Ladbroke Walk, W11

Road in/near Notting Hill, existing between 1825 and now

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Road · Notting Hill · W11 ·
JANUARY
12
2016

Ladbroke Walk, W11 is part of the Ladbroke Conversation Area.

Ladbroke Walk seen from Ladbroke Terrace (2006)
Credit: Thomas Erskine
Ladbroke Walk was designed as the mews for the houses at Nos. 2-38 Holland Park Avenue. These houses were built in the 1820s, as part of the first wave of building on the Ladbroke Estate. It is probable that Ladbroke Walk was laid out at the same time, to run along the back of their gardens and to provide access to any stables that they decided to build. It is, therefore, one of the earliest streets on the Ladbroke Estate.

At first, few of the Holland Park Avenue houses bothered to build stables. A plan in the London Metropolitan Archives shows that in 1836 only three of the houses had stables at the end of their gardens, corresponding to Nos. 11, 13 and 16 Ladbroke Walk. Otherwise there were no buildings at all in the mews. By the time of the Ordnance Survey map of 1863, however, the majority of the Holland Park Avenue houses had some sort of building at the bottom of their garden, opening onto the mews. By 1894, according to the Ordnance Survey of that year, only the spaces now occupied by numbers 10, 12. 14 and 18 Ladbroke Walk were still unbuilt upon.

The buildings were mainly built of unadorned London stock-brick in a plain utilitarian style. The normal plan was for them to have two big doorways on the ground floor, for the horses and the coach, with a small central door, behind which there was a stairway leading to the upper residential floor.

The mews appears in the census returns from 1871 onwards. The census and other records show a steadily increasing number of people residing in the mews in the last half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. They included not just coachman and grooms, but also small tradesmen – chimney sweeps, carpenters, plumbers etc. There was also a sprinkling of “cabmen”, no doubt using the mews both as a place for their horses and carriages and as a lodging. Gradually, more and more of the houses were taken over by tradesmen. Most of the buildings seemed to have remained in the ownership of the houses in Holland Park Avenue in whose gardens they had been built. When the householders did not need the accommodation for their own staff, they would let them to tradesmen and others living in the area.

With the advent of the motor-car, the stables were transformed into as garages, still with accommodation above. After the Second World War, chiefly between the 1950s and the 1980s, there was a gradual transformation of the garages into dwellings, with the houses in Holland Park Avenue selling the freeholds to the new occupants, sometimes with a piece of garden. Mansard rooms or additional storeys were added, and in most cases at least part of the ground floor was transformed into residential accommodation, although sometimes with half being left as a garage.

During the conversions, a variety of differently shaped windows, doors and balconies were inserted, and often brickwork was plastered over and painted. In some cases, the old building was demolished altogether, and an entirely new dwelling erected and many of today’s buildings give little idea of what they originally looked like. The mews has retained its cobbles.

The mews went through two changes of name over the years. It began life as “Notting Hill Mews”, no doubt because Nos. 2-38 Holland Park Avenue were then called “Notting Hill Terrace”. By the time of the first detailed Ordnance Survey map of the area in 1863, the Mews had been renamed “Ladbroke Terrace Mews”. It acquired its current name around the time of the Second World War.

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Ladbroke Walk seen from Ladbroke Terrace (2006)
Thomas Erskine

VIEW THE NOTTING HILL 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 HILL AREA IN THE 1800s
The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

VIEW THE NOTTING HILL AREA IN THE 1830s
The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

VIEW THE NOTTING HILL AREA IN THE 1860s
The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

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

 

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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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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