Argyle Walk, WC1H

Place Name

David Hayes in East of Bloomsbury suggests this may have been named after the Dukes of Argyll who owned land in nearby Oxford Street. Gillian Bebbington however in London Street Names suggests it’s one of a cluster named after locations in the north of Britain, in this case Argyll, in Scotland; other examples include Belgrove Street (Warwickshire); Crestfield Street, formerly Chesterfield Street (Derbyshire); and Birkenhead Street (Cheshire). There were also once a Manchester, Liverpool and Derby Streets here. Either way, the street was laid out in the early 19thCentury on the site of the Battle Bridge field (the abbots of Battle owning land and a large house in London up until the dissolution of the monasteries), which covered an area to the east and west of Gray’s Inn Road. On¬†Horwood’s plan of 1799 there’s a Bowling Green in the middle of it. From about 1801, Joseph Lucas started building on his seven-acre plot of land immediately south of the Battle Bridge Estate. Indeed, on the 1819 edition of Horwood’s map, development had encroached as far as Tonbridge Street to its west, and to its south, Argyll Walk (at the time called Sion Terrace) marked the border between the two estates. The Bowling Green had been replaced by a nursery. It was still listed as Sion Terrace in the 1841 census. After that for a time it appears to have been variously known as Arygle Place and Argyle Terrace. On the 1916 Ordnance Survey Map, it is Argyle Place, and appears to have been renamed sometime before 1953.

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