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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Streets, Squares, and Buildings

Capper Mortimer 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 Capper Mortimer Estate

This estate in the north-west corner of Bloomsbury originated as the Bromfield site, later known as Brickfields, which was occupied by the farming Capper family in the eighteenth century (Survey of London, vol. 21, 1949)

It had been acquired by Hans Winthrop Mortimer of Caldwell, Derby by 1768, and residential development began at the end of the eighteenth century (Survey of London, vol. 21, 1949)

It comprised an area of Bloomsbury roughly bounded by Tottenham Court Road, University Street, Pancras (Capper) Street, and Gower Street

Although small, it became significant in the development of Bloomsbury

The eastern end of the site, at the end of University (then Carmarthen) Street and north of the part of Gower Street on the Duke of Bedford’s land, was sold at auction in 1825 for residential development, but acquired by John Smith, Benjamin Shaw, and Isaac Lyon Goldsmid as the site for the new University of London (now UCL)

The area to the east of UCL, particularly around Mortimer Market, has also been extensively redeveloped for buildings of UCL and UCH

Mortimer Market

It is in the north-west of Bloomsbury, on the small Capper Mortimer estate, and was originally a small Mews-like street leading east off Tottenham Court Road between Pancras Street and University Street

It appears partially developed on Horwood’s map of 1799

This area had previously been fields, mainly farmland, with a reservoir of some kind just to the northeast of the street

Horwood’s map of 1819 shows no numbers for any of the buildings, which were apparently mainly industrial

At least one early inhabitant was a coachman, a William Slade; he went bankrupt in 1832 (The Times, 21 July 1832)

Later in the century there was a timber yard there; in 1891 a massive fire at the yard took several hours to put out and threatened many nearby residential houses (The Times, 16 June 1891)

The original buildings were damaged by bombing in the Second World War and subsequently redeveloped by UCL and UCH; the current buildings are accessed from Capper (Pancras) Street rather than from Tottenham Court Road

This page last modified 14 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


Bloomsbury Project - University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT - Telephone: +44 (0)20 7679 3134 - Copyright © 1999-2005 UCL

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