MONOPOLY MAP FAQ's

WHY?
HOW?
CAN YOU TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF
    MONOPOLY?
ARE ALL THE FEATURES OF THE LONDON MONOPOLY BOARD
    BASED ON REAL PLACES?
CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THOSE DIFFICULT ONES?
WHY WERE THESE PLACES SELECTED?
IS THIS MAP USEFUL?

ISNíT THIS JUST LIKE ANOTHER MONOPOLY MAP I SAW
    SOMEWHERE ELSE?
CAN I BUY PRINTS OF THESE MAPS FROM YOU?

WHY?
As a child growing up in the north of England, 200 miles from London, I loved playing Monopoly, partly because London seemed such a glamorous and exciting place, and Monopoly seemed to epitomise this glamour. I was aware that the game incorporated the names of real places in London, but had no idea how they related to each other in real life.

HOW?
MS Powerpoint

CAN YOU TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF MONOPOLY?
The creation of Monopoly is usually credited to an American, Charles Darrow, who sold the idea to Parker Brothers, who first marketed the game on a large scale in 1935. However other similar games existed before then, and Parker Brothers bought out the copyrights in some of them, to allow them to claim undisputed rights to Monopoly. Darrowís original version was based on Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, but many other versions were subsequently created. One of the earliest variants was the now famous London edition, produced under licence from Parker Brothers by Waddingtons of Leeds, and this edition is the basis for my map. Monopoly is now produced by Hasbro Inc. Hereís a great unofficial site about Monopoly....

ARE ALL THE FEATURES OF THE LONDON MONOPOLY BOARD BASED ON REAL PLACES?
Yes and no.

Chance and Community Chest are clearly not based on real places. It would be possible to find, for example, betting shops and banks in suitable locations, but there seems little point.

Similarly the Go, Free Parking, and Go To Jail squares are not based on real places, and they seem to have no obvious parallel in London (especially free parking !).

I could find no waterworks within the limited area of the map, so that too must be left out.

It is tempting to link Income Tax and Super Tax to places such as the Treasury, but I have refrained from that.

All of the other places are either based directly on, or can reasonably be identified with, real places in central London.
In most cases, such identification is straightforward Ė for example, the first place on the board is Old Kent Road, and Old Kent Road is a real major road in south east London. In some cases, identification with real places is slightly more difficult.

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THOSE DIFFICULT ONES?
Of course !

Going round the board on the proscribed route, the difficult ones are as follows -

The Angel, Islington. Unlike most of the coloured properties, this is not a road (or similar, such as square etc). Islington is a suburb of London, and the Angel is a major road junction in Islington, which takes its name from an inn of the same name, which once stood at the junction, but no longer existed by the 1930s. According to legend, the creators of London Monopoly selected the place names while sitting in a teashop on the site of the Angel.

In Jail / Just Visiting is probably not intended to represent any specific jail (or gaol in the English spelling). There are several prisons in London, of which Pentonville Prison seems the most appropriate for our purposes Ė it is close to Pentonville Road.

Pall Mall is taken to mean both Pall Mall and Pall Mall East (they are continuous).

Electric Company is also probably not intended to represent any specific place. It is tempting to link it to the former Bankside Power Station (now home to Tate Modern), which is very close to central London and many other Monopoly properties. But sadly Bankside did not exist when London Monopoly was first created in the 1930s Ė it was built after 1945. Therefore the former Battersea Power Station is our choice Ė a little further from the centre of London, but construction started in 1929 and so the Monopoly creators could conceivably have had it in mind.

Marlborough Street Ė there is now no Marlborough Street in central London, and common consensus seems to be that Great Marlborough Street is the preferred choice.

Vine Street Ė there is a Vine Street in central London, and I have used it, but it is so small and apparently insignificant that it seems incredible that the Monopoly creators should have even heard of it, let alone chosen it. The Vine Street I have chosen is quite close to Marlborough Street and Bow Street, and I read somewhere that all three streets have (or had) police stations on them.

Oxford Street Ė I have marked both Oxford Street and New Oxford Street (they are continuous) as being Oxford Street.

Bond Street is generally assumed to mean both Old Bond Street and New Bond Street (again, they are continuous).

Mayfair is not a street but an area of London, and I have placed it accordingly.

WHY WERE THESE PLACES SELECTED?
Now that IS a can of worms.

