Achilles Road, NW6

Place Name

One of a cluster of roads built by WH Suttle, of Agamemnon Road, between 1886 and 1896 and named after four characters that feature in Homer’s account of the Trojan War, the Iliad. Achilles was the son of Peleus of Thessaly who joined with Agamemnon of Greece to avenge his sister-in-law Helen of Troy. He was the greatest of all the Greek warriors who according to the myth was killed near the end of the Trojan War by Paris when he was shot in the heel with an arrow, the one vulnerable spot on his body, since that was where his mother Thetis held him as she dipped him in the river Styx as an infant. Yannis Andritsopoulos, London Correspondent for the Greek newspaper Ta Nea, says that West Hampstead has more streets with a Greek connection than any other part of the city; five within the boundaries of its Fortune Green ward and another three in its West Hampstead ward. He writes: “These roads were paved in the late 19th century, when William Gladstone, a famous philhellene who has a street named after him in Athens, was prime minister.” The others in the cluster are Agamemnon Road, Ajax Road and Ulysses Road.

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