Middle Row School

School in/near Kensal Town, existing between 1878 and now

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School · Kensal Town · W10 · Contributed by The Underground Map
July
2
2015
Middle Row School

Middle Row School was established in the late 19th century to provide education to the children of Kensal New Town.

Kensal New Town was a 19th century greenfield development of terraced workers housing sandwiched between the Grand Junction (now Union} Canal and the Great Western Railway, next to the Western Gas Company Gas Works.

The first schooling for the new settlement was provided by the church of St John's, Kensal Green (built in 1845. north of the Canal). St John's School was erected close to the church in 1850. and it was here that any child from Kensal New Town who wished to receive an education would have attended. There was also an early Ragged School in Kensal Road adjacent to the Canal where poorer children may have received a rudimentary education.

The passing of the 1870 Education Act brought about fundamental changes in British education, as the state started to replace the church as the main source of elementary education. From 1880 education became compulsory until the age often or when a certain standard of education was achieved, and by 1899 the minimum school leaving age had risen to twelve. In the capital the School Board for London was established to provide this education.

it was in this context that in 1877, an application was made to the Chelsea Vestry "to build a School House and premises. to be known as 'Middle Row Schools. Kensal Road’ by Messrs. Hook & Oldrey, builders of Cowley Wharf, Kensal Road. on behalf ofthe School Board for London."

At this time there was already a ‘temporary’ Middle Row School operating on or close to the present site.’ By February 1878 the school was ‘now being built’ and the official opening took place on the 19 August 1878. There were separate boys', a girls' and infants’ departments, and a total of eight teachers.

The new school was erected south of the Methodist Chapel in Middle Row. A number of houses had to be demolished to clear the site. The school was almost immediately enlarged in 1879 by the original builders.

No buildings from 1879 survive. and the design of the main building is not entirely clear. However. an outline plan survives, as was well as a section through the front of the building that indicates that at least the range fronting Middle Row was three storeys in height.

In the 1890s its pupils had suffered terrible health problems, including epidemics of scarlet fever, diphtheria and smallpox. Free lunches and breakfasts were often provided for the hungry children and many suffered from damaged eyesight.

The school was described as overcrowded in 1897 and major structural alterations to all three of the departments were undertaken to create divisions in the classrooms and to improve heating and lighting.

In 1B93~9 the Girls’ and Infants‘ schools were enlarged by the building of temporary iron buildings. It appears however that these remedies weren't enough, as new building was being planned by 1901 when the School Board for London purchased a plot of land south of the school. It was on this site that a new Junior Mixed School opened in 1904. This was the year that the School Board was abolished and its responsibilities transferred to the new London County Council.

Clearance of house and light-industrial buildings on the site began in 1902. By 1903, some of the pupils at the school were in ‘temporary iron buildings' and by May 1904 the new junior mixed school had opened in a ‘bungalow building'. It was built to accommodate 422 pupils.

The "Boat House" was created in 1913, the Main Building in 1914-15 and a Caretaker's House in 1930.

In 1957, the 1904 block was described as 'containing a central hall with eight classrooms off it, a medical room and rooms for the headmistress and staff'. It has 'recently been redecorated in a variety of gay colours'. At the date there were 169 children at the school, significantly less than the number is was designed to accommodate.

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VIEW THE KENSAL TOWN 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 KENSAL TOWN AREA IN THE 1800s
The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
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VIEW THE KENSAL TOWN AREA IN THE 1830s
The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
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VIEW THE KENSAL TOWN AREA IN THE 1860s
The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
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VIEW THE KENSAL TOWN AREA IN THE 1900s
The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.

 

 
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Kensal Town

Soapsuds Island

Kensal New Town was built between the Grand Central Canal (which opened in 1801) and the Great Western Railway line (opening in 1837) in the 1840s.

Single-storey cottages with gardens suitable for drying clothes were the first buildings and Kensal Road, Middle Row, West Row, East Row and Southern Row all appeared between 1841 and 1851. The rows of cottages quickly degenerated into a slum, mainly due to overcrowding, industrialisation and pollution.

The area was dominated by the Western Gas Company and Kensal Cemetery, which provided work but did little to improve the environment. Women were primarily involved in laundry work giving the area its nickname of ‘Soapsuds Island’.

