The War Damage Map 1939-45

This invaluable map was made by the London County Council immediately after the Second World War. It became the basis for the Abercrombie Plan for the rebuilding of London.

Areas marked in colours show the varying degree of the widespread bomb damage. Some houses were repaired; others patched up temporarily. Even those houses not bombed, deteriorated because there could be little maintenance during the war and were in need of care and modernising.

The map shows the strategic bombing pattern. The reservoirs would have shown up clearly in the night sky and the concentration of attacks near the filter beds show the attempt made to disrupt London's water supply. Similar clustering of damage on other sheets of the map, show the concentration on the main Railway terminii, marshalling yards, and major road junctions.

This map was kept in the bowels of County Hall, where the sharks now swim. Some years ago the London County Council Archiitects Department kindly made me black and white photocopies which I used and copied for years. Now we can use sections of the original coloured maps which have been republished by London Topographical Society with the London Metropolitan Archive owning the copyright. The levels of bomb damage were graded in a a series of colours.

Colour Key References

Flying Bomb Damage
at Albion Rd Triangle

Black -Total destruction
Purple - Damaged beyond repair
Dark Red - Doubtful if repairable
Light Red - Seriously damaged, but repairable at cost
Orange - General blast damage, not structural
Yellow - Blast damage, minor in nature
O V1 flying bomb large circle
o V2 long range rocket. small circle

There will be slight variations in the colours because the original maps
are old and the colour balance on computer monitors will vary

Uses of the Bombing Map on this website


St Mary's Church, bombed 1940

Building the Woodberry Down Estate

++Check against "ksn p62-65 Woodberry Down Estate.doc"

The decision to demolish and build a new estate had been taken before the 1939 War; many houses had already been purchased and demolished. When it was decided to clear the site there had been many protests. The Archives Department has a mass of newspaper cuttings of meetings and letters to the papers protesting at the idea of obliterating an area which many people rememberd with affection. All progrees was halted at the outbreak of War.

The old houses on the Woodberry Down site were not much damaged, but the houses were old and the gardens huge. There was an enormous need for new housing so there was no question of protesting in 1946 and the first tenants moved in in September 1953.

Traces of an alternative form of re-development can be seen in the 1930's houses in Woodberry Grove and St. Andrew's Gardens but this sort of house was no longer built in the neighbourhood after the War. If this type of development had prevailed, the area might have looked like Golders Green or Hendon.


The Old Woodberry Down Houses