Stanley GardensNotting Hill: A place whose fortunes have come, gone and come again...
Mews existed between 1861 and the mid 1970s.
Almost all that remains of the old Stanley Gardens
Mews is the entrance through an arch on the left side of St Peter’s church in Kensington Park Road
, together with a stretch of the old cobbles under the arch. There is also some attractive ironwork decoration under the arch.
It was a standard mews, both sides lined with small units, stables with accommodation above, running behind the Victorian terrace at Nos. 92-110 Kensington Park Road
. There were 15 units in all. They were probably built in 1861 at the same time as the houses in this bit of Kensington Park Road
, as the mews appears on the 1863 Ordnance Survey map.
By the end of the Second World War, the Mews was in a pretty dilapidated state. Nos. 11 and 12, the two houses immediately behind the 20th Century Theatre (formerly the Victoria Hall) belonged to the theatre and had been used as dressing rooms and to store stage scenery. But according to planning documents, by 1954 they were dilapidated and unused; No. 13 was being used as a motor repair business; and only Nos. 14-15 still had people living on the upper floor, the ground floor being used by “barrow boys”. The others were either derelict or had been demolished, and the area had become a candidate for slum clearance (a programme to clear derelict areas and build new housing), although this does not seem to have been taken forward.
The remains of the Mews were finally swept away when Nos. 98-112 Kensington Park Road
were demolished in the 1970s to make place for Waterford House, the modern block of flats that now stands there. Most of the mews is now part of the car-park and service area for the Waterford House flats.
The entrance to the old Stanley Gardens Mews between St John’s church and No. 92 Kensington Park Road
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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.