Introduction to the history pages

Before we start... please note this part of the website is still being developed. The history notes are available in sequence if you click on the Local History link to the right hand side of the page. And.. these articles are also spread through the main run of articles below. We hope to tidy this up soon.

Once in the history section it goes over several pages and you need to spot the rather unnoticeable box at the foot of each page to arrow yourself into the next page. And, if you have opened this introduction by clicking on Read More… you need to close it by clicking the back arrow top left – so you can see other Local History Postings.

This was first posted at Christmas 2020 and it seemed a good time to get the history section going again – indeed to get the History Group going again after many years.

This has been stimulated by a burst of activity on the WhatsApp group, some of it focused on local history issues.

We did have a local history group some years ago which achieved quite a lot and that’s the subject of a separate posting on this website.

If you are interested in Local History there is a wealth of resources to feed your interest.

What is written here is pretty basic and certainly almost nothing original by way of research. And it is very much work in progress and I hope that the History Group will be able to expand it very much and bring in more recent history by way of people’s memories

Towards the end of this introduction I give a very simple list of other resources and books.

This part of the website contains: [ or rather – will contain when it is more developed…]

1. This introduction, then 2. a note about the Local History Group.

3. A brief history of Kentish Town and the Inkerman Area (and why they have those names)

That then links to 4. the history of the area in maps which shows what the area looked like before it was developed and then the gradual development of the streets.

5. There is a separate section explaining the names of each street.

6. In terms of Local History, I have a list of books below but you might prefer to start without any expense and at the click of a mouse by going to the Conservation Area Statement in this website which contains a very sound history of the area together then with an extraordinarily detailed, well-informed and very opinionated description of every street in the area! Really worth reading.

7. Then there are contributions from some very active local researchers especially in Ryland Road with portraits of local people, a description of the building which is now the “French School“ as well as the building in Prince of Wales Road near the Kentish Town West station, Hampstead Gates, as well of course as the building in Anglers Lane which you may be interested to know was a major false teeth factory!

It has interviews with local people and this is an area that we would really like to develop.

8. Then a random posting about two listed building / objects at the bottom of Anglers Lane… that you never knew about…..

Local resources:

In Camden we have a very active and highly developed local history society, the Camden History Society, who have their own website although it is mainly accessible if you become a member.

The obvious place to start any exploration of our area is in the Owl Bookshop where you can support our local excellent local shop by buying the books recommended. When the libraray is open I think it has a Local History Section. The library in Holborn has the main local history archives which we have accessed in the past, and where we need to go again one day for real research – eg Rate Books and Census records. See article about the Local History Group.

The Queen of Local History here is Gillian Tindall with her book “The Fields Beneath“. She is a distinguished author of fiction and non-fiction and this is far better than the average amateur local history book.

It covers the whole of Kentish Town and, it must be said, is somewhat light on detail regarding our particular area.

You might then move onto “The Streets of Kentish Town“ by the Camden History Society which is a series of walks around Kentish Town, all of which are rewarding and interesting, but Route 6 – “The “Crimean“ area and Homes estate”- focuses on our area. I did in fact draft the original version which was then very much developed by the main authors of the book.

Other local books include Kentish Town Past by John Richardson, The Growth of Camden Town by Jack Whitehead, Images of Camden Town and Kentish Town by Marianne Collins and Dick Weidling.

Two books particularly good on illustrations, by JohnRichardson are “The history of Camden. Hampstead, Holborn and St Pancras. “ and “Camden Town in Primrose Hill Past”

Very recently one of our own star authors, Martin Plaut, together with Andrew Whitehead, published a book called Curious Kentish Town with some very interesting stories and good pictures.

We have all these books and would normally be happy to lend them but… not right now I’m afraid. Maybe one day we can create our own local history library… and then… a museum, if we were ambitious..