The Regent's Canal and the Growth of St John's Wood


1817. Map showing the Regent’s Canal and the Eyre Estate.

A map  the Regent's Canal passing from the Bishop of London's land to the Eyre estate.
The plan has been greatly reduced and redrawn from a bad photocopy.

The map shows the Regent's Canal branch from Little Venice cutting through Maida Hill, under Edgware Road, on its way to Regent's Park. The Bishop of London owned the land up to Edgware Road where the canal had to enter a long tunnel running the length of Aberdeen Place. The canal did not emerge until it reached Colonel Eyre's land, at the corner of Aberdeen Place and Cunningham Place. As there was no towpath through the tunnel, the horses had to be led over the top of hill to the other end of the tunnel, while the barge men 'legged' their way through, lying on their backs on the deck and walking along the walls.

 

Punker's Ban and the Growth of St John's Wood


The 1795 map. Redrawn by J.H.Ahern

The map shows Punker's Barn in open fields. The map shows an area of farmland. I have added the line of St John's Wood Road (not yet planned at that time).

By 1817 Punker's Barn, or Red Barn, stood on the hill, with Regent's Canal passing below in a tunnel and a cutting. The high ground north of the canal cutting, to the west of what is now Lisson Grove, was a prime site. It hung above the canal as if on a cliff, with uninterrupted views to the south and the quiet canal passing below.

 

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