolition of the County of London in 1965, may be of some help. These changes should be visible on maps or mentioned or pictured in guides.

This information has been extracted from a number of sources. If you disagree with any of the dates or events please let me know.

Postal Districts introduced
Street renaming and house numbering scheme begins
New Road renamed as Marylebone Road (W. part) Euston Road (central part) and Pentonville Road (E. part)
West End & Crystal Palace Railway, opened to Wandsworth Common in 1856, extended to Norwood

Chelsea Suspension Bridge opened
Battersea Park opened
West End & Crystal Palace Railway extended to Battersea
The "Great Stink" as the Thames overflows with effluent during a hot summer

Vauxhall Gardens closed
The MBW accepts the plans of Joseph Bazalgette to build sewers throughout London over the next six years

Alhambra Palace Music Hall opened in Leicester Square
Victoria Station opened
Hampstead Junction Railway, from Kentish Town to Willesden, opened

Garrick Street, Covent Garden opened
Hungerford Suspension Bridge replaced by Charing Cross Railway Bridge

Agricultural Hall opened
International Exhibition in Cromwell Road
Hungerford Market demolished
Lambeth Bridge opened
London, Chatham & Dover Railway opened from Herne Hill to Elephant & Castle

Bridewell Prison demolished
Metropolitan Railway opened from Paddington to Farringdon (the first Tube)

Hammersmith & City Railway opened from Hammersmith to Westbourne Park
London, Chatham & Dover Railway extended to Blackfriars and Ludgate Hill
Mid-Kent Railway extended to Addiscombe Road
South Eastern Railway extended to Charing Cross
Building of Victoria Embankment started

Crystal Palace & South London Junction Railway opened
Ludgate Street renamed Ludgate Hill
Metropolitan Railway extended to Moorgate
Langham's Hotel opened

Broad Street Station opened
London, Chatham & Dover Railway extended to Farringdon
South Eastern Railway extended to Cannon Street Station
South Eastern's loop line from Hither Green to Dartford opened

Great Northern Railway's Edgware, Highgate & Finchley branch opened
Construction of Holborn Viaduct commenced
Broadway Theatre, New Cross, opened

Royal Albert Hall begun
District Railway opened from High Street Kensington to Westminster
Metropolitan Railway extended from Paddington to Kensington
Midland Railway extended to St. Pancras
Millwall Docks opened
New Central Meat Market completed
St. John's Wood Railway opened from Baker Street to Swiss Cottage
Tottenham & Hampstead Junction Railway opened

Albert Embankment opened
Columbia Market opened at Hoxton
East London Railway opened through Thames Tunnel from Wapping to New Cross
Holborn Viaduct opened
Southwark Park opened
London, Brighton & South Coast Railway's Herne Hill to Tulse Hill extension opened
Queen Victoria Street opened from Mansion House to Cannon Street

District Railway extended to Blackfriars
St. Pancras Station opened
Tower Subway built
Victoria Embankment opened
Beckton Gas Works built

Royal Albert Hall opened
Wandsworth Bridge opened
Albert Bridge opened
District Railway extended to Mansion House
Queen Victoria Street completed
Chelsea Embankment begins to be built
St. Thomas's Hospital opened on Albert Embankment

Great Eastern Railway extended from Bethnal Green to Lower Edmonton
Great Northern Railway's Barnet branch opened

Alexandra Palace opened and burns down almost immediately
Royal Albert Suspension Bridge opened

Chelsea Embankment opened
Victoria Embankment Gardens opened
District Railway extended from Earl's Court to Hammersmith Broadway
Great Eastern Railway extended to Liverpool Street
Holborn Viaduct Station opened
Law Courts begun in Strand

Liverpool Street Station opened
Metropolitan Railway extended to Liverpool Street
Alexandra Palace re-opened

East London Railway extended from Wapping to Bishopsgate Junction
Great Eastern Street opened
Metropolitan Railway extended to Aldgate
Northumberland Avenue opened
Royal Aquarium in Westminster opened

Cremorne Gardens closed
Metropolitan Board of Works buys Clapham Common to create a public park

Clerkenwell Road opened
London, Chatham & Dover's Union Street spur opened
South Eastern Railway's connection between Greenwich and Maze Hill finished
Cleopatra's Needle erected on the Embankment
The Highways and Locomotives Act removes the toll from many turnpike roads

