Maida Vale

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Maida Vale
Grand Union Canal at Little Venice.JPG
The Grand Union Canal at Little Venice
Maida Vale is located in Greater London
Maida Vale
Maida Vale
Maida Vale shown within Greater London
Population 10,210 (2011 Census. Ward)[1]
OS grid reference TQ255825
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district W9
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51°31′39″N 0°11′24″W / 51.5274°N 0.1899°W / 51.5274; -0.1899Coordinates: 51°31′39″N 0°11′24″W / 51.5274°N 0.1899°W / 51.5274; -0.1899

Maida Vale (/ˈmdə vl/ MAY-də vayl) is an affluent residential district comprising the northern part of Paddington in west London, west of St John's Wood and south of Kilburn. It is part of the City of Westminster. The name is derived from the Hero of Maida inn which used to be on Edgware Road near the Regent's Canal.[2] The pub was named after General Sir John Stuart, who was made Count of Maida by King Ferdinand IV of Naples and III of Sicily, after the victory at the Battle of Maida in 1806.[3] The area is mostly residential, and mainly affluent, with many large late Victorian and Edwardian blocks of mansion flats. It is home to the BBC Maida Vale Studios.[4]


A map showing the Maida Vale ward of Paddington Metropolitan Borough as it appeared in 1916.

The area is bounded by Maida Avenue and the Regent's Canal to the south, Maida Vale Road to the north east, Kilburn Park Road to the north west, and Shirland Road and Blomfield Road to the south west: an area of around 1 square kilometre (0.4 square miles). It makes up most of the W9 postal district. The southern part of Maida Vale, at the junction of Paddington Basin with Regent's Canal with many houseboats, is known as Little Venice. The area to the south-west of Maida Vale, at the western end of Elgin Avenue, was historically known as "Maida Hill", and was a recognised postal district bounded by the Avenues on the west, the Regent's Canal to the south, Maida Vale to the east and Kilburn Lane to the north. Parts of Maida Vale were also included within this.[5] The name of "Maida Hill" had since fallen out of use, although it has been resurrected since the mid-2000s, through the 414 bus route (which terminates on Shirland Road and gives its destination as Maida Hill)[6] and a new street market on the Piazza at the junction of Elgin Avenue and Harrow Road.[7]

Just to the east of Maida Vale is St John's Wood and Lord's Cricket Ground.

Developed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in the early 19th century as middle class housing, Maida Vale took its name from a public house named after John Stuart, Count of Maida, which opened on Edgware Road soon after the Battle of Maida, 1806.[8][9]

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Maida Vale was a predominantly Sephardic Jewish district. The 1896 Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue, a Grade II listed building and headquarters of the British Sephardi community, is on Lauderdale Road. The actor Alec Guinness was born on this road. The first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, lived within sight of this synagogue on Warrington Crescent.[10] The pioneer of modern computing, Alan Turing, was born at what is now the Colonnade Hotel in Warrington Crescent.

Maida Vale tube station was opened on 6 June 1915, on the Bakerloo line, and Warwick Avenue tube station, on the same line, was opened a few months earlier.

BBC Studios[edit]

Maida Vale is home to some of BBC network radio's recording and broadcast studios. The building on Delaware Road is one of the BBC's earliest premises, pre-dating Broadcasting House, and was the centre of the BBC radio news service during World War II. The building houses a total of seven music and radio drama studios, and most famously was home to John Peel's BBC Radio 1 Peel Sessions and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Little Venice[edit]

The canal junction at Little Venice

Little Venice is a comparatively recent name for parts of Maida Vale and Paddington in the City of Westminster. It consists of the area surrounding the Little Venice Lagoon and its canals. It is known for and defined by its Regency style white stucco buildings and its canals and moored boats. Maida Avenue, Warwick Crescent and Blomfield Road, the streets in the south of Maida Vale overlooking Browning's Pool including the section of Randolph Avenue south of Warrington Crescent,[11] are known as Little Venice. According to one story, the poet Robert Browning, who lived in the area from 1862 to 1887, coined the name.[12] However, this was disputed by Lord Kinross in 1966[13] and by London Canals.[14] Both assert that Lord Byron (1788–1824) humorously coined the name, which now applies more loosely to a longer reach of the canal system. Browning's Pool is named after the poet, and is the junction of Regent's Canal and the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal.

