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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

Riley Street

Also known as Loxham Street

Not to be confused with Riley Street, Bermondsey, or Riley Street, Chelsea

It is in the north-east of Bloomsbury, on the Cromer-Lucas estate, and leads north from Cromer Street to North Place, originally towards the back of the New Jerusalem Chapel in Argyle Square

It is named on both the 1867–1870 Ordnance Survey map and Weller’s map of 1868

It appears but is not named on Cruchley’s map of 1827

This area was largely undeveloped and agricultural land until 1801

The origin of both names is unknown

The 1841 census shows its inhabitants to be mainly working-class and semi-skilled: labourers, brushmakers, paperhangers, shoemakers, carpenters, coach painters and coachmen, artificial flower makers, a laundress, a tailor, a porter, a mason, and a butcher

Later in the century it become a slum; in the 1890s the slums were cleared and the East End Dwellings Co. built new blocks of flats here

In the twentieth century it was renamed Loxham Street

Its flats became part of the Hillview Estate, owned by a local community housing association

This page last modified 14 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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