North London Railway - Kentish Town

North London Railway
The North London Railway runs north from Kentish Town Junction

 Post in the square to the south Camden MarketKentish Town West and Camden Railway Goods

Post square to the west South End and South End and Gospel Oak and Belsize Park

This post covers only the south east corner of the square
Post to the north Gospel Oak

Arctic Street
Used to be Franklin Street, named after 19th builder
Carlton Chapel House, flats built 1983 designed by Christopher Dean Associates for the Tenants' Association.

Brown’s Lane
Where the cows from Brown’s Dairy in Camden grazed.

Carkers Lane
Highgate Studios. Studio spaces for a collection of arts and other organizations.
Read Brothers. In 1883 acquired an acre of land here and built an export bottling premises plus a laboratory. This was a crenallated building with a Gothic tower and a spire. They produced 50,000 bottles per week and in 1906 were the largest buyers and bottlers of Bass Ale in the world, all sold for export. By 1913 they had increased their land, and had stacking space for 10 million bottles, the largest bottling facility in London. They sold widely in Australia as ‘DOG’S HEAD ALE and STOUT’. There was a large advertisement for this on the roof line of the bottling store facing the railway along with "Read Brothers ....  Bottling Stores' in raised lettering. A siding ran into the works from the Midland Railway.
Shand Kyd Wallpaper factory moved here in 1906. Shand Kydd had been set up in 1891 making wallpaper with bold lino block designs and matching friezes. They were taken over in 1960 and moved to Christchurch.
International Orient Carpet Factory

Fortess Walk
Previously called Willow Walk.  It was a crescent  enclosing a paddock for horses

Fortess Road
Public toilets – now turned into a bar
9 Tally Ho Pub. Closed 2006 and replaced with flats.

Greenwood Place
This road was built in the 18th as Prospect Row.
Highgate Business Centre. Called Evandore house and one of Maples, the furniture company’s, works.  An imposing warehouse built 1880. This provides space for offices, light industry etc.
19 Lenshan House. This was originally Maples, furniture stores, timber yard and sawmill and then became their Exhibition works.  It was later the offices of the Family Policy studies Centre until 2001.
37 The Camden Society. This is a London wide organisation providing volunteering opportunities and support for people with disabilities
Centre for Independent Living. This is planned for the area for services including: Mental Health, Dementia, Learning Difficulty, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties and Autism. In addition, a “Centre for Independent Living”
Greenwood Centre, currently providing space for a number of charities and similar organisations as well as a Camden Council day centre. It opened in 1973.
Deane House on the site of the Read Brothers bottling store. The store was built in 1885 and had turrets and battlements and its own railway siding.

Highgate Road
Very old road, until 1870 called Green Street and which follows the course of the Fleet. Very bad area for highwaymen in the 18th with lots of local vigilantes.  The High level interceptory sewer crosses near Kentish Town
1-7 a tall urban group of altered houses built 1786 by Thomas Greenwood and called Upper Craven Place.
7 until 1860 this was Craven House Girls School and then Foresters Hall for the Ancient Order of Foresters.
3 This was once the local Tory HQ. Carved face above the door.
9-17 Forum Cinema. Opened in 1934, the Kentish Town Forum Theatre’s architect was J. Stanley Beard and the interior design was by W.R. Bennett.  This consists of a series of Roman battle scenes said to be paid for by Mussolini so that Moseley and the British Union of Fascists could use it.  It was taken over in 1935 by Associated British Cinemas and re-named ABC in 1963.  It was closed in 1970 and became a bingo hall, then a ballroom and then a concert hall/theatre. It became called Forum again in 1993. It has Art Deco detailing by Beard & Bennett in cream faience, with black columns and lotus capitals and the auditorium has a coffered dome. There was a cafe in the space over the foyer.
19-37 Highgate Day Centre. This provides a service of psychodynamic and creative groups, individual keywork and social support for people with mental health issues. The houses here previously were by John Greenwood and on the north side ran the River Fleet.
20 Kentish Town Fire station. The Old Engine House stood south of here and a successor was built in Fortess Walk. The present station and practice tower replaced that. On this site was also a Methodist chapel dating from 1778. 
30a Piano Workshop in alley north of the Fire Station.  This was once an organ builder and piano key maker and was one of the few piano works left in the area. The business has now moved to Willesden from here in 2012 and the site is being redeveloped as housing.
Maple’s Steam Cabinet works were in the west side of the road. This was for Maple’s Furniture store in Tottenham Court Road.
39-51 Linton House. Early 20th industrial building built as Maple’s bed factory.  Post Second World War it was used by Canadian based, Dominion Rubber Co.  and later Norman Linton Gown makers from which it took its name. Currently light industry and offices.
Christ Apostolic Church. This was the church of St John built on the site of the Kentish Town Chapel by James Wyatt in 1783 but only some nave walls remain. It was rebuilt and extended in 1843-5 by J.H. Hakewill. In 1449 a chapel of ease had been built alongside the road to St Albans, now Highgate Road. This lasted for over 300 years but in 1784 it was demolished and replaced with the first version of the current church which was later rebuilt and dedicated to St. John the Baptist. In 1993 it was declared redundant and was squatted.  It is now a Nigerian evangelistic church.
Elsfield. Camden Council Housing designed by Bill Forrest in 1972. It replaced 1860s housing called Burghley Terrace. In this area Handeford Bridge crossed the Fleet River which also formed a pond.
54-56 Irish Centre Housing built in 1989 on the site of Bridge House.
58 Bridge House was a large pub demolished in 1988. It had once had gardens going to the Fleet. In the early 20th it was the John Apps Laundry and in the 1920s a rubber factory belonging to the Claudius Ash false teeth works.

