Notting Hill: A place whose fortunes have come, gone and come again...
Norland Square is a street in Notting Hill.
Norland Square is an attractive garden square, the south part of which looks onto Holland Park
Avenue. There is a private central garden, which also includes a tennis court.
The houses are mainly on 4-storeys (with basement) and are stucco-fronted. Many of the houses have very attractive ground floor bay windows, with metal railings and small balconies at first floor level.
Charles Richardson, the land-owner, had trouble persuading investors or speculators to take plots. The people who did commit to taking plots were connected to Richardson. For instance, his brother, Walter Richardson took the northern section above Queensdale Road
, Nos. 19 to 35. This was probably intended to give the false appearance of commercial interest in the development to encourage other takers.
Those builders who were persuaded to invest took only single plots, except for James Emmins, a builder from Bayswater who took Nos. 38-44, but he was well known for periodically going bankrupt, leaving his creditors with nothing, and Richardson got the same treatment. Although all the plots were allocated by 1844, the proposed houses were not all built and occupied until 1852.
The houses in the terrace were four storeys high, with basements as well. The facades were stuccoed. Bay windows at basement and ground floor levels supported a balcony with cast iron balustrades which ran right along the front of the terrace at first floor level. Cornices ran along the façade above first and second floor level.
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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
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.