Camden Railway Goods Yard
Post to the south north east quarter square Camden Town
Post to the east
South West Quarter square Camden Road
South East quarter Square Camden Town
Post to the north Gospel Oak, Gospel Oak and Kentish Town
This posting covers only the southwest quarter of the square
The south east corner is Camden Market
The north west corner is Kentish Town West
1 The Adelaide. This dated from 1842 and named for Queen Adelaide. It was rebuilt after a fire in 1985 and is now flats. The area in front of the pub was once in use as a bus terminus.
Chalk Farm Underground Station. This opened in 1907 and lies between Belsize Park and Camden Town Stations on the Northern Line. It was originally on the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway which was taken over by Yerkes. It is the shallowest station on the Northern Line at 42' below ground and thus has the shortest lift shaft on the underground. It was designed by Leslie Green with rows of arches and ox-blood glazed tiles. The majority of the original station features are intact including tiling, etc. The two sides of the station converge at an acute angle – with it has 14 arched windows many since infilled as shop units. The wording on the station frieze was removed in the early 1950s. The original ticket hall survives with dark green tiling – wooden dado etc is a lighter green and the staircase railings are contemporary. There is an original clock by the Self Winding Clock Co. of New York which cost £5 but has since been converted to electricity. It was originally planned to be called Adelaide Road. It was refurbished in 2005.
Chappell's Piano Factory. Chappell's was founded in 1811 by Samuel Chappell as a retail only business. They produced their own pianos from the early 1840s, initially in Soho, and then Chalk Farm In the mid-1860s. Built on ‘the scale of a textile mill’ it had five storeys. In the 1880s it was producing 16 pianos a week. In the Great War the building became a munitions factory, and in the Second World War it became an Air Ministry 'shadow factory', producing canopies and propellers for Supermarine Spitfires. Later Chappels struggled to compete with pianos from the Far East. In 1970 they were taken over by the Dutch firm Phillips Electrical, who closed the factory. It is now posh flats.
Charlie Ratchford Resource Centre. Purpose-built Camden Council resource centre for Camden residents aged 60+
Camden Town Goods Depot
Goods yard at Chalk Farm, built for the London and Birmingham Railway, and its successor the London and North Western Railway Company, in operation from 1837. Chief engineer was Robert Stephenson although much designing was done by Robert Dockray. This square covers all except the south east corner. The goods depot was built around the main line railway out of Euston in 1839 on 30 acres of Lord Southampton’s land as the terminus for goods trains, intending an extension of the railway to London’s docks.
The London & Birmingham Railway. It was London’s first main line railway with Robert Stephenson as engineer. It had been planned to reach the docks and a terminus from Birmingham was planned in Camden Town by the canal. However it was then decided extend the railway to Euston Grove. This meant that the canal had to be crossed, as well as many roads, on a gradient too steep for the available locomotives. The level of the land north of the canal was raised with spoil from the Primrose Hill tunnel and cuttings. Thus the first trains were cable hauled up the slope from Euston on what was known as Camden Bank. The first sod for the London and Birmingham Railway was cut at Chalk Farm on 1 June 1834. The Camden Incline was the trial site for Cooke and Wheatstone’s electric telegraph for railway signalling, only one month after it had been patented.
The Stationary steam engine. When Euston Station was opened the engines were rope hauled up the slope to Camden. Two winding engines by Maudslay were installed underground in barrel vaulted chambers under the main line just north of Regent’s Canal Bridge, There were two chimneys above .the engines and machinery, dramatically sited and a tourist attraction.. The rope was 3,744 yards long and kept taut around a pulley. From Camden the trains were hauled by steam locomotives. This system was abandoned in 1844 and the steam engines were exported to a flax mill in Russia. The vaults themselves survive in good condition despite a level of flooding.
Camden Station. The terminus for the London and Birmingham railway was originally supposed to be at a station north of the canal but before the line was built an extension to Euston was agreed. The line opened in 1838 but the access road from the station to the Hampstead Road was considered unsuitable but the station was used for ticket inspections, etc. It was eventually closed.
Camden Goods Depot. This was established initially alongside the Regent’s Canal and the Hampstead Road. It was first exploited by Pickfords from 1841, soon to be followed by LNWR goods facilities. It was also necessary to provide stabling for the many horses that worked in the depot. In 1851 the rail freight connection to London docks was made. From 1839 freight was hauled between London and Birmingham for Pickford & Co. and two other carriers. The layout was undertaken by Joseph Baxendale, of Pickfords. In 1839 the yard included: the stationary engine house, a locomotive engine house for 15 engines, a goods shed and a wagon repair shop. (The site of the coke ovens is in the square to the east. stables in the square to the south). The yard was extended with new buildings in 1847 including the roundhouse and cattle pens alongside (many other buildings in the square to the east). It was again reordered in 1856 and changes continued into the 20th. Below the yard was a labyrinth of brick vaults, which allowed direct goods interchange with road and canal. (Much of them lying in the square to the east). After the opening of a shed at Willesden in 1873, the locomotive shed at Camden Depot was used by large express passenger locomotives. Steam was replaced by diesel, but the diesels did not stay long and the. The goods depot closed around 1980
East and West India Docks and Birmingham Junction Railway. This was connected to the goods yard from 1851. It became the North London Railway in 1853 and was realigned in 1854.
