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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

Pancras Street

Also known as Capper Street

It is in the north-west of Bloomsbury, on the boundary between the small Capper Mortimer estate and the Southampton estate, leading east off Tottenham Court Road to Huntley Street

It was in the process of being developed by 1795 (Survey of London, vol. 21, 1949), and is shown partially developed next to fields on Cary’s map of that date

It had been farmland until this residential development

It was presumably originally named after the parish of St Pancras, which includes this north-western portion of Bloomsbury

It was renamed Capper Street in 1886, after the Capper family who originally owned the small local estate and farmed over a wider area here

Horwood’s map of 1819 shows consecutive numbers from 7 to 15 on the north side, running from east to west; the (few) buildings on the mainly open south side are not numbered

The south side of the street belonged to the Southampton estate (Survey of London, vol. 21, 1949)

In the early part of the century there was a private amateur theatre (in a hay loft over a cow shed!) here at which Junius Booth made an early appearance as an actor (The Theatrical Inquisitor and Monthly Mirror, vol. 10, 1817); his son John Wilkes Booth was the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln

It was renamed Capper Street in 1886

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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