District Railway's extension from Turnham Green to Ealing Broadway opened
Metropolitan Extension Railway opened from Swiss Cottage to Willesden

District Railway's line from Earl's Court to Putney Bridge opened
Kensington (High Street) Station renamed High Street Kensington
Metropolitan Extension Railway opened between Willesden and Harrow
Queen's Bench Prison demolished
Royal Albert Dock opened

Victoria Tower Gardens laid out
Leadenhall Market opened
Insect House opened at London Zoo

Law Courts completed
Brixton Prison converts to military prisoners only
Two bronze sphinxes placed at the base of Cleopatra's Needle
Metropolitan Railway extended to Tower Hill
South Eastern Railway's extension from West Wickham to Hayes opened

District Railway's Hounslow Barracks branch opened

Circle Line completed as Tower Hill Station opened
Tothill Fields Prison demolished
Madame Tussaud's Waxworks moves to Marylebone Road

Shadwell Fish Market opened
Metropolitan Extension Railway extended from Harrow to Pinner
South Eastern Railway's extension from Woodside to South Croydon opened

London, Chatham & Dover's Railway's new bridge opened
St. Paul's Station opened
Olympia opened
Shaftesbury Avenue opened
Construction of Tower Bridge commenced
Plaster removed from frontage of Staple Inn, exposing the beams

Charing Cross Road completed
Cold Bath Fields House of Correction demolished
Spitalfields Market rebuilt
Construction of Imperial Institute commenced
Metropolitan Extension Railway extended from Pinner to Rickmansworth
Somerstown Goods Station opened

The County of London is created from parts of Middlesex, Surrey and Kent
London County Council (LCC) formed to replace the Metropolitan Board of Works
and given control of, amongst other things, roads, town planning and tramways
Shaftesbury Road Station renamed Ravenscourt Park

London & South Western Railway opened from Putney Bridge to Wimbledon
Metropolitan Extension Railway extended from Rickmansworth to Chesham
Woolwich Ferry starts
Clissold Park in Stoke Newington opened
Remaining toll roads made free

City & South London Railway opened from King William Street to Stockwell
Millbank Penitentiary demolished
Horniman Museum opened
Vauxhall Park opened
Dulwich Park opened

New Scotland Yard opened
Palace Theatre, Cambridge Circus, opened
Waterlow Park in Highgate opened
Battersea New Cemetery at Morden Surrey opened

Metropolitan Extension Railway extended from Chesham to Aylesbury

Imperial Institute opened
Regent Circus renamed Piccadilly Circus and Statue of Eros erected on the Shaftsbury Memorial

Tower Bridge opened
St Bride's Foundation Institute Printing School opened

South Eastern Railway's Bexleyheath line to Dartford opened

Hotel Cecil built in the Strand

Tate Gallery opened
Blackwall Tunnel opened
Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee

Waterloo & City Line opened
Brixton Prison enlarged and returned to civilian use
The Tabernacle at the Elephant and Castle, on the site of the burning of the Southwark Martyrs, destroyed by fire

Marylebone Station opened

Central London Railway opened from Shepherd's Bush to Bank
City & South London Railway opened between London Bridge and Moorgate and Stockwell and Clapham Common
Metropolitan Boroughs formed

Queen Victoria dies
Horniman Museum at Forest Hill opened
First electric trams begin to run
Wigmore Hall opened

Coronation of King Edward VII
Thomas Thorneycroft's statue of Boudicca on Westminster Bridge unveiled
Greenwich Foot Tunnel opened
Holloway Prison converts to female only prisoners
London's first Crematorium opened, at Hoop Lane, Golders Green

New Kew Bridge opened
First petrol-engined Cab licensed, fare regulated at 8 pence per mile
Private Water Companies amalgamated and brought under public control as the Metropolitan Water Board

East Ham becomes a London Borough
Great Northern & City Railway between Finsbury Park and Moorgate opened
City of London Crematorium, at the existing Manor Park Cemetery, opened
Royal Horticultural Society opens its exhibition hall and headquarters at Vincent Square

Aldwych and Kingsway opened
New Prince's Theatre opened in East India Dock Road, Poplar - name changed to the Hippodrome some time before 1912

Baker Street and Waterloo railway changes name to Bakerloo
Piccadilly Line opened between Finsbury Park and Hammersmith
Brompton (Gloucester Road) Station renamed Gloucester Road

