South Kensington is a London Underground station in Kensington, west London. It is served by the District, Circle and Piccadilly Lines.
Cromwell Road is a major London road, designated as part of the A4.
It was created in the 19th century and is said to be named after Richard Cromwell, son of Oliver Cromwell, who once owned a house there.
Cromwell Road was not always the main traffic route it is now, as when it was built, it ended at Earls Court. The Cromwell Road extension, across the West London railway line and towards Hammersmith, was authorised as a bridge across the railway in 1884 but completed only in 1941. It was only after World War II that it became a main route into London. The large traffic increase brought much demolition and road rearrangement beyond Earls Court Road in 1967 to 1972, but the main part of Cromwell Road has not had its basic building line changed.
It is hard to define boundaries for South Kensington, but it is generally talking about the commercial area around the tube station. The smaller centre around Gloucester Road
station can also be considered part of South Kensington, as well as the institution area around Exhibition Road
, which includes such famous names as the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Imperial College, Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Royal College of Music.
Large numbers of French, Spanish and Italian citizens live in the area. A significant French presence is evidenced by the location of the consulate, the Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle - a large French secondary school opposite the Natural History Museum - and the French Institute, home to a French cinema. There are also several French bookshops in the area.