West Euston

West Euston, Camden

A ‘renewal priority area’ extending westward from Euston station to Albany Street

Hidden London: Drummond Street in sunshine

This has been a dense­ly built-up neigh­bour­hood for near­ly two cen­turies. A ser­vice dis­trict was laid out east of Albany Street from the mid-1820s onwards, with three squares that were ini­tial­ly planned as mar­kets for the sale of hay, veg­eta­bles and meat. Only Cum­ber­land Mar­ket, the hay and straw mar­ket in the north, ever served its intend­ed pur­pose – which was to super­sede the orig­i­nal func­tion of the West End’s Hay­mar­ket.

Christ Church was built in 1837, pri­mar­i­ly for the work­ing class res­i­dents of the Cum­ber­land Mar­ket area. It is now St George’s [Greek Ortho­dox] Cathe­dral. To the east, St James’s Gar­dens were made in 1887 out of a cen­tu­ry-old bur­ial ground that had been estab­lished for St James’s Pic­cadil­ly.

Much of West Euston’s orig­i­nal hous­ing was destroyed either by bombs or the wreck­er’s ball in the mid-20th cen­tu­ry. Built in sev­er­al stages and styles, the Regen­t’s Park estate after­wards filled most of the west­ern side. To the south-east, the rede­vel­op­ment of Tolmers Vil­lage became a left-wing cause célèbre in the ear­ly 1970s.

West Euston takes in Drum­mond Street (shown in the pho­to­graph at the top of the page) and its neigh­bours, where sev­er­al late-Geor­gian ter­races sur­vive. This micro-local­i­ty is (or was) some­times called ‘Cam­den’s Lit­tle India’ – pri­mar­i­ly because of its restau­rants rather than the eth­nic­i­ty of local res­i­dents, who are more like­ly to be of Ben­gali ori­gin if they’re from south Asia at all.

Behind the ‘mixed-use cam­pus’ at Regen­t’s Place, where it’s anoth­er world, much of West Euston exhibits a high degree of mul­ti­ple depri­va­tion, which means that res­i­dents suf­fer dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly from the effects of crime, unem­ploy­ment and ill-health, and low lev­els of edu­ca­tion­al attain­ment and income. The West Euston Part­ner­ship was estab­lished to help tack­le these issues (or their con­se­quences) and receives fund­ing from a vari­ety of pub­lic resources and from British Land, the devel­op­ers of Regen­t’s Place. Often, these kinds of inti­tia­tives get about five years’ fund­ing and then dis­ap­pear, but this part­ner­ship has been going strong for more than two decades now. Its projects have includ­ed a com­mu­ni­ty resource and advice cen­tre on Hamp­stead Road and the ‘Hpod’ healthy liv­ing cen­tre, which opened on Cum­ber­land Mar­ket in 2006. A com­mu­ni­ty fes­ti­val is held in Cum­ber­land Mar­ket in mid-Sep­tem­ber each year.

Around the time of the First World War the Cumberland Market Group evolved among the locality’s artistic community as a successor to the Camden Town Group.

Postal district: NW1
Further reading: Cumberland Market at Wikipedia (like some of the best Wikipedia articles this is primarily the work of a single knowledgeable enthusiast)