Old Kent Road
19 Jul 2016 |
Old Kent Road is the first brown property on the Monopoly board. It is well known as the cheapest property in the game at £60 and is the only square on the board south of the river.
In reality Old Kent Road is situated in London’s most historic borough Southwark. The road was an important thoroughfare in London, and was originally known as Watling Street when it was created by the Romans to connect Dover to London via Canterbury and on to Holyhead, Wales. Its most noticeable feature was the number of public houses. The oldest inn “The World Turned Upside Down” was still trading some 200 years later and only closed in 2009.
In the Medieval Period, Old Kent Road was known as Kent Street and was famously travelled by Geoffrey Chaucer’s pilgrims in ‘The Canterbury Tales’. At the junction of Old Kent Road and Shornecliff Road, was St Thomas a Watering which was named after St Thomas a Becket from Chaucer’s pilgrims. In Tudor times this spot became a place of execution for the northern parts of Surrey. Many men were hung here between 1539 and the last execution in 1740. During the Georgian period, Kent Street became known as Kent Road then changed to Old Kent Road in Victorian times.
In the late 1820s, the South Metropolitan Gas Company was based here next to the Grand Surrey Canal where barges could bring in coal. The site expanded from 3 to 36 acres as it manufactured products destined for local markets. In 1880, the gas works moved to Greenwich and eventually closed in the 1980’s.
Old Kent Road Baths were the first public baths in London to have a Turkish bath. The baths were designed by E. Harding Payne and contained separate rooms for men and women and the upper, middle and lower classes. They opened in 1905 but were destroyed in the Second World War.
On September 7th 1940 London was hit by German Bombers during the London Blitz, nearly 1000 bombs were dropped during 24 hours. Old Kent Road itself was hit several times.