Westminster Bridge Station renamed Westminster
New Central Criminal Court at the Old Bailey, on the site of Newgate prison, opened
Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway opened from Charing Cross to its two northern termini at Archway and Golders Green
Taximeters introduced, Cabs become known as Taxicabs and eventually just Taxis

Central London Railway extended west to Wood Lane

Gower Street Station renamed Euston Square
Victoria and Albert Museum opened

King Edward VII dies
Mill Hill Park Station renamed Acton Town
Aldersgate Street Station renamed Aldersgate
London Palladium in Argyll Street opened as a Music Hall
Aldwych Club opened
First Cinemas opened; the Ritzy in Brixton, the Electric Cinema in Portobello Road and the Electric Pavilion in Holloway Road

Coronation of King George V
Festival of Empire held at Crystal Palace
Boston Road Station renamed Boston Manor
Deptford Road Station renamed Surrey Docks
London's first aerodrome, at Hendon, becomes operational
Victoria Palace Theatre opened as a variety hall on the site of the Royal Standard Music Hall

Central Line extended from Bank to Liverpool Street
Lyon's Corner House on the Strand opened
Westminster Central Hall built on the site of the Royal Aquarium

Ambassador's Theatre in West Street WC2 opened
Bedford College for Women in Regents Park opened
Lea Valley reservoir opened

First World War begins
Old GPO building in St. Martins-le-Grand demolished
London Museum moves from temporary accommodation in Kensington Palace to Stafford House, St. James' Park
Geffrye Museum of furniture opened in Kingsland Road

Charing Cross Station renamed Embankment
Strand Station renamed Charing Cross
Northolt Airport opened

First German airplane (as opposed to zeppelin) air-raid on London
London Chatham & Dover Railway Stations at Camberwell and Walworth Road closed

Numbering added to Postal Districts
Great Central (Underground) Station renamed Marylebone
Portland Road Station renamed Great Portland Street

First World War ends
Over the next two years all Germanic street names are changed
Australia Housed opened

Hammersmith Palais opened in Shepherds Bush Road

The Metropolitan water board opened new Headquarters in Rosebery Avenue
Croydon Aerodrome became London's main civil airport
Central London Railway extended west to Ealing Broadway
The Cenotaph unveiled in Whitehall
Road numbering introduced by the Ministry of Transport
Imperial War Museum opened in Crystal Palace

The Victory Cinema, Theobalds Road, Bloomsbury opened
The George V Dock, the last to be built in central London, opened
Licensed Victuallers' Asylum in Camberwell changes name to the Licensed Victuallers' Benevolent Institution
Shadwell Fish Market demolished.

County Hall, headquarters of the LCC, opened on the South Bank
British Broadcasting Corporation formed, call sign 2LO, starts transmitting from Marconi House in the Strand
St Bride's Foundation Institute Printing School moved to Stamford Street and renamed the London School of Printing and Kindred Trades
Statue of Eros temporarily moved to Victoria Embankment Gardens during the remodelling of Piccadilly Circus Station
King Edward VII memorial park in Shadwell opened.

RAF Memorial unveiled in Westminster
Aldersgate Station renamed Aldersgate & Barbican
Sandy Lodge Station renamed Moor Park & Sandy Lodge
New Cross Station renamed New Cross Gate
First (centre) part of Bush House in the Strand opened

Moorgate Street Station renamed Moorgate
British Empire Exhibition at Wembley
Devonshire House in Piccadilly demolished and replaced by a building of the same name
Electrification of the railways affects the readings of the Magnetic and Meteorological Department of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich and it moves to Abinger in Surrey

The Great West Road opened to bypass Brentford High Street
Heston-Hounslow Station renamed Hounslow Central
Hounslow Barracks Station renamed Hounslow West
BBC transmitter moved to Selfridges in Oxford Street
Plaza Cinema in Lower Regent Street opened
Poplar Hippodrome, East India Dock Road, converted to a Cinema
Madame Tussaud's Waxworks in Marylebone Road closed after a serious fire

First roundabout system introduced in Piccadilly Circus
Foundling Hospital in Guildford Street closed and moved to Surrey
Oxford Music Hall, at the corner of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road, closed

Arts Theatre Club opened in new building in Great Newport Street
Astoria Cinema opened in the shell of the old Crosse and Blackwell Building in Charing Cross Road
White City and Haringey Greyhound Racing Stadiums opened
Reptile House at London Zoo opened

