Maida Vale: The Last Fields are Filled

The Boundary Changes Map, 1900.

Before this date London Borough boundaries were often complicated. Centuries earlier people had left fields in distant boroughs to support their own Local Poor. They meant well but often they left an administrative nightmare. Queen’s Park was administered by Chelsea, ‘Hornsey Removed’, in Stoke Newington, paid its rates to Hornsey, which paid Stoke Newington to repair its sewage pipes. In 1900 there was a general tidying up and this map charted it. This map was designed to show the new borough boundaries The 1900 Boundary map shows a few remaining fields. At this time the Portion Of Chelsea Removed north of the Harrow Road (which will be considered later) was added to Paddington, and the part south of Harrow Road was added to Kensington.

The Borough Boundary Map, 1900
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The Maida Vale Ward

This map also records the 1887 Economic Sump in a dramatic way. Before 1887 houses had been advancing ponderously over the Paddington fields like an advancing army. In this atmosphere Paddington Recreation Ground has been laid out after an epic struggle. In 1887 all this building suddenly halted as Queen Victoria celebrated her Jubilee with a disastrous slump. All building stopped. The 1900 map shows the Paddington Recreation Ground had been built, but all normal building in the white area south of it was fossilized.

Before the next building phase had arrived, after the turn of the century, the architectural style had changed. The Queen Anne Architectural Revival - the 'Sweetness and Light Style' - had arrived. Walking along the boundary today the differences are quite clear. Red brick decorative panels in moulded brick, and wrought iron railings, on one side, and the older yellow London Stock bricks on the other. Mansion flats to the right: Back Addition houses to the left. An archaeologist would love it. There is no mistaking it. One side built before 1887: the other built after 1900. Maida Vale has a completely different atmosphere from The older Oakington Road houses. Today this old field diamond is completely filled with the red buildings, but on the edges, behind the rows of mansion flats, some of the old field boundary trees can still be found.


Details from the Edwardian Apartment Blocks

A panel of pressed bricks

These panels were sent out by the brickyards as sets, packed in wooden boxes and padded with straw.

An Edwardian stained glass window


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Updated July 5, 2011