Maida Vale

For other uses, see Maida Vale (disambiguation).
Maida Vale

The Grand Union Canal at Little Venice
Maida Vale
 Maida Vale shown within Greater London
Population 10,210 (2011 Census. Ward)[1]
OS grid referenceTQ255825
London borough Westminster
Ceremonial county Greater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district W9
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK ParliamentWestminster North
London Assembly West Central
List of places

Coordinates: 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 derives 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 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 Maida Vale area is regarded as being 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 the Edgware Road soon after the Battle of Maida, 1806.[8][9]

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Maida Vale was a predominantly Jewish district, and 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 in 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

Main article: Maida Vale Studios

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

The canal junction at Little Venice

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 Clifton Gardens,[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

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 Victoria 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 the 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 ethnic, with Other White 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]

Notable people

Commemorative blue plaques

Ordered by birth date

Other notable residents

Ordered by birth date where given, followed by those for whom no birth date is given.

Notable local events

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.


For education in Maida Vale, see List of schools in the City of Westminster.


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  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.
  5. "List of Postal Districts". 6 September 2011.
  6. "Transport for London". 28 March 2007.
  7. "Harrow Road Local Area Renewal Partnership".
  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'".
  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.
  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. Plaque details at English Heritage
  25. Plaque details
  26. Plaque details
  27. Music Hall Guild Blue plaque for Lupino Lane at The Music Hall Guild. Accessed 9 May 2015
  28. Plaque details
  29. Plaque details
  30. "A tour around Little Venice, W2". London Canals, The City's Waterways. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  31. L. Perry Curtis jun., "Tenniel, Sir John (1820–1914)" Retrieved 25 February 2014, pay-walled.
  32. ODNB entry mentions Maida Vale home. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  33. Damian Atkinson, "Payn, James (1830–1898)" Retrieved 14 March 2014, pay-walled.
  34. Entry in Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, pp. 17 April 2015.
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  39. Lord Elton (revised by Mark Pottle), Philip Guedalla in Dictionary of National Biography, OUP 2004–08
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  41. Victor Gollancz: A Biography by Ruth Dudley Edwards, Chapter One, 1987
  42. Leith Mansions at Greene & Co. Accessed 31 May 2016
  43. St John’s Wood and Maida Vale Past by Richard Tames
  44. "A story about Hardy Amies", The Versatile Gent
  45. The Times, obituary 23 July 1962
  46. "Ernest Clark". BFI.
  47. GRO Register of Births: June 1914 1a 39 Paddington – Alec Guinness De Cuffe, mmn = De Cuffe.
  48. "Alan Freeman". The Telegraph. 29 November 2006.Retrieved 1 April 2014
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  52. Obituary, The Times, 9 March 2007
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