LCC Ossulston Estate in Somerstown completed
The Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane opened
The Embassy Theatre at Swiss Cottage opened
Rebuilt Spitalfields Market opened
Madame Tussaud's Waxworks re-opens
The Thames floods, parts of the Embankment collapse

Victory Cinema renamed Bloomsbury Super
Tower Pier on the north bank of the Thames opened
The Duchess Theatre in Catherine Street opened
Dominion Theatre on Tottenham Court Road opened
Northolt Racecourse opened
Fruit Exchange extention to Spitalfields Market on Brushfield Street opened
New LCC Street renaming scheme commences

Astoria cinema in Seven Sisters Road, Holloway opened
Bethlem Royal Hospital (Bedlam) moves from Lambeth to Beckenham
Vestry House museum in Walthamstow opened
YWCA Hostel on Great Russell Street opened
Leicester Square Theatre opened but converted to a cinema within a year

Hay's Wharf, on the site of St Olave's church, Tooley Street, opened
Unilever House at the junction of Victoria Embankment and New Bridge Street completed
Daily Express building and factory in Fleet Street opened
Dorchester Hotel opened
Saville Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue opened
Statue of Eros returned to Piccadilly Circus

Lambeth Bridge opened
Piccadilly Line extended northwards from Finsbury Park to Arnos Grove
Jewish Museum in Upper-Woburn Place opened
First Trolleybus runs
BBC moved into new headquarters, Broadcasting House, in Portland Place

London Passenger Transport Board established, bringing into public ownership many of the Tube, Bus and Tram companies within an area designated as the London Passenger Transport Area - First Harry Beck diagrammatic tube map
Piccadilly Line extended to Hounslow West, Uxbridge and Cockfosters
Dover Street Station renamed Green Park
British Museum Station closed
First automatic traffic lights in London came into operation in Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus

National Maritime Museum founded at Greenwich
Empire Pool at Wembley opened
Battersea Power Station completed
Hoover Building on the newly constructed Western Avenue opened
Metropolitan Police College at Hendon established
John Rennie's Waterloo Bridge of 1817 demolished, the replacement partially opening in 1942 and completed in 1945

South Africa House in Trafalgar Square completed
Final part of Bush House in the Strand completed
Strand News Theatre opened
Flower market extension to Spitalfields Market on Lamb Street opened
Geological Museum moves from Jermyn Street to South Kensington

King George V dies
Imperial War Museum moved into new premises in the former Bethlem Royal Hospital (Bedlam) in Lambeth
Monseigneur cinema in Charing Cross Road opened
Television transmissions begin from Alexandra Palace
Crystal Palace, moved to Sydenham after the Great Exhibition of 1851, destroyed by fire

Coronation of King George VI
Central London line renamed Central Line
Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway merges with City and South London Railway to become the Northern Line
Post Office Station renamed St. Paul's
London Fire Brigade's new Headquarters opened on Albert Embankment
Earls Court Exhibition Hall completed
Daly's Theatre Leicester Square closed
Odeon Leicester Square built on the site of the Alhambra Theatre

The LCC introduced its "Green Belt" policy
Children's Zoo opened in Regent's Park London Zoo

Morden-Edgware Railway becomes part of the Northern Line
Northern Line NE branch extended to East Finchley
Addison Road Station renamed Kensington Olympia, but closed from 1940 until 1946
Imperial Airways Terminal in Buckingham Palace Road opened
West London Crematorium opened on land adjacent to Kensal Green Cemetery
Second World War began
Books and maps printed to "War Economy Standard"
Sale of Maps restricted to British Subjects, with some requiring a Police Permit

Waterloo and City line City Station renamed Bank
Bloomsbury Super Cinema closes

1940 - 1945
London suffered major explosive and fire bomb damage

The "Big Blitz", September 1940 - May 1941

     Over 10% of inner London houses destroyed, demolished or damaged
     Almost half the population leaves or is evacuated

The "Baby Blitz", January 1944 - March 1945

     V1 "doodlebugs", 937 hits, June 1944 - September 1944
     V2 Rockets, 164 hits, September 1944 - March 1945

On Tuesday, 27th March 1945, the last V2 to fall on London, at Vallance Road, Stepney, kills 130 people. In the London Civil Defence Area (roughly equivalent to Greater London now) a total of 29,734 civilians have been killed and 54,268 seriously injured.

