Camden Town

This is the north east corner only of this square

Post to the north (south east corner of its square) Camden Market
Post to the north (north east corner of its square) Kentish Town West
Post to the north (north west corner of its square Camden Railway Goods Yard
Post to the east Camden Town and Somers Town

Albert Street
Street with brick and stucco terraces on both sides, 1844-8, built by the surveyor George Bassett. Gentrified from the 1960s
124-126 Offices built in the 1970s by Richard Sheppard Robson & Partners and now in use as a Conference Centre.
126 Esso Petroleum Co., Ltd (Specialty Department). This had an address of 126. It dealt with a number of medical and related products like vitamin packs as well as pest killers, and garden products. Tthis building has a frontage on Parkway..
128 Fitness First. This is the same building as 49-55 Parkway. This part is said to have housed the Albert Optical Works. It was later a warehouse for wine merchants, Belloni. The works also had an entrance to the rear.
129-131, the Jewish Museum. This is in two terraced houses once used as a factory. The Museum entrance is incorporated in the old coach archway. It was founded in 1932 by Professor Cecil Roth, Alfred Rubens and Wilfred Samuel and moved here from Bloomsbury in 1994. In 1995 it amalgamated with the London Museum of Jewish Life, founded in 1983 as the Museum of the Jewish East End. In 2015 it also took over the collections of the Jewish Military Museum.
George Murphy, piano factory 1840s, and with another building in Cheapside. He was bankrupt in 1862.  His works is now the site of the Jewish Museum
Artificial limb factory on the site now used by the Jewish Museum.

Arlington Road
The road name comes from the Earl of Arlington who leased the local Tottenhall manor and was a favourite of Charles 11 favourite lords.  The southern end was Grove Street and later Arlington Street and laid out by about 1830.
Lamp posts. These are examples of early electric posts erected by St. Pancras Vestry cast by the McDowall Steven & Co, Glasgow with a flower and leaf decoration and the figure of the boy martyr, St Pancras. There are 20 original and 3 replica lamp standards in the road.
80 Bedford Music Hall. This was the Bedford Arms Tavern which had a tea garden between here and the High Street and there were balloon ascents. A music hall was added in the grounds which evolved into the Bedford Theatre with an address in the High Street. The old hall was demolished in 1898.
Park Congregational Chapel. This was on the site of Ruscombe flats, built 1960 and fronting on Delancy Street.  It was also called Camden Town Congregational Church and had been built in 1843 but burnt down in 1848, and rebuilt. It was destroyed in Second World War bombing.
100 Crown and Goose Pub. This was on the corner with Delancy Street. Closed, demolished and replaced with flats.
104 architectural ironmonger in what was a tramway electric transformer station built by the London County Council in 1907 and probably designed by Vincent Harris.
122 building with “1933” on the gable. This is now offices for various literary and media agencies. In the 1950s it was the Neonglow Sign Co.
142-152 electricity transformer station which fronts into Underhill Street
147 this was Curry and Paxton’s optical works. They made ophthalmic instruments and precision lenses from the 19th and by the 1960s they had developed a chain of optician stores and famously supplied Michael Caine with his spectacles for the Harry Palmer films.
152 Our Lady of Hal Church Hall. The Hal Theatre Co. was set up here in the 1990s.
163-165 Fitzroy Arms. Demolished before 1933 and replaced with the Belgian church.
165 Our Lady of Hal Catholic church. Built 1933 as Belgian church in brown brick by W.Mangan. Hal is Belgian town with a shrine from 1267 and with strong trading connections to England and with English links to the shrine. After the Great War Belgian Catholic missionaries decided to turn to Britain for a safe base and thus built a small chapel in Arlington Road, opposite the current church.  Later the church was built.
179 Cavendish School. This is a private Roman Catholic ‘prep’ school in the buildings of the 1850s St. Mark’s Parochial school. This independent primary school, which originated in Cavendish Square, is run by the Order of the Holy Child
St. Mark’s School. St. Mark is the reason for the winged lion which was his emblem on the front of the building. It opened in 1855 and was transferred to St Michael's Church in 1901, the premises were purchased from the Church of England by the Roman Catholics in 1970.
180 Royal Park Buildings. In 1904 it is said that it was a piano maker.  Later it was Cox’s Air Gas Co. Frederick Cox designed the Radiophragm here – a development of diaphragm heating and by 1909 he had launched the Machine Gas Co. and in 1925 it was Radiant Heating – but still with Frederick Cox.
199 Camden House. This has Camden Probation Service what was once the police station and is also a bail hostel. It also houses a Women’s Probation Centre.
220 Arlington House. Massive brick building, with an elaborate porch, is an old Rowton House. Built in 1905, designed by H. B. Measures. It was the last and largest of a series of working men's hostels set up and financed by Lord Rowton, who was Private Secretary to Disraeli. Now run by a private company, the hostel holds about a thousand homeless men. It was refurbished by Levin Bernstein & Associates in  1983-8.and refurbished again in 2010.
211 London Borough of Camden Depot. Directorate of Environmental Services.
Park Chapel School. British School with boys, girls and infants. 1880s This was between Arlington and Albert Streets at the northern end of Albert Street.

