Wandering around Liverpool Street Station, and a small dark alley contains an unexpected gem — an old map of London. Put there for visitors, it’s hardly an appealing location, which is also possibly why it has been overlooked for all these years.


I’d left my glasses at home, but couldn’t see a date on it anywhere, and suspect that the damp patch now conceals the revealing information, but it is possible to date it to no later than 1986.

Up to 1986, Lloyds of London sat a couple of streets along from its current location, and it is the older location shown on the map.


Other notable changes compared to today are the presence of the NatWest Tower and the Baltic Exchange.

As it was on the 10th April 1992 that the IRA detonated a bomb that would destroy the Baltic Exchange resulting in a Gherkin for a replacement, and lead to a refurbished Natwest Tower becoming Tower 42.

Also notice the Spitalfields Flower Market, which burnt down in 1995


By all rights, the map shouldn’t be there at all. Not because it should have been replaced with a more up to date one, but because in 1988, there were plans to demolish the building it stands in. As that building includes the Victorian era Arcade of shops, there were protests, which not only saved The Arcade, but also this relic of 1980s London.

It’s a modest little curiosity, this decades old faded map, but quite a fun one to seek out, and show off to impress friends with your knowledge of little known London nooks.

You can find it here, next to the M&S just outside The Arcade.



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  1. Edgepedia says:

    Broad Street station was in the gap to the left of Liverpool Street station up to 1986. My guess is that that is when this map was put up

  2. EC73 says:

    Interesting find! I think it’s a little later – around 1990 – because the new layout of Liverpool Street mainline station platforms is shown, and that was certainly later than 1988, and I think later than 1989. The passage that the map is in is now an emergency exit from the Underground, but used to be a full entrance with ticket office (and a traditional cafe!) leading to the footbridge at the eastern end of the Met and Circle line platforms.

  3. The Duke of Waltham says:

    Such a nice find; the only problem is that it’s too late to complain about any typos I have, erm, might identify.

    I remember finding a world map from c. 1970 on the wall of an old office, and trying to narrow down the precise year. That was two summers ago, so we’re talking about a 45-year-old map. Even its language was archaic, heavily out of date, and many of the names were strangely translated. I don’t recall much from its collection of unfamiliar place names, but there was a Pirate Coast (always a memorable touch) and lots of doubles: two Pakistans, two Yemens, two Germanies, two Vietnams… I had to waste a lot of time there for a few days, so it was nice to have something to study. It makes you think, doesn’t it, how much the world has changed in just half a century.

  4. Nick says:

    Sadly it’s now gone (almost). In recent weeks a temporary construction wall has been built around the corridor the map is in and so it can’t be seen. I managed to sneak a quick peak today when a worker opened the door and the bottom half of the map has been ripped away, and no doubt the remainder will be destroyed in the coming months.

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