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Maida Vale
Grand Union Canal at Little Venice.JPG
The Grand Union Canal at Little Venice
Maida Vale is located in Greater London
Maida Vale
Maida Vale
Population 23,161 (2016 Maida Vale and Little Venice combined Ward populations)
OS grid reference TQ255825
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district W9
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
  • Westminster North
London Assembly
List of places
51°31′N 0°11′W / 51.52°N 0.19°W / 51.52; -0.19

Maida Vale ( MAY-də-_-vayl) is an affluent residential district consisting of the northern part of Paddington in West London, west of St John's Wood and south of Kilburn. It is also the name of its main road, on the continuous Edgware Road. Maida Vale is part of the City of Westminster, 3.1 miles (5.0 km) north-west of Charing Cross. It has many late Victorian and Edwardian blocks of mansion flats. The area is home to the BBC Maida Vale Studios.


Paddington Met. B Ward Map 1916
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. 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) and a new street market on the Piazza at the junction of Elgin Avenue and Harrow Road.

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.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Maida Vale was a predominantly Sephardic 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. 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.

Little Venice

Little Venice junction
The canal junction at Little Venice

Little Venice is a comparatively recent name for parts of Maida Vale and Paddington in the City of Westminster. It consists of the area surrounding the Little Venice Lagoon and its canals. It is known for and defined by its Regency style white stucco buildings and its canals and moored boats. 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 Warrington Crescent, 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. However, this was disputed by Lord Kinross in 1966 and by London Canals. 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, 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.

Other areas

Carlton Tavern - - 483947
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 and Randolph Court in 1910.

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.


Maida Vale has a namesake electoral ward and in the 2018 local election returned three Labour councillors for the opposition benches at Westminster City Council. The 2011 census counted a population of 10,210 in the ward. Ethnicity-wise, 62.4% of the population were White (38% British, 3% Irish, 22% Other), 11.7% were Asian, and 7.1% were Black. Maida Vale also had a large Arab community, who formed 9.2% of the population, and by far the most spoken foreign language was Arabic. Of the 4,480 households, the number of homes owned or privately rented were about even, with socially rented a bit less but still significant. Properties are predominantly in the flats/maisonettes/apartments category (over 90 percent of the households). The median age was 33. Being in the inner city, the majority of residents do not own a car or van.


Maida Vale is served by St Mark's parish church, Hamilton Terrace. Between 1870 and 1906 the incumbent of St. Mark's was Robinson Duckworth. Saatchi Shul, an independent Orthodox Jewish synagogue, was founded in Maida Vale in 1998.


Notable people

Commemorative plaques

Ordered by birth date

  • Andreas Kalvos (1792–1869), Greek poet and patriot, at 182 Sutherland Avenue
  • Ambrose Fleming (1849–1945), English electrical engineer and physicist, at 9 Clifton Gardens
  • David Ben-Gurion (1886–1973), first prime minister of Israel, at 75 Warrington Crescent
  • Lupino Lane (1892–1959), theatre and film star, at 32 Maida Vale
  • Henry Hall (1898-1989), British dance band leader, at 8 Randolph Mews in 1959-1981
  • Edward Ardizzone (1900–1979), artist and illustrator, at 130 Elgin Avenue.
  • Lennox Berkeley (1900-1989), composer, lived at 8 Warwick Avenue.
  • Alan Turing (1912–1954), code-breaker and pioneer of computer science, at 2 Warrington Crescent.
  • Alec Guinness (1914–2000), English actor, born at 155 Lauderdale Mansions
  • Arthur Lowe (1915–1982), English actor, famed for his role as Captain George Mainwaring in the television show Dad's Army, at 2 Maida Hill West in 1969–1982.
  • Roger Bannister (1929–2018), English athlete and neurologist, trained to break the 4-minute mile at the track in Paddington Rec while a medical student at St Mary's hospital.
  • Tony Meehan (1943–2005), founder member of the guitar group The Shadows, lived at 34 Lauderdale Mansions in 1977–2005.

