Addison Road, W14

Road, existing between 1824 and now

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Road · The Underground Map · W14 ·
September
2
2017

Addison Road stretches from Holland Park Avenue to Kensington High Street.


Addison Road takes its name from the essayist Joseph Addison. It was the first street to be constructed for new house development on the Holland estate with a purpose to connect Holland Park with Kensington.

The road was constructed by William Woods, a builder, who began work in about 1824. There is a curve in the road where it goes round St Barnabas Church. This was not out of respect for the church but because the builders had to work round some extensive ponds called “the Moats”, which weren’t finally filled in until about 1900.

The southern part consists of a busy southbound one-way traffic system. At this end there are two large modern blocks of flats set back from the road. The middle part is quiet, tree-lined and has mainly large detached and semi-detached villas, usually painted white. At the north end of Addison Road is Addison Court and unusual 1930s style eight storey block of flats.

Many of the houses have large front gardens with small sweeping driveways, and are well set back from the road behind high front walls and gates ensuring maximum secrecy. Before the mid nineteenth century all of these houses had names rather than numbers.

The grandest house in Addison Road is an ornate blue and green glazed-brick and tiled mansion known as ‘The Peacock House’, built in 1906 for Ernest Debenham of the supermarket store of the same name.

Near Cardinal Vaughan School (where Holland Park Gardens begins) an 8-storey block of flats called Addisland Court was built in the 1930s. The land was formerly occupied by No. 1 Addison Road, one of the large villas built by William Woods, became available for development in 1873 on the death of Charles Richard Fox, the owner. Fox was the elder son of Lord and Lady Holland. Since he was born before they were married, he could not succeed to the title. His father gave him No. 1 Addison Road. Fox married the daughter of the future King William IV and became a general. When he died in 1873 the house was demolished.

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