Ladbroke Grove, W10

Road in/near North Kensington, existing between 1861 and now

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Road · North Kensington · W10 ·

Ladbroke Grove runs from Notting Hill in the south to Kensal Green in the north, and straddles the W10 and W11 postal districts.

Ladbroke Grove street sign
Only during the last half of Victoria’s reign was the northern portion of Ladbroke Grove begun. Whether by accident or design, continuing the line of Ladbroke Grove in the same direction meant that it met a footbridge over the canal south of the Kilburn Lane/Harrow Road intersection. The road was subsequently built and originally took the name Ladbroke Grove Road in the northern section.

By 1859 the effects of the over-building of early 1850s Notting Hill were diminishing; empty houses were being occupied for the first time, and half-finished shells were being completed, particularly on and near the Ladbroke estate, where early in 1860, new financial backers were found. With confidence thus restored, the maintenance of the boom in northern Kensington was principally due to the re-opening of the West London Railway to passenger traffic in 1863 and the opening of the Hammersmith and City Railway, which traversed the fields of Notting Dale, in 1864. In anticipation of these events Charles Chambers, a builder, agreed in 1862 to build 238 houses on the Holland estate near the West London Railway, while in Notting Dale, Blake, who was one of the directors of the Hammersmith and City Railway Company, contracted in the same year to buy all the remaining part of the Portobello estate, then consisting of some 130 acres, where he subsequently organised the building of several hundred houses, many of them being of the small terraced variety.

The sharp downward turn in building after 1868, which took place all over London, may have been partly a delayed reflection of the general loss of confidence engendered by the failure of the bill discounting firm of Overend and Gurney in May 1866. After almost a decade of building growth, supply of houses had once again outrun demand—at an auction sale held by Blake in 1870, for instance, the reserve prices for thirteen houses in Ladbroke Grove were not reached—and that capital was being directed from building to more attractive investments, some of them abroad.

In the 1870s the volume of building in northern Kensington fell by over half.

By the mid 1880s building development in northern Kensington had been largely completed. Except in the north-western extremity, where a few fields still remained, all the open country had been covered with streets, crescents, squares and thousands of houses.

Source: British History Online

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence


Ladbroke Grove street sign
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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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