The Ahern Maps of St Marylebone and Paddington

This book contains a number of maps drawn by Mr J. H. Ahern, a man of wide interests, born about 1900, who lived in St John's wood until his death in 1961. He and his wife, Mrs G. M. Ahern, were members of the St Marylebone Society and he was the General Editor of Publications. He made a double series of maps, one of St Marylebone and the other of St John's Wood.

They were drawn from standard maps of the district -- Rocque, Milne, Horwood etc. -- all redrawn to a common scale of 6 inches to the mile, but leaving out everything except roads and buildings. This reduction of different naps to a common scale must have been painfully time consuming before the invention of the modern reducing and enlarging photocopier. Instead, Ahern had to draw the maps on a pale blue layout of the 1960s streets. They would then have been photographed and the blue lines would not have come out on a photograph.

Unfortunately the project was cut short by his death and the sheets were never fully revised. They stayed in St Marylebone archive until Richard Bowden kindly allowed me to reproduce them. The series of maps show more clearly than any others could do, the westwards spread of London over more than two centuries. They reveal St Marylebone as a mass of terraces, while St John's wood is a land of semi-detached villas - an early garden suburb. About two years before she died, Mrs Ahern gave the maps to the Marylebone Library Local History Collection, now Westminster City Archives.

Mr Ahem also drew the maps of Lisson Grove for the pamphlet 'Lisson Green: a Domesday Village at St Marylebone', by E. Bright Ashford, St Marylebone Society, 1960< which I have reproduced as well.

Whole Map Full Size Full Size Map in New Window

Oxford Street in 1745, J.H.Ahern, based on John Rocque.

By 1745, houses had reached along the north side of oxford Street two roads deep as far as Marylebone Road. There was still a farm, or nursery garden near Tottenham. Court Road.


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