Chapel Market

Here are the pictures that I scanned yesterday from my Streets of London series of July 2005:

Percy Circus WC1 7.05

Percy Circus WC1 remains a tribute to 19th Century town planning and 20th Century restoration. offers this description: ‘The whole area was set out on a south-facing hillside, in classical layouts; a Circus, Squares and numerous Rectangles. It was a planned as a Classical estate layout, designed to be near the City of London but away from its old crowded houses. It could have come directly from some 18th Century architect’s notebook when he returned from the Grand Tour. It was completely different from the traditional City of London layout. There the streets were narrow lanes. Here roads wer generously wide and laid out as vistas. Houses were large and impressive, not the narrow fronted, tall houses squeezed upwards by the old City walls.

The people who first moved into these houses had ‘arrived’. They were the successful ones and could now enjoy the new, spacious houses. It was exactly like the contrast between the tenements of Old Edinburgh and Edinburgh New Town, laid out on its Classical grid.

The air was better in Percy Circus than in the City of London, but it was near King’s Cross and Euston and would not be free of soot for another century and the Clean Air Acts of 1956, 1968 and 1990.

The houses were built as separate properties and some remained like this, but soon many were divided into floors and even separate rooms. Decades before 1939 and the Second World War, in it had become a densely packed area, full of bed-sitting rooms and single women. Their potential husbands had been killed in the First World War. The most relevant novel seems to me to be Riceyman Steps by Arnold Bennett, which is set nearby.’

This very informative site provides historic maps and photographic descriptions of the restoration carried out following the destruction brought about by numerous bombings in the second world war.

Vernon Square WC1 7.05

Down the hill we arrive at Vernon Square, the early residents of which would be amazed at the traffic congestion encountered on Penton Rise,

Acton Street/Kings Cross Road WC1 7.05

which joins Kings Cross Road. Following the BBC television series ‘The Urban Chef’ of 2006, The Prince Albert, at the corner of Acton Street, has become a thriving gastropub.

Frederick Street, WC1 7.05

Frederick Street WC1 lies parallel to Acton Street. You could buy one of these houses for £2.5 million give or take a grand or two.

Lloyd Street WC1 7.05

On a level with Percy Circus stands Lloyd Street, part of the Lloyd Baker estate where I once lived and which has featured a number of times in this series.

White Conduit Street N1 7.05

Islington’s Chapel Market N1 is still a bustling, colourful, source of stall-holders’ produce. Fosby’s Café, on the corner of White Conduit Street, was a popular eating place. It seems now to be no longer in business.

Grant Street N1 7.05

In Grant Street a fruiterer sets out his oranges over which are suspended string bags of garlic.

North West Place N1 7.05

Clothes and books are on offer in North West Place.

Baron Street N1 7.05

The fruit on the Baron Street stall remains as fresh as it was when sampled yesterday. As far as I can tell, the bar with the beautiful floral display is the Alma which has been recently updated.

Tolpuddle Street N1 7.05

Tolpuddle Street N1 lies parallel to Chapel Street. The Angelic, with its address in Liverpool Road, is a popular gastro-pub.

Hemingford Road N1 7.05

Hemingford Road N1 is situated between Caledonian Road and Liverpool Road,

Moon Street N1 7.05

to the east of which, Moon Street is an attractive little cul-de-sac.

In a short while Jackie will be driving me to New Hall Hospital for my first post-discharge physiotherapy session. I will report on that tomorrow.


  1. A very interesting and informative post Derrick, enjoyed that tour and great pics.
    Best wishes for your first Physio session mate.

  2. I do enjoy taking these London walkabouts with you and your faithful camera, Derrick. Very handy to have these memories when your present knee is not up to such strolls through history.

  3. I always enjoy your London posts. I hope all goes well with the physio and that you will feel the benefit of their wisdom.

  4. You captured a number of pretty floral displays in these photos Derrick – I very much enjoyed seeing them. A good session with the physio I gather – such good news! Onwards and upwards 🙂

  5. Derrick, as I traverse down the hill of years, reveries, desires, old dreams, fiction and travelogues seem to converge at points, somewhat like a mirage. Someday, when I’ll meet my maker in the Fizz and Whoosh of Dark Matter above, I wonder if I’ll tell him I have roamed the streets of London. Keep feeding me, my friend!

  6. Thanks for the virtual journey you took us on today. I loved every minute of it. I pray all is well with your knee and that the physio goes well. Love, N

  7. Thank you for taking us on the tour with you, via some beautiful photos, Derrick!
    The markets, the flowers, the architecture…all a joy!
    Best of luck with your PT session!
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  8. I really enjoyed reading the history of those once grand houses in Percy (Square? – sorry, can’t check on my phone without obliterating this whole comment).

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