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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

North Place

Also known as “Plum Pudding Steps”

Not to be confused with North Place, Gray’s Inn Road

It ran along present-day Argyle Walk as far as Brighton Street, apparently on the border of the Battle Bridge and Cromer–Lucas estates

No development in this area is shown on the 1813 edition of Horwood’s map

The development shown on the 1819 edition of his map includes two unnumbered buildings on the south side of the walk, between Brighton Street and Wood Street

It is not mentioned in the Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952

It does appear on the Ordnance Survey map of 1867–1870, which shows it running along present-day Argyle Walk from Brighton Street to just east of Riley Street

This area was undeveloped fields until the early nineteenth century

It was presumably named for its position at the north of the Cromer–Lucas estate development

There was a mission hall here from 1876 to 1888; it was replaced by Holy Cross Church, Cromer Street (David Hayes, East of Bloomsbury, 1998)

In the twentieth century its buildings were demolished and replaced by Argyle Walk (David Hayes, East of Bloomsbury, 1998)

This page last modified 14 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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