It seems likely that Waddingtons intended to sell the game to people who had never even visited London, and therefore they would have chosen locations that such people would have heard of, and would have associated with London. Places such as Park Lane, Oxford Street, Trafalgar Square, and perhaps even Old Kent Road and Whitechapel Road, fit this category. But some streets are almost totally obscure, such as Vine Street. I lived and worked in London for a time, and I donít think I ever knew where Northumberland Avenue, Great Marlborough Street, or Coventry Street were.
Many other streets could be proposed as being more evocative of the idea of London to outsiders than the ones that were selected Ė such as Tottenham Court Road, Charing Cross Road, Shaftesbury Avenue, Baker Street, Knightsbridge, High Holborn, Grays Inn Road, and Ludgate Hill, to name a few.

The members of each colour group are generally close together, with the exception of the browns which are miles apart from each other, and miles from other locations. Old Kent Road is the only location that can be definitely identified as being south of the river.

Thereís more mystery surrounding the railway stations. The original Atlantic City Monopoly did not have railway stations Ė it had four railway lines or companies.

When it came to London Monopoly, Waddingtons could have simply selected the four mainline railway companies that served Britain and London at the time. Railways in Britain have gone through several major changes in the way they are organised. Most of the network was built by dozens of independent, competing companies, which led to a fair amount of duplication of routes, and was partly responsible for the fact that London now has 13 major mainline terminals (and in the 1930s had at least 15). In 1923, the government grouped most of the network into four large companies that controlled the network until nationalisation after WW2. These were the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER), the London Midland and Scottish (LMS), the Great Western Railway (GWR), and the Southern Railway (SR), and all four of them had London terminals. So why didnít Waddingtons simply choose these four companies for the railroads ? I donít know.

Instead, they chose four railway stations, and the choice seems strange - the four stations they chose were the four London terminals of the LNER. Kings Cross is one of the most important stations in London, and because of its long distance routes to the north of England and Scotland, it is widely known outside London. Liverpool Street serves much shorter routes to East Anglia, but its commuter traffic is so large that it has a good claim to being one of Londonís most important stations. Fenchurch Street on the other hand is a much smaller station, and essentially serves only one short line to part of Essex, while Marylebone is a fairly small station whose routes to the Midlands were generally considered secondary to more established routes out of other stations such as St Pancras.

It seems to me that a more sensible choice would have been to select one station from each of the four operating companies, in which case a good choice could have been Ė
1) Kings Cross (LNER) because of its size, and its long distance routes to the north of England and Scotland.
2) Euston (LMS) for exactly the same reasons as Kings Cross.
3) Paddington (GWR) for reasons of size and long distance routes, plus it is the only GWR terminal in London.
4) Charing Cross (SR) because it is reasonably large, north of the river, and very close to the central London Monopoly properties. Victoria, Waterloo and London Bridge are all rather larger than Charing Cross, but they all are either south of the river or relatively further away from the centre.

So the question remains Ė why did Waddingtons choose the four LNER stations ? Did Waddingtons do a deal with the LNER ? Or perhaps Waddingtons Ė based in Leeds, which was in LNER territory Ė had a loyalty to their local railway ? I donít know.

IS THIS MAP USEFUL?
It would be very difficult to play a game of Monopoly on this map, because many important locations are missing.

But it might help if you were doing a Monopoly pub crawl, or a Monopoly run.

If you already have a printed map of central London, you could print out my monopoly map, use the scale bars to compare with the map you already have, modify your printer or copier settings to zoom my map in or out so that itís the same scale, then print it onto a transparency and place it on top of the map you already have.

ISNíT THIS JUST LIKE ANOTHER MONOPOLY MAP I SAW SOMEWHERE ELSE?

Quite possibly. Iíve never seen one like it, and I created this one myself from scratch. I havenít been able to find another Monopoly map anywhere else. If you Google ďMonopoly mapĒ you get one reference to a London Monopoly Map in the minutes of the Australian Map Circle, but that map does not seem to be online anywhere. There are lots of references to a monopoly map in some game discussion boards, which I donít really understand. If anyone knows of another online Monopoly map, Iíd be interested to hear about it Ė e-mail me at motorwaymap@yahoo.co.uk

CAN I BUY PRINTS OF THESE MAPS FROM YOU?
I don't currently have facilities to do this. If enough people are interested in this, that may change. Let me know if you're interested in this - mail me at motorwaymap@yahoo.co.uk
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