UCL logo




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

Little Pancras Street

It is in the north-west of Bloomsbury, being a short street leading south from the eastern end of Mortimer Market to Pancras Street, on the Mortimer estate

It appears developed but unnamed on Horwood’s maps of 1807, 1813, and 1819

This area was undeveloped fields and a pond until the end of the eighteenth century

It was presumably named for its access to Pancras Street

No numbers appear on Horwood’s maps

In 1812, Thomas Hopkins, a carpenter, lived here with his family and a servant: James Goff, then aged 22, was tried for breaking into his house and stealing property including silver and a gun, and was found guilty and sentenced to death (Old Bailey Proceedings Online, May 1812, James Goff, t18120513-32)

There was a mason there in the 1820s; however, he went bankrupt (The Times, 24 April 1824)

In 1866 it was described as “a small thoroughfare near a mews, paved with large round stones slanting down to a gutter in the middle of the street, and well adapted for accumulating rain and sundry fluids ejected from the houses. One of the houses here, No. 7, stands prominent in the black books as a fever den...Six cases of typhus have been sent from this house to the Fever Hospital, and one of those patients died in the Hospital last week but one” (Medical Times and Gazette, 3 February 1866)

There was a blacksmith there in 1880 (The Times, 5 July 1880)

At the end of the century it was still a poor area; one of the children who lived here was reported to have been sent to school without having had any food for a whole day (6 September 1887)

Revelopment of the Mortimer Market area means no trace of it remains

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

Search by Google