by Tom Bolton
Books > Local Interest
Camden Town perfectly embodies the cultural mix for which London is famed. Alongside the buzzing Lock market, the pubs and music venues and the eclectic shops, there is another Camden – impossible crowds, shameful poverty, bad housing, gang fights, murders…This book takes five landmarks as the starting point for a series of journeys into the layers of history and culture that make Camden Town. The World’s End pub existed in various forms before Camden began.
The Regent’s Canal Bridge is where today’s crowds flock to the locks and market, while Arlington House, just a block away, belongs to a parallel Camden of immigration and new beginnings, poverty and homelessness. No. 8 Royal College Street represents how, even with the first buildings of nineteenth-century Camden Town, social outsiders were attracted to the area.
Meanwhile the Roundhouse, an engineering curiosity, was to become the revered centre of Camden’s cultural scene.