Warwick Avenue, Westminster
A broad, stuccoed street in southern Maida Vale, running north-westwards from the Harrow Road at Little Venice to Sutherland Avenue
This was originally a track called Green Lane and was named Warwick Road (later changed to Avenue) on the street plan produced in 1827 by George Gutch, surveyor to the Bishop of London.
Gutch named the road after Jane Warwick, of Warwick Hall near Carlisle, who had married into a landowning family here in 1778.
The first houses – some of which were very large – were erected in the 1840s close to the Warwick Avenue bridge over the Paddington arm of the Grand Junction (now Grand Union) Canal. The neighbourhood was mostly built up within two decades and the majority of the original properties survive today.
St Saviour’s church on Warwick Avenue was consecrated in 1856 and its section of the road was widened to create a grand approach, making this perhaps the broadest avenue in London. The church, however, was never wealthy, partly because the area acquired such a large Jewish community.
With all this construction activity, nearby Welford’s dairy – dairymen to Queen Victoria – had to send its cattle to fields in Willesden and Harlesden, and the dairy building relocated to new premises at the corner of Shirland Road and Elgin Avenue in 1882. One of London’s few surviving cabmen’s shelters was built on the avenue around this time.
Warwick Avenue station opened in 1915 as an intermediate stop on the Bakerloo line’s new extension from Paddington to Queen’s Park. The station was originally to have been called Warrington Crescent and it is perhaps surprising that it has not since been renamed Little Venice, given that locality’s cachet.
St Saviour’s – which is now the parish church of Little Venice – was rebuilt in 1976 in a project that incorporated the new flats of Manor House Court. There are shops on Formosa Street, which crosses the northern part of the avenue.
David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel, lived at 75 Warrington Crescent in 1920.
Early punk musician Matt Dangerfield converted his basement flat on Warrington Crescent into a recording studio in the mid-1970s. The Damned, The Clash, Generation X and the Sex Pistols are said to have made their first recordings here.
Duffy’s 2008 single ‘Warwick Avenue’, taken from the album Rockferry, was a major international hit. The video featured the Welsh singer-songwriter leaving Warwick Avenue tube station in a black cab and a flood of tears.