The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 51.544773, -0.148315

6 Annotations

old salt  •  Link

Kentishe town backs onto to some nice hiding places for the highwayman, at the top of the the hill there be a well known haunt for many a scalleywag looking for some loot.

Old Fart  •  Link


:--"This singular character, known as 'Mother Damnable,' is also called 'Mother Red Cap,' and sometimes 'The Shrew of Kentish Town.'

Suddenly she would let her huge black cat jump upon the hatch by her side, when the mob instantly retreated from a superstitious dread of the double foe.

From: 'Camden Town and Kentish Town', Old and New London: Volume 5 (1878), pp. 309-24. URL:…. Date accessed: 06 August 2007.…

bitter o salt  •  Link

Why Kentish town it be a long way from hop country.

One: that there be this water way starting near Caen Wood, running to the Thames taking all in its path. Caen [Ken Wood] creating a ditch Ken ditch so the 'amlet be known as Kenditch town, so sluffing off it becomes Kentish Town. The final name of this riverlet be the Fleet.
The Acaddamien connection:…

Many refs using Kentish town or mother Red cap.
The inn at Holloway mentioned by Samuel Pepys in 1661 as the Sign of the Woman with cakes in one hand and a pot of ale in the other was the Mother Red Cap, Upper Holloway, (fn. 65) which existed in the 1630s.…

another useless tip , one could rent a house in Kentish town for 10 quid.
"1637. William Platt, Esq. A rent-charge on a house at Kentish Town, 10l. per annum.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Highlights from…

Kentish Town is mentioned in Domesday Book as a manor belonging to the Canons of St. Paul's; and it gives title to the Prebendary of Cantelows (or Kentish Town), who is Lord of the Manor, and holds a court-leet and court-baron.

Moll, in his "History of Middlesex," on noticing this hamlet, states: "You may, from Hampstead, see in the vale between it and London a village, vulgarly called Kentish Town, which we mention chiefly by reason of the corruption of the name, the true one being Cantilupe Town, of which that ancient family were originally the owners. They were men of great account in the reigns of King John, Henry III, and Edward I.

Walter de Cantilupe was Bishop of Worcester, 1236 to 1266, and Thomas de Cantilupe was Bishop of Hereford, 1275 to 1282. Thomas was canonized for a saint in the 34th year of Edward's reign; ..."

Kentish Town is named, not after Kent (as might be imagined), but after that manor in the hundred of Ossulston, known as Kantelowes or Kentelowes, which appears sometimes to have been called Kentestown. In this we see the origin of Ken (now commonly called Caen) Wood, ... between Hampstead and Highgate. The thoroughfare now known as Gray's Inn Road is stated to have led northwards to a "pleasant rural suburb, variously named Ken-edge Town and Kauntelows," in which we can discern the origin of its present name.

The road through Kentish Town, even when no fog prevailed, does not seem to have been safe for wayfarers after dark, in former times, if we may judge from the numerous notices of outrages which appear in the papers of the times.

The "Castle" Tavern, in Kentish Town Road, stands upon the site of an older house bearing the same sign, which had the reputation of dating from the time of King John. The front of the old building had the familiar and picturesque projecting storeys, supported originally by a narrow pier at the side of a bolder one. The interior of one of the rooms had a fireplace of stone, carved with a flattened arch of the Tudor style, with the spandrils enriched with a rose and a leaf-shaped ornament terminating in a snake's tail. This fireplace had been for years hidden from view by a coat of plaster. It is possible that, in their ignorance of Gothic architecture, the good people of Kentish Town ascribed a Tudor arch to the early part of the 13th century.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Kentish Town was originally a small settlement on the River Fleet (the waterway is now one of London's underground rivers).[2] It is first recorded during the reign of King John (1207) as kentisston. By 1456 Kentish Town was a thriving hamlet. In this period a chapel of ease was built for its inhabitants.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.


Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • Aug