The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 18 Bloomsbury and Districts to the North

Camden Town

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HAMPSTEAD ROAD, a dull thoroughfare, is traversed by tramways and omnibuses, on their way to Camden Town, Holloway, etc. In the churchyard of St. James's Church, about + mile from Euston Road, are buried Lord George Gordon (died 1793), leader of the 'No Popery' riots, and the painters John Hoppner (died 1810) and George Morland (died 1804). Immediately beyond the church is the Temperance Hospital; then comes Ampthill Square, where lived the 'Infant Roscius,' Henry West Betty, who became a famous actor at the age of twelve. Farther on, on the left side of the street, are a house (No. 225) once occupied by Tennyson and one (No. 263) in which George Cruikshank (1792-1878) died. To the west, between Hampstead Road and Albany St., is Cumberland Market, a large paved square reminiscent of an 18th century print. At the north end of Hampstead Road are the Mornington Crescent tube-station and, in the roadway, a shabby statue of Richard Cobden (1804-65), by W. and T. Wills, erected in 1868 by 'public subscription, to which Napoleon III. was principal contributor.' Dickens was for two years (1824-26) a pupil at 'Wellington House Academy' (247 Hampstead Road), which is said to have been the original of 'Salem House' in 'David Copperfield.' Crowndale Road leads hence to the east past the Working Men's College, founded in 1854 in Red Lion Square by F. D. Maurice and others with the object of placing a liberal education within the reach of working men. The fees are very low, most of the teaching being unpaid. The present well-equipped premises were opened in 1905, and the average number of students is about 1500. No. 141 Bayham St. (the first turning to the north off Crowndale Road) was the first London abode of Charles Dickens, then aged eleven (rebuilt). From the east end of Crowndale Road Pancras Road runs to the south-east, Great College St. to the north-west. The latter contains the Royal Veterinary College, with a museum to which admission is granted on written application. From the Cobden statue the High Street of Camden Town, a poor relation of Hampstead, built by Lord Chancellor Camden in 1796, proceeds north to the junction of streets known as 'the Britannia,' from the neighbouring tavern. The 'Camden Town Group' of painters have made an artistic centre hereabouts. Here is also the Camden Town Station of the Hampstead Tube. Charles Dibdin (1745-1814), the song-writer, died at No. 34 Arlington Road (tablet), which runs parallel with High St., to the west, and is buried in the churchyard of St. Martin's, in Camden St. At the Britannia three main roads diverge. Chalk Farm Road, named after a farm noted as a resort of duellists about a century ago, leads north-west to Haverstock Hill and Hampstead. By Kentish Town Road, leading due north, the adventurous explorer may push on through the drab and uninteresting region of Kentish Town to Parliament Hill Fields and Highgate. Camden Road runs north-east to Holloway, passing Camden Square, where the Meteorological Office has a station for registering London's rainfall, and Holloway Prison, a castellated building erected in 1853-54 and now used for women prisoners only. Many of the 'suffragettes' were confined here during their pre-War agitation.