When you look at the expansion of London in the 19th century, the work of master builder Thomas Cubitt is hard to ignore. Best known for his contribution to the development of Belgravia, Pimlico and Bloomsbury, Cubitt was also responsible for the construction of Osborne House on the Isle of Wight where he worked closely with Prince Albert.
The grand Georgian properties and squares attributed to Cubitt are undoubtedly impressive but tucked away on the eastern periphery of the Bloomsbury Estate are the wonderful little Woburn Buildings. Laid out by Cubitt in 1822, they are mostly overlooked by visitors to the city.
Sometimes referred to as London's first pedestrianized shopping street, the thoroughfare was named after Woburn Abbey - the country seat of the Duke of Bedford whose family had acquired the district of Bloomsbury in 1669. Created in an L-shaped layout, the site today is split into two separate locations: Woburn Walk and Duke's Road.
The parade of shops have particularly striking ground level frontages with projecting narrow balconies immediately overhead. Presumably, the store owners would have lived on the floors above. Don't be surprised if you see a film crew or two about as both Woburn Walk and Duke's Road are frequently used as backdrops for television and film productions.
Trivia: the cult horror flick Death Line (AKA Raw Meat) made in 1972 features Grafton Mansions which are opposite the Woburn Buildings in Duke's Road.
Easily missed, the Woburn Buildings are east of Upper Woburn Place in the Borough of Camden.