The area was isolated from the rest of London at a time when Portobello Lane (now Portobello Road) was a muddy track sometimes impassable in bad weather.

Cut off from the municipal authorities it was left to charities to attempt to alleviate the social and health problems.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the cottage laundry industry began to be replaced by larger mechanized concerns.

In 1902 Charles Booth described it as, “Just as full of children and poverty as was the old woman’s dwelling in the nursery rhyme.” By this date the area had been transferred to the newly formed Royal Borough of Kensington. When the Piggeries and Potteries in Notting Dale were finally cleared in the early 20th century most of the displaced residents moved north into Golborne ward and Kensal.

By 1923 in the Southam Street area 140 houses contained some 2500 inhabitants. A series of evocative photographs by Roger Mayne in the 1950s showed that little had changed. It was only from the 1960s that the overcrowded and dilapidated terraces were cleared and replaced by social housing including Goldfinger’s Trellick Tower.


LOCATIONS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
6 East Row, W10: Scott Hatton:   Scott Hatton lived here in 1960
Admiral Blake (The Cowshed):   The Admiral Blake was situated at the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Barlby Road.
Barlby Road Primary School:   Barlby Road Primary School has long served the children of North Kensington.
Carmelite Monastery of The Most Holy Trinity:   Convent in North Kensington
Chamberlayne Farm:   Chamberlain (Wood) Farm developed out of the manor of Chambers, named after Richard de Camera, an early 13th century cleric.
Clayton Arms:   A pub which was situated halfway down West Row in Kensal Town.
Dissenters’ Chapel:   The Dissenters’ Chapel is a redundant chapel in Kensal Green Cemetery, recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building.
Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance:   Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance is the traditional starting point for the Notting Hill Carnival.
Gas Light and Coke Company:   The gasometers of the Gas Light and Coke company dominated North Kensington until demolition in the late 20th century.
Help us to build a better W10!:   We are after your memories!
Jack of Newbury:   The Jack of Newbury stood at the corner of East Row and Kensal Road until it was bombed on 2 October 1940.
Kensal House:   There are two Kensal Houses in London W10 - this was the original
Kensal Town:   Soapsuds Island
Lads of the Village:   One of the signature public houses along Kensal Road.
Middle Row Bus Garage:   Middle Row Bus Garage was situated on the corner of Conlan Street and Middle Row, W10.
Portobello Arms:   The Portobello Arms was a former pub in Kensal Town, established in 1842.
Queen Victoria/Narrow Boat:   The 'Vic' was the first building on the right when crossing the canal going north along Ladbroke Grove.
Queens Park Estate:   The part of Queen's Park which is in the W10 postcode and City of Westminster, is known as the Queens Park Estate.
Queen’s Park Library:   Queen’s Park Library was built to improve the minds of the new Queen’s Park Estate residents.
Saint John the Evangelist:   Saint John’s Church stands on the busy crossroads of Harrow Road, Kilburn Lane and Ladbroke Grove and on the boundaries of the London Boroughs of Brent, Kensington and the City of Westminster, in which it stands.
St Charles Hospital:   The St Marylebone workhouse infirmary was opened in 1881 on Rackham Street, North Kensington and received a congratulatory letter from Florence Nightingale.
St Martins Mission:   Saint Martin's Mission was originally known as Rackham Hall as it was situated on Rackham Street.
The Eagle:   The Eagle, on the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Telford Road.
The Earl Derby:   The Earl Derby stood on the corner of Southern Row and Bosworth Road.
The Flora:   The Flora is situated on Harrow Road, W10.
The Foresters:   A lost pub of London W10
The Mitre:   The Mitre was situated at 62 Golborne Road.
The Prince of Wales (Chilled Eskimo):   A pub in Kensal Town
Wedlake Street Baths:   In a time when most had somewhere to live but few had somewhere to wash at home, public baths were the place to go...
Western Arms:   The Western Arms was a pub situated on the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Kensal Road.


