is one of the main roads of Notting Hill.
runs from Kensington Park Road
in the west to Queensway in the east, crossing over Portobello Road
. It contains a mixture of independent and chain retailers, and has been termed both "fashionable" and "up-and-coming".
The development of Westbourne Grove
began in the 1840s and proceeded from the east (which lay in Bayswater) to the west, where it became the principal east-west artery into the Ladbroke Estate. The far western end of the street only became known as Westbourne Grove
relatively recently in 1938, having previously been called Archer Street. In 1929, the novelist A.J. Cronin opened his own medical practice at 152 Westbourne Grove
, which was put up for sale in 2007.
takes its name from Westbourne Green
- a settlement that developed to the west of the bourne that later took the name River Westbourne.
There was a small settlement to the north of what is now Westbourne Grove
at Westbourne Green
. It had five main houses. The largest of these was Westbourne Place or Westbourne House
, which was rebuilt in 1745 by the architect Isaac Ware as an elegant Georgian mansion of three storeys with a frontage of nine windows divided into three parts. The central third was topped by a large pediment and contained the main door, which also had a pediment over it. The lower two storeys were formed into bays at each end, which contained three windows each. Amongst the well-known residents of this house were Sir William Yorke, baronet; the Venetian ambassador; the architect Samuel Pepys Cockerell (a great great nephew of the diarist Samuel Pepys); and the General Commander in Chief of the Army, Viscount Hill, who left in 1836 (and who gave his name to the modern road bridge north of Westbourne Grove
called Lord Hill’s Bridge). The house was demolished in 1836 to make way for the houses and gardens of what is now Westbourne Park Villas
. Thomas Hardy lived in this area, mainly at no 16 Westbourne Park Villas
, which was his home 1863-67.
Also north of what is now Westbourne Grove
was Westbourne Farm
which was the home, between 1815 - 1817, of the actress Sarah Siddons, who lived there with her daughter. The Farm was at the point where the Harrow Road
, the Westway
and the canal converge. Mrs Siddons was buried at St Mary’s Church, the main church of Paddington, on Paddington Green, where her grave can still be seen.
Though now popular and expensive for home-buyers, much of the area had become run-down in the 1950s, when it was the centre of the activities of notorious slum-landlord Peter Rachman, after whom the phrase "Rachmanism" was coined. He was known for his violent evictions of tenants with legally fixed rents. He replaced them, in what became overcrowded multi-occupied housing, with people, mainly recent migrants from the West Indies, who, because of discrimination and council tenant restrictions, could not find accommodation. He operated from an office in Westbourne Grove
. Part of the area, including streets between Ledbury Road
and Shrewsbury Road
to the south of Westbourne Park Road
, became derelict and was consequently compulsorily purchased and demolished.
The Notting Hill Carnival passes along the central part of Westbourne Grove