Stop 3: King’s map and tokens - Daydreaming on the King’s Road

Partner Programme

16 — 24 Sept 2023

Urban Design

Duke of York Square

King’s Road




This is stop number 3 of 14 in the Design Trail 'Daydreaming on the King’s Road', a walk-through time and design supported by Cadogan and King's Road Partnership.

If you wander across Duke of York Square and look down, you might notice some shiny coins embedded in the pavement. The coins surround an old map, drawn in the early eighteenth century for King George I, identifying the route to London from his palaces at Kew and Hampton Court. The route had been created by King Charles II in the second half of the seventeenth century and has been known ever since as ‘The King's Road’. When it was built, the new road was thought to have been a useful route for King Charles II and his mistress, the actress Nell Gwynn, to link St James’s Palace to Fulham, and Fulham to Kew. There are many references to Nell Gwynn found around Fulham Road where she lived. Initially the King's Road was an exclusive road only for the King and a chosen few. The coins, or tokens as they were called, were the currency for accessing the King's Road from around 1720 when it could be used by members of the public who had paid for the privilege. It’s thought that the map was made around this time to identify or formalise the arrangement. The road was made public in 1830.