Throughout the War the LCC Architects' Department carefully assessed and recorded the damage. The Ministry of Town and Country Planning produced plans for rebuilding a better city. Over the next 25 years some of these plans were realised but, much like the plan produced after the great fire of 1666, money, time and enthusiasm ran out, or they were overtaken by vested interests or changed priorities.

For further information see " The LCC Bomb Damage Maps, 1939-1945", London Topographical Society, 2005, which vividly pictures, describes and maps the destruction of buildings wrought by the Luftwaffe.

Enfield West Station renamed Oakwood
Queen's Road Station renamed Queensway
Mark Lane station renamed Tower Hill
Central Line extended from Liverpool Street to Stratford
London (Heathrow) airport opened for commercial flights (previously known as Great Western Aerodrome)

Last Horse-drawn Cab licence issued
Central Line extended from Stratford to Leytonstone
Central Line extended from North Acton to Greenford

14th Summer Olympics held at Wembley Stadium
Roosevelt Memorial unveiled in Grosvenor Square
First transatlantic flight from New York arrived at Heathrow
The London Passenger Transport Board nationalised, "London Transport" replaces "Underground" on the logo

Heathway Station renamed Dagenham Heathway
Croxley Green Station renamed Croxley
Clothes rationing ended
£ devalued from $4 to $2.80

Moor Park & Sandy Lodge Station renamed Moor Park
Kilburn & Brondesbury Station renamed Kilburn
Petrol rationing ended
Poplar Hippodrome, East India Dock Road, demolished

Construction of the Northolt Racecourse Housing Estate begun
Festival of Britain at the South Bank Exhibition centre, the Royal Festival Hall and new Pleasure Gardens in Battersea Park

King George VI dies
Walham Green Station renamed Fulham Broadway
Last Tram runs
The "Great Smog"

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
Aldwych Club closed
London Lock Hospital, Westbourne Grove, closed
The Gay Hussar in Greek Street opened

Temple of Mithras uncovered in Walbrook during rebuilding works
Food rationing ended, first Wimpy's hamburger bar opened

First terminal building at Heathrow airport opened
The Spaghetti House in Goodge Street opened
Hayes sports stadium opened

The Queen's Theatre, Poplar High Street, closed (demolished 1964)
"The Clean Air Act" passed by politicians affected by the "Great Smog", in exactly the same way as they authorised sewers after they were affected by the "Great Stink"

National Film Theatre moves from the Telekinema to own premises under Waterloo Bridge
Royal Observatory moves from Greenwich to Herstmonceux in Sussex, the building became part of the National Maritime Museum

First Parking meters installed, in Mayfair
Planetarium opened next to Madame Tussaud's
Subscriber Trunk Dialling introduced, progressively replacing the part name system in telephone numbers

First section of the M1 Motorway opened between Watford (J5)and Crick/Rugby (J18)
Croydon airport, which had been London's main airport 1920-1952, closed
The New Tabernacle at The Elephant and Castle opened, replacing the building destroyed by an incendiary bomb in 1941

The Farthing ( penny) ceases to be legal tender after 1,300 years
London Transport publicity officer Harold F Hutchinson rejects Beck's new Underground Map and designs his own

Second terminal at Heathrow airport opened
Baden-Powell House in South Kensington opened

Last Trolleybus runs.
London Transport Executive replaced by London Transport Board.
Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Place opened.
The Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace opened to the public.

Dr. Beeching takes his axe to the Railways.
Dartford Tunnel opens.
Royal National Theatre (aka National Theatre) founded and based at the Old Vic, Waterloo.

Chorley Wood Station renamed Chorleywood.
Hutchinson's unpopular Underground Map redesigned by Paul E Garbutt.
London College (previously School) of Printing moves to new building at Elephant and Castle.
The Post Office Tower completed.

Greater London established, consisting of the County of London, the City of London, Middlesex and parts of Kent, Surrey, Essex and Hertfordshire.
28 Metropolitan Boroughs merged to form 12 new Inner London Boroughs.
LCC abolished with some functions transferred to the new Greater London Council (GLC).
"Worboys Committee" road signs and the 70 mph speed limit introduced.

M1 reaches Elstree (J4) and then Scratchwood in 1967 at the site of the planned, but never built, Junction 3.
Football World Cup matches played at White City and Wembley Stadiums.
Decimalisation of the pound proposed, to start in 1971.
Centre Point at St Giles Circus completed.
London School of Contemporary Dance founded.
Time magazine first uses the phrase "Swinging London".


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