Still on the Edge of the Country

Stanford 1862. Map.

By 1862 little had changed. The area around Little Venice had started to grow but fields still covered everywhere else. Sutherland Gardens, Sutherland Crescent, and Warrington Crescent had been marked out and a handful of houses built. St John's Wood was almost completely filled and there were houses two roads deep along the Edgware Road. Then events in the City of London and Westminster caused more rapid development. Suddenly everyone wanted to get out of London because it was becoming more and more unpleasant to live there.

Twenty Years of Chaos in London, 1860 -1880

'In the seventh decade of the nineteenth century, London was more cut about, more rebuilt and more extended than at any time in its previous history.'

John Summerson, 'The London Building World of the Eighteen Sixties', pub.1973

An enormous amount of disturbance was caused in the City of London by the digging of four main sewers, the building of railways with the consequent upheaval of cemeteries and demolition of houses, the cutting of new roads arid the laying of gas and water mains. City dwellers took advantage of the new railways and fled to houses being built in what were then the country suburbs of Paddington, Hackney, and Camberwell, or to Holloway and the house backing on to the railway which Mr Pooter would take a few years later.

In 1861 the City of London had a population of 113,000. By the next census, in 1871, it was reduced to 76,500. Baron Haussmann, who tore the heart out of Paris after the 1870 Commune, could have learnt his trade in London a decade earlier.


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