New Road (2)

I have been asked about the origins of New Road and, by implication, why it’s called New Road, as the Euston Road used to be. I looked up the Survey of London’s excellent website and the answer is there, which I reproduce verbatim, because it gives such a strong sense of the development of the area and the way it related to the river and docks to the south:-

New Road was formed in 1754–6 in close connection with the London Hospital’s move to the south side of Whitechapel Road in 1752–7. Slightly earlier than the better-known New Road of 1756–7 (now Marylebone Road and Euston Road), it shared with its bigger north-westerly sister the attribute of being a bypass to built-up districts. More particularly, it made eastern Whitechapel (heretofore ‘town’s end’) more accessible from riverside districts, linking what are now Cable Street and The Highway in the south to Whitechapel Road across entirely open fields. It more or less followed the line of Civil War defences, though this might be little more than coincidence. The road was enabled by an Act of Parliament and overseen by a body of trustees led by prominent commercial men from riverside districts (Jonathan Eade, a Wapping ship-chandler, John Shakespear, a Shadwell ropemaker, Joseph Curtis, a Wapping sea-biscuit maker, Hugh Roberts, a St George-in-the-East brewer, and William Camden, a Wapping ship-owner and slave-trader), some among them hospital governors. For these people good access to the hospital presumably mattered not just for themselves and their families, but also for their workforces.

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One thought on “New Road (2)

  1. Thank you, Charles. I should of course have consulted the Survey of London. Fascinating about the Civil War defence line.

    I was right the New Road was constructed to connect Whitechapel to the docks, and there was a move East so they could be bigger, so too the road, with White Horse Lane (then Street [http://www.history-pieces.co.uk/Docs/WHITE_HORSE_STREET_1901.pdf] being developed, and the Commercial Road, constructed in 1802–6, which I can’t find in the Survey of London.

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