Powis Square, W11

Road in/near Notting Hill, existing between 1867 and now

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Road · Notting Hill · W11 · Contributed by The Underground Map
December
4
2015
Powis Square west side (1900s).

Powis Square is a square between Talbot Road and Colville Terrace.

No addresses have so far been added to Powis Square, W11

The area surrounding All Saints church was sold by Rev Walker in 1860 to the builder George Tippett and consequently became known as Tippett’s Brick Fields. The Powis and Colville squares were built by Tippett in the 1860s as upper-middle class residences, but are said to have gone into an immediate social decline. By the 1880s some were already sub-divided into flats.

Tippett went bankrupt and the estate was acquired by Edward Strutt and Hickman Bacon, who formed the Colville Estate Limited. However, on Charles Booth’s 1900s poverty map the Colville squares are still solidly well-to-do orange. The ward on the whole is a pretty even mix of wealthy, well-to-do, fairly comfortable, poverty and comfort mixed, moderate poverty and very poor.

Powis Square’s multicultural reputation was established at the turn of the 20th century by ’the Wren College’ for the Indian civil service, and the accompanying boarding houses ’occupied by men of Oriental birth’, which acquired the square the nickname ’Little India’. Princess Clemence Bonaparte, the widow of Napoleon’s nephew Louis Lucien, resided at number 2, and Horace George Raynor, the murderer of the store boss William Whiteley (who inspired ’Gosford Park’), lived at 43. By then 13 of the 48 houses had been sub-divided.

In the 20s and 30s the Powis and Colville squares were described as ’rapidly becoming poorer and more Jewish’, ’largely a slum area, and partly large houses turned into one-room tenements and small flats’ Ė some time before the arrival on the scene of Peter Rachman.

In Powis Square in the 1920s the first black members of the community settled. But principally the people were Russian Polish and Jewish immigrants, as well as Irish, sometimes ’immigrants’ from different parts of England Ė the depressed areas, Lancashire and others. Many of the people who lived there became legends, people who made their names into real folk myths. Eccentrics, madmen, political radicals, poets and artists: Chicago Kate (who lived in Basing Road), the Englisher (a British born Jew), the Presser (the quiet communist theoretician), Schmooser, the best dancer in Notting Hill. Stallholders in Portobello Road for generations, many of them still represented; Rosie, an Irish woman who kept a vegetable stall and who spoke fluent Yiddish.’ Dave Robins, Interzone IT 1968.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Powis Square became the heart of Rachman’s slum empire, the West Indian blues club and prostitutes scene depicted in Majbritt Morrison’s ’Jungle West 11’ book, the Profumo affair political sex scandal, Michael de Freitas aka Michael X’s Black Power movement and hippy community action.

In the early 1960s the police investigation into the ‘Jack the Stripper’ serial killings encompassed the Westbourne Park Road underworld haunts, the Rio cafť at 127 (also in the Profumo affair), the Jazz club at 207, Wraggs cafť on All Saints Road, the Warwick Castle pub and Roy Stewart’s gym at 32a Powis Square.

The most famous Powis Square resident of the late 20th century is Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, who lived on the west side in 1962, before Mick Jagger became an honorary resident up the road in the ’Performance’ film in 1968. The local hippy counter-culture began with the arrival on the square in the early 60s of the photographer John ’Hoppy’ Hopkins and the beat poet Michael Horovitz, who is still in residence on the Colville Terrace side.

After the riots, the Powis and Colville Residents’ Association was set up by New Left student activists at Vernon Hunte’s house, number 22 Powis Terrace. The chance discovery of keys to Rachman properties in the association’s office, the room of Vernon’s son Lloyd, gave the students their first real insight into the slum housing underworld; explaining ’the fear on the faces of tenants visited by members of the association when they realised Lloyd Hunte and Michael de Freitas were involved’, and their Alsatian dogs. The New Left Club’s Rachel Powell deduced that Michael and the Huntes were on the third level of the ghetto power pyramid, with Peter Davis and Edwards above them, and Rachman at the top.

Powis Square went on to host the Carnival world music stage and the debut gig of All Saints during the 1994 Carnival.

Source: It’s Your Colville



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VIEW THE NOTTING HILL AREA IN THE 1750s
The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
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VIEW THE NOTTING HILL AREA IN THE 1800s
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VIEW THE NOTTING HILL AREA IN THE 1830s
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VIEW THE NOTTING HILL AREA IN THE 1860s
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VIEW THE NOTTING HILL AREA IN THE 1900s
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Notting Hill

Notting Hill: A place whose fortunes have come, gone and come again...

