Agar Town

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

1851 map showing Agar Town (top left), Somers Town and Pentonville.
Illustration from 1854, showing Paradise Row in Agar Town

Agar Town (also known as Ague Town, Hagar Town, Agar-Town and Agar-town) was a short-lived relatively tiny area of St Pancras in central London named after William Agar, a wealthy lawyer who lived at Elm Lodge, a villa in large grounds near to the Regent's Canal roughly where Barker Drive stands. Key streets were Canterbury Place, Durham Street, and one of the city's Oxford Crescents.[1] Agar Town, consisting of low-quality housing for poor people, built of the lowest quality materials on 21 year leases, with no street lighting, cleaning or sewerage, and a population of laborers living in houses they built for themselves, was generally considered a slum.[1] This designation has been questioned.[2]

The neighbourhood was started in 1841 with Agar's widow leasing out small plots on the north side of the canal. Ownership passed to the Church Commissioners, who sold it to the Midland Railway. The company demolished most of the housing to make way for warehouses supplying St Pancras railway station from 1866.

The name of Agar Town is commemorated by Agar Grove which traces an edge and which was St Paul's Road in "Camden Town".

Cultural reference[edit]

The place is sung about in a folk-style song of Richard Guard and Anna Crockatt The River Don't Run[3], included on an album by Nick Hart. The song describes the demolition of Agar Town and the disappearance of the Fleet river or stream as it was diverted underground to make way for St Pancras railway station.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Tom Bolton (24 June 2015). "From Cripplegate to Agar Town: inside London's vanished neighbourhoods". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 June 2015. The local vestry failed to provide "Ague Town", as it became known, with street lighting or cleaning, there was no sewerage, and it quickly became synonymous with mud and disease.
  2. ^ Denford, Steven L J (1995) Agar Town: The life and death of a Victorian "slum". Camden History Society, London. Camden History Society website
  3. ^ [1]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°32′20″N 0°7′55″W / 51.53889°N 0.13194°W / 51.53889; -0.13194