Notting Dale

Place, existing between 1839 and now

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Place · Notting Dale · W11 · Contributed by Brian Lucas
APRIL
10
2015
The old brewery on Walmer Road where Nottingwood House now stands. Photo dates from 1937.
Credit: Kensington Borough Archive

From Pigs and bricks to Posh and Becks...

As houses were springing up all over the rest of northern Kensington, one corner of the borough was developing into a slum whose notoriety was probably unsurpassed throughout London

It lay at the foot of the hill on which the Ladbroke estate was laid out, directly north of Pottery Lane, on badly draining clay soil between the Norland Estate and Notting Barns Farm.

Its first occupants were to give it two infamous names: the brick makers, who seemed to have arrived in the late lath century, and the pig-keepers, who moved there in the early l9th century.

To make bricks and tiles involved large excavations, which soon filled with stagnant water. The keeping of pigs entailed collecting refuse and offal from the kitchens of hotels and private houses, feeding most of it to pigs and boiling down the fat.

The combination of both bricks and pigs spelt disaster for the area.

Samuel Lake of Tottenham Court Road, a scavenger and chimney sweep by occupation was the first to keep pigs here and he was soon joined by the pig keepers of the Marble Arch area who had been forced out of their area by building development. The colony was at first sufficiently isolated to be able to go about their business unfettered; and by the time streets were being built nearby, the piggeries were so well established that developers simply steered clear.

Shacks sprang up wherever convenient for there was no building control in London at that time, and inevitably they were jumbled together with the pigs and the ponds: indeed often the three were combined, with humans sharing their roofs with animals and living directly over stagnant water: the animals at one stage outnumbered people by three to one.

The area’s unsanitary conditions had become so notorious that Charles Dickens ran a special feature on it in the first edition issue of his magazine Household Words.

The Piggeries and Brickyards were far from the sight and concern of the Vestry and its duties were taken up by charities, both religious and secular. But it was Kensington’s first Medical Officer of Health, Dr Francis Goodrich, who was given the formidable task of cleaning up the area. Goodrich stated that it was one of the most deplorable
spots not only in Kensington but in the whole of the metropolis.

Rather than manufacturing bricks, locals started to concentrate more on the making of pottery, mostly drainpipes, tiles and flower pots to supply the local building boom. This trade, however, gradually declined and business ceased by 1863, the same time as when the stagnant ’Ocean’ was filled in.

As far as the Piggeries were concerned strong opposition to a clean up came from the pig keepers themselves, as that was their only livelihood. And perversely the Vestry did not want them to lose the pigs because the families then could become a charge on the poor rate.

By 1878 Goodrich’s successor Dr Dudfield managed, however, to gradually reduce the number of pigs but it was not until the 1890’s that the last pig was banished.

The area nevertheless remained notorious. Instead of pig keeping the men turned to living off what their women could earn as laundresses, initially at home (especially in
the Stoneleigh Street area) and later in small laundries. A local saying in this area declared that ’to marry an ironer is as good as a fortune’

But change was coming.

The 1860s at last witnessed the opening of schools, (such as one in Sirdar Road), the paving of streets and the construction of proper sewers. But it was not until 1888 were public baths and washhouses provided at the junction of Silchester and Lancaster Roads.

In 1889 the Rev C E Roberts of St Clements Church and the Rev Dr Thornton of St Johns appealed in a letter to the Times for an open space for the children of this area. As a result the old brickfield and the area of the ’Ocean’ became the start of Avondale Park opened in 1892 and named in memory of the recently deceased Duke of Clarence and Avondale.

But even then, a year after the park was opened that the Daily News described the area adjacent to the park as ’Avernus’ (the fabled gateway to hell!). The article identified Wilsham Street, Kenley Street, another two streets now replaced by Henry Dickens Court and part of Sirdar Road as ’hopelessly degraded and abandoned’.

The dense rows of artisan houses in these streets were massively over-occupied or else were the most primitive lodging houses in which a bed on the floor cost a few pennies per night. Local residents made a living as best they could but it was a close knit community who seemed to scrape together enough money to pay for visits to the music hall and for summer day trips.

By 1904 new low cost tenements were built and the Improved Tenements Association bought 64 year leases of four houses in Walmer Road in 1900, and these were modernised and divided into two room tenements to accommodate 13 families for rents of 5 shillings a week. Other housing associations followed such as the Wilsham Trust formed by Ladies- in-waiting at Kensington Palace.

The poverty and hardship of the Potteries and Piggeries is very much a thing of the past. Now the neighbourhood is an attractive, leafy, peaceful backwater made up of rows of well kept two and three storey Victorian brick terraced houses and cottages, in the shadow of the graceful golden weather vane and clock of St Clements Church.

The area has come a long way.

Sources:
The Notting Hill & Holland Park Book by Richard Tames
Kensington & Chelsea by Annabel Walker with Peter Jackson
Notting Hill and Holland Park Past by Barbara Denny
Survey of London: Northern Kensington: Vol:XXXVII for the Greater London Council

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VIEW THE NOTTING DALE AREA IN THE 1750s
The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

VIEW THE NOTTING DALE 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 NOTTING DALE 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 NOTTING DALE 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 NOTTING DALE AREA IN THE 1900s
The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.

 

 
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The Underground Map

The Underground Map is a website dedicated to some of the more obscure pieces of London Town (as well as some of the more well-known places).

