Argyll Road, W8

Road in/near Kensington, existing between 1858 and now

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Road · Kensington · W8 ·

Argyll Road was built as part of the development of the Phillimore Estate.

Many of the other roads in the estate run between Phillimore Gardens and Argyll Road. Argyll Road is broken up by these roads on its west side, but the east side is virtually one long, undivided terrace. The slope of the road means that the terrace is stepped every four houses or so. There is a generous area and forecourt (or garden) in front of the houses.

Almost the whole of the east side was built by Jeremiah Little between 1858 and 1862. James Jordan built Nos. 2-4, 6 and 7.

On the west side, the houses were all apparently built by Henry Little between 1860 and 1862.

The houses are not all in the same style. Below Stafford Terrace are Nos. 1 to 7 (consec) they are relatively small, being on four floors (basement to second) with a dormer room in some instances. The houses were designed in a Georgian style, so they have no bay windows. Instead they generally have porches supported by plain Doric-style columns which extend beyond the front doors. There is a balustrade running right along the row of houses at first floor level, widening to become a balcony over each porch. The first floor windows have semi-circular pediments on volute brackets.

Above Nos. 1 to 7 (consec) on the east side, the numbers changes to odd numbers only. Nos. 9 to 55 (odd) all have basement, ground, first, second and third floors. The houses are all stucco-faced and painted white. Most houses have added a dormer floor in the roof above the balustrade. A canted bay, stretching up from basement to first floor, dominates the frontage. The main door has an arched pediment over a fanlight, which is reflected in smaller arches over the sash windows in the upper storeys.  At first floor level there is a small sash window above the main door, next to the bay window at that level. On the second floor a three-part window opens onto a balustraded balcony formed from the roof of the bay window structure, but it is not a full French window. Next to it is another small sash window. Many of the windows are surrounded externally by moulded plasterwork with rounded corners. Decoration is discreet. There is moulding round the individual windows of the bays and there is a lion head decoration at the top corners of the second floor windows. A cornice with dentil frieze and a balustrade on top runs along the top of the houses. The thick ledge below the ground floor bay is rusticated.

On the west side the houses are smaller. Second floor is the top floor (but some houses have mansards). They also have bow windows on ground and first floors.


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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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