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Bradshaw’s Guide

Fenchurch Street and Bow to Camden and Chalk Farm

The prodigious extent of buildings in the immediate vicinity of London has rendered a corresponding; increase of the means of conveyance from one district to another indispensable. A few years since, Chelsea, Brompton, Kensington, and Bayswater, forming the beautiful western suburbs of the metropolis, were comparatively unknown to most of the inhabitants of Eastern London. Many of the parishioners of Shadwell, Limehouse, and Poplar might have heard of the Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, but had never visited either, for want of some direct communication brought as it were, to their very doors. Such a facility was provided for them by the opening, in 1851, of the Camden Town, or North London Railway, which traverses the eastern and northern suburbs of the metropolis, and enables the Londoner to make the journey from Fenchurch Street, City, to Primrose Hill and the Regent’s Park (the latter attractive at all seasons, on account of its “Zoological Gardens”), at a very trifling expenditure of time and money.

At Bow the train receives and puts down passengers; and soon after starting from which we find ourselves in an open country; on the left is Victoria Park, and a little to the right an extensive view over the Hackney marshes, terminating with a considerable portion of the well-wooded scenery of Essex. Passing onward, through the verdant fields, we come to the retired village of Homerton, the church and parsonage house of which are pleasing specimens of architecture. We now arrive at

Hackney

On the right, from the midst of roofs of houses, thickly planted trees in the churchyard and adjacent gardens, rises the picturesque tower of the old church, and the pyramidal tower of the new church. In the old Church General …

After a short stoppage the train moves on towards Dalston, the junction of a short branch running to Shoreditch and Broad Street, a very great convenience for city traffic.

On again leaving Dalston, we pass the station of Newington Road, and proceed through a cutting towards Islington, and passing under the Great North Road, and leaving the Model Prison to our right, we arrive at the Islington and Highbury station, at the point where the road branches to Holloway and Highbury. Through the high level of Islington the railway is in a cutting. We quit this near the Caledonian Road, and cross the same by a bridge.

We next pass over the Great Northern Railway, which presents one of the most singular views through which the railroad passes. From this bridge, looking down the gorge of a deep valley, we observe the lines of the Great Northern Railway gently curving to the entrance of the tunnel. In the centre of the Great Northern Railway, a short distance from the tunnel, are two immense piers upwards of 60 feet in height, which support the viaduct of the Camden Town Railway. Beyond this viaduct lie Copenhagen fields, the site of the new Smithfield Market. The large building with the lofty tower is the New Prison, erected at the expense of the Corporation of London in 1842, and will contain 1,000 prisoners. After passing several beautiful villas we reach Camden Town, where the railway is constructed upon a brick viaduct, of good proportions. The main roads are crossed by wrought-iron boiler-plate bridges upon the same principle as that of the celebrated tubular bridge over the Menai Straits. Some of these bridges are of considerable span, and the details of their construction are well worthy the close examination of those who can appreciate works of this kind. We soon enter upon ground intersected with the rails of the London and North Western Railway until we reach

Camden

The internal economy of a railway, and the activity, regularity, and order with which these great undertakings are conducted, may be gathered from a visit to the Camden Town Goods Station of the London and North Western Railway. …

Two minutes more brings us to the terminus of the North London Railway, at Chalk Farm, but a transfer of passengers from this line to the Hampstead Junction must be made at the preceding station, Camden Road.

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