The History Behind Camden Town

28 March 2021

When I say ‘Camden’ to you, what comes to mind? Scattered with independent stalls, punk imagery, and live music venues, Camden has become its own brand. We know all these elements make for a very attractive and vibrant living for students and young adults. This is why we advertise many flatshares located in this part of North London. But how did Camden become what it is today? Here is a comprehensive history of Camden Town.

The beginning

Camden is known for its stylish gin bars (see; the Colonel Fawcett or Fifty-Five Bar). But did you know, before becoming one of London’s largest markets, Camden was an industrial site of distilleries famous for producing world-famous gin. It is because of this history, The Half Hitch Gin micro-distillery chose to base itself in Camden Lock’s West Yard in 2014. However it was in the late 20th century where the image of Camden really began to shift.

From industrial centre to artisan markets

Located near a railway station and canal, Camden was gradually transforming into a hotspot for trading goods. In 1974, Camden opened itself up to independent sellers specialising in jewellery, antiques, and crafts. Establishing the first market there; Camden Lock. Starting from just sixteen stalls placed right in the heart of Camden Lock, the vibrant community quickly attracted street food vendors and more small traders – creating the enormous, bustling market we know today. The Stables Market, which came shortly after, gained its name from the horses that were used to transport carts filled with goods along Regent’s Canal towards Camden. Fun fact; there actually used to be an on-site ‘horse hospital’, for injured horses to rest up until 1980. 

Raging against the machine; music 

In the 1970s, the UK experienced the Rock n’ Roll Boom and the Punk Revolution. Camden quickly became one of the central hubs in London for musicians to debut and perform. The Roundhouse, an active venue to this day, saw many famous musicians such as Pink Floyd and The Ramones perform. Additionally the Dingwalls Dance Hall was another famous performance spot which saw the likes of Blondie make her debut there. With its growing fame and reputation, alternatives and music fans flocked to Camden. Their influence is still very visible in its modern aesthetic today.

The punks, bohemians, and alternatives; fashion

By the late 70s Camden had a reputation as one of London’s trendiest spots. This is no doubt due to the growth of its independent stalls and lively music scene. But also in its emerging fashion. Although most of us are now used to the punk fashion displayed across various shops and stalls in Camden, its entrance in the 70s came as quite the shock. As it was fairly easy to set up stalls, Camden became a place for many young fashion designers to propel forward. Ideas of challenging the status quo and being ‘anti-mainstream’, most likely further boosted by its music scene and youth culture at the time, were distinctive features of Camden’s alternative look. 

Camden has a rich history with significant cultural impacts that still resonate today. We currently advertise a number of flatshares located in Camden, with nearby transport links. Look in our listings to find your next home today.

Contact MyRooms
To learn more about London and how you can make a beautiful, well-furnished flat your home, contact Myrooms and speak with a London flat-share specialist today!

If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it on your favourite social media sites.