London borough of Camden » City Info » History

History of London borough of Camden

The London Borough of Camden was formed in 1965 from the metropolitan boroughs of Hampstead, Holborn, and St Pancras. The borough got its name after Camden Town, which had got its name from Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden, in 1795. There are over 160 English Heritage blue plaques in the borough of Camden representing several personalities that have lived there.

History of Camden Town

Camden Town came into existence in the 1790s. Till then, the area was covered by barren lands and fields, especially those to the north of Tottenham Court. The Fleet River, which today is non-existent, used to flow through the green fields. Along with farms and green fields, there were only two inns, namely, "Mother's Cap" (today known as "World's End") and "Southampton" (now known as "Edwards").

The establishment of Camden Town is attributed to Charles Pratt, who was the 1st Earl of Camden. He was one of the wealthy individuals who settled in the town and took part in the town's development. He initially laid the foundation for developing the area situated on the east side of Camden High Street. His contribution is so immense that a street is marked in his name, located in Camden Town.

In 1816, the Regent's Canal was built. Until the mid-20th century, Camden was not very popular. The Camden Market (Camden Lock), constructed in 1973, started attracting visitors. Shopping was always a hobby with a lot of shops and entertainment facilities over here. Some of the major entertainment centres were Bowman's department store, Camden Theatre, and music halls. The Camden Underground Station started in 1907.

A bomb explosion in 1993 injured around 20 people on Camden High Street. In February 2008, the Camden Canal market suffered a major fire, and it later reopened as Camden Lock Village.