Holmes Road
This was originally called Mansfield Place which was laid out by local landowner and industrialist Richard Holmes from 1790
5 This was the Petit Prince restaurant and the remains of murals of French cartoons are on the first floor wall. They used to project films onto the wall opposite
12a Kentish Town Police Station. Built in the 1890s designed by Norman Shaw. It was to be the Headquarters of Y Division.  The arch way took prisoners in to an area now redesigned as a control centre.
Section House for police accommodation built in the 1960s as an 8 storey slab block.
14 this was a factory for the London Piano Company who made self playing pianos and reed organ. Later, in the 1950s, it was the Camden Cardboard Box works who made wire stitched boxes. Now part of the police station.
Holmes Road School. This is currently the Lycee Francais de Londres. Which includes a nursery, as well as primary, and secondary school for 700 pupils. Holmes Road School was an early Board School built 1872 – 74 to the designs of E.R. Robson. In 1923 the school began to open for evening classes as a Community Centre for Education and also used for local clubs. By 1927 it includes the Junior Men's Institute for metalwork, boxing, hygiene and first aid. The school closed in 1931 and it became the Kentish Town Men's Institute, later the Kentish Town & East Hampstead Institute. In the Second World War it was used by Civil Defence, the RAF Volunteer Reserve and A.R. Training, as well as Home Guard Training and as a Rest Centre. Some of the building was used by Camden School for Girls who were still there in 1949. In the mid 1950s it became the Kentish Town & East Hampstead Institute and eventually the Kingsway College for Adult Education which closed in 2008.
Holmes Road Depot. Built in 1972 as the Council Depot on the site of the Midland Railway Coal Depot
Midland Railway bought land from Holmes in 1873 as their coal depot. Trains came from the north over a viaduct and stopped over the arch of a coal merchant, where coal could be dropped from wagons into his transport. The site included 40 stables and coal company offices. The original coaling stage was replaced by mechanical plant in 1939.   The depot closed in 1953 and became a British Road Services Depot.
Brick arches – part of the coal drops viaduct from the Midland Railway site remained here, used for storage and industry, until the 1980s
65-67 Magnet Kitchen Co. Offices. Previously site of their joinery
Arches – bricked up arches next to Magnet. These were part of a garage area used by the Birch bus company. The site was earlier a bronze powder factory.
57-59 housing and offices on site of Birch Bros. bus body building plant. Also used by W.Parkyn wheelwrights and carriage builders. It was also a service station for Beardmore Motors and a taxi depot
54-74 Charles Pugh windscreen manufactures.  This is their third site in the area, having started in Spring Place in the 1930s.
48-52 Maison Bertrand dealing in theatrical fabrics.
45 Entrance plus granite setts and a weighbridge. This was Grape Place in the 19h going to Paradise Row.  The buildings on site were used Bird and Davies, artists’ materials and previously Camden Council’s Sheltered Workshops and part of the hostel next door.  The site is now being developed for housing.
41-47 St Pancras hostel built 1895 as a casual ward by St Pancras Guardians. Inmates had to break rocks to be allowed to stay. – which is what the weighbridge at 45 was for.  It later became a London County Council working men’s hostel and is now run by Camden Council.
Bower Cottage was the superintendent’s house and in the 1930s used as St. Pancras North Relief Station and Dispensary by the London County Council.
24-26 Acquisitions - selling fireplaces and stuff
22 This was at one time a monumental mason
St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Primary School.  St. Patrick’s is one of the oldest Catholic schools in London.  It was founded in Soho in 1803 by Irish merchants in Frith Street as St. Patrick’s Charity School. By 1962 the school roll had fallen to 89 and a new Catholic primary school was needed in Kentish Town. So St. Patrick’s transferred here in 1967.  The school is a single storey building for two junior classes. A Nursery building was added in 2000, on the site of William Caldercourt’s cricket bat factory, subsequently Primrose Laundry, and a Music Room / Library in 2011. There are three spacious playgrounds, a school car park and quiet garden. Some of the site was originally a rag doll store, and 33 had been the Excelsior Welding Works.

