Harrison Street, WC1H

Place Name

After local landowner and brick maker, Thomas Harrison, formerly a farmer, who inherited an estate in this area from his grandfather, Daniel, in 1783. He built this street in about 1802. The Survey of London says that “The estate comprised an eighteen-acre field which was already established as a brickmaking centre by the early seventeenth century, when it was owned by the Harrison family.” The 18th and 19th centuries were periods of rapid residential development in the district of Bloomsbury, and perhaps it was the development of the neighbouring Foundling estate that motivated Harrison to follow suit on his own land. In 1809 he obtained an Art of Parliament to formally start works, but progress was slow – rather ironically, the brickworks were so busy preparing bricks for neighbouring sites that the estate didn’t have the time, or the bricks, to start its own. The leases for the street’s first houses were granted in 1818. The estate still existed into the 1920s as evidenced by an article in The Times, on January 13, 1928, which says that it was one of the interested parties in the negotiations over the future of the neighbouring Foundling hospital site.

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