Notting Hill is a cosmopolitan district known as the location for the annual Notting Hill Carnival, and for being home to the Portobello Road Market.

The word Notting might originate from a Saxon called Cnotta with the =ing part indicating "the place inhibited by the people of" - i.e. where Cnotta’s tribe lived. There was a farm called variously "Knotting-Bernes,", "Knutting-Barnes" or "Nutting-barns" and this name was transferred to the hill above it.

The area remained rural until the westward expansion of London reached Bayswater in the early 19th century. The main landowner in Notting Hill was the Ladbroke family, and from the 1820s James Weller Ladbroke began to undertake the development of the Ladbroke Estate. Working with the architect and surveyor Thomas Allason, Ladbroke began to lay out streets and houses, with a view to turning the area into a fashionable suburb of the capital (although the development did not get seriously under way until the 1840s). Many of these streets bear the Ladbroke name, including Ladbroke Grove, the main north-south axis of the area, and Ladbroke Square, the largest private garden square in London.

The original idea was to call the district Kensington Park, and other roads (notably Kensington Park Road and Kensington Park Gardens) are reminders of this. The local telephone prefix 7727 (originally 727) is based on the old telephone exchange name of PARk.

The reputation of the district altered over the course of the 20th century. As middle class households ceased to employ servants, the large Notting Hill houses lost their market and were increasingly split into multiple occupation.

For much of the 20th century the large houses were subdivided into multi-occupancy rentals. Caribbean immigrants were drawn to the area in the 1950s, partly because of the cheap rents, but were exploited by slum landlords like Peter Rachman, and also became the target of white racist Teddy Boys in the 1958 Notting Hill race riots.

Notting Hill was slowly gentrified from the 1980s onwards now has a contemporary reputation as an affluent and fashionable area; known for attractive terraces of large Victorian townhouses, and high-end shopping and restaurants (particularly around Westbourne Grove and Clarendon Cross).

A Daily Telegraph article in 2004 used the phrase the ’Notting Hill Set’ to refer to a group of emerging Conservative politicians, such as David Cameron and George Osborne, who were once based in Notting Hill.

Since it was first developed in the 1830s, Notting Hill has had an association with artists and ’alternative’ culture.


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.
Cabaret Voltaire in Acklam Road:   Cabaret Voltaire played one of their classic early gigs under the flyover in Acklam Road.
Duke of Cornwall (The Ledbury):   The Duke of Cornwall pub morphed into the uber-trendy "The Ledbury" restaurant.
Horbury Chapel (Kensington Temple):   In September 1849, the Horbury Chapel, Notting Hill was officially opened.
Kensington Hippodrome:   The Kensington Hippodrome was a racecourse built in Notting Hill, London, in 1837, by entrepreneur John Whyte.
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
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.
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.
Westbourne Park:   Westbourne Park was originally, with Westbourne Green, an area simply known as Westbourne.


PHOTOS OF THE AREA
Acklam Road protests:   Acklam Road was the centre of much action during the building of the Westway
Albert Hotel (1900s):   The Albert Hotel, on the corner of All Saints Road and Cornwall Road (now Westbourne Park Road).
Graffiti along Acklam Road (1970s):   Acklam Road was the centre of much action during the building of the Westway
Kids in Acklam Road:   Acklam Road was the centre of much action during the building of the Westway
Political meeting (1920s):   Meeting in front of the Junction Arms situated where Tavistock Road, Crescent and Basing Road met.
Under westway (1977):   Acklam Road was the centre of much action during the building of the Westway


