Kensal Road, W10

Road in/near Kensal Town, existing between 1839 and now

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Road · Kensal Town · W10 · Contributed by The Underground Map
Kensal Road

Kensal Road, originally called Albert Road, 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.

Sources: and British History Online

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Norman Norrington   
Added: 19 Jan 2018 14:49 GMT   
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Post by Norman Norrington: Blechynden Street, W10

In the photo of Blechynden St on the right hand side the young man in the doorway could be me. That is the doorway of 40 Blechynden St.

I lived there with My Mum Eileen and Dad Bert and Brothers Ron & Peter. I was Born in Du Cane Rd Hosp. Now Hammersmith Hosp.

Left there with my Wife Margaret and Daughter Helen and moved to Stevenage. Mum and Dad are sadly gone.

I now live on my own in Bedfordshire, Ron in Willesden and Pete in Hayling Island.

Have many happy memories of the area and go back 3/4 times a year now 75 but it pulls back me still.
Paul Shepherd
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Added: 16 Jan 2018 15:21 GMT   
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Post by Paul Shepherd: Chamberlayne Road, NW10

i lived in Rainham Rd in the 1960?s. my best friends were John McCollough and Rosalind Beevor. it was a good time to be there but local schools were not good and i got out before it went to a real slum. i gather it?s ok now.
BRIAN WYBROW Ph.D. (Lond.)   
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Post by BRIAN WYBROW Ph.D. (Lond.): Maxilla Gardens, W10

I lived at 11A Maxilla Gardens W10 (now partly gone, but what is left is called Maxilla Walk).
I have provided an account of life in Maxilla gardens on the following website; so, to avoid repetition, please visit this link:

Best wishes to all.

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Post by Mary Harris: 31 Princedale Road, W11

John and I were married in 1960 and we bought, or rather acquired a mortgage on 31 Princedale Road in 1961 for £5,760 plus another two thousand for updating plumbing and wiring, and installing central heating, a condition of our mortgage. It was the top of what we could afford.

We chose the neighbourhood by putting a compass point on John’s office in the City and drawing a reasonable travelling circle round it because we didn’t want him to commute. I had recently returned from university in Nigeria, where I was the only white undergraduate and where I had read a lot of African history in addition to the subject I was studying, and John was still recovering from being a prisoner-of-war of the Japanese in the Far East in WW2. This is why we rejected advice from all sorts of people not to move into an area where there had so recently bee

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Maria Russ
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Added: 7 Dec 2017 09:46 GMT   
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Post by Maria Russ: Middle Row Bus Garage

My mum worked as a Clippie out from Middle Row Bus Garage and was conductress to George Marsh Driver. They travel the City and out to Ruislip and Acton duiring the 1950’s and 1960’s. We moved to Langley and she joined Windsor Bus Garage and was on the Greenline buses after that. It was a real family of workers from Middle Row and it formed a part of my early years in London. I now live in New Zealand, but have happy memories of the early years of London Transport and Middle Row Garage.
Still have mum’s bus badge.

Happy times they were.
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Post by Julia elsdon: Shirland Mews, W9

I didn’t come from Shirland Mews, but stayed there when my father was visiting friends, sometime in the mid to late forties. As I was only a very young child I don’t remember too much. I seem to think there were the old stables or garages with the living accommodation above. My Mother came from Malvern Road which I think was near Shirland Mews. I remember a little old shop which had a "milk cow outside". So I was told, it was attached to the front of the shop and you put some money in and the milk would be dispensed into your container. Not too sure if it was still in use then. Just wonder if anyone else remembers it.yz5
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The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.


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Kensal Town

Soapsuds Island

Kensal New Town was built between the Grand Central Canal (which opened in 1801) and the Great Western Railway line (opening in 1837) in the 1840s.

Single-storey cottages with gardens suitable for drying clothes were the first buildings and Kensal Road, Middle Row, West Row, East Row and Southern Row all appeared between 1841 and 1851. The rows of cottages quickly degenerated into a slum, mainly due to overcrowding, industrialisation and pollution.

The area was dominated by the Western Gas Company and Kensal Cemetery, which provided work but did little to improve the environment. Women were primarily involved in laundry work giving the area its nickname of ‘Soapsuds Island’.

The area was isolated from the rest of London at a time when Portobello Lane (now Portobello Road) was a muddy track sometimes impassable in bad weather.

