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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Streets, Squares, and Buildings

Lucas Estate

Estates in Bloomsbury

1 Duke of Bedford
2 City of London Corporation
3 Capper Mortimer
4 Fitzroy (Duke of Grafton)
5 Somers
6 Skinners' (Tonbridge)
7 Battle Bridge
8 Lucas
9 Harrison
10 Foundling Hospital
11 Rugby
12 Bedford Charity (Harpur)
13 Doughty
14 Gray's Inn
15 Bainbridge–Dyott (Rookeries)

Area between the Foundling and Harrison estates: Church land

Grey areas: fragmented ownership and haphazard development; already built up by 1800

About the Lucas Estate

This seven-acre estate in the north-east of Bloomsbury was originally part of the Peperfield area of the Harrison estate, but became separated from it in the eighteenth century (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

Its owner at the beginning of the nineteenth century was Joseph Lucas, a tin plate worker, who decided in 1801 to develop the land (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

The estate was a small strip with a curved top, stretching from the area of the Boot pub to Gray’s Inn Road

Its main street when developed was Cromer Street, which was begun in 1801, and known as Lucas Street after the landowner until 1834 (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

The origin of other street names on the estate remains obscure

Catel Place

It was somewhere in the Cromer Street area, but it does not appear on major maps; it might have been the unnamed cul-de-sac opposite Dutton Street which is shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1867–1870 and Weller’s map of 1868

It was presumably developed at the same time or later than Cromer Street, in the early nineteenth century

A report on the sanitary conditions of St Pancras described it as a court of several cottages, sharing one closet, with a water-cistern over this; “[t]he traps were broken, and the complaints of the smell from the drains were numerous” (Medical Times and Gazette, 3 February 1866)

It was still there later in the century, and apparently its sanitary conditions had not improved; it was one of the streets singled out for criticism as being particularly insanitary by the St Pancras Vestry in the 1880s (The Times, 10 January 1884)

In the twentieth century it was swept away by redevelopment; no trace of it remains

This page last modified 14 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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