Warwick Avenue

Warwick Avenue, Westminster

A broad, stuccoed street in southern Maida Vale, running north-westwards from the Harrow Road at Little Venice to Sutherland Avenue

Hidden London: Houses in Clifton Gardens by Marathon

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.

Pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing spent his early years at 2 Warrington Crescent, now the Colonnade Hotel.

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.

Postal districts: W9 and W2
Station: Bakerloo line (zone 2)
* The picture of Clifton Gardens on this page is slightly modified from an original photograph, copyright Marathon, at Geograph Britain and Ireland, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse is freely permitted under the terms of that licence.