The Underground Map project is creating a decade-by-decade series of historical maps of the area which lies within London's M25 ring.

From the 1800s until the 1950s, you can see how London grew from a city which only reached as far as Park Lane into the post war megapolis we know today.

Find the streets of London by clicking STREETS above or explore the maps by clicking MAP.

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LOCATIONS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Earl of Zetland:   A pub in the Potteries
Kenilworth Castle:   The Kenilworth Castle was a post-war pub in Notting Dale.
Kensington Hippodrome:   The Kensington Hippodrome was a racecourse built in Notting Hill, London, in 1837, by entrepreneur John Whyte.
Kensington Park Hotel:   The KPH is a landmark pub on Ladbroke Grove.
Ladbroke Grove:   Ladbroke Grove is a road in the North Kensington/Notting Hill. Running from Notting Hill itself in the south to Kensal Green in the north, it straddles the W10 and W11 postal districts.
Latimer Road:   A station not named after the road it stands on
Mary Place Workhouse:   Notting Dale Workhouse stood on the site of what is now Avondale Park Gardens,
North Kensington Library:   North Kensington Library opened in 1891 and was described as one of London’s finest public libraries.
The Brittania:   The Brittania was situated on the corner of Clarendon Road and Portland Road, W11.
The Crown:   The Crown was situated at 57 Princedale Road.
Western Iron Works:   The Western Iron Works was the foundry business of James Bartle and Co.


PHOTOS OF THE AREA
Bangor Street:   2015
Bangor Street:   2015
Corner of Bangor and Sirdar Road:   2015
Ridler's Tyre Yard:   Ridler's Tyres was situated in a part of Blechynden Street which no longer exists


NEARBY STREETS AND BUILDINGS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Adair Road Garages, W10 · Aldermaston Street, W10 · Ansleigh Place, W11 · Avondale Park Gardens, W11 · Avondale Park Road, W11 · Bangor Street, W11 · Bard Road, W10 · Bartle Road, W11 · Blechynden Mews, W11 · Blechynden Street, W10 · Blenheim Crescent, W11 · Bomore Road, W11 · Bramley Mews, W10 · Bramley Road, W10 · Bramley Road, W11 · Bramley Street, W10 · Bridge Close, W10 · Camelford Walk, W11 · Charlotte Mews, W10 · Clarendon Cross, W11 · Clarendon Road, W11 · Clarendon Works, W11 · Cornwall Crescent, W11 · Crowthorne Road, W10 · Dale Row, W11 · Darfield Way, W10 · Darfield Way, W10 · Darnley Terrace, W11 · Dulford Street, W11 · East Mews, W10 · Elgin Crescent, W11 · Elgin Mews, W11 · Fowell Street, W10 · Freston Road, W10 · Gorham Place, W11 · Grenfell Road, W11 · Grenfell Tower, W11 · Grenfell Walk, W11 · Hippodrome Mews, W11 · Hippodrome Place, W11 · Kenley Walk, W11 · Kingsdown Close, W10 · Ladbroke Crescent, W11 · Lancaster Road, W11 · Lansdowne Crescent, W11 · Lansdowne Cresent, W11 · Lansdowne Rise, W11 · Lansdowne Road, W11 · Latimer Mews, W10 · Latimer Road, W10 · Lockton Street, W10 · Malton Road, W10 · Martin Street, W10 · Mary Place, W11 · Maxilla Gardens, W10 · Maxilla Gardens, W10 · Mortimer Square, W11 · Penzance Place, W11 · Portland Gate, SW7 · Portland Road, W11 · Pottery Lane, W11 · Princedale Road, W11 · Princes Place, W11 · Queensdale Crescent, W11 · Railway Arches, W10 · Rifle Place, W11 · Rillington Place, W11 · Rosmead Road, W11 · Runcorn Place, W11 · Ruston Mews, W11 · Scampston Mews, W10 · Shalfleet Drive, W10 · Silchester Mews, W10 · Silchester Road, W10 · Silchester Terrace, W10 · Sirdar Road, W11 · St Andrews Square, W11 · St Anns Road, W11 · St James Gardens, W11 · St James’s Gardens, W11 · St James’s Gardens, W11 · St Marks Road, W11 · St Mark’s Close, W11 · St Mark’s Place, W11 · St. Anns Road, W11 · St. Mark’s Road, W11 · Stable Way, W10 · Station Walk, W10 · Station Walk, W11 · Stoneleigh Place, W11 · Stoneleigh Street, W11 · Swanscombe House, W11 · Testerton Walk, W11 · Treadgold Street, W11 · Trinity Mews, W10 · Verity Close, W11 · Walmer Road, W11 · Waynflete Square, W10 · Waynflete Square, W10 · Wesley Square, W11 · Westway Roundabout, W10 · Westway, W10 · Whitchurch Road, W11 · Wilsham Street, W11 · Wilsham Street, W11 ·


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What is Notting Dale like as a place to live?

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Links

RBKC Library Time Machine
Blog from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Library
North Kensington Histories
Recollections of people from North Kensington, London
Old Notting Hill/North Ken History
Facebook group, covering the history of W10 and W11.
Ladbroke Grove
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Shepherd’s Bush
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Wood Lane
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Holland Park
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Westbourne Park
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Latimer Road
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The Notting Hill & North Kensington Photo Archive
Facebook group
Born in W10
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Hidden London
Histor­ically inclined look at the capital’s obscure attractions

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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