Bayham Street
Large mural by Irony on the corner with Camden Road

Britannia Junction
Major junction for five major roads plus some important side roads. Called after a pub which has now, itself, changed its name,

Camden High Street
111-113 Blues Kitchen. This was the Stationers Arms then called The Brighton, Bar Royale,  OH Bar. Dates from at least the 1850s with Thorpe and Furness as architects
115-119 Sports shop in an old Woolworths building
121 Burtons shop in their standard art deco design. In other use.
112-120 Post Office built 1980s
112-138 shops on the site of Bowmans present there since 1864. Originally they were two brothers, with a business in 108, but subsequently took over a number of other premises. They claimed to be 'the complete house furnishers'. After a fire in the early 1890s, the section on the corner with Greenland Street was rebuilt in red brick with Dutch style gables.   Above the windows are mosaics including a sailing ship and steam engine, and lettering for the various departments.
137 art deco shop with a steel display window on the second floor. On the gable is ‘SB 1923 SB’.
140-142 Lloyds Bank. A plaque on the site dates it to 1889 with monogram ‘JSB’
143-145. The Electric Palladium Cinema. This opened in 1912 and operated until 1927, when the site was acquired by Marks & Spencer demolished it. The current store remains on site..
161, a four-storey stucco block, with a plaque of 1865, with monogram 'HW' thought to stand for Horatio Webb, Cheesemonger.
166 HSBC this semi circular building was originally the Alliance Bank from the 1950s. It is on the site of a dairy and has a frieze with scientific and medical themes.
171 Black Cap Pub. This pub from 1889 closed in 2015. There is the bust of a witch high up in a stepped gable. The name has been used for a pub on a different site here when it was also the ‘Mother Black Cap’.
174 Worlds End pub. It was previously the Mother Red Cap or Mother Damnable's. A pub is first recorded here in 1690 on the road to Hampstead, and it was thus the Halfway House.   In the late 18th it was the Mother Red Cap plus a tea garden. It was rebuilt following the construction of Camden Road to designs by H.H. Bridgman. It was developed in the 1988s with a night club below the building.  Mother Red Cap is said to have been a woman called Jinny who murdered her husbands and pub was named here after her. Her parents were hanged for witchcraft and she was said to be a witch
Camden Town Station. Opened in 1907 by the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway, and taken over by Yerkes. It now lies between Chalk Farm Station and also Kentish Town Station and Mornington Crescent Station and Euston Station on the Northern Line. It was on the site of the old workhouse, converted to Brown’s Dairy. It thus lies at the junction of the two northbound branches of the Northern Line and is the most complicated such junction as four lines converge here. The station was originally to be called Camden Road. It was built to a Leslie Green design with plinths to allow for taller structures, and clad in dark red tiles.  It is painted in Northern Line light blue and cream.  In the Second World War a deep shelter was built here by London Transport with space for 1,200 people to sleep in ten shelters, each made up of two parallel 1,400 ft tunnels, 16' 6" diameter.  These were built so they could be part of an express railway in the future but this did not happen.  It was bombed in 1940 and some of the missing Camden High Street section has never been replaced.  Some original tiling remains at platform level plus some matching replacements.  It is often grossly congested and a rebuild or a replacement have been considered.
176 The Station is on the site of Brown’s Dairy, established in 1790 which was itself a conversion of the second St Pancras Workhouse. The diary was called the 'cows’ cathedral' and they grazed local fields.  It was demolished 1903.
Workhouse for St.Pancras.  This was opened in 1778 but soon became overcrowded and, in 1809, a new workhouse was opened. It is said to have been a mansion house converted into a pub called the Halfway House – or an earlier version of the Black Cap.
Gallows. There was a gallows at this junction pre-18th as well as stocks. It was also the site of the Pound, the local fire engine, and a lock up for overnight arrests.
178-182 brick electricity generating station 
179 old Boots sign high on the side wall
184 Electric Ballroom. This dates from the 1950s as a night club was an Irish club in the 1970s. It functions as a market during the day time.
187 Britannia Hotel. This was a pub which closed some time before 1962 and has been shops. There is the figure of Britannia in a niche
189 Royal Bank of Scotland
193 Barclays Bank. This extends over the first floor of neighbouring shops. On the second floor is a commercial gymnasium with a large blue metal advertising structure in the middle of the frontage.
197-203 Nicholson and Wordley, linen drapers. Eventually taken over by Marshall Roberts, drapers and general store and then by the Co-op. This is now part of a development and let as individual shops.
205-209  Broadhead linen drapers.
192-200 Buck Street/ Camden Market. There is a sign here saying ‘Camden Market’. The term generally covers a much wider area than this site and is in the quarter squares to the north and north west. It is all very garish.

