Ordnance Survey Map. 25 inches to the mile, 1914.
This map shows the impact of Victorian and Edwardian house-building on Chiswick. There are many new streets, especially south of the High Road. The terraces of the Glebe Estate and the ABC estate to its east stretch down towards the riverside industries near St Nicholas Church; many skilled artisans lived there. The most recent building at the time of this map include the Riverview estate near Strand-on-the-Green and the houses in streets north of Barrowgate Road erected after the closure of the Royal Horticultural Society’s extensive Gardens when they moved to Wisley. In addition the western part of Chiswick House Grounds (originally parkland for Sutton Court Manor House) has been laid out by agents of the Duke of Devonshire for suburban housing development.
The map shows extensive areas of orchards, producing fruit for the London market, in the south of the parish. So in one small area you could find the contrast between this rural scene and the new phenomenon of trams. The lines on which they ran are shown along the High Road; the service had been electrified in 1901.
This proved one of the most complex maps for us to source. There were two revisions of Great Britain around 1914, and also two piecemeal revisions. In 1912 work also began on a one inch ‘Popular Edition’. Most of the sheets were reprinted with road revisions, and some incorporated piecemeal revisions of urban areas. Whatever the reasoning behind it, this threw us completely and even helped to sow some confusion amongst more expert archivists.
Chiswick lies between six sheets – we had to go all the way from the river northwards to cover Bedford Park and the Ealing section of Chiswick. London Metropolitan Archives had a beautiful collection and scanned five sheets, but suddenly realised they were lacking the southernmost curve of the river – Strand-on-the-Green and a bit of Dukes Meadows. The British Library started hunting through their archive and suggested a sheet that only had half of Chiswick Bridge. Luckily, Richmond Local Studies came charging to the rescue. We have painstakingly pieced the sections together, although close inspection shows that they still meet at some points and not at others.
As there were some sensitivities about providing too much information during World War I, the former lake of Grove House (now Chiswick Quay just north of the proposed Chiswick Bridge), which was used for the construction of concrete barges for military/naval use, was not shown.
Acknowledgements: ©Crown Copyright 1914. From the collections at London Metropolitan Archives, City of London and Richmond upon Thames Local Studies Library and Archive.