South Maida Vale, one of London's prime residential areas,[15] also has a reputation for its shops and restaurants, as well as for the Canal Cafe Theatre, the Puppet Theatre Barge, the Waterside Café and the Warwick Castle pub. A regular waterbus service operates from Little Venice eastwards around Regent's Park, calling at London Zoo and on towards Camden Town. Since 1983, the Inland Waterways Association has hosted the Canalway Cavalcade in Little Venice.[16]

Other areas[edit]

The Carlton Tavern (1922), an example of 1920s architecture.

Maida Vale is noted for its wide tree-lined avenues, large communal gardens and red-brick mansion blocks from the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. The first mansion blocks were completed in 1897, with the arrival of the identically-designed Lauderdale Mansions South, Lauderdale Mansions West and Lauderdale Mansions East in Lauderdale Road. Others quickly followed in neighbouring streets: Elgin Mansions (Elgin Avenue) and Leith Mansions (Grantully Road) in 1900, Ashworth Mansions (Elgin Avenue and Grantully Road) and Castellain Mansions (Castellain Road) in 1902, Elgin Court (Elgin Avenue) and Carlton Mansions (Randolph Avenue) in 1902, Delaware Mansions (Delaware Road) and Biddulph Mansions (Elgin Avenue and Biddulph Road) in 1907[17] and Randolph Court in 1910.[18]

Among the buildings of architectural interest was the Carlton Tavern, a pub which stood on Carlton Vale. Built in 1920–21 for Charrington Brewery, it was thought to be the work of the architect Frank J Potter and was noted for its unaltered 1920s interiors and faience tiled exterior. The building was being considered by Historic England for Grade II listing when it was unexpectedly demolished in March 2015 by property developer CLTX Ltd to make way for a new block of flats.[19]


The 2011 census showed that 38% of the population was of White British ethnicity, with Other White the second biggest at 22%.[20]


Maida Vale is served by St Mark's parish church, Hamilton Terrace.[21] Between 1870 and 1906 the incumbent of St. Mark's was Robinson Duckworth.[22] Saatchi Shul, an independent Orthodox Jewish synagogue, was founded in Maida Vale in 1998.[23]

In popular culture[edit]

Maida Vale has been used for the filming of a number of films and television programmes:

  • Several scenes from Paddington (2014) were filmed in Maida Vale, including using the tube station (mocked up to appear to be the fictional 'Westbourne Oak' station) and a police chase on Castellain Road.
  • In the television adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel The Child in Time the family was depicted as living in Maida Vale and several of the exterior scenes were shot around Elgin Avenue.
  • Scenes for the upcoming film In Darkness starring Natalie Dormer were filmed at a flower shop (made to appear to be a coffee shop) on Lauderdale Parade.
  • Scenes from The Mummy (2017) starring Tom Cruise were shot in the Warrington Pub in Maida Vale.[24]

Maida Vale has also been referenced in a number of films and television programmes:

  • In Season 4 of Downton Abbey, Lady Edith says she is having an abortion because "I don’t want to be an outcast. I don’t want to be some funny woman living in Maida Vale that people talk about."[25]

Notable people[edit]

Commemorative blue plaques[edit]

Ordered by birth date

Other notable residents[edit]

Ordered by birth date where given, followed by those for whom no birth date is given. See also People from Maida Vale

Notable local events[edit]

St George's Roman Catholic Secondary School, situated in Maida Vale, was the school of which Philip Lawrence was head teacher at the time of his murder in December 1995.



