Chepstow Villas, W11

Road in/near Kensington, existing between the 1850s and now

MAPPING YEAR:1750180018301860190019302019Fullscreen map
Road · Kensington · W11 · Contributed by The Underground Map

Chepstow Villas is a road in W11 with a chequered history.

Chepstow Villas is a pleasant leafy street that runs between Pembridge Villas and Kensington Park Road. It is intersected by Ledbury Road/Chepstow Crescent; Denbury Road/Pembridge Crescent; and Portobello Road.

Until the 1840s, the whole area was agricultural land. But in around 1840 the demand for housing began to increase and the second great surge of housebuilding began on the Ladbroke estate. The Ladbroke family, the owners of the estate, had begun to sell off parcels of land to speculators. James Weller Ladbroke retained the eastern part of what is now Chepstow Villas (numbers 1-15 odds and 2-32 evens), but the central part, up as far as Portobello Road, passed into the ownership of Robert Hall of Old Bond Street. And after James Weller Ladbroke’s death in 1847, his heir Felix Ladbroke sold the western plot to a speculating parson from Bedfordshire, the Rev. Brooke Edward Bridges, and the latter then sold it on to another developer, Thomas Pocock. So there were a number of different landowners involved in the development of Chepstow Villas.

During the second half of the 1840s and the early 1850s, the street was laid out and development proceeded apace on all three parts of Chepstow Villas, as well as in neighbouring streets. The landowners signed agreements with a number of developers, who each undertook to build a certain number of houses. Many of the developers were professional builders, but there were also gentlemen and tradesmen interested in property speculation who then employed their own builders. Once the houses were built, the landowner would give 99-year leases of the houses to the developer in exchange for an annual ground rent. The developer would then sublet the individual houses in order to recover his investment. There are records of the dates on which the individual leases were granted, and from these one can work out when the houses were built. Although the landowners exercised some control over what houses were built, much was left to the individual developers, which explains the variety of styles to be found in the street.

One of the main developers, with whom both James Weller Ladbroke and Robert Hall signed agreements, was a civil engineer called William Henry Jenkins who hailed from Herefordshire on the Welsh borders. It was he who appears to decided the names for the new streets, choosing the names of places near his home – Chepstow, Denbigh, Ledbury and Pembridge.

The road started to decline around the turn of the twentieth century.

During the Blitz in the autumn of 1940, a number of bombs fell on Chepstow Villas, mostly causing only minor damage to roads and gardens. But an incendiary bomb on 15 October 1940 damaged the top floor of No. 46; and on 8 December 1940 Nos. 19 and 20 were damaged and two people had to be evacuated, according to air wardens’ reports.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Chepstow Villas began a steady ascent to renewed fashionability. An early sign came in the mid-1960s, when the Conservative MP Julian Critchley (1930-2000) moved into the detached villa at No. 50. He was shortly joined by his friend and fellow politician Michael Heseltine, who kept the house until the mid 1970s. By that time the street had become quite sought after, and Heseltine sold the house to a Saudi princess. She did not move in immediately, and the house (by then valued at some £200,000) became the subject of a famous squatting case. A group of squatters called “Mustard” or Multiracial union of Squatters to alleviate Racial Discrimination” moved into the house, announcing that they proposed to stay there until the owner was ready to move in. The Saudi princess finally obtained an eviction order in 1976.

Source: Ladbroke Association

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.



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.
Print-friendly version of this page


RBKC Library Time Machine
Blog from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Library
North Kensington Histories
Recollections of people from North Kensington, London
Old Notting Hill/North Ken History
Facebook group, covering the history of W10 and W11.
Holland Park
Facebook Page
Royal Oak
Facebook Page
Westbourne Park
Facebook Page
Facebook Page
Notting Hill Gate
Facebook Page
Ladbroke Grove
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


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)

Unless a source is explicitedly stated, text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Articles may be a remixes of various Wikipedia articles plus work by the website authors - original Wikipedia source can generally be accessed under the same name as the main title. This does not affect its Creative Commons attribution.

Maps upon this website are in the public domain because they are mechanical scans of public domain originals, or - from the available evidence - are so similar to such a scan or photocopy that no copyright protection can be expected to arise. The originals themselves are in public domain for the following reason:
Public domain Maps used are in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.
This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighbouring rights.

This tag is designed for use where there may be a need to assert that any enhancements (eg brightness, contrast, colour-matching, sharpening) are in themselves insufficiently creative to generate a new copyright. It can be used where it is unknown whether any enhancements have been made, as well as when the enhancements are clear but insufficient. For usage, see Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag.