The London Gazetteer

Potted histories and profiles of London’s diverse localities

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Chambers London Gazetteer
Cham­bers Lon­don Gazetteer

The Gazetteer sec­tion was the nucle­us of the orig­i­nal Hid­den Lon­don web­site and still forms its largest part. It takes a look at a vari­ety of the capital’s minor dis­tricts and local­i­ties, some in the out­er bor­oughs and some tucked away in less­er-known cor­ners of the city cen­tre – focus­ing main­ly on the ways in which they’ve devel­oped and high­light­ing any spe­cial points of inter­est. If you know Lon­don well, you’ll already be famil­iar with many of the places fea­tured here – but there should still be some you’ve nev­er even heard of.

For a list of most of the local­i­ties fea­tured on this site, please click here. Despite run­ning to more than 650 pages, this online direc­to­ry includes few­er than two-thirds of the places list­ed in Cham­bers Lon­don Gazetteer, from which the text here was orig­i­nal­ly drawn – although most pages have since been updat­ed and expand­ed.

The Gazetteer section’s list­ings are devot­ed to less­er-known local­i­ties of vary­ing sizes, but most­ly diminu­tive. A ‘local­i­ty’ is any place (or sta­tion) named in one of the Lon­don street atlases, or on Ord­nance Sur­vey maps, or a park or road or estate with a dis­tinct iden­ti­ty of its own.

Each list­ing gen­er­al­ly includes an indi­ca­tion of where the place is and what it is like; per­haps some expla­na­tion of how it got its name, espe­cial­ly if this is inter­est­ing; a pot­ted his­to­ry of its devel­op­ment; and, if applic­a­ble, a few remarks on notable build­ings, nat­ur­al fea­tures, events and for­mer res­i­dents, and select­ed artis­tic works that fea­ture the place or were pro­duced there.

The rel­e­vant postal dis­trict or post­code area is append­ed to each entry. Where there are two or more they are list­ed in approx­i­mate order of pre­dom­i­nance (the same rule applies to the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of par­ent bor­oughs). How­ev­er, few areas in Lon­don have clear­ly defined bor­ders, so this infor­ma­tion should not be tak­en as gospel. For the same rea­son, a pre­cise descrip­tion of a locality’s extent is rarely attempt­ed.

Pop­u­la­tion fig­ures from the 2011 cen­sus are cit­ed where one or more ‘out­put areas’ rough­ly match the extent of a list­ed place. How­ev­er, elec­toral bound­aries are fre­quent­ly drawn so as to include a sim­i­lar num­ber of vot­ers in each ward with­in a bor­ough, so the data may not always give a true rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a place’s mag­ni­tude. Demo­graph­ic high­lights are often pro­vid­ed with­in the text, ide­al­ly based on cen­sus data but alter­na­tive­ly from sources such as Ofst­ed reports – usu­al­ly for pri­ma­ry schools because they tend to have a more localised catch­ment area than sec­ondary schools.

The near­est sta­tion, tram­stop or river­boat pier is usu­al­ly giv­en only when it has (or used to have) the same name as the place in ques­tion. Under­ground lines and main­line ser­vice providers are shown for each sta­tion, togeth­er with its fare zone(s).

Sug­ges­tions for fur­ther read­ing are giv­en wher­ev­er pos­si­ble and these range from slim pam­phlets to mul­ti-vol­ume works. Pref­er­ence is giv­en to works still in print, when a direct link to Ama­zon is usu­al­ly pro­vid­ed. Fur­ther read­ing sug­ges­tions should not be assumed to be the source of infor­ma­tion fea­tured on Hid­den Lon­don, and cer­tain­ly not the source of any errors in that infor­ma­tion. (One grumpy local his­to­ri­an, who shall remain name­less, emailed to com­plain that Hid­den Lon­don had sul­lied his name by mak­ing a ques­tion­able state­ment in an arti­cle while list­ing his book as ‘fur­ther read­ing’. His book is no longer men­tioned here.)

Links are pro­vid­ed to select­ed rel­e­vant web­sites, espe­cial­ly if they are run as com­mu­ni­ty resources rather than pri­mar­i­ly as adver­tis­ing vehi­cles. In the absence of a worth­while com­mu­ni­ty web­site, links are some­times includ­ed to sites with infor­ma­tion on aspects of local his­to­ry or a district’s key attrac­tion. If you run a local web­site that’s not men­tioned on the rel­e­vant page of the Gazetteer sec­tion, please make con­tact to request its inclu­sion.

Vis­i­tors to Hid­den Lon­don some­times write to ask why such-and-such a local­i­ty isn’t includ­ed in the site’s Gazetteer. It will be even­tu­al­ly! It’s just a mat­ter of time.

For the most part, the Gazetteer sec­tion isn’t con­tin­u­ous­ly updat­ed with chang­ing infor­ma­tion about the areas fea­tured. How­ev­er, revi­sions are made from time to time and the author will be hap­py to cor­rect any errors that are drawn to his atten­tion. Again, please use the con­tact form for this pur­pose.