Sheep in Kensington Gardens

Image dated 1911

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Photo taken in a southwesterly direction · Bayswater · W2 ·

It was the practice to keep sheep in the Gardens to maintain the grass.

Kensington Gardens sheep grazing
In the 1920s and 30s, sheep were used in London parks to keep the grass down. Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Clapham Common and Hampstead Heath all had sheep grazing on them, and there was much competition between shepherds to get their flocks chosen for the privilege. There was considerable profit to be made too - for when they were good and fat, the sheep were herded to Smithfield Meat Market to be prepared for the table.

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Kensington Gardens sheep grazing
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Bayswater is one of London's most cosmopolitan areas - also one of London's biggest concentration of hotels.

Notably, there is a significant Arab population, a large number of Americans, a substantial Greek community attracted by London's Greek Orthodox Cathedral and the area is also a centre of London's Brazilian community.

Architecturally, the biggest part of the area is made up of Victorian mansion blocks, mostly, although not exclusively, divided up into flats. There are also purpose built apartment blocks dating from the inter-war period as well as more recent developments, and a there is large Council Estate, the 800 flat Hallfield Estate, designed by Sir Denys Lasdun and now largely sold off. There are some garden squares in the area.

Queensway and Westbourne Grove are busy High Streets, with a very large number of ethnic restaurants.

Bayswater tube station lies between Notting Hill Gate and Paddington.

The station was opened 1 October 1868, just 5 years after the London Underground started. It was renamed several times: to Bayswater (Queen's Road) & Westbourne Grove in 1923, to Bayswater (Queen's Road) in 1933.
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