Camden Town

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Camden Town
Camden Town 9.jpg
Camden High Street, near where it becomes Chalk Farm Road (facing towards Chalk Farm)
Greater London UK location map 2.svg
Red pog.svg
Camden Town
Location within Greater London
Population24,538 (Camden Town with Primrose Hill and Cantelowes wards, 2011) [1]
OS grid reference TQ295845
  Charing Cross 2.5 [2]  mi (4.0 km)  SSE
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district NW1, NW5
Dialling code 020 (London)
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51°32′28″N0°08′36″W / 51.541°N 0.1433°W / 51.541; -0.1433 Coordinates: 51°32′28″N0°08′36″W / 51.541°N 0.1433°W / 51.541; -0.1433

Camden Town ( /ˈkæmdən/ ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )), often shortened to Camden, is a district of northwest London, England, 2.5 miles (4.1 km) north of Charing Cross. [2] Historically in Middlesex, it is the administrative centre of the London Borough of Camden, and identified in the London Plan as one of 34 major centres in Greater London.


Laid out as a residential district from 1791 and originally part of the manor of Kentish Town and the parish of St Pancras, Camden Town became an important location during the early development of the railways, which reinforced its position on the London canal network. The area's industrial economic base has been replaced by service industries such as retail, tourism and entertainment. The area now hosts street markets and music venues that are strongly associated with alternative culture.[ citation needed ]


The ancient parishes, west to east, of Paddington and St Marylebone (in the modern City of Westminster), and St Pancras, including Camden Town (in the modern London Borough of Camden) in 1834 LONDON, MARYLEBONE by BARTLETT, F.A. and B.J. DAVIES.jpg
The ancient parishes, west to east, of Paddington and St Marylebone (in the modern City of Westminster), and St Pancras, including Camden Town (in the modern London Borough of Camden) in 1834


Camden Town is named after Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden. His earldom was styled after his estate, Camden Place near Chislehurst in Kent (now in the London Borough of Bromley), formerly owned by historian William Camden. [3] The name, which appears on the Ordnance Survey map of 1822, [4] was later applied to the early-20th-century Camden Town Group of artists and the London Borough of Camden, created in 1965. [5]

Urban development

The emergence of the industrial revolution in the 19th century meant Camden was the  North Western Railway's terminal stop in 1837. It was where goods were transported off the tracks and onto the roads of London by 250 000 workhorses. [6] The whole area was adapted to a transportation function: The Roundhouse (1846), Camden Lock and The Stables were examples of this.

Camden Town stands on land that was once the manor of Kentish Town. [5] Sir Charles Pratt, a radical 18th-century lawyer and politician, acquired the manor through marriage. In 1791, he started granting leases for houses to be built in the manor. [5] In 1816, the Regent's Canal was built through the area. [7] Up to at least the mid-20th century, Camden Town was considered an "unfashionable" locality. [8] The Camden Markets, which started in 1973 and have grown since then, attract many visitors. A 1993 bomb blast injured 18 people on Camden High Street. On 9 February 2008, Camden Canal market suffered a major fire, but there were no injuries. [9] It later reopened as Camden Lock Village, [10] until closed in 2015 for redevelopment. [11]


Camden Town was contained within the Metropolitan Borough of St Pancras between 1900 and 1965, when it became part of the new London Borough of Camden, of which it is the namesake and administrative centre.

Political constituencies

Camden Town is contained in the following political constituencies for different purposes, listed with some incumbents as of December 2022:


Camden Town is on relatively flat ground at 100 feet (30 m) above sea level, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) north-northwest of Charing Cross. To the north are the hills of Hampstead and Highgate; to the west is Primrose Hill. The culverted, subterranean River Fleet flows from its source on Hampstead Heath through Camden Town south to the River Thames. [13] The Regent's Canal runs through the north of Camden Town.


Stables market horse sculptures Stables market.JPG
Stables market horse sculptures

At the end of the 20th century, entertainment-related businesses began moving into the area, and a Holiday Inn was built abutting the canal. A number of retail and food chain outlets replaced independent shops, driven out by high rents and redevelopment. Restaurants with a variety of culinary traditions thrived, many of them near the markets, on Camden High Street and its side streets, Parkway, Chalk Farm Road, and Bayham Street. The plan to redevelop the historic Stables Market led to a steel and glass extension, built on the edges of the site in 2006, and increased the market's capacity.

