Ruston Mews, W11 was originally Crayford Mews.
From Pigs and bricks to Posh and Becks...
Crayford Mews (as Ruston Mews was first called) was built around 1865. The early properties were two storey mews houses and were used to provide shelter for horses, carriages and drivers of that era with a first floor flat for human accommodation and stabling for the carriages and animals underneath. The houses behind Crayford Mews in Lancaster Road
were built earlier during the period 1855 to 1858 as part of the St Quentin estate development when speculative house building was rampant in this part of London.
At some time during the early 1900s, Crayford Mews changed its name to Ruston Mews.
The Mews gave its name to Rillington Place
, opposite when that particular street desperately needed a new name.
The post-war regeneration of London started to affect the Notting Hill
area in the 1960s when it became fashionable to live in a mews house. At the time Ruston Mews was a rough cobbled street with a collapsing wall bordering the rough ground leading up to the railway.
With the growth of the London housing market in the 1960s, more projects were proposed. Ruston Close was demolished in the 1970s to make way for the Bartle Road
& St Andrew's Square developments and the rough ground lying between Ruston Mews and the railway tracks became the site for 20 new houses in the mews.
During the new house construction, the old granite setts (cobbles) that had been there for more than a century were removed in order to dig the new drains.
During the late 70s & early 80s, after construction of the new houses was completed, Ruston Mews as a roadway was left to itself and the street gradually fell into disrepair. By the late 80s a consensus began to form that there should be residents association to take over control of the roadway.
During 1988 a number of residents began to meet to discuss options for acquiring the mews and these first meetings were fully attended by most that lived in the mews. After a positive vote to form the association and to acquire the road, 26 residents stumped up £50 each to form the limited company, Ruston Mews association Ltd, which came into being on 19th April 1990.Source: Ruston Mews Association
|ADD A STORY TO RUSTON MEWS|
|VIEW THE NOTTING DALE AREA IN THE 1750s|
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.
|VIEW THE NOTTING DALE AREA IN THE 1800s|
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.
|VIEW THE NOTTING DALE AREA IN THE 1830s|
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.
|VIEW THE NOTTING DALE AREA IN THE 1860s|
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.
|VIEW THE NOTTING DALE AREA IN THE 1900s|
The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.
As houses were springing up all over the rest of northern Kensington, one corner of the borough was developing into a slum whose notoriety was probably unsurpassed throughout London
It lay at the foot of the hill on which the Ladbroke estate was laid out, directly north of Pottery Lane, on badly draining clay soil between the Norland Estate and Notting Barns Farm.
Its first occupants were to give it two infamous names: the brick makers, who seemed to have arrived in the late lath century, and the pig-keepers, who moved there in the early l9th century.
To make bricks and tiles involved large excavations, which soon filled with stagnant water. The keeping of pigs entailed collecting refuse and offal from the kitchens of hotels and private houses, feeding most of it to pigs and boiling down the fat.
The combination of both bricks and pigs spelt disaster for the area.
Samuel Lake of Tottenham Court Road, a scavenger and chimney sweep by occupation was the first to keep pigs here and he was soon joined by the pig keepers of the Marble Arch area who had been forced out of their area by building development. The colony was at first sufficiently isolated to be able to go about their business unfettered; and by the time streets were being built nearby, the piggeries were so well established that developers simply steered clear.
Shacks sprang up wherever convenient for there was no building control in London at that time, and inevitably they were jumbled together with the pigs and the ponds: indeed often the three were combined, with humans sharing their roofs with animals and living directly over stagnant water: the animals at one stage outnumbered people by three to one.
The area’s unsanitary conditions had become so notorious that Charles Dickens ran a special feature on it in the first edition issue of his magazine Household Words
The Piggeries and Brickyards were far from the sight and concern of the Vestry and its duties were taken up by charities, both religious and secular. But it was Kensington’s first Medical Officer of Health, Dr Francis Goodrich, who was given the formidable task of cleaning up the area. Goodrich stated that it was one of the most deplorable
spots not only in Kensington but in the whole of the metropolis.
Rather than manufacturing bricks, locals started to concentrate more on the making of pottery, mostly drainpipes, tiles and flower pots to supply the local building boom. This trade, however, gradually declined and business ceased by 1863, the same time as when the stagnant ’Ocean’ was filled in.
As far as the Piggeries were concerned strong opposition to a clean up came from the pig keepers themselves, as that was their only livelihood. And perversely the Vestry did not want them to lose the pigs because the families then could become a charge on the poor rate.
By 1878 Goodrich’s successor Dr Dudfield managed, however, to gradually reduce the number of pigs but it was not until the 1890’s that the last pig was banished.