Kentish Town Road
Junction of Kentish Town Road and Fortess Road is the centre of the old village, small-scale relics lie alongside late 19th suburban building.
305-315 site of developer Richard Holmes paddock and barn.  The housing was to front his development and called Mansfield Place
301-305 Iceland. On the site of the Alhambra cinema. The current shop was built in 1932 as Marks and Spencer and used by them until 1981. Part of the site was an 18th house and which was of Holmes estate
The Electric Alhambra Cinematograph Theatre opened in 1911. It included a tea-room with a separate entrance in Holmes Road. The architecture and interior were by M.Marsland. It in 1918 and became a billiard hall.  317-347 modern shop front in what was once terraced housing called York Place.  Shop conversions took place from the 1890s.
299 MacDonald’s. From 1923 to 1942 this was a Lyons Teashop. It was built in 1900 as a drapers shop by Herbert Beddell but has been refronted.
383-387 remains of New Chapel Place built in the 1790.
389 Bull and Gate, 18th pub.  Rebuilt 1871. Rebuilt in 1871, with marble pilastered ground floor and a bull and gate high on the frontage. Closed. It is said that the original name was Boulogne Gate and it relates to the capture of the town by Henry VIII in 1544. It is first noted in 1715. A cobbled yard once went to the LGOC stables and horse buses started here,
Jacques Samuels’s pianos store in old LGOC Stables.

North London Line – the line, as the Hampstead Junction Railway, ran north from Kentish Town West Station crossing the Midland Main Line north of what is now Regis Road.  There was a siding into the area now covered by the Regis Road industrial area.
The Midland Main Line goes westward through the area coming from Kentish Town Station.  Began to fan out into many sidings.  The main line itself continues on to the west.  Other lines continued from it as the Tottenham South Curve, the Tottenham North Curve, going to Highgate Road Station, to Tottenham and beyond.  Other sidings to the east of the rail complex went to a locomotive shed and a carriage and wagon repair shop.  Lines from both the main line and the Tottenham Lines also ran into sidings which serviced the coal depot and the Kentish Town Cattle Dock which stood alongside the main line, for cattle in transit waiting to be killed.
Tottenham South Curve opened in 1870 and was also known as the Highgate Incline. It left the Down Line at Kentish Town Junction, crossed the main line  and climbed to a gradient of 1:48 - some trains needing an additional engine to reach the summit
Tottenham North Curve linked Carlton Road and Junction Road for freight traffic and opened in 1883.
Kentish Town Curve opened in 1900 and ran from Engine Shed Junction and served a station then in Highgate Road. It was less steep than the Tottenham South Curve.
Sidings ran into Read's Bottling Stores
Engine Shed Junction Signal Box. This was between the main line and the Kentish Town Curve. Opened 1889 and closed 1981.
Cattle Dock Junction Signal Box. This controlled access to various sidings.  This opened in 1903 and was replaced in 1936 and closed in 1964.

Regis Road
This road covers the area of the extensive Midland Railway sidings and is largely Kentish Town Business Park.  This consists of many industrial and office locations.
Royal Mail Kentish Town Delivery office
United Parcels Services office built in 1984 as a depot for Whitbread’s Brewers.
Camden Recycling Centre
Camden Car Pound
Howdens Joinery
Alpha House built for Alpha Jewels Ltd.
Fairfax Meadow butchers
Asphaltic Ltd. Distribution centre.

Spring Place
Holmes family owned a brickworks and ropewalk here. They later sold the land to the Midland Railway who built arches here for the local coal depot
2 Autograph Sound Studio in part of Windsor and Newton’s Colour Works. They moved here in 1844 having got a royal warrant and having invented Chinese White. Colour her were ground by hand and spread out on stone slabs to dry. It later became a warehouse for an Italian grocery chain, Walton, Hassall and Port.
3-5 London Lorries were here pre-Second World War as motor body builders.  They were bombed and later General Roadways, lorry haulage took over the site,
8-9 Wall to Wall TV in what was Elliott Optical Co.
Spring House. Winsor and Newton’s steam powered works where they stayed until 1938. Now in other use.

British History on line. Camden. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Camden History Review
Camden History Society. Streets of Kentish Town
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Connor. Forgotten Stations
Connor. St.Pancras to Barking
GLIAS  Newsletter,
Hillman. London Under London
Kentish Towner. Blog site
London Borough of Camden. Web site
Mitchell and Smith. North London Line
Nairn. Nairn’s London
Nairn. Modern Buildings,
Pevsner and Cherry.  London North
St Patrick’s School, web site
Summerson. Georgian London
Tindall. The Fields Beneath,


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