The huge Ladbroke Square communal garden is part communal garden accessed from the backs of the houses lining it and part traditional London Square with roads between the houses and the square.
It is bordered by Ladbroke Grove
on its west side, Kensington Park Road
on its east side, and the road called Ladbroke Square on its south side – so the latter is something of a misnomer, being a single long road. All the houses are numbered consecutively.
Felix Ladbroke, the owner of the Ladbroke estate, signed an agreement in 1840 with a developer, Jacob Connop, a bill broker in the City of London, to develop inter alia the road now called Ladbroke Square. Under this agreement, Connop let building leases of the individual plots to various builders. Then, when the houses were built or nearly built, Ladbroke granted 99-year leases of the houses to Connop or some other person at his direction, usually the builder, allowing the developer and/or the builder or financier to recover their capital outlay by subletting or selling the leaseholds..
It seems to have taken Connop some time to find people willing to take up building leases. The first plots to be let were Nos. 23-27 in August 1840, and then Nos. 28-31 in October that year. There was then a minor crisis when 220 yards of sewer that Connop had laid in the future Ladbroke Square collapsed. The whole project continued to be punctuated by various financial crises affecting the developers, and Connop himself was bankrupted in 1845. It was not until 1860 that all the houses in the road were finally completed.
All the houses are tall – mostly five-storey, including basement – and half stucco. Several houses were badly damaged in the Second World War or by fire and had to be completely or almost completely rebuilt. Nos. 1-3 are the only ones to have had dormer floors added.