NEARBY STREETS AND BUILDINGS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Acklam Road, W10 · Addison Avenue, W11 · Alba Place, W11 · Aldridge Road Villas, W11 · All Saints Road, W11 · Ariel Way, W12 · Artesian Road, W2 · Arundel Gardens, W11 · Bangor Street, W11 · Basing Street, W11 · Blenheim Crescent, W11 · Bulmer Mews, W11 · Cambridge Gardens, W10 · Campden Hill Place, W11 · Caradoc Close, W2 · Chepstow Crescent, W11 · Chepstow Villas, W11 · Clarendon Road, W11 · Clydesdale Road, W11 · Codrington Mews, W11 · Colville Gardens, W11 · Colville Mews, W11 · Colville Road, W11 · Colville Square, W11 · Colville Terrace, W11 · Colville Terrace, W11 · Convent Gardens, W11 · Cornwall Crescent, W11 · Courtnell Street, W2 · Dale Row, W11 · Darnley Terrace, W11 · Dartmouth Close, W11 · Denbigh Close, W11 · Denbigh Road, W11 · Denbigh Terrace, W11 · Elgin Crescent, W11 · Elgin Mews, W11 · Evesham Street, W11 · Folly Mews, W11 · Freston Road, W11 · Golden Mews, W11 · Great Western Road, W11 · Great Western Road, W2 · Haydenís Place, W11 · Haydenís Place, W11 · Hedgegate Court, W11 · Holland Park Avenue, W11 · Holland Road, W11 · Horbury Crescent, W11 · Horbury Mews, W11 · Hunt Close, W11 · Kensington Park Gardens, W11 · Kensington Park Mews, W11 · Kensington Park Road, W11 · Kingsdale Gardens, W11 · Ladbroke Gardens, W11 · Ladbroke Grove, W11 · Ladbroke Road, W11 · Ladbroke Square, W11 · Ladbroke Terrace, W11 · Ladbroke Walk, W11 · Lambton Place, W11 · Lancaster Road, W11 · Lansdowne Crescent, W11 · Lansdowne Cresent, W11 · Lansdowne Rise, W11 · Lansdowne Road, W11 · Lansdowne Walk, W11 · Leamington House, W11 · Leamington Road Villas, W11 · Ledbury Mews North, W11 · Ledbury Road, W11 · Ledbury Road, W2 · Lidbury Road, NW7 · Lonsdale Road, W11 · Lorne Gardens, W11 · Mcgregor Road, W11 · Moorhouse Road, W2 · Needham Road, W11 · Norland Road, W11 · Norland Square, W11 · Olaf Street, W11 · Pembridge Crescent, W11 · Pembridge Gardens, W2 · Pembridge Mews, W11 · Pembridge Road, W11 · Pembridge Villas, W11 · Pencombe Mews, W11 · Penzance Place, W11 · Portland Road, W11 · Portobello Green, W10 · Portobello Road, W11 · Pottery Lane, W11 · Powis Gardens, W11 · Powis Mews, W11 · Powis Square, W11 · Powis Terrace, W11 · Princedale Road, W11 · Princes Place, W11 · Queensdale Crecent, W11 · Queensdale Crescent, W11 · Queensdale Place, W11 · Queensdale Road, W11 · Queensdale Walk, W11 · Rifle Place, W11 · Rosehart Mews, W11 · Rosmead Road, W11 · Royal Crescent Mews, W11 · Royal Crescent, W11 · Royal Cresent Mews, W11 · Shrewsbury Road, W2 · Silvester Mews, W11 · Simon Close, W11 · St Anns Villas, W11 · St James Gardens, W11 · St James’s Gardens, W11 · St Jamesís Gardens, W11 · St Johnís Mews, W11 · St Lukes Mews, W11 · St Lukeís Mews, W11 · St Lukeís Road, W11 · St Markís Place, W11 · St. Johns Gardens, W11 · St. Johnís Gardens, W11 · Stanley Crescent, W11 · Stanley Gardens Mews, W11 · Stanley Gardens, W11 · Sutherland Place, W2 · Sutherland Place, W2 · Swanscombe Road, W11 · Talbot Road, W11 · Talbot Road, W2 · Tavistock Crescent, W11 · Tavistock Mews, W11 · Tavistock Road, W11 · Testerton Walk, W11 · Vernon Yard, W11 · Walmer Road, W11 · Wellington Close, W11 · West Cross Route, W11 · Westbourne Grove Mews, W11 · Westbourne Grove, W11 · Westbourne Park Road, W11 · Wilby Mews, W11 · Wilsham Street, W11 · Wilsham Street, W11 ·


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Links

North Kensington Histories
Recollections of people from North Kensington, London
RBKC Library Time Machine
Blog from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Library
Old Notting Hill/North Ken History
Facebook group, covering the history of W10 and W11.
Holland Park
Facebook Page
Ladbroke Grove
Facebook Page
Notting Hill Gate
Facebook Page
Westbourne Park
Facebook Page
Born in W10
Facebook group
The Notting Hill & North Kensington Photo Archive
Facebook group
Hidden London
Histor≠ically inclined look at the capitalís obscure attractions
Londonist
All-encompassing website
British History Online
Digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources.

Maps


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)
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