Camden street markets

Camden is well known for its markets. These date from 1974 or later, except for Inverness Street market, for over a century a small food market serving the local community, [14] though by 2013 all foodstuff and produce stalls had gone and only touristy stalls remained. Camden Lock Market proper started in a former timber yard in 1973, and is now surrounded by five more markets: Buck Street market, Stables market, Camden Lock Village, and an indoor market in the Electric Ballroom. The markets are a major tourist attraction at weekends, selling goods of all types, including fashion, lifestyle, books, food, junk/antiques and more bizarre items; they and the surrounding shops are popular with young people, in particular, those searching for "alternative" clothing. While originally open on Sundays only, [15] market activity later extended throughout the week, though concentrating on weekends.


The Regent's Canal waterbus service London waterbus.jpg
The Regent's Canal waterbus service

London Underground

Camden Town tube station is near the markets and other attractions. Chalk Farm and Mornington Crescent tube stations are also within walking distance. Camden Town station is a key interchange station for the Bank and Charing Cross branches of the southbound Northern line, and the Edgware and High Barnet branches of the northbound Northern Line. [16]

The station was not designed to cope with the volume of traffic it handled after the area increased in popularity with the introduction of the markets. The narrow platforms became dangerously overcrowded, particularly on Sunday afternoons. London Underground made many proposals to upgrade the station. In 2004 a proposal requiring the compulsory purchase and demolition of 'the Triangle'—land bordered by Kentish Town Road, Buck Street and Camden High Street—was rejected by Camden Council after opposition from local people; of 229 letters, only two supported the scheme. It was later planned to redevelop the station entirely between 2020 and 2024/5, with less demolition than proposed previously, but the redevelopment was postponed in December 2018 by TfL "until we have the funds we need", unchanged as of October 2021. [17]

Early in the 21st century the station closed to outbound passengers on Sunday afternoons for safety reasons; this was temporarily extended to the weekday evening rush hour in 2018 during escalator renovation. [18] Mornington Crescent, Chalk Farm, and Kentish Town stations, within walking distance, remained open. From January 2019 access was allowed on Sundays, but only by a very long spiral staircase instead of escalators. [19] During the Covid-19 pandemic from 2020, access to the very much reduced number of passengers was no longer restricted.


Camden Road is a London Overground station at the corner of Royal College Street and Camden Road. It is on the line from Richmond in the West to Stratford station in the East. The nearest National Rail station is Kentish Town station on the Thameslink route on the Midland Main Line. St Pancras and Euston terminals are both within 20 minutes' walk of Camden Town.

Bus routes

The area is a major hub for London Buses. [20] The following routes serve Camden Town: 24 (24 hour), 27, 29, 31, 46, 88 (24 hour), 134 (24 hour), 168, 214 (24 hour), 253, 274 and Night Bus Routes N5, N20, N27, N28, N29, N31, N253 and N279.


The twin Camden Locks Camden Lock.jpg
The twin Camden Locks

Parts of the A503 (Camden Road) and A400 (Camden High Street and Camden Street) are designated as red routes on which vehicles may not stop for any reason, managed by Transport for London (TfL) rather than the borough. [21] Black taxis ply for hire in the area and there are minicab offices. [22]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, from about March 2020 roadworks were carried out to make many side roads more suitable for cycling and reduce vehicle traffic. This led to traffic jams described as "gridlock", and opposition. [23]


Transport for London and Camden Council both provide and maintain cycling infrastructure in Camden Town. Segregated cycle tracks run alongside Royal College Street to the east of Camden Town, past Camden Road railway station. [24] Cycling provision changes from time to time—in particular, cycling provisions were added during the Covid pandemic that started in 2020. Current provision information is on the TfL Web site. [25] The CycleStreets mobile app finds suitable routes throughout the UK, including Camden Town.

