Walking Through History: The Story of Edgware's Oldest Streets

Journey through time as we explore the rich history of Edgware's oldest streets. Discover the origins, transformations, and stories that have shaped our community.

Claire Pringle
10:05 AM, Jun 8, 2023

two people standing in front of silver fence
Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash

Edgware, a vibrant community in North London, is steeped in history that is reflected in its oldest streets. From its origins as a resting place for pilgrims to its transformation into a bustling market town, the story of Edgware's streets is a fascinating journey through time. In this post, we'll explore the history of some of Edgware's oldest streets and the stories they have to tell.

The Origins of Edgware

The name 'Edgware' is derived from 'Ecgi's weir fishing pool', suggesting that the original settlement was likely closer to the bridge over the Edgware Brook on Edgware Road. Pilgrims on their way from London to St Albans used Edgware as a resting place. By the time of Elizabeth I, a substantial village had developed along the road from Edgware Bridge and up Station Road as far as the Anglican church of St Margaret's, with a population of about 120 people.

Edgware's Transformation into a Market Town

Edgware had become a small market town by the 17th century, with traders including butchers, tailors, colliers (charcoal sellers), brewers, and even an optician. A market was held every Thursday, but by the 1790s, it was held less frequently. From 1760 until 1904, Edgware hosted a cattle and pleasure fair, with horse racing taking place between 1834 and 1855.

The Impact of Transportation on Edgware's Development

The Edgware Road grew in importance after the reformation as the population of London expanded. However, with increased use, the condition of the road worsened over the following centuries, and it was nearly unusable for six months of the year. To pay for repairs to the road, it became the Edgware-Kilburn turnpike (1711 - 1872). Where the Territorial Army Centre is today, there was a gate, and travellers on horseback or in coaches had to pay a fee to travel along the road.

The Modern Edgware

With the extension of the underground railway from Golders Green, completed in 1924, Edgware began to grow into the bustling community we know today. By 1930, Edgware had a bustling shopping centre and suburban streets.

In conclusion, the streets of Edgware are more than just routes for travel - they are historical landmarks that tell the story of our community's evolution. As we walk these streets today, we are treading the same paths as those who came before us, adding our own chapter to the ongoing story of Edgware.

Claire Pringle

Claire Pringle is the passionate mind behind Edgware Road, a comprehensive guide to everything related to this vibrant area of London. Born and raised in Edgware, Claire has always been fascinated by the rich history and diverse culture of her hometown. This passion led her to create Edgware Road, a platform where she could share her knowledge and love for the area with others.

With a background in journalism and a keen interest in community development, Claire has dedicated herself to exploring and highlighting the many facets of Edgware. From delving into local history to keeping up with the latest news and events, she provides insightful and engaging content that resonates with both residents and visitors alike.

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