The Kensington Hippodrome was a racecourse built in Notting Hill, London, in 1837, by entrepreneur John Whyte.
The year of Queen Victoria's accession, 1837, saw the inauguration of a new venture in West London - an attempt to establish a race-course which would rival Epsom and Ascot in its attractions. The prospectus, issued in 1836, stated that 'an extensive range of land, in a secluded situation, has been taken and thrown into one great Park, and is being fenced in all round by a strong, close, high paling. This Park affords the facilities of a STEEPLE-CHASE COURSE, intersected by banks and every description of fence; and also of a RACE-COURSE distinct from the Steeple-Chase Course; and each Course is capable of being suited to a Four Mile Race for Horses of the first class.'
The founder of this enterprise was a Mr John Whyte of Brace Cottage, Notting Hill, who had leased about 200 acres of ground from Mr James Weller Ladbroke, the ground landlord. The course as originally laid out was bounded approximately by Portobello Road, Elgin Crescent, Clarendon Road and the south side of Ladbroke Square. The main entrance was through an arch at the junction of Kensington Park Road with Pembridge Road. It was also intended to provide facilities for all forms of equestrian exercise and for other out-door sports on non-racing days.
The first meeting was held on 3rd June, 1837, with three races for a total prize list of £250 and was followed by a second meeting on the 19th. Although it was agreed that the company was brilliant and that many 'splendid equipages' were present, the quality of the racing met with a mixed reception, one writer calling the horses entered 'animated dogs' meat'. Furthermore, Mr Whyte, in his enthusiasm to enclose the course, had blocked up a right-of-way that crossed its centre and which enabled local residents to avoid the Potteries, a notorious slum. Some local inhabitants took the law into their own hands and cut the paling down at the point where the footpath entered the grounds of the race-course. As a result, the crowds on the first and subsequent days' racing were increased by the presence of unruly persons who, taking advantage of the footpath dispute, entered without paying for admission.
The next two years saw all attempts by Mr Whyte to close the footpath frustrated. There were summonses, counter summons, assaults, petitions to Parliament by the local inhabitants and the parochial authorities together with a wordy and scurrilous warfare in the columns of the press. There was even a plan at one time to make a subway under the race-course, but in 1839 Mr Whyte abandoned the unequal struggle and relinquished the eastern half of the ground.
The new course, renamed Victoria Park in honour of the young Queen, was extended northward to the vicinity of the present St Helen's Church, St Quintin's Avenue, and, as the prospectus pointed out, 'the race-course
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Ladbroke Grove is a road in the North Kensington/Notting Hill. Running from Notting Hill itself in the south to Kensal Green in the north, it straddles the W10 and W11 postal districts.
The street is named after James Weller Ladbroke, who developed the Ladbroke Estate in the mid nineteenth century, until then a largely rural area on the western edges of London.
Ladbroke Grove tube station is located on the road. It originally opened as part of the Metropolitan Railway on 13 June 1864 as Notting Hill with the extension of that line from Paddington to Hammersmith. It was renamed Notting Hill & Ladbroke Grove in 1880 and Ladbroke Grove (North Kensington) on 1 June 1919 before acquiring the present name in 1938.
The adjacent bridge and nearby section of the Westway (London) was regenerated in 2007 in a partnership including Urban Eye, Transport for London and London Underground. It is the nearest tube station to Portobello Road Market and on the route of the annual Notting Hill Carnival in August.
LOCATIONS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
A seminal gig: Once upon a time in 1979, Joy Division, OMD and A Certain Ratio were on the same bill - and all for £1.50. Acklam Hall: Acklam Hall became a community centre for the post-Westway Acklam Road Acklam Road Adventure Playground: Acklam Road Adventure Playground was created in the 1960s. All Saints Church: All Saints church was designed by the Victorian Gothic revival pioneer William White, who was also a mountaineer, Swedish gymnastics enthusiast and anti-shaving campaigner. Basing Street (SARM) Studios: SARM Studios is a recording studio, established by Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records. Horbury Chapel (Kensington Temple): In September 1849, the Horbury Chapel, Notting Hill was officially opened. I Was Lord Kitchenerís Valet: I Was Lord Kitchenerís Valet was a clothing boutique which achieved fame in 1960s "Swinging London" by promoting antique military uniforms as fashion items. Kensington Park Hotel: The KPH is a landmark pub on Ladbroke Grove. Ladbroke Grove: Ladbroke Grove is a road in the North Kensington/Notting Hill. Running from Notting Hill itself in the south to Kensal Green in the north, it straddles the W10 and W11 postal districts. Ladbroke Square Garden: Ladbroke Square communal garden lies in Notting Hill. Luxurious sewers: The effluent society Mary Place Workhouse: Notting Dale Workhouse stood on the site of what is now Avondale Park Gardens, Mercury Theatre: The Mercury Theatre was situated at 2a Ladbroke Road, next to the Kensington Temple. North Kensington Library: North Kensington Library opened in 1891 and was described as one of Londonís finest public libraries. North Kensington: North Kensington lies either side of Ladbroke Grove, W10. Notting Dale: From Pigs and bricks to Posh and Becks... Notting Hill: Notting Hill: A place whose fortunes have come, gone and come again... St Johnís Hill: St Johnís Hill is the highest point in the area. St Johnís, Notting Hill: St Johnís Notting Hill is a Victorian Anglican church built in 1845 in Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill. The Apollo: The Apollo pub was located at 18 All Saints Road, on the southeast corner of the Lancaster Road junction. The Bedford family at 3 Acklam Road: From the 19th century up until 1965, number 3 Acklam Road, near the Portobello Road junction, was occupied by the Bedford family. The Brittania: The Brittania was situated on the corner of Clarendon Road and Portland Road, W11. The Crown: The Crown was situated at 57 Princedale Road. The Tabernacle: The Tabernacle is a Grade II*-listed building in Powis Square built in 1887 as a church. Western Iron Works: The Western Iron Works was the foundry business of James Bartle and Co.
PHOTOS OF THE AREA
Albert Hotel (1900s): The Albert Hotel, on the corner of All Saints Road and Cornwall Road (now Westbourne Park Road). Political meeting (1920s): Meeting in front of the Junction Arms situated where Tavistock Road, Crescent and Basing Road met.
NEARBY STREETS AND BUILDINGS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
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