Cut off from the municipal authorities it was left to charities to attempt to alleviate the social and health problems.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the cottage laundry industry began to be replaced by larger mechanized concerns.

In 1902 Charles Booth described it as, “Just as full of children and poverty as was the old woman’s dwelling in the nursery rhyme.” By this date the area had been transferred to the newly formed Royal Borough of Kensington. When the Piggeries and Potteries in Notting Dale were finally cleared in the early 20th century most of the displaced residents moved north into Golborne ward and Kensal.

By 1923 in the Southam Street area 140 houses contained some 2500 inhabitants. A series of evocative photographs by Roger Mayne in the 1950s showed that little had changed. It was only from the 1960s that the overcrowded and dilapidated terraces were cleared and replaced by social housing including Goldfinger’s Trellick Tower.

6 East Row, W10: Scott Hatton:   Scott Hatton lived here in 1960
Chamberlayne Farm:   Chamberlain (Wood) Farm developed out of the manor of Chambers, named after Richard de Camera, an early 13th century cleric.
Clayton Arms:   A pub which was situated halfway down West Row in Kensal Town.
Emslie Horniman Pleasance:   
Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance:   Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance is the traditional starting point for the Notting Hill Carnival.
Jack of Newbury:   The Jack of Newbury stood at the corner of East Row and Kensal Road until it was bombed on 2 October 1940.
Kensal Town:   Soapsuds Island
Lads of the Village:   One of the signature public houses along Kensal Road.
Middle Row Bus Garage:   Middle Row Bus Garage was situated on the corner of Conlan Street and Middle Row, W10.
Middle Row School:   Middle Row School was established in the late 19th century to provide education to the children of Kensal New Town.
Portobello Arms:   The Portobello Arms was a former pub in Kensal Town, established in 1842.
Queens Park Estate:   The part of Queen's Park which is in the W10 postcode and City of Westminster, is known as the Queens Park Estate.
Queen’s Park Library:   Queen’s Park Library was built to improve the minds of the new Queen’s Park Estate residents.
St Martins Mission:   Saint Martin's Mission was originally known as Rackham Hall as it was situated on Rackham Street.
The Eagle:   The Eagle, on the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Telford Road.
The Earl Derby:   The Earl Derby stood on the corner of Southern Row and Bosworth Road.
The Flora:   The Flora is situated on Harrow Road, W10.
The Foresters:   A lost pub of London W10
The Mitre:   The Mitre was situated at 62 Golborne Road.
The Prince of Wales (Chilled Eskimo):   A pub in Kensal Town
Wedlake Street Baths:   In a time when most had somewhere to live but few had somewhere to wash at home, public baths were the place to go...
Western Arms:   The Western Arms was a pub situated on the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Kensal Road.

Adair Road junction with Southam Street (1932):   A wet day in London W10.
Adair Road, W10:   Adair Road junction with Appleford Road, March 1964
Adair Road, W10:   Adair Road is a street on the Kensal Town/North Kensington borders.
Corner of Caird Street and Lancefield Street (1910):   2015
Corner of Rackham Street, Ladbroke Grove (1950):   The bombing of the Second World War meant that some whole streets were wiped off the future map. Rackham Street, in London W10, was one of them.
Golborne Road bridge (1960s):   We think that this photo dates from the late 1960s, according to fashions and car registrations.
Harrow Road (1920s):   Harrow Road in the 1920s, looking south east towards the Prince of Wales pub and the Emmanuel Church spire.
Hudson's the chemist (1906):   Hudson's, a chemist shop, stood on the corner of Ilbert Street and Third Avenue in the Queen's Park estate.
Ladbroke Grove looking north (1900):   This early 1900s image was taken just south of the junction of Ladbroke Grove and Treverton Street.
Ladbroke Grove looking north (1950):   Ladbroke Grove on the corner of St Charles Sqaure taken outside the Eagle public house, looking north, just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War.
Lothrop Street (1907):   2015
Rackham Street, eastern end (1950):   The bombing of the Second World War meant that some whole streets were wiped off the future map. Rackham Street, in London W10, was one of them.
St Charles Square after bombing (1950):   A corner of St Charles Square looking north, just after the Second World War
St Charles Square ready for redevelopment (1951):   Photographed in 1951, the corner of St Charles Square and Ladbroke Grove looking northwest just after the Second World War.
Western Dwellings from below (1960s):   This photo was taken from the bottom of Southern Row steps.
William Miller's Yard:   William Miller's Yard stood in Chapel Place, West Row.