PHOTOS OF THE AREA
Adair Road junction with Southam Street (1932):   A wet day in London W10.
Adair Road, W10:   Adair Road junction with Appleford Road, March 1964
Adair Road, W10:   Adair Road is a street on the Kensal Town/North Kensington borders.
Corner of Rackham Street, Ladbroke Grove (1950):   The bombing of the Second World War meant that some whole streets were wiped off the future map. Rackham Street, in London W10, was one of them.
Exmoor Street (1950):   Photographed just after the Second World War, looking north along Exmoor Street.
Golborne Road bridge (1960s):   We think that this photo dates from the late 1960s, according to fashions and car registrations.
Hudson's the chemist (1906):   Hudson's, a chemist shop, stood on the corner of Ilbert Street and Third Avenue in the Queen's Park estate.
Ladbroke Grove looking north (1900):   This early 1900s image was taken just south of the junction of Ladbroke Grove and Treverton Street.
Ladbroke Grove looking north (1950):   Ladbroke Grove on the corner of St Charles Sqaure taken outside the Eagle public house, looking north, just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War.
Ladbroke Grove railway bridge:   Looking north over Bartle Bridge in the 1950s
Lothrop Street (1907):   2015
Rackham Street, eastern end (1950):   The bombing of the Second World War meant that some whole streets were wiped off the future map. Rackham Street, in London W10, was one of them.
Rackham Street, western end (1950):   A bombed-out Rackham Street, looking down from the junction with Exmoor Street.
St Charles Square after bombing (1950):   A corner of St Charles Square looking north, just after the Second World War
St Charles Square ready for redevelopment (1951):   Photographed in 1951, the corner of St Charles Square and Ladbroke Grove looking northwest just after the Second World War.
The Victoria (1920s):   The Victoria later became the Narrow Boat before it ’conveniently burned down’.
Western Dwellings from below (1960s):   This photo was taken from the bottom of Southern Row steps.
William Miller's Yard:   William Miller's Yard stood in Chapel Place, West Row.


NEARBY STREETS AND BUILDINGS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Adair Road, W10 · Adair Tower, W10 · Adela Street, W10 · Admiral Mews, W10 · Alderson Street, W10 · Appleford House, W10 · Appleford Road, W10 · Bevington Road, W10 · Bonchurch Road, W10 · Bosworth Road, W10 · Branstone Street, W10 · Briar Walk, W10 · Bruce Close, W10 · Buller Road, NW10 · Canal Close, W10 · Conlan Street, W10 · Droop Street, W10 · East Row, W10 · Edenham Way, W10 · Elkstone Road, W10 · Embrook Street, W10 · Enbrook Street, W10 · Exmoor Street, W10 · Faraday Road, W10 · Farrant Street, W10 · Fifth Avenue, W10 · Fourth Avenue, W10 · Galton Street, W10 · Galton Street, W10 · Golborne Gardens, W10 · Golborne Mews, W10 · Golborne Road, W10 · Hawthorn Walk, W10 · Hazlewood Crescent, W10 · Heather Walk, W10 · Heather Walk, W10 · Hewer Street, W10 · Huxley Street, W10 · Ilbert Street, W10 · Kensal House, W10 · Kensal Road, W10 · Kilravock Street, W10 · Ladbroke Grove, W10 · Lavie Mews, W10 · Lionel Mews, W10 · Lothrop Street, W10 · Manchester Drive, W10 · Maple Walk, W10 · Marne Street, W10 · Maxilla Walk, W10 · Middle Row, W10 · Munro Mews, W10 · Peach Road, W10 · Porlock Street, W10 · Rackham Street, W10 · Raymede Street, W10 · Regent Street, NW10 · Ronan Walk, W10 · Sixth Avenue, W10 · Southam Street, W10 · Southern Row, W10 · St Johns Terrace, W10 · Sycamore Walk, W10 · Telford Road, W10 · The Quadrant, W10 · Third Avenue, W10 · Treverton Street, W10 · Wedlake Street, W10 · West Row, W10 · Western Dwellings · Wheatstone Road, W10 · Wornington Road, W10 ·


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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.
Ladbroke Grove
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Queen’s Park
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Westbourne Park
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The Notting Hill & North Kensington Photo Archive
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Born in W10
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Hidden London
Histor­ically inclined look at the capital’s obscure attractions
British History Online
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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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