Reclaiming Camden Town

A talk for Camden History Society, 16 May 2019

I started to work on the history of Camden Town after reading Rochester Conservation Area statement’s historical section. The document, valuable in many ways in describing the buildings and roads, was disappointing in presenting the area from the perspective of Kentish Town

The boundary of NW1 with NW5 runs along the north side of Rochester Road, and follows the pattern of fields and ownership from as far back, at least, as 1600. Rochester conservation areas, as designated by London Borough of Camden, lies in Camden Town, not Kentish Town.

The talk will present the themes arising in these pages – the Jeffreys inheritance, the building of houses, the life and work in the nineteenth century, and the value of seeing Camden Town anew in the twenty-first century.

‘Anew’ because, from the 1960s, the Lock and the Stables have become an international tourist location named Camden and located by the Underground Station; and the nearby conservation areas that LB Camden has welcomely created have each taken a part, but not the whole, of the real Camden Town.

Traditional writing would place work this within a printed publication. I am seeking a broader readership – and users of the material – through the web. It’s taking more time than I’d hoped, and the pages are in development still. But as they get completed, I wish you good reading and reflection on Camden Town through History.

Mark McCarthy