13 Bonchurch Road, W10 · 16 Bonchurch Road, W10 · 1d Beethoven Street, W10 · 1e Beethoven Street, W10 · 1f Beethoven Street, W10 · 20 Bonchurch Road, W10 · 22 Bonchurch Road, W10 · 3 Beethoven Street, W10 · 3 Bonchurch Road, W10 · Adair Road, W10 · Adair Tower, W10 · Adela Street, W10 · Alderson Street, W10 · Alperton Street, W10 · Appleford House, W10 · Appleford Road, W10 · Athlone Gate, W10 · Barfett Street, W10 · Bevington Road, W10 · Blagrove Road, W10 · Bonchurch Road, W10 · Bosworth House Bosworth Road, W10 · Bosworth Road, W10 · Bravington Road, W9 · Briar Walk, W10 · Bruckner Street, W10 · Caird Street, W10 · Caird Street, W9 · Conlan Street, W10 · Dart Street, W10 · Droop Street, W10 · East Row, W10 · Edenham Way, W10 · Elkstone Road, W10 · Embrook Street, W10 · Enbrook Street, W10 · Faraday Road, W10 · Farrant Street, W10 · Fifth Avenue, W10 · First Avenue, W10 · Fourth Avenue, W10 · Galton Street, W10 · Galton Street, W10 · Golborne Gardens, W10 · Golborne Mews, W10 · Golborne Road, W10 · Harrow Road, W10 · Hawthorn Walk, W10 · Hazelwood Crescent, W10 · Hazlewood Crescent, W10 · Hazlewood Tower, W10 · Heather Walk, W10 · Huxley Street, W10 · Ilbert Street, W10 · James Collins Close, W9 · James House Appleford Road, W10 · John Fearon Walk, W10 · Kensal Road, W10 · Kilravock Street, W10 · Ladbroke Grove, W10 · Lancefield Street, W10 · Lavie Mews, W10 · Lionel Mews, W10 · Lothrop Street, W10 · Manchester Drive, W10 · Marne Street, W10 · Middle Row, W10 · Morgan Road, W10 · Mozart Street, W10 · Munro Mews, W10 · Nutbourne Street, W10 · Orchard Close, W10 · Parry Road, W10 · Peach Road, W10 · Ronan Walk, W10 · Saint Ervans Road, W10 · Second Avenue, W10 · Sixth Avenue, W10 · Southam House Adair Road, W10 · Southam Street, W10 · Southern Row, W10 · St Ervans Road, W10 · Sycamore Walk, W10 · Telford Road, W10 · The Arches, W10 · Third Avenue, W10 · Tollbridge Close, W10 · Trellick Tower · Wedlake Street, W10 · West Row, W10 · Wheatstone Road, W10 · Wornington Road, W10 ·

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What is Kensal Road, W10 like as a place to live?

Data from


North Kensington Histories
Recollections of people from North Kensington, London
RBKC Library Time Machine
Blog from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Library
Old Notting Hill/North Ken History
Facebook group, covering the history of W10 and W11.
Ladbroke Grove
Facebook Page
Queen’s Park
Facebook Page
Westbourne Park
Facebook Page
The Notting Hill & North Kensington Photo Archive
Facebook group
Born in W10
Facebook group
Hidden London
Histor­ically inclined look at the capital’s obscure attractions
British History Online
Digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources.
All-encompassing website
Time Out
Listings magazine


Inner West London (1932) FREE DOWNLOAD
1930s map covering East Acton, Holland Park, Kensington, Notting Hill, Olympia, Shepherds Bush and Westbourne Park,
George Philip & Son, Ltd./London Geographical Society, 1932

Central London, north west (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
Central London, north west.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)

Environs of London (1832) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured. Relief shown by hachures. A circle shows "Extent of the twopenny post delivery."
Chapman and Hall, London

London Underground Map (1921).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1921.
London Transport

The Environs of London (1865).  FREE DOWNLOAD
Prime meridian replaced with "Miles from the General Post Office." Relief shown by hachures. Map printed in black and white.
Published By J. H. Colton. No. 172 William St. New York

London Underground Map (1908).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1908.
London Transport

Ordnance Survey of the London region (1939) FREE DOWNLOAD
Ordnance Survey colour map of the environs of London 1:10,560 scale
Ordnance Survey. Crown Copyright 1939.

Outer London (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
Outer London shown in red, City of London in yellow. Relief shown by hachures.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)

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