The Regent's Canal towpath is a shared-use path maintained by the Canal and River Trust. The towpath links Camden Town to Angel and King's Cross to the east, and Regent's Park and Maida Vale in the west. [24] [26]

The London-wide Santander Cycles cycle hire scheme operates in Camden Town. There are several docking stations, including at Camden Road railway station (Bonny Street) and Camden Town tube station (Greenland Road). [27]

Cycle counters on Royal College Street to the north of Camden Road railway station recorded over 375,000 journeys between August 2017 and July 2018. [28] [29]

Regent's Canal

A warm summer day at the Camden Lock Camden Lock, London - UK.jpg
A warm summer day at the Camden Lock

Regent's Canal runs through the north end of Camden Town. Canal boat trips along the canal from Camden Lock are popular, particularly in summer. Many of the handrails by the bridges show deep marks worn by the towropes by which horses pulled canal barges until the 1950s, and it is still possible to see ramps on the canal bank designed to assist horses that fell in the canal after being startled by the noise of a train. Camden Lock is a regularly used traditional manually operated double canal lock operating between widely separated levels. A large complex of weekend street markets operates around the Lock. The towpath is a pedestrian and cycle route which runs continuously from Little Venice through Camden Lock to the Islington Tunnel. [30] A regular waterbus service operates along the Regent's Canal from Camden Lock. Boats depart every hour during the summer, heading westward around Regent's Park, calling at London Zoo and on towards Maida Vale. Sightseeing narrow-boat trips run from Camden Lock to Little Venice.

Notable places

Ambedkar House Ambedkar house1.jpg
Ambedkar House
Street art close to the Camden Market Camden Town - Graffiti.jpg
Street art close to the Camden Market
Punks close to the Electric Ballroom Electric Ballroom punks.jpg
Punks close to the Electric Ballroom
Shops on Camden High Street (picture facing towards Chalk Farm) Camden High Street 2009.JPG
Shops on Camden High Street (picture facing towards Chalk Farm)

Camden Highline

A new park and walkway utilising the former railway alignment between Camden Town and Kings Cross was given planning permssion in January 2023. [39] [40]

Notable people

Bronze statue of Winehouse in Camden Town, London unveiled in September 2014 Amy Winehouse Statue, Camden (14946739033).jpg
Bronze statue of Winehouse in Camden Town, London unveiled in September 2014


The former TV-am building, right Tvam building 2009.jpg
The former TV-am building, right


To the north of Camden Town station and running along the canal is a modern pop art complex designed by Terry Farrell as the studios of the former TV-am, now used by MTV [7] but retaining TV-am's eggcup sculptures along the roof line. Associated Press Television News has its head office in a former gin warehouse near Camden Lock called "The Interchange". [51]


The Camden New Journal is a free, independent weekly newspaper that covers the London Borough of Camden.

Camden tv, Web site with short films about Camden. [52]

In literature

In film and television

In music

In games

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chalk Farm</span> Human settlement in England

Chalk Farm is a small urban district of north London, lying immediately north of Camden Town, in the London Borough of Camden.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kentish Town</span> Human settlement in England

Kentish Town is an area of northwest London, England in the London Borough of Camden, immediately north of Camden Town. Less than four miles north of central London, Kentish Town has good transport connections and is situated close to the open spaces of Hampstead Heath.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">St Pancras, London</span> Area of central London, England

St Pancras is a district in north London. It was originally a medieval ancient parish and subsequently became a metropolitan borough. The metropolitan borough then merged with neighbouring boroughs and the area it covered now forms around half of the modern London Borough of Camden. The area of the parish and borough includes the sub-districts of Camden Town, Kentish Town, Gospel Oak, Somers Town, King's Cross, Chalk Farm, Dartmouth Park, the core area of Fitzrovia and a part of Highgate.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">King's Cross, London</span> Area of central London in England

Kings Cross is a district on either side of Euston Road, in north London, England, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north of Charing Cross. It is bordered by Barnsbury to the north, Clerkenwell and Islington to the east, Holborn to the south and Euston to the west. It is served by two major rail termini, St Pancras and King's Cross. King's Cross station is the terminus of one of the major rail routes between London and the North.

Somers Town is an inner-city district in North West London. It has been strongly influenced by the three mainline north London railway termini: Euston (1838), St Pancras (1868) and King's Cross (1852), together with the Midland Railway Somers Town Goods Depot (1887) next to St Pancras, where the British Library now stands.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Primrose Hill</span> Park in north-west London

Primrose Hill is a Grade II listed public park located north of Regent's Park in London, England, first opened to the public in 1842. It was named after the 64 metres (210 ft) natural hill in the centre of the park, the second highest natural point in the London Borough of Camden. The hill summit has a clear view of central London, as well as Hampstead and Belsize Park to the north and is adorned by an engraved quotation from William Blake. Based on the popularity of the park, the surrounding district and electoral ward were named Primrose Hill. The Primrose Hill district is in the London Borough of Camden, England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kentish Town station</span> London Underground and railway station