The area nevertheless remained notorious. Instead of pig keeping the men turned to living off what their women could earn as laundresses, initially at home (especially in
the Stoneleigh Street area) and later in small laundries. A local saying in this area declared that ’to marry an ironer is as good as a fortune’
But change was coming.
The 1860s at last witnessed the opening of schools, (such as one in Sirdar Road), the paving of streets and the construction of proper sewers. But it was not until 1888 were public baths and washhouses provided at the junction of Silchester and Lancaster Roads.
In 1889 the Rev C E Roberts of St Clements Church and the Rev Dr Thornton of St Johns appealed in a letter to the Times for an open space for the children of this area. As a result the old brickfield and the area of the ’Ocean’ became the start of Avondale Park opened in 1892 and named in memory of the recently deceased Duke of Clarence and Avondale.
But even then, a year after the park was opened that the Daily News described the area adjacent to the park as ’Avernus’ (the fabled gateway to hell!). The article identified Wilsham Street, Kenley Street, another two streets now replaced by Henry Dickens Court and part of Sirdar Road as ’hopelessly degraded and abandoned’.
The dense rows of artisan houses in these streets were massively over-occupied or else were the most primitive lodging houses in which a bed on the floor cost a few pennies per night. Local residents made a living as best they could but it was a close knit community who seemed to scrape together enough money to pay for visits to the music hall and for summer day trips.
By 1904 new low cost tenements were built and the Improved Tenements Association bought 64 year leases of four houses in Walmer Road in 1900, and these were modernised and divided into two room tenements to accommodate 13 families for rents of 5 shillings a week. Other housing associations followed such as the Wilsham Trust formed by Ladies- in-waiting at Kensington Palace.
The poverty and hardship of the Potteries and Piggeries is very much a thing of the past. Now the neighbourhood is an attractive, leafy, peaceful backwater made up of rows of well kept two and three storey Victorian brick terraced houses and cottages, in the shadow of the graceful golden weather vane and clock of St Clements Church.
The area has come a long way.
The Notting Hill & Holland Park Book by Richard Tames
Kensington & Chelsea by Annabel Walker with Peter Jackson
Notting Hill and Holland Park Past by Barbara Denny
Survey of London: Northern Kensington: Vol:XXXVII for the Greater London Council
|OTHER LOCATIONS NEAR HERE|
· Ansleigh Place
· Avondale Park Primary School
· Bangor Street
· Bangor Street
· Bevington Primary School
· Bevington Road
· Blechynden Mews
· Blechynden Street
· Blenheim Crescent
· Carmelite Monastery of The Most Holy Trinity
· Chepstow House School
· Clare Gardens Children’s Centre
· Corner of Bangor and Sirdar Road
· Cornwall Crescent
· Elgin Crescent
· Elgin Mews
· Fowell Street
· Freston Road
· Golborne Children’s Centre
· Golborne Mews
· Golborne Road
· Grenfell Road
· Grenfell Tower
· Hippodrome Place
· Hurstway Walk
· Instituto Espanol Canada Blanch
· Kensington Hippodrome
· Kensington Park Hotel
· La Petite Ecole Bilingue
· La Petite Ecole Francaise
· Ladbroke Crescent
· Lansdowne Crescent
· Lansdowne Cresent
· Latimer AP Academy
· Latimer Road
· Mary Place Workhouse
· Maxilla Children’s Centre
· Maxilla Gardens
· Maxilla Nursery School
· North Kensington Library
· North Kensington
· Notting Dale
· Notting Hill Barn Farm
· Notting Hill in Bygone Days: In the Eighteenth Century
· Notting Hill in Bygone Days: St. Charles’s Ward
· Notting Hill Preparatory School
· Portland Gate
· Portobello Farm
· Portobello Green
· Portobello House
· Portobello Road
· PPP Community School
· Ridler's Tyre Yard
· Rillington Place
· Rosmead Road
· Saint Charles Place
· Saint Charles Square
· Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School
· Saint Josephs Close
· Saint Marks Place
· Saint Marks Road
· Saint Marks Road
· Saint Michaels Gardens
· Silchester Road
· Sion Manning Roman Catholic Girls’ School
· Sion-Manning Catholic Girls’ School
· St Anne’s & Avondale Park Nursery School
· St Charles Catholic Primary School
· St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College
· St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College
· St Marks Close
· St Marks Road
· St Mark’s Place
· St Mark’s Road
· St. Columbs House
· St. Joseph's Home
· St. Mark’s Road
· St. Mark’s Road
· St. Mark’s Road
· Station Walk
· Stoneleigh Place
· The Elgin
· Thomas Jones Primary School
· Walmer Road
· Western Iron Works
Articles in grey above need some care and attention
Roads are red; buildings are green
Other entries in blue above are featured articles