Notting Dale

Neighbourhood, existing between 1839 and now

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Notting Dale

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Neighbourhood · Notting Dale · W11 ·
APRIL
10
2015

From Pigs and bricks to Posh and Becks...

As houses were springing up all over the rest of northern Kensington, one corner of the borough was developing into a slum whose notoriety was probably unsurpassed throughout London

It lay at the foot of the hill on which the Ladbroke estate was laid out, directly north of Pottery Lane, on badly draining clay soil between the Norland Estate and Notting Barns Farm.

Its first occupants were to give it two infamous names: the brick makers, who seemed to have arrived in the late lath century, and the pig-keepers, who moved there in the early l9th century.

To make bricks and tiles involved large excavations, which soon filled with stagnant water. The keeping of pigs entailed collecting refuse and offal from the kitchens of hotels and private houses, feeding most of it to pigs and boiling down the fat.

The combination of both bricks and pigs spelt disaster for the area.

Samuel Lake of Tottenham Court Road, a scavenger and chimney sweep by occupation was the first to keep pigs here and he was soon joined by the pig keepers of the Marble Arch area who had been forced out of their area by building development. The colony was at first sufficiently isolated to be able to go about their business unfettered; and by the time streets were being built nearby, the piggeries were so well established that developers simply steered clear.

Shacks sprang up wherever convenient for there was no building control in London at that time, and inevitably they were jumbled together with the pigs and the ponds: indeed often the three were combined, with humans sharing their roofs with animals and living directly over stagnant water: the animals at one stage outnumbered people by three to one.

The area’s unsanitary conditions had become so notorious that Charles Dickens ran a special feature on it in the first edition issue of his magazine Household Words.

The Piggeries and Brickyards were far from the sight and concern of the Vestry and its duties were taken up by charities, both religious and secular. But it was Kensington’s first Medical Officer of Health, Dr Francis Goodrich, who was given the formidable task of cleaning up the area. Goodrich stated that it was one of the most deplorable
spots not only in Kensington but in the whole of the metropolis.

Rather than manufacturing bricks, locals started to concentrate more on the making of pottery, mostly drainpipes, tiles and flower pots to supply the local building boom. This trade, however, gradually declined and business ceased by 1863, the same time as when the stagnant ’Ocean’ was filled in.

As far as the Piggeries were concerned strong opposition to a clean up came from the pig keepers themselves, as that was their only livelihood. And perversely the Vestry did not want them to lose the pigs because the families then could become a charge on the poor rate.

By 1878 Goodrich’s successor Dr Dudfield managed, however, to gradually reduce the number of pigs but it was not until the 1890’s that the last pig was banished.

The area nevertheless remained notorious. Instead of pig keeping the men turned to living off what their women could earn as laundresses, initially at home (especially in
the Stoneleigh Street area) and later in small laundries. A local saying in this area declared that ’to marry an ironer is as good as a fortune’

But change was coming.

The 1860s at last witnessed the opening of schools, (such as one in Sirdar Road), the paving of streets and the construction of proper sewers. But it was not until 1888 were public baths and washhouses provided at the junction of Silchester and Lancaster Roads.

In 1889 the Rev C E Roberts of St Clements Church and the Rev Dr Thornton of St Johns appealed in a letter to the Times for an open space for the children of this area. As a result the old brickfield and the area of the ’Ocean’ became the start of Avondale Park opened in 1892 and named in memory of the recently deceased Duke of Clarence and Avondale.

But even then, a year after the park was opened that the Daily News described the area adjacent to the park as ’Avernus’ (the fabled gateway to hell!). The article identified Wilsham Street, Kenley Street, another two streets now replaced by Henry Dickens Court and part of Sirdar Road as ’hopelessly degraded and abandoned’.

The dense rows of artisan houses in these streets were massively over-occupied or else were the most primitive lodging houses in which a bed on the floor cost a few pennies per night. Local residents made a living as best they could but it was a close knit community who seemed to scrape together enough money to pay for visits to the music hall and for summer day trips.

By 1904 new low cost tenements were built and the Improved Tenements Association bought 64 year leases of four houses in Walmer Road in 1900, and these were modernised and divided into two room tenements to accommodate 13 families for rents of 5 shillings a week. Other housing associations followed such as the Wilsham Trust formed by Ladies- in-waiting at Kensington Palace.

The poverty and hardship of the Potteries and Piggeries is very much a thing of the past. Now the neighbourhood is an attractive, leafy, peaceful backwater made up of rows of well kept two and three storey Victorian brick terraced houses and cottages, in the shadow of the graceful golden weather vane and clock of St Clements Church.

The area has come a long way.

Sources:
The Notting Hill & Holland Park Book by Richard Tames
Kensington & Chelsea by Annabel Walker with Peter Jackson
Notting Hill and Holland Park Past by Barbara Denny
Survey of London: Northern Kensington: Vol:XXXVII for the Greater London Council


Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence


The old brewery on Walmer Road where Nottingwood House now stands. Photo dates from 1937.

