Addison Road, W14

Road in/near Holland Park, existing between 1824 and now

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Road · Holland Park · W14 ·
September
2
2017

Addison Road stretches from Holland Park Avenue to Kensington High Street.


Addison Road takes its name from the essayist Joseph Addison. It was the first street to be constructed for new house development on the Holland estate with a purpose to connect Holland Park with Kensington.

The road was constructed by William Woods, a builder, who began work in about 1824. There is a curve in the road where it goes round St Barnabas Church. This was not out of respect for the church but because the builders had to work round some extensive ponds called “the Moats”, which weren’t finally filled in until about 1900.

The southern part consists of a busy southbound one-way traffic system. At this end there are two large modern blocks of flats set back from the road. The middle part is quiet, tree-lined and has mainly large detached and semi-detached villas, usually painted white. At the north end of Addison Road is Addison Court and unusual 1930s style eight storey block of flats.

Many of the houses have large front gardens with small sweeping driveways, and are well set back from the road behind high front walls and gates ensuring maximum secrecy. Before the mid nineteenth century all of these houses had names rather than numbers.

The grandest house in Addison Road is an ornate blue and green glazed-brick and tiled mansion known as ‘The Peacock House’, built in 1906 for Ernest Debenham of the supermarket store of the same name.

Near Cardinal Vaughan School (where Holland Park Gardens begins) an 8-storey block of flats called Addisland Court was built in the 1930s. The land was formerly occupied by No. 1 Addison Road, one of the large villas built by William Woods, became available for development in 1873 on the death of Charles Richard Fox, the owner. Fox was the elder son of Lord and Lady Holland. Since he was born before they were married, he could not succeed to the title. His father gave him No. 1 Addison Road. Fox married the daughter of the future King William IV and became a general. When he died in 1873 the house was demolished.


Main source: British History Online
Further citations and sources


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Holland Park

Holland Park is a district, an underground station (and indeed a park) in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Holland Park has a reputation as an affluent and fashionable area, known for attractive large Victorian townhouses, and high-class shopping and restaurants.

The district was rural until the 19th century. Most of it was formerly the grounds of a Jacobean mansion called Holland House. In the later decades of that century the owners of the house sold off the more outlying parts of its grounds for residential development, and the district which evolved took its name from the house. It also included some small areas around the fringes which had never been part of the grounds of Holland House, notably the Phillimore Estate and the Campden Hill Square area. In the late 19th century a number of notable artists (including Frederic Leighton, P.R.A. and Val Prinsep) and art collectors lived in the area. The group were collectively known as ’The Holland Park Circle’. Holland Park was in most part very comfortably upper middle class when originally developed and in recent decades has gone further upmarket.

Of the 19th-century residential developments of the area, one of the most architecturally interesting is The Royal Crescent designed in 1839. Clearly inspired by its older namesake in Bath, it differs from the Bath crescent in that it is not a true crescent at all but two quadrant terraces each terminated by a circular bow in the Regency style which rises as a tower, a feature which would not have been found in the earlier classically inspired architecture of the 18th century which the design of the crescent seeks to emulate. The design of the Royal Crescent by the planner Robert Cantwell in two halves was dictated by the location of the newly fashionable underground sewers rather than any consideration for architectural aesthetics.

Holland Park is now one of the most expensive residential districts in London.

Holland Park station, on the Central London Railway, opened on 30 July 1900. The station building was refurbished in the 1990s.
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