Delancy Passage
Area of offices – but once had workshops

Delancy Street
This was once part called Warren Street to the east and the rest was Stanhope Street. It is named for James Delancey who leased fields here in the late 18th,
3-7 The Forge Arts venue. This was the Delancy Café now gone but was a girls school. It opened in 2009 as a music venue for world music, poetry and spoken word. The building has won awards and has solar panels, natural ventilation systems and a living wall.
3-7 Delancy Café. This Swiss/French restaurant has now closed. It is said it was previously a girls’ school
11 Camden Coffee Shop there since the 1950s run by George Constinantou since 1978 when he took over from his uncle. Coffee roasting is all done on the premises using a machine from the 1960s and one from 1912.
15 Delancy Studios, a development by Camden Council. 1981 by Camden Architects Dept.  On the site of a plasterworks
18 The Delancey. This is now flats
16-18 Camden Snooker Club. This was a 19th public hall, in use as a roller skating rink in 1903. It opened as the Dara Cinema in 1908. It had a wooden pay-box at the street entrance, which survived until recently. There was no foyer and street doors led straight into the auditorium which was at one level and parallel to Delancy Street.  It also had a sliding roof to allow ventilation in hot weather. It was re-named Fan Cinema, lost its licence in 1917 and closed. In 1919 it reopened as a billiard hall and this continued until the 1960’s when it became Dara Bingo Club. By the early-1990’s it was the Camden Snooker Club., It closed in 2011, and was demolished in 2012.
27 Skola. English language school
54 Dylan Thomas. There is a plaque saying 'poet lived here', installed in 1983.
68a Stanhope Yard. Milkwood Studios. The former purpose built headquarters of the Monty Python comedies, named as homage to Dylan Thomas who lived in the same terrace. It was later used by Videosonics - who housed various cinema screening events and editing facilities for production & film companies. In the 1920-30s it was used by Delancey Tool & Engineering Works, Ltd., who had produced the Delancey wood polishing machine. It is also said to have been livery stables but in the late 19th it appears to have been an artist’s studios.

Early Mews
This was extant in 1849 and is said to be named after Joseph Early, a plumber, based in Camden High Street.

Gloucester Avenue
1 Park House. This is now called North Bridge House. It was built in the mid-1820s as part of the Regent’s Park Development. It was however rebuilt in 1906 when the second railway tunnel underneath it from Euston was built. It was built by Romaine, Walker and Jenkins and then called Holyrood House.
Convent, Helpers of the Holy Souls. These Catholic nuns bought Park House in 1880 for use as a convent. They also acquired two adjoining which dating from before 1840.  They were demolished in 1906 for extensions to the convent and subsequently the Sisters moved to these extensions and the main building was used by the Japanese.
1 Japanese School, This was once in what is now called North Bridge House. It is operated by the Japanese Ministry of Education, and opened as a supplementary school in 1965. The day school was established in 1976.  In 1977 it moved to this house in Camden and moved away in 1987
1 North Bridge House. This is a private school which has five different locations in this area.  This is their ‘Prep’ school but was originally their senior school. It was previously the Japanese school.
Lamp standards. Some have a seal showing an effigy of St Pancras, from when this area was part of St. Pancras vestry

