Camden

The London Borough of Camden was formed in 1965 when the former Metropolitan Boroughs of Hampstead, Holborn and St Pancras were amalgamated. The new borough was named after Camden Town, which in turn was named after Charles Pratt, Earl of Camden who started developing the area in 1791. Camden is an inner London borough, north of Westminster. Its land stretches from Holborn and Bloomsbury through Euston and St Pancras to Hampstead Heath.

Population change
1966:239,770 people
1998:189,700 people

Camden includes areas in central London which were first built up during the 17th and 18th centuries: Bloomsbury is a good example. Camden Town itself is a Victorian industrial suburb, which grew up to house railway workers. Railways have had a large influence on the district's development and the borough includes three of the largest railway stations in London; Euston, St Pancras and Kings Cross. Passengers and goods arrive here from Scotland and the North. The new international railway Eurostar terminal at St Pancras, due to open in 2007, will bring more business from all over Europe.

Camden changed considerably during the 20th century. The area around Euston Station was earmarked for office development and saw fierce battles between property developers and community activists during the 1960s and 1970s. Camden benefited from the rise of youth culture during the 1960s. The Roundhouse, a Victorian engine shed, became an important alternative arts and music venue. The Camden Lock area of wharves and warehouses developed into a craft market, which has since grown to be one of London's largest tourist attractions.

The borough built some of London's most innovative social housing during the 1970s. The Alexandra Road Estate near Swiss Cottage created high density dwellings in a low-rise housing and is now listed as a building of historic and architectural importance. The Brunswick Estate in Bloomsbury also combined high density and low rise and was much acclaimed for its unusual design.

Camden includes two of London's most important cultural insitutions, the British Museum in Bloomsbury and the British Library in Kings Cross. It also includes the shopping and entertainment districts of Covent Garden and Fitzrovia. By the end of the 20th century tourism had become an important source of jobs in the borough.

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