Other notables

Ordered by birth date where given, followed by those for whom no birth date is given. See also People from Maida Vale

  • Sir John Tenniel (1820–1914), artist and cartoonist, at 10 Portsdown Road, Maida Hill in 1854–1909
  • John Lawrence Toole (1830–1906), comic actor, lived in Maida Vale.
  • James Payn (1830–1898), novelist and journal editor, died at his home, 43 Warrington Crescent, on 25 March 1898.
  • Joanna Mary Boyce (1831–1861), portrait painter, born in Maida Vale.
  • Charles Coborn (1852-1945), music hall entertainer, lived at 27 Elgin Mansions.
  • Sir Edward German (1862–1936), composer, lived at 5 Biddulph Road from 1921 until his death in 1936.
  • George Arliss (1868–1946), actor, at 1 Clifton Villas
  • Leslie Green (1875–1908), architect, was born in Maida Vale.
  • John Masefield (1878–1967), novelist, playwright and Poet Laureate from 1930, at 30 Maida Avenue.
  • Lieutenant Leonard Keysor VC (1885–1951), Australian soldier, born in Maida Vale
  • Clifford Grey (1887–1941), musical theatre composer, at 38 Sandringham Court
  • Esmé Percy (1887–1957), actor, at 30 Warrington Crescent
  • Philip Guedalla (1889–1944), writer, politician and barrister, born in Maida Vale.
  • Vera Brittain (1893–1970), writer, at 111 Wymering Mansions, Wymering Road.
  • Victor Gollancz (1893–1967), publisher and humanitarian, born at 256 Elgin Avenue, Maida Vale
  • Konni Zilliacus (1894–1967), Labour MP for Manchester Gorton and author
  • Irene Handl (1901–1987), character actress, born in Maida Vale
  • Terence Fisher (1904–1980), film director, born in Maida Vale
  • Nancy Mitford (1904–1973), author, at 13 Blomfield Road in the 1930s.
  • Lou Preager (1906–1978), British dance band leader, at 198 Wymering Mansions, Wymering Road in the 1930s.
  • James MacColl (1908–1971), Labour MP for Widnes, at 21 Randolph Road
  • Hardy Amies (1909–2003), fashion designer, dressmaker to Queen Elizabeth II
  • Walter Kolarz (1912–1962), communist scholar, in Maida Vale from 1940 until his death.
  • Ernest Clark (1912–1994), actor, born and raised in Maida Vale.
  • Helen Clare (1916–2018), singer, was living at 88 Maida Vale in 1939.
  • Alan Freeman (1927–2006), broadcaster.
  • Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-2007), cellist, at 18 Randolph Crescent
  • Enrica Soma (1929–1969), Italian-American socialite and ballerina, one-time wife of John Huston and mother of Anjelica Huston, moved there with her children in 1962 after separating from her husband.
  • Alexander Walker (1930–2003), Evening Standard film critic, at 1 Marlborough, 38–40 Maida Vale
  • Joan Collins (b. 1933) grew up in Maida Vale.
  • John Inman (1935–2007), actor, lived in a mews house in Little Venice for 30 years.
  • Eddie Linden (b. 1935), poet and founder of Aquarius magazine, which he edited from his home in Maida Vale.
  • Delia Derbyshire (1937–2001), in Clifton Road during her time with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
  • Edward Fox (b. 1937), film actor, has lived in Maida Avenue, by the Regent's Canal, from the 1970s to the present-day.
  • Joe Strummer (1952–2002) of punk rock band The Clash lived there.
  • Elizabeth Emanuel (b. 1953), fashion designer, lives in the area.
  • Michael Flatley (b. 1958), dancer and creator of Riverdance etc., owned a house in Park Place Villas, near the Regent's Canal, until 2004.
  • Jarvis Cocker (b. 1963) of Pulp was living in the area in 1997.
  • Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer (b. 1964), peer, author and younger brother of Diana, Princess of Wales, has a residence in Maida Vale.
  • Björk (b. 1965), Icelandic singer, resident in the 1990s and early 2000s
  • Ben Miller (b. 1966), comedian and actor
  • Noel Gallagher (b. 1967), singer, songwriter and guitarist
  • Bradley Wiggins (b. 1980), cyclist
  • Eva Green (b. 1980), actress
  • Mohammed Emwazi (1988–2015), alleged executioner for Islamic State known as "Jihadi John", attended St Mary Magdalene Church of England Primary School in Maida Vale.
  • Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary (b. 1991), suspected Islamist militant
  • Daisy Ridley (b. 1992), actress
  • Kate Stewart (b. 1995), singer-songwriter
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