Gloucester Crescent
42-43 is a twenty-two-sided brick building of the mid-19th a former piano factory. It was the works of Collard and Collard factory until the 1920s.  The firm dated from 1767 as Longman & Broderip in 1767. The piano virtuoso, Muzio Clementi invested in the firm in association with F. W. and W. P. Collard. F. W. Collard was awarded several patents for piano design and construction. In the mid 19th the firm was at the forefront of piano manufacture in Europe. In 1929, it was sold to the Chappell Piano Company of London, but the Collard & Collard name was produced until about 1960.  This factory was built to take advantage of the natural light for the craftsmen whose individual components of the pianos were assembled in the centre of the building. The factory dates from 1851 but was burnt down within a year and this building thus dates from 1852. A circular well went through the middle of the building, and the pianos were hoisted down it. A ring of iron columns remains from this well. The building is now flats

Greenland Road
Mural by Mau Mau

Greenland Street
1 Lavery. This accountancy firm, and some other companies are in this  four-storey building which has a pediment with scrolls and with a bowed ground-floor window, and original details. As recently as the 1970s this was a joinery workshop.
8 The Upper Room. Conference venue and community space in the first floor hall of St. Michael’s church hall.  This was apparently the church hall for St.Michael’s church by Bodley & Gamer dating from the late 19th.
Camden United Theatre. This was a black managed theatre group which wanted to set up an arts venue with a concentration of black artists in the 1980s. They appear to have been in St. Michael’s hall and a dispute seems to have developed.
6-8 Spectrum Homeless Day Centre. This is in part of the old church hall.
10 Christine Blundell Make-up Academy. This teaches skills for stage and TV make-up.

Greenland Place
1 warehouse converted to an architects’ office. Signage for glazing contractor Miller, Beale, Hider was on the top gable.
2-3 The Blackheart – beer, booze and bands.  This was the Camden Tup until 1999. It is also said that an early tenant in the 1890s was film production company Ernest Moy & Co
3 Alexandra Giardi house. Used by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Child Counselling Centre

Inverness Street:
The road has had a number of name changes and has only been Inverness Street since 1937.  It was previously Wellington Street and once included Rugby Place and a Gloucester Place.
Street market. Established in 1901 and thus to a more traditional pattern than most of the surrounding tat. Unlike other local markets it once had many stalls selling fresh produce and foodstuffs – bit only two remained in 2012.
30 Good Mixer Pub. This was rebuilt after bombing

Jamestown Road
This was once called James Street and apparently named for James Delancey
31 Fiftyfive. This was once The Locomotive pub, later known as The Engine Room and is now called Fifty Five.
34 The Iceworks these are flats on the site of two ice wells owned by William Leftwich in 1820. The wells were brick chambers to store ice, harvested from the Regent's Canal, It had been backfilled and sealed before abandonment.
Camden Council office buildings and depot.

Kentish Town Road
Murals by Pang & Float, Irony, Captain Kris. Airborne Mark, Vanesa Longchamp, FPLO, Senor X & Kyle Holbrook.
1-7 HHB marked on bracket which was Henry H Bridgenan, 1874 shops
2 Camden Eye. This was the once the Halfway House. 1920s half timbered pub.
11a 1878 Turkish baths. These baths were built, and owned, by architect Henry Hewitt Bridgman.  In 1911, William Cooper bought them but they were closed after a fire on 30 March 1916. There is said to be an Arabic cornice in corridor entrance

Mornington Terrace
57 Edinboro Castle. Gastro pub with a much praised garden. The name is deliberately misspelt – originally it was correct. It once included a library, picture gallery and a museum with relics of Nelson. At the back was a garden for lawn billiards. It suffered a serious fie in 1984

Oval Road
The grand layout planned here was never achieved – the railway stopped a marching crescent to the west of the road. It was part of the Southampton Estate and dated from around 1840.

