Abingdon Villas, W8

Road in/near Kensington, existing between 1851 and now

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Road · Kensington · W8 ·

Abingdon Villas runs between Earls Court Road and Marloes Road.

The eastern section of the street consists of red-brick five-storey mansion blocks and the south side of three-storey white stucco houses.

The western end has a mixture of three-storey houses, some of which are partially stuccoed and others only stuccoed up to first floor level. Most of the houses have off-street parking.

Nos. 80-82 Abingdon Villas was built by Francis Attfield in 1851 as part of his development of houses on the adjoining Earls Court Road.

The sites for Nos. 65-85 (odd) Abingdon Villas backed onto the Cope Place sites and they were built at about the same time in 1852-4. A variety of builders were involved: Nos. 65-67, Edward Good, a carpenter from Kensington; Nos. 69-71, Jackson Frow, a carpenter from Caledonian Road; Nos. 73-75, Thomas Methias, a carpenter; Nos. 77-85, Joseph Liddiatt, a builder from St Marylebone.

In 1851 Barnabas Jennings and William Stevenson, who were involved in other parts of the Abingdon Villas and Scarsdale Villas area, built a terrace of houses at Nos. 72-78 (even) Abingdon Villas on the south side near Earls Court Road.

On the south side of Abingdon Villas, a short terrace west from Allen Street, Nos. 46-52 (even), were built by John Turner and Robert Sharpen of Bayswater in 1856. No. 54 was built by Edmond Perfect, a Notting Hill builder in 1862, and the terrace as far as Abingdon Road was completed with Nos. 56-64 by Thomas Sealey Welshman in 1862-4.

On the other side of Abingdon Road, Temple and Forster built Nos. 66-68 and John Hillier built No. 70, all in 1862, to fill up the gap to the existing Nos. 72-82.

The plots on the north side of Abingdon Villas was similarly built up piecemeal. George Butt built Nos. 45 and 47 in 1862, as well as No. 53. Nos. 49 and 51 were built by Edmond Perfect in 1862. Nos. 55-63 were built in 1862 by John Beale.

The stretch between Marloes Road and Allen Street was ultimately taken over largely by flat developments. In 1893-4 the builder, C.F. Kearley, built a block of flats on the site of 1-7 Abingdon Villas, which is now No. 47-60 Cheniston Gardens. Nos. 9 and 11 were demolished to make way for a roadway into Iverna Gardens. The whole of the space between the roadway and Allen Street on the north side of Abingdon Villas was then taken up by Abingdon Court, a block of flats built in about 1901-4. The land was owned by Henry Labouchere, and his agent, W.J. Blow employed the building firm of A.J. Thompson and Company to build the flats. Most of them were designed by Paul Grave & Company, architects in Victoria Street, although the eastern third was designed by Sydney Newcombe of Pembroke Road.

On the opposite side of Abingdon Villas, another block of flats was built called Abingdon Gardens. Sydney Newcombe was the architect.


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Kensington is a district of West London, England within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, located west of Charing Cross.

The focus of the area is Kensington High Street, a busy commercial centre with many shops, typically upmarket. The street was declared London's second best shopping street in February 2005 thanks to its range and number of shops.

The edges of Kensington are not well-defined; in particular, the southern part of Kensington blurs into Chelsea, which has a similar architectural style. To the west, a transition is made across the West London railway line and Earl's Court Road further south into other districts, whilst to the north, the only obvious dividing line is Holland Park Avenue, to the north of which is the similar district of Notting Hill.

Kensington is, in general, an extremely affluent area, a trait that it now shares with its neighbour to the south, Chelsea. The area has some of London's most expensive streets and garden squares.

Kensington is also very densely populated; it forms part of the most densely populated local government district (the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea) in the United Kingdom. This high density is not formed from high-rise buildings; instead, it has come about through the subdivision of large mid-rise Victorian and Georgian terraced houses (generally of some four to six floors) into flats.
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