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Block · Notting Hill · W11 ·

Pinehurst Court is a portered Victorian mansion block at 1-9 Colville Gardens.

Pinehurst Court, W11 with the tower of All Saints
Credit: Wikimedia/Asteuartw
The terrace was initially built in the 1870s by the builder George Frederick Tippett, who also developed much of the rest of the neighbourhood. The houses were intended as single family homes for the well-to-do but from the beginning it proved difficult to attract wealthy buyers to the area, and as early as 1888 the buildings began to be subdivided into flats.

In 1885 Tippett was declared bankrupt. He attributed his failure to "his inability to let a large portion of his property and to the pressure of secured creditors". Gradually the character of the buildings changed as wealthier tenants left the area.

By 1928 the neighbourhood was described as "rapidly becoming poorer", and by 1935 as a "largely slum area... large houses turned into one-room tenements and small flats".

Further decline set in as many residents moved away during World War II to escape The Blitz. One of the buildings at the end of the terrace was destroyed during a bombing raid; it has since been rebuilt in the modern style. The same raid severely damaged other neighbouring buildings including All Saints Church.

In 1953 1-9 Colville Gardens was bought by Fernbank Investments Ltd (a subsidiary of Davies Investments Ltd) for £8,000. Some questionable business practices followed, mostly involving attempts to displace sitting tenants (in some cases by intimidation) which however significantly increased the income from the property. At the same time the quality of the building deteriorated, and in around 1966 some of the residents began to approach the Council in order to attempt to improve living conditions.

In 1967 Fernbank Investments declared bankruptcy. Its owner, Bowen Davies, took his own life, saying that he had "caused suffering... to very many, and the burden on my conscience is intolerable".

In October 1967 1-9 Colville Gardens was sold to another investment company, Trade and General Investments (Bahamas) Ltd, for £65,000. The building continued to deteriorate and in February 1969 it was again sold, this time to Cledro Developments for £120,000, whose Director Robert Gubay described conditions in the buildings as "truly terrible". In 1970 the block was sold to Crown Agents of Overseas territories, who renamed the building Trident House. The building was then again sold, changing hands several times before being purchased by Elkington’s (PIF) Ltd in 1972 and renamed "Pinehurst Court". Elkington’s began to invest in the building, selling off the flats on long leases, mostly to the occupying tenants.

Over recent years the quality of the building gradually improved, reflecting the general revival of Notting Hill.

Main source: Pinehurst Court - Wikipedia
Further citations and sources


Pinehurst Court, W11 with the tower of All Saints


Notting Hill

Notting Hill: A place whose fortunes have come, gone and come again...

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.
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