Maida Vale Property, History & Transport
Maida is a town in Calabria, in the toe of Italy. So how was the name attached to a wealthy area of central London?
In 1806, a British force under Sir John Stuart defeated the French there, a minor victory but welcome at a time when Napoleon was all-conquering, and it was celebrated by naming a new pub on the Edgware Road ‘Hero of Maida’. The pub was the first building in a new district on land owned by the Church of England, which gradually got to be known as Maida Vale.
The streets were laid out in the 1840s and 50s, starting with Warwick Avenue. The spacious, tree-lined avenues and large houses were popular with wealthy professional people and, oddly, with Indian potentates – the ex-Queen of Oudh lived in Warwick Road West and the Rajah of Coorg had a house in Clifton Villas.
Maida Vale is also at the centre of the history of the media. William Friese-Green, pioneer of moving pictures, lived at 136 Maida Vale and Sir Ambrose Fleming, inventor of the thermionic valve that made the amplifier possible lived at 9 Clifton Gardens.
The BBC’s Maida Vale Studios have been used for music recording for over 75 years. The BBC Symphony Orchestra gives regular concerts there, and many rock and pop bands record items for the radio. Bing Crosby recorded his last tape at Maida Vale just days before his death, and the legendary John Peel sessions were made at the studios.
Maida Vale is now as prosperous as it ever was, attracting families who like the quiet, leafy atmosphere with many local shops, restaurants and bars but with rapid access to the West End.
The power of the Maida brand is such that North Paddington is being renamed Maida Hill.