Hidden London

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What’s featured in each listing?

Hidden London’s listings are devoted to lesser-known localities of varying sizes, but mostly diminutive. A ‘locality’ is any place (or station) named in one of the London street atlases, or a park or road or estate with a distinct identity of its own.

Each listing generally includes an indication of where the place is and what it is like; perhaps some explanation of how it got its name, especially if this is interesting; a potted history of its development; and, if applicable, a few remarks on notable buildings, natural features, events and former residents, and selected artistic works that feature the place or were produced there.

The relevant postal district or postcode area is appended to each entry. Where there are two or more they are listed in approximate order of predominance (the same rule applies to the identification of parent boroughs). However, few areas in London have clearly defined borders, so this information should not be taken as gospel. For the same reason, a precise description of a locality’s extent is rarely attempted (see image below).

Highbury or Canonbury
So are we in Highbury or Canonbury?

Population figures from the 2001 census are cited where one or more ‘output areas’ roughly match the extent of a listed place. However, electoral boundaries are frequently drawn so as to include a similar number of voters in each ward within a borough, so the data may not always give a true representation of a place’s magnitude. Demographic highlights are often provided within the text, where these are available and illuminating.

The nearest station, tramstop or riverboat pier is usually given only when it has (or used to have) the same name as the place in question. Underground lines and mainline service providers are shown for each station, together with its fare zone(s).
Suggestions for further reading are given wherever possible. These range from slim pamphlets to multi-volume works, such as David Pam’s study of Enfield. Preference is given to works still in print, when a direct link to Amazon is usually provided. Further reading suggestions should not be assumed to be the source of information on Hidden London, and certainly not the source of any errors in that information!

Definition of a 'locality'

Links are provided to selected relevant websites, especially if they are run as community resources rather than advertising vehicles. However, many of the finest neighbourhood sites have disappeared already, after being created with benevolent intentions or optimistic avarice during the dotcom boom. Just occasionally, a link to a dormant site is knowingly provided, like the one for Brompton cemetery, where there is still interesting content to be found. In the absence of a worthwhile community website, links are sometimes included to sites with information on aspects of local history or a district’s key attraction.

Within the body of each entry, clicking on highlighted text for place names should take you to the relevant listing elsewhere within Hidden London. Highlighted text for personal names or titles of books usually indicates a link to a relevant page at Amazon.

Clicking on the main image within an entry should open a new browser window showing a map of the area. This is usually provided by Streetmap, except where their maps are out-of-date, when Multimap is used – for example in the case of BedZED. Streetmap’s arrows and Multimap’s circles don't usually identify the specific place in the image, as this is often not located centrally within the relevant area. Google maps are never used, despite the magnificent satellite overlays, because localities are labelled so inaccurately. To give just one example, South Kensington is labelled as North Kensington, when the two are actually kilometres apart.

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