East Row is a road with a long history within Kensal Town.
The first settlements of Kensal New Town were in place by 1840, including East Row, Middle Row
, West Row
and South Row. At the beginning, the area was known as a laundry colony
, that being the main occupation of the neighbourhood.
Kensal New Town in those days had something of a rural character, with many people keeping pigs.
The village had six public houses.
Things began to change quickly after the opening of the Hammersmith and City Railway and the station on Ladbroke Grove
(originally called Notting Hill) in 1864. That meant that people who were working in the City could now commute from Notting Hill and this stimulated the building of houses, shops and pubs on the farmland to the south.
In the 1870s, what had been a footpath leading from Portobello Road
to Kensal Road
was turned into a road which became Golborne Road
The cottages depicted in the photograph were unusually run-down and small, even for the London of 1911 - the date of the image. Soon after 1911, the cottages were demolished and their site converted into a small park. The land from later demolitions (post-Second World War) were added to expand the park.
Sources: Notting Hill in Bygone Days
by Florence Gladstone and Ashley Barker; Portobello, Its People, Its Past, Its Present
by Sharon Whetlor and Liz Bartlett (Kensington & Chelsea Community History Group)