The old brewery on Walmer Road where Nottingwood House now stands. Photo dates from 1937.
Kensington Borough Archive

THE STREETS OF NOTTING DALE
Aldermaston Street, W10 Aldermaster Street is a lost street of North Kensington
Ansleigh Place, W11 Ansleigh Place is an ex mews to the west of Notting Dale.
Avondale Park Gardens, W11 Avondale Park Gardens, unlike other roads in the area, was developed in the 1920s when it was laid out on the former workhouse site.
Avondale Park Road, W11 Avondale Park Road is a street in Notting Hill.
Bangor Street, W11 Bangor Street, W11 was situated on the site of the modern Henry Dickens Court.
Bard Road, W10 Bard Road lies in the area of London W10 near to Latimer Road station.
Bartle Road, W11 Bartle Road is a street in Notting Hill.
Blechynden Mews, W11 Blechynden Mews is a former side street in London W11.
Blechynden Street, W10 Blechynden Street is now a tiny street in the vicinity of Latimer Road station, W10
Bomore Road, W11 Bomore Road is a street in Notting Hill.
Bramley Mews, W10 Bramley Mews become part of a redelevopment of the area north of Latimer Road station in the 1960s.
Bramley Road, W10 Bramley Road is the street in which Latimer Road station is situated.
Bramley Road, W11 Bramley Road is a street in Notting Hill.
Bramley Street, W10 Bramley Street is one of the lost streets of North Kensington.
Bridge Close, W10 Bridge Close is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Camelford Walk, W11 Camelford Walk is a street in Notting Hill.
Charlotte Mews, W10 Charlotte Mews is one of London W10's newer thoroughfares.
Clarendon Cross, W11 Clarendon Cross is a street in Notting Hill.
Cornwall Crescent, W11 Cornwall Crescent belongs to the third and final great period of building on the Ladbroke estate and the houses were constructed in the 1860s.
Crowthorne Road, W10 Crowthorne Road is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Darfield Way, W10 Darfield Way, in the Latimer Road area, was built over a number of older streets as the Westway was built.
Darfield Way, W10 Darfield Way is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area.
Dulford Street, W11 Dulford Street is a street in Notting Hill.
East Mews, W10 East Mews was lost when the Westway was built. It lies partially under the modern Darfield Way.
Fowell Street, W10 Fowell Street, W10 was redeveloped in the 1970s.
Freston Road, W10 Freston Road is a street with quite a history.
Gorham Place, W11 Gorham Place is a street in Notting Hill.
Grenfell Road, W11 Grenfell Road follows the line of an old road: St Clement’s Road.
Hippodrome Mews, W11 Hippodrome Mews is a street in Notting Hill.
Hippodrome Place, W11 Hippodrome Place was named after a lost racecourse of London.
Hurstway Walk, W11 This is a street in the W11 postcode area
Kenley Street, W11 Kenley Street, W11 was originally William Street before it disappeared.
Kenley Walk, W11 Kenley Walk is a street in Notting Hill.
Kingsdown Close, W10 Kingsdown Close is one of a select number of roads in London W10 lying south of Westway.
Ladbroke Crescent, W11 Ladbroke Crescent belongs to the third and final great period of building on the Ladbroke estate and the houses were constructed in the 1860s.
Lockton Street, W10 Lockton Street, just south of Latimer Road station is so insignificant that nary a soul know's it's there...
Malton Road, W10 Malton Road is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Martin Street, W10 Martin Street disappeared as the Latimer Road area was redeveloped.
Mary Place, W11 Mary Place is a street in Notting Hill.
Maxilla Gardens, W10 Maxilla Gardens was a former street in London W10.
Mortimer Square, W11 Mortimer Square is a street in Notting Hill.
Portland Gate, SW7 Portland Gate is a road in the SW7 postcode area
Railway Arches, W10 Railway Arches is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Rillington Place, W11 Rillington Place is a small street with an infamous history.
Runcorn Place, W11 Runcorn Place is a street in Notting Hill.
Ruston Mews, W11 Ruston Mews, W11 was originally Crayford Mews.
Shalfleet Drive, W10 Shalfleet Drive is a newer road in the Latimer Road area of W10
Silchester Mews, W10 Silchester Mews, shaped like an H, disappeared in 1969 under the Westway.
Silchester Road, W10 Silchester Road crosses the border between London W10 and London W11.
Silchester Terrace, W10 Silchester Terrace was lost to W10 in the 1960s.
Sirdar Road, W11 Sirdar Road is a street in Notting Hill.
St Andrews Square, W11 St Andrews Square is a street in Notting Dale, formed when the Rillington Place area was demolished.
St Marks Close, SE10 St Marks Close is a road in the SE10 postcode area
St Marks Road, W11 St Marks Road, W11 is the southern extention of the W10 street and in the Latimer Road area.
St Mark’s Close, W11 St Mark’s Close is a street in Notting Hill.
St. Anns Road, W11 St. Anns Road is a street in Notting Hill.
St. Mark’s Road, W11 St. Mark’s Road is a street in the Ladbroke conservation area.
Stable Way, W10 Stable Way is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Station Walk, SE6 Station Walk is a road in the SE6 postcode area
Station Walk, W10 Station Walk is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area.
Station Walk, W11 Station Walk is a street in Notting Hill.
Stoneleigh Place, W11 Stoneleigh Place, formerly called Abbey Road, was built across a brickfield in Notting Dale.
Stoneleigh Street, W11 Stoneleigh Street is a street in Notting Hill.
Treadgold Street, W11 Treadgold Street is part of the Avondale Park Gardens Conservation Area.
Trinity Mews, W10 Trinity Mews is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Verity Close, W11 Verity Close is a street in W11
Waynflete Square, W10 Waynflete Square is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Waynflete Square, W10 Waynflete Square is one of the newer roads in the vicinity of Latimer Road station.
Wesley Square, W11 Wesley Square is a street in Notting Hill.
Whitchurch Road, W11 Whitchurch Road is a street in Notting Hill.


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