  1. ^ "City of Westminster ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "British History Online". University of London & History of Parliament Trust. December 2014. 
  3. ^ Ayto J.; Crofton I. Brewer's Britain & Ireland; London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2005.
  4. ^ "Locations – Maida Vale". BBC Radio Resources. Archived from the original on 7 October 2007. 
  5. ^ "List of Postal Districts". 6 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Transport for London". 28 March 2007. 
  7. ^ "Harrow Road Local Area Renewal Partnership". Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Paddington – Maida Vale | British History Online". 
  9. ^ Maida Vale History Archived 24 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "English heritage Blue Plaques- David Ben-Gurion"
  11. ^ Browning's Pool Archived 17 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ "Little Venice Music Festival". 
  13. ^ "Letter to The Daily Telegraph, 1966". 
  14. ^ "The history of the place name known as 'Little Venice'". Archived from the original on 9 March 2012. 
  15. ^ Little Venice area guide at
  16. ^ "Canalway Cavalcade: 2nd–4th May 2015". Accessed 5 November 2014
  17. ^ O'Sullivan, Kevin, Dial 'M' for Maida Vale
  18. ^ Minutes of Paddington Borough Council meeting of 5 October 1909 (page 646 for 1909), "Notices for Erection of New Buildings [in 1910]" includes No. 2,135: "A new block of flats.. on the west side of Portsdown Road [renamed Randolph Avenue in 1939] to be the third building from Carlton Vale and on the site between No. 223 Portsdown Road and Carlton Mansions."
  19. ^ "Bulldozers level historic pub after being denied planning permission". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 16 April 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ Archbishops' Council (2011). "St Mark's, Hamilton Terrace". Church of England. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  22. ^ "History". Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  23. ^ Endelman, Todd M (2002). The Jews of Britain, 1656 to 2000. University of California Press. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  24. ^ The Mummy (2017), retrieved 2017-12-25 
  25. ^ "Recap: 'Downton Abbey's' Lady Mary Finds Love, or at Least Like, in a Pigpen | BBC America". BBC America. Retrieved 2017-12-25. 
  26. ^ Plaque details at English Heritage
  27. ^ Plaque details
  28. ^ Plaque details
  29. ^ Music Hall Guild Blue plaque for Lupino Lane at The Music Hall Guild. Accessed 9 May 2015
  30. ^ Plaque details
  31. ^ Plaque details
  32. ^ "A tour around Little Venice, W2". London Canals, The City's Waterways. Archived from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  33. ^ L. Perry Curtis jun., "Tenniel, Sir John (1820–1914)" Retrieved 25 February 2014, pay-walled.
  34. ^ ODNB entry mentions Maida Vale home. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  35. ^ Damian Atkinson, "Payn, James (1830–1898)" Retrieved 14 March 2014, pay-walled.
  36. ^ Entry in Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, pp. 17 April 2015.
  37. ^ 'A Musical Peacemaker; The Life and Work of Sir Edward German' by Brian Rees (The Kensal Press, 1986)
  38. ^ "The Man Who Painted London Red"
  39. ^ "British History Online – Paddington: Maida Vale"
  40. ^ McCarthy, Dudley (1983). "Keysor, Leonard Maurice (1885–1951)". Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 9. Melbourne University Press. pp. 582–583. 
  41. ^ Lord Elton (revised by Mark Pottle), Philip Guedalla in Dictionary of National Biography, OUP 2004–08
  42. ^ Open Plaques - Vera Brittain
  43. ^ Victor Gollancz: A Biography by Ruth Dudley Edwards, Chapter One, 1987
  44. ^ Leith Mansions at Greene & Co. Accessed 31 May 2016
  45. ^ Tames, Richard. St John’s Wood and Maida Vale Past
  46. ^ "A story about Hardy Amies", The Versatile Gent
  47. ^ The Times, obituary 23 July 1962
  48. ^ "Ernest Clark". BFI. 
  49. ^ GRO Register of Births: June 1914 1a 39 Paddington – Alec Guinness De Cuffe, mmn = De Cuffe.
  50. ^ "Alan Freeman". The Daily Telegraph. 29 November 2006. Retrieved 1 April 2014
  51. ^ Huston, Anjelica (2013). A Story Lately Told: Coming of Age in Ireland, London, and New York. New York, NY: Scribner. pp. 118, 131. ISBN 978-1451656299. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  52. ^ "Ruth Rendell: a life in writing", The Guardian, 1 March 2013
  53. ^ "Joan and Jackie Collins and the jealousy that tore them apart", The Daily Mail, 22 August 2007
  54. ^ Obituary, The Times, 9 March 2007
  55. ^ 'Sculptress of Sound: The Lost Works of Delia Derbyshire'; Archive on 4; BBC Radio 4, 8:00pm Saturday 27 March 2010
  56. ^ Salewicz, Chris (2006). Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer. New York: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-571-21178-4. OCLC 76794852. 
  57. ^ Paul McCartney: A Life By Peter Ames Carlin. Simon & Schuster. p.248
  58. ^ "Jarvis Cocker Interview". 
  59. ^ Mackay, Emily (2017). Björk's Homogenic (33 1/3). Bloomsbury Academic. p. 12. ISBN 978-1501322747. 
  60. ^ "My Perfect Weekend: Ben Miller". The Daily Telegraph. 2 October 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  61. ^
  62. ^ Pictured – Mohammed Emwazi before he became Isis killer. The Guardian, 27 February 2015. Accessed 9 May 2015
  63. ^ Rapper identified as James Foley's executioner. Yahoo!7 News, 25 August 2014. Accessed 9 May 2015
  64. ^ Daily Mirror. Retrieved 4 May 2014.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Maida Vale at Wikimedia Commons