Pickfords. In 1841 they built a warehouse on the south side of the canal at the end of what is now Oval Road for interchange of goods between canal, rail and road. It was purchased by LNWR in 1846. In the 1880s it was taken over by Gilbeys.
Camden Motive Power Depot. This was originally the passenger engine house which dated from 1847 and stood parallel and west of the main line and east of Gloucester Road. It was a rectangular building with stores, offices, workshops and an artesian well. It survived until 1966. Today it is a site for carriage sidings
Main goods shed. In 1864 the LNWR built a goods shed to replace several smaller scattered goods facilities. This had a plan area of 100,000 square feet and was the largest at that time in the country. It was further enlarged in 1931
Hydraulic Pumping Station. A hydraulic accumulator tower remains between the main line and Gloucester Avenue on the north side of the canal. It was built in 1866 to supply Camden Goods Depot’s hydraulic systems which were installed from 1853. It is the oldest surviving LNWR accumulator tower. Other buildings now demolished, housed turbine pumps by Mather & Platt, installed in 1923. The railway has been widened and the lower part of the comer was removed to allow for this.
Laid out in 1850s and then called St.George's Square. Renamed 'Chalcot' in 1937 by London County Council
Chalcot Gardens. This is a small central garden with some acacias, which were fashionable trees in the 1850s. The central garden was owned and maintained by the Trustees of the Broder Estate for the benefit of tenants of the square. It is now publicly accessible. Little changed since the original layout, the square today has children's play equipment in one corner.
36 Turner House. From before the Great War until 1950 this was a hostel for blind women in the care of the Church Army.
Chalk Farm Road
This square covers the between Adelaide Road and Ferdinand Street. Pancras Vale was the original name of the road
Brick wall. the west side of the road is almost entirely brick wall behind which he railway sites were developed, behind the wall the railway is higher than the road because of dumped spoil and ash and this provided space for coal sidings and coal drops. Below them were vaults and tunnels.
Roundhouse. This goods engine house is a circular building with 24 rail tracks, each sufficient for an engine and tender, radiating from a central turntable. It was built to house goods locomotives and was designed by Robert Stephenson in 1847. It was built for the London and North Western Railway by R. B. Dockray. In 1869 the engines had become too large and it was used as a wine store by Messrs Gilbey, who added a wooden gallery. In 1965 it became was Arnold Wesker's Centre 42 for an arts centre undertaken by Bickerdike, Allen, Rich & Partners. A studio theatre was added in 1975 but thru project collapsed in 1983, and it was taken over by Camden Council. In 1997, it became an Arts Centre for the Norman Trust by John MacAslan. It remains an arts centre working closely with young people.
49 Camden Assembly. This is a music venue once a pub called Monarch. In 2000 it was called Barfly. There is a new and different Monarch pub in the road to the south
61Marine Ices. This business dates from 1931 and moved here 2014 to the current site, once called Old Dairy Mews The business was in Haverstock Hill and belonged to the Mansi famly. In 2012 the ice cream business in the ship styled building was sold to the Myatts and Ponti’s restaurant group took it over. The ice cream is now made in a factory in Suffolk and the Chalk Farm shop is only a gelateria.
63-63a Majestic Wine Warehouse. In the 1860s this was Bacon’s :Library and latyer Bacons Wilfrid Works and specialist printers. It has been home to a number of works since – including in the 1970s an Australian van sales business. There is a painted wall advertisement for Bacon’s on the adjacent shop wall.
65 Allison Pianos. There were a number oif addresses for this company which appears to have begun in the 1840s and owners who may or nay not hae been connected. It was eventually taken over by Chappel.
78-79 Joe’s. This was the Belmont Inn and also once known as The Engine Room, Bartok, and since around 2011, Joe's.
Horse trough by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association. Appears to be dedicated to Charles Kingsley
Before 1872 this was Fitzroy Place and there are recent moves to rename it Jasmin Mews. It provided access to the railway works via a wooden footbridge and steps which are still present
Pickford's. The carriers had a depot there 1880s and into the 1900s:
Macfisheries. Kipper smoking works was there in the 1950s
10 Crowndale Pub. This closed in 2006 and is now flats.
27 North Western Pub. Demolished.
Mural of Carmen Miranda
Kent House. Modern movement flats built 1935 by H Connell, Ward & Lucas, This was commissioned by a group led by Lady Stewart, in the Northern Group of St Pancras Home Improvement Society. Gates and lamps 1980-2 by Jeffrey Fairweather.