Kentish Town is a London Underground and National Rail station in Kentish Town in the London Borough of Camden. It is at the junction of Kentish Town Road (A400) and Leighton Road. It is in Travelcard Zone 2. The station is served by the High Barnet branch of the London Underground Northern line, and by Thameslink trains on the National Rail Midland Main Line. It is the only station on the High Barnet branch with a direct interchange with a National Rail line; furthermore an Out of Station Interchange (OSI) with Kentish Town West on the North London line is not charged as two separate journeys in electronic journey charging.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Regent's Canal</span> Canal in England

Regent's Canal is a canal across an area just north of central London, England. It provides a link from the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal, 550 yards (500 m) north-west of Paddington Basin in the west, to the Limehouse Basin and the River Thames in east London. The canal is 8.6 miles (13.8 km) long.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Camden Market</span> Retail markets located in London, England

The Camden markets are a number of adjoining large retail markets, often collectively referred to as Camden Market or Camden Lock, located in the historic former Pickfords stables, in Camden Town, London. It is situated north of the Hampstead Road Lock of the Regent's Canal. Famed for their cosmopolitan image, products sold on the stalls include crafts, clothing, bric-a-brac, and fast food. It is the fourth-most popular visitor attraction in London, attracting approximately 250,000 people each week.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Agar Town</span>

Agar Town was a short-lived relatively tiny area of St Pancras in central London. It is now the site of St Pancras railway station.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Camden Lock</span> Grade II listed lock in London Borough of Camden, UK

Camden Lock is a small part of Camden Town, London Borough of Camden, England, which was formerly a wharf with stables on the Regent's Canal. It is immediately to the north of Hampstead Road Locks, a twin manually operated lock. The twin locks together are "Hampstead Road Lock 1"; each bears a sign so marked. Hawley Lock and Kentish Town Lock are a short distance away to the east; to the west is a long level pound — it is 27 miles (43 km) to the next lock.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">York Way</span>

York Way is a major road in the London Borough of Islington, running north for one mile from the junction of Pentonville Road and Euston Road, adjacent to King's Cross railway station towards Kentish Town and Holloway. At its northern end the road becomes Brecknock Road. For its entire length York Way forms the boundary between the London Boroughs of Islington and Camden.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">St Pancras Lock</span>

St Pancras Lock is a lock on the Regent's Canal, in the London Borough of Camden, England. The St Pancras Basin is nearby.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">A400 road (Great Britain)</span> Road in London

The A400 road is an A road in London that runs from Charing Cross to Archway in North London. It passes some of London's most famous landmarks.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Haverstock</span> Human settlement in England

Haverstock is an area of the London Borough of Camden: specifically the east of Belsize Park, north of Chalk Farm and west of Kentish Town. It is centred on Queens Crescent and Malden Road. Gospel Oak is to the north, Camden Town to the south.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Queen's Crescent Market</span>

Queen's Crescent Market is an outdoor street market held every Thursday and Saturday on Queen's Crescent in Kentish Town, Camden between the junction with Malden Road in the West and the junction with Grafton Road in the East. Licences to trade are issued by Camden London Borough Council.

The London Borough of Camden was created in 1965 from the former area of the metropolitan boroughs of Hampstead, Holborn, and St Pancras, which had formed part of the County of London. The borough was named after Camden Town, which had gained its name from Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden in 1795. Since the 17th century, many famous people have lived in its various districts and neighbourhoods.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London Borough of Camden</span> Borough in United Kingdom

The London Borough of Camden is a London borough in Inner London. Camden Town Hall, on Euston Road, lies 1.4 mi (2.3 km) north of Charing Cross. The borough was established on 1 April 1965 from the area of the former boroughs of Hampstead, Holborn, and St Pancras—which together, prior to that date, had comprised part of the historic County of London.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Angel, London</span> Human settlement in England

Angel is an area on the northern fringes of Central London within the London Borough of Islington. It is 2 miles (3.2 km) north-northeast of Charing Cross on the Inner Ring Road at a busy transport intersection. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in London. It is a significant commercial and retail centre, and a business improvement district. Angel straddles the ancient boundary of the parishes of Clerkenwell and Islington that later became the metropolitan boroughs of Finsbury and Islington. It is named from the former Angel Inn which stood on the corner of Islington High Street and Pentonville Road. Since 1965 the whole area has formed part of the London Borough of Islington in Greater London.


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