Thursday, March 19, 2015

Edgware Road

This is number 11 in my series 'Above the Underground' as Edgware Road station is the 11th station of 25 on the Bakerloo line travelling Northwards. Here is a list of the rest of the stations I have yet to visit.

 However there are two underground stations with the same name so how confusing is that? The other station is a couple of minutes walk away and is for the District, Circle and Hammersmith and City lines. There was some discussion in the London Assemble about renaming one of the stations to stop the confusion but so far no decision has been made.

No escalators at this station but there is a lift that takes you up to the ticket hall  which still has the original tiling and old signage,

When the station opened in June 1907 it was part of a row of shops but it was easy to spot by its red terracotta tiles seen on the frontage of many underground stations. In the 1960s the shops adjoining the station were demolished to make way for the flyover to be built.
The Marylebone Flyover crosses the A5 Edgware Road and links the A40 to the A501. Beneath the flyover is a subway.

In this very dismal pedestrian subway are two stainless steel kiosks, normally used for the sale of newspapers, sweets and cigarettes but these have been converted into a place for exhibiting art known as the Subway Gallery.

Across the road from the tube station is Paddington Green Police station. This is not just an ordinary police station but is the most high security station in the UK. Beneath the 1960s building are high security cells for terrorist suspects which are separate from the other prisoners' cells.

Just a short walk from the station is Church Road Market. A long established market with its mixture of food, clothing and fabric

The one place that all markets should have - public toilets. They look rather smart from the outside but don't be fooled!

The road on which the station stands -Edgware Road runs from Marble Arch to Edgware and partly follows the route of an old Roman Road and therefore runs in an almost straight line for 10 miles which is very unusual in London.

This is London's oldest pawnbrokers. A pawnbroker offers money as a loan for an item of value. The person can repay the loan with added interest to retrieve the item. Sometimes the pawnbroker just buys the item to sell  in his shop. The universal symbol for a pawn shop is the 3 balls hanging from a curved bar. The three balls were part of the Medici family's coat of arms. The Medici family were money lenders in Europe and legend has it that one of them slew a giant with 3 sacks of rocks. The three globes or balls became part of the family crest and eventually the sign of a pawnbroker.

Sutton and Robertson's is London's oldest pawnbrokers and one of the largest in the UK. The two names started out as individual pawnbrokers in the late 1700s until 2006 when the businesses joined together.

Here is an extract from their website:
'Some of the fascinating and exceptional items we have valued and held as pledges over the years include a famous recording artist's first recording contract...a 19th Century Russian side cabinet that belonged to Tsar Nicholas II...artwork by Salvador Dali, David Hockney, and Damien Hirst...a first edition X-Men comic ... rare pink, green, and blue diamonds... and antique Victorian erotic pocket watches among them.
One aristocratic family has pawned and redeemed the same necklace for three generations. Another high-born customer pledged an exquisite Edwardian diamond tiara. In times past, the lords and ladies of Eaton Square pledged their trunkloads of silver for cash needed to impress guests they were hosting for the weekend. Suttons & Robertsons pawnshops were also a frequent stopping point for aristocrats who required quick cash for their jaunts to Monte Carlo.'

Behind the hustle and bustle of the high street, the grime and pollution caused by heavy traffic  there is a quiet refined area with some beautiful buildings and even some London Mews.

These cobbled cul de sacs were once home to London's many stables, in the days when a horse and carriage was the most common form of transport. Nowadays these converted cottages are home to many of the rich and wealthy

A few minutes walk from Edgware Station is Paddington Green. First mentioned in the 1500s as an area of common land where villagers could gather fuel and graze their animals.

Next to the Green is the Church of St Mary built in 1788 to replace a much smaller church on this site

There has been a churchyard on this ground since medieval times. However as the population grew the need for a larger churchyard increased. Due to overcrowding burials ceased here in 1857 and a new burial ground was built  a few miles away in Willesden. Around the edge of the Green you can view many of the old headstones.

The skull and crossbones on a headstone is not that common. Different theories exist about the symbolism but the most commonly held theory is that it is just a reference to our own mortality.


  1. Great tour. Did you see in Moulsford Church there were three memorial tiles to one family, all with skulls on. The husband I wide were faceing each other. Never see that before.

  2. So many interesting things, starting with the ticket windows in the station. I did not know about the three gloves being a symbol of a pawn shop -- much less why. I love this series!

  3. Love the series. And this stop made a wonderful place for a walk! Funny about the aristocrats and the pawnbrokers; I've always heard that pawnshops were banks for those with no credit rating. I guess you can have poor credit in any walk of life.

    The original tile work at this station was nice, but it was sure not as nice a station otherwise .

  4. I've used the Edgware Road Station.......well it seems I used one of them, not knowing there were two. It was luckily the correct one. At the time I had forgotten how close I was to the site of the Tube bombing. I must check if pawnbrokers here use the three balls. The Church of St Mary sits on a very nice site.

  5. I liked lots of things in your posting. The ticket office windows are beautiful !!
    Hopefully they will keep them for a very long time.

  6. Thank you for a great tour through London city... My first address in London was Edgware road and my second at Hammersmith... I loved walking across the parks and streets...Lovely photos...

  7. I love seeing public transport in other cities. And your tour through this area of London is really interesting. Thanks!


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