This was Slipshoe Lane or Crooked Lane in the 18th  but in the 19th it was renamed Park Street. After railway widening in 1937 the whole street was named Parkway and renumbered
London General Omnibus Company, stables
Royal Alexandra. This opened in 1873 and was later called Park Theatre. It was designed by J. T. Robinson. It opened as the Royal Alexandra Theatre although it was originally going to be called the Regent's Park Theatre this name was never actually used for this Theatre. It was burnt down in 1881.
Royal Park Hall. This was built on the site of the burnt out theatre in 1890. It was also used for hosting public meetings and such like. In 1894 it was advertised to let.  It later became a cabinet makers.
14 Odeon. The Gaumont Palace opened in 1937 on the site of the Riyal Alexandra. It was built by the Gaumont British Theatres chain as a luxury theatre with full stage facilities, 12 dressing rooms for the artistes and a cafe/restaurant. The architects were William E. Trent, W. Sydney Trent and Daniel Mackay. There was a Compton 4Manual/10Rank on a platform at the side of the stage.  At first it was called the Gaumont Palace, Regents Park. It became an Odeon in 1964 and a bingo hall was sited in the stalls. It closed in 1979 and in 1980 reopened as the Gate Cinema. In 1983, after another closure, it became the Parkway Kings Cinema and a second screen was the Parkway Regency. These both closed in 1993. Odeon reopened it in 1997 with 5-screens and. Bingo in the stalls.
5 The Jazz Café. This was built in 1874 as the London and South Western Bank. The café has been there since the 1980s although not jazz as some of us would understand it.
25 Camden Stores Pub.. The pub was designed . By A E Sewell for Trumans. On the corner splay there is a  large terracotta panel with the date '1924' around a trademark eagle, and raised lettering: 'TRUMAN HANBURY BUXTON & Co. Ltd. - THE CAMDEN STORES'. There is also ‘Camden Stores’ in a display over a side door in Arlington Street. It was at one time called the Rat and Parrot but is now an Indian Restaurant
27a Camden Bus. This is an estate agents shop in old Routemaster. The  bus itself is actually sited in Arlington Road
32 The Windsor Castle. The pub dates from around the 1860s but was rebuilt post Second World War. It was later renamed NW1 but is now a ‘brasserie’.
35 Japanese restaurant behind a shop front with signage from the pet shop which had been there since 1918.
49-55 Earl of Camden. This is in a larger building which extends down Albert Street. dating from the 1920s but largely reconstructed in the late 1990
Esso Petroleum Co., Ltd (Specialty Department). This had an address of 126 Albert Street . It dealt with a number of medical and related products as well as pest killers.
71 this was until the 1980s the shop of artists colour men Roberson & Co. This had been established in Long Acre in  1810 but moved here in 1936.  They had made colours for the pre-Raphaelites and other 19th artists,
77 this is the entrance to a yard where once piano makers , sheet music makers and a plating company had their works,  It is now Shepherd Robson architects which won awards for this conversion in 1975.
79 architects offices in a conversion of a piano factory in 1987-8.
94 Dublin Castle. Stucco-faced pub. It is said to have been built to serve Irish workmen on the nearby railway. From the 1970s, like many other local pubs, it became a music venue and here the landlord picked new acts who were about to become important. In 2008 he received an for services to the pub industry in Camden.
110 an early 20th rebuilding in the Queen Anne style. It has ‘EB WB ‘over the door and it was the Benjamin Barling briar pipe factory from the  1920s to the 1970s along with adjacent buildings. It has been in varied use since. Barling was an 18th silversmith which decorated foreign made pipes and moved to become manufacturers themselves.
120 Design House, these are design consultants.
127 York and Albany, This was a pub contemporary with the Regent's Park development. it is now a restaurant and hotel.

Underhill Street
Part of this area at the back of shops was once called Stanmore Place
Entrance to deep shelter under the underground station. This is  a red brick building giving access to deep level tube tunnel now in Marks and Spencer Car Park. It was built in the Second World War as an air raid shelter, but with a view to becoming part of a high-speed tube system.

Aldous.  Village London
Antique Piano Shop. Web site
Business cavalcade 
Camden History Review
Camden History Society. Primrose Hill to Euston Road.
Camden Walks
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London, 
Colloms and Weindling. Camden Town & Kentish Town. Then and Now.
Day. London Underground
English Heritage. Blue Plaque Guide
GLIAS Newsletter 
GLIAS Walks 
Grace’s Guide. Web site
Headley & Meulenkamp, Follies, Grottoes and Garden Buildings 
Jewish Museum. Web site
Kentishtowner. Web site
Laurie. Beneath the City Streets
London Borough of Camden. Web site
London Calling. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
Lucas. London
Nairn, Nairn’s London
Our Lady of Hal. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry.  London North
Pianoforte Manufacturers in England. Web site
Pub history. Web site
Richardson. Camden Town and Primrose Hill Past
Richardson. The Camden Town Book
Shady Old Lady. Web site
Suberranea Britannica. Web site
Summerson. Georgian London 
Symonds. Behind the Blue Plaques, 
Thames Basin Archaeology of Industry Group. Report
Tindall. The Fields Beneath 
Victorian Turkish Baths. Web site
Walford . Haymarket to Mayfair
Workhouses. Web site.


Marmot said…
Utterly wonderful. Thanks so much whoever you may be.

Nick Knowles said…
Thank you so much for solving a mystery.
My Great-Great-Great-Grandfather died in Grove Street in 1843, and I could find no indication of where it might be.

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