, is the heart of Kensal Town.
Kensal (New) Town began to be built in the late 1830s with the original name being "Kensal Village". The builder, Kinnaird Jenkins, laid out four main streets apart from Kensal Road: West Row
, East Row
, South Row and Middle Row
Kensal New Town was an isolated community, separated from the Harrow Road
and the rest of Kensal Green by the canal. When the Great Western Railway was built to the south, the isolation only increased. Kensal New Town was known as a “laundry colony”, that being the main occupation of the neighbourhood, many of whose inhabitants were Irish. Kensal New Town then had something of a rural character, with many people keeping pigs and growing vegetables in their gardens. Pony-trotting and dog stealing were also said to be popular local pursuits.
C. H. Blake’s purchased the Portobello estate from the Misses Talbot and the land included some sixteen acres to the north of the railway. This was in the vicinity of Bosworth Road
, Hazlewood Crescent
, Edenham Street and Southam Street
, where the building of tightly-packed ranges of small narrow houses proceeded rapidly in the 1860s and 1870s, every room being occupied as fast as the houses were completed.
A night market was held on Saturdays where Wedlake Street
is now - it was notorious for rowdy scenes until an iron chapel was built on the site. The village had six public houses and organised pitched battles between the youths of Kensal Road and Lissom Green were popular up to the end of the nineteenth century.
In the 1870s, what had been a footpath leading from Portobello Road
to Kensal Road was planted with trees and named Britannia Road. Later the trees were cut down and the street was called Golbourne and later Golborne Road
. Originally, it had been intended that Golborne Road
should cross Kensal Road to a bridge across the canal, so forming a direct connection with Harrow Road
By the early 1880s building development had been substantially finished. Many of the residents by now were railwaymen, while others were migrants whose previous homes in the central districts of London had been demolished.