Clarendon Crescent was said to be the longest road in London without a turning.
By 1861 Desborough Lodge
and Westbourne Farm
had been demolished and Clarendon Street, Woodchester Street and Cirencester Street
were build on their lands.
There was a rapid social decline in the streets between the railway and the canal. Subletting to weekly lodgers had made Brindley Street
the most overcrowded in Paddington, with over 3 people to a room. By 1869, when the worst areas were near the canal basin at Paddington Green.
Clarendon Street (later Crescent) had 17 people per house on average. In Clarendon Street "where the more respectable women did laundry work, there were thieves and prostitutes". Subletting had gone so far that a room might have different tenants by day and by night and could only be controlled by declaring buildings to be lodging houses. Such decay was attributed in 1899 to the canal, as elsewhere in London, to isolation arising from a lack of through traffic, and to the density of building.
The road was renamed from Clarendon Street to Clarendon Crescent, probably as part of the 1937 London-wide renaming scheme.
The borough council in 1938 had plans to clear Clarendon Crescent but the war intervened. The worst slums, between the railway and the canal from Warwick Crescent
to Clarendon Crescent, were transformed by the L.C.C. post war.
Under a scheme of 1958, and affecting 6700 residents, half of the land was to be used for 1127 dwellings, of which 946 were to be in new blocks and the others in renovated houses; the rest was to be used for shops, garages, schools and other institutions. A canalside walk and 8 acres of badly needed open space took over the site of Clarendon Crescent.
The Warwick estate, as it came to be called, was opened in 1962. The scheme, together with the alignment of Westway
along part of Harrow Road
, caused the disappearance of nearly all the streets from Delamere Terrace
and Blomfield Villas
westward to Waverley Road
A view along Clarendon Street, Paddington, houses now demolished, looking west with St Mary Magdalene’s Church to left (1964)
English Heritage/John Gay