Gilbey's Yard. Housing development, on the site of the Goods Shed, is named for Gilbey’s wine merchants who had many buildings and storage areas throughout the goods complex and in surrounding roads. The housing here dates from 1997. This was an area at the southern end of the site, high above the canal. A turntable and railway lines are preserved here as well as granite cobbles and two weigh-bridges. This area was used by the railway as an ash dump where locomotive boxes were raked out. Eventually the layers of ash was rolled the ash and railway lines above it. Then the Goods Shed was built here.
44 The Courtyard. This was the Electric Telegraph Company, Postal Telegraph Stores of 1871.
90 The Lansdowne. Originally the Lansdowne Arms this is now a restaurant. It is an old Charrington house and still carries some Charrington signage among buff tiling. At one time the pub opened early in the morning for railway workers coming from the early shift and in the 1960s there was strip-tease at mid-day. The pub suffered a fire in 1985 following which it was reordered and internal wooden fittings removed.
110 Primrose Hill Business Centre. Office development on what was the site of an Engineering Works. It is also said to be in a dairy building of 1895. Which has been a business centre since 1972. The current offices have included publishing companies.
150 Pembroke Castle. Pub dating from the 1850s and now a restaurant, etc etc etc
2 The Enterprise. Pub dating from the 1850s.
8 Marine Ices. This business was here from 1931 in a building resembling an ocean liner commissioned by the Manzi family in 1947. Gaetano Mansi came here from Italy in the 1900s and had a grocery business in Drummond Street, Euston, He made sorbets and opened Mansi’s Cafe here in 1931. The business is now further down Chalk Farm Road and in different hands. The building is now in other use and the site is being redeveloped
10-16 Salvation Army. Home of the Chalk Farm corps.
This is a new road built as access into the railway goods yard and from without interrupting the train service. A stretch of wall in Chalk Farm Road was demolished for access and a new bridge and tunnel crossed the railway into the site. Originally Safeways (supermarket) and the Community Housing Association agreed to develop the site together and in 1994 for a a scheme designed by Pollard Thomas & Edwards was agreed and then transferred to Willmott Dixon.
Car park. A large car park was built to the south of the development for Safeways. It is on what was originally called Clay Field but the site had been a coal yard since 1855-6 and ash and clinker had been dumped. The car park is thus on a raised areas. Two railway turntables were unearthed during construction.
Morrisons; This was originally a Safeway store. Safeways were taken over by Morrisons in 2006.
Regent's Park Road
Bridge. This is overrail truss bridge which is now pedestrian only
Drinking fountain on the wall at the junction with Haverstock Hill.
Murals.. A steam train, trapeze artists and musicians by Brazilian artist Kobra to tell the history of the Roundhouse.
Hampstead Road Station. This was opened in 1851 on what was then the East and West India Docks and Birmingham Junction Railway. The site was east of what became Primrose Hill Station. It closed in 1855 and another station with the same name opened to the west of the junction with the LNWR. It was renamed Chalk Farm in 1852 and began a relationship with the LNWR Chalk Farm Station. When that closed in 1915 this station remained on the line between Broad Street and Willesden. It was closed between 1917 and 1922. It was renamed Primrose Hill in 1950
Camden Chalk Farm Station. This had begun as a ticket platform opened in 1851 London and North West Railway named ‘Camden’.It was replaced in 1852 to the north west but there was no connection to Hampstead Road station. In 1866 it was re-named Camden (Chalk Farm) and moved adjacent to Hampstead Road and in 1876 re-named ‘Chalk Farm’. By this time it was sharing an entrance with Hampstead Road and there was a footbridge between the two. In 1915 this LNWR station was closed
Primrose Hill Station. This was a renaming in 1950 of a station with a varied history of being called Hampstead Road and a variety of Chalk Farms.From 1986 the Broad Street service went to Liverpool Street with less and less trains and closure in 1992. The buildings became offices and shops. There have been various campaigns to get it reopened but the buildings were demolished in 2008.
Aldous, London Villages
Allinson and Thornton. London’s contemporary architecture
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Camden History Review
Camden History Society, Primrose Hill to Euston Road.
Camden Railway Heritage Trust. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London
Colloms and Weindling. Canden Town and Kentish Town Then and Now
Connor. Forgotten stations,
Day. London Underground
Essex Lopresti. Regents Canal
Field. London Place Names
GLIAS Walk 7
Hillman. London Under London
London Borough of Camden. Web site
Lost Pubs Project. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. London North
Piano Tuners. Web site
Primrose Hill History. Web site
Pub History. Web site
Richardson. Camden Town and Primrose Hill Past
Richardson. The Camden Town Boo
Thames Basin Archaeology of Industry Group. Report
Tindall. The Fields Beneath
Wilson. London's Industrial Archaeology