Golborne Road, W10

Road in/near North Kensington, existing between the 1870s and now

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Road · North Kensington · W10 ·
August
6
2018

Golborne Road, heart of North Kensington, was named after Dean Golbourne, at one time vicar of St. John's Church in Paddington.

Horse in Golborne Road
Until the middle of the nineteenth century it was no more than a country footpath crossing the fields of Portobello Farm, but in 1870 the road was widened, shops were built and the road was extended over the railway.

It was planted with trees and named Britannia Road. Later the trees were cut down and the street was called Golbourne and later Golborne Road.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, the area was one of the most overcrowded and poverty-stricken in London.

The thoroughfare was extensively bombed during WWII, after which the Victorian-era slums were cleared to make way for the Trellick and the Swinbrook and Wornington estates, which housed immigrant arrivals from the Caribbean.

Stella McCartney moved into a chapel on Golborne Road next to a curry house in 2002, heralding its arrival as a fashionable destination. Now going the way of upmarket Portobello Road (which intersects it), gastropubs have swallowed up the local hostalries.

At the north of the road is Meanwhile Gardens, a community park, which sits in the shadow of Ernö Goldfinger's 98 metre Grade II listed Trellick Tower. The road starts with launderettes and 1960s architecture but, as you cross south over the bridge, it becomes a Victorian-era street.

Golborne Road market operates six days a week with opening times are the same as Portobello Road. During the week the market offers mainly fruit, vegetables, takeaway food, and household goods. On Friday and Saturday the market really comes alive with a busy second hand and bric-a-brac section. Golborne Road market has its own quirky ambiance distinct to that of nearby Portobello, with an eclectic mix of international food stalls and local services.

Golborne Road these days also serves as the hub of thriving Portuguese and North African communities.

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Horse in Golborne Road
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North Kensington

North Kensington lies either side of Ladbroke Grove, W10.

North Kensington was rural until the 19th century, when it was developed as a suburb with quite large homes. By the 1880s, too many houses had been built for the upper-middle class towards whom the area was aimed. Large houses were divided into low cost flats which often degenerated into slums, as documented in the photographs of Roger Mayne.

During the 1980s, the area started to be gentrified although areas in the north west of the district at Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park remain deprived and run down to this day.

Waves of immigrants have arrived for at least a century including, but certainly not limited to, the Spanish, the Irish, the Jews, the West Indians, the Portuguese, the Moroccans and many from the Horn of Africa and Eastern Europe. This constant renewal of the population makes the area one of the most cosmopolitan in London.

The Notting Hill carnival was first staged in 1964 as a way for the local Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their own cultures and traditions. After some rough times in the 1970s and 1980s when it became associated with social protest, violence and huge controversy over policing tactics, this is now Europe’s largest carnival/festival event and a major event in the London calendar. It is staged every August over the Bank holiday weekend.
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