Western Dwellings, W10
Block in/near Kensal Town, existed between the 1870s and 2014
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Western Dwellings were a row of houses, opposite the Western Gas Works, housing some of the workers.
Western Dwellings was built beside the steps leading down to Southern Row
. The flats were entered through arched door ways which lead onto stone stairways. The insides of these arched entrances were tiled in dark-coloured Victorian tiles with each panel portraying a scene of working people.
In the 1890s, an outbreak of typhoid was noted there.
Beside the flats was Hamrax, the motorcyclists’ emporium, and a tobacconists/sweet shop.
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Western Dwellings as marked on an 1888 map of the area
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6 East Row, W10 6 East Row was a house along East Row which was demolished in 1960 as part of slum clearance in the area. Clayton Arms A pub which was situated halfway down West Row in Kensal Town. Exmoor Street (1950) Photographed just after the Second World War, looking north along Exmoor Street. Gas Light and Coke Company The gasometers of the Gas Light and Coke company dominated North Kensington until demolition in the late 20th century. Hudson's the chemist (1906) Hudson's, a chemist shop, stood on the corner of Ilbert Street and Third Avenue in the Queen's Park estate. Jack of Newbury The Jack of Newbury stood at the corner of East Row and Kensal Road until it was bombed on 2 October 1940. Kensal House There are two Kensal Houses in London W10 - this was the original Ladbroke Grove looking north (1950) Ladbroke Grove on the corner of St Charles Sqaure taken outside the Eagle public house, looking north, just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. Middle Row School Middle Row School was established in the late 19th century to provide education to the children of Kensal New Town. Portobello Arms The Portobello Arms was a former pub in Kensal Town, established in 1842. Queen’s Park Library Queen’s Park Library was built to improve the minds of the new Queen’s Park Estate residents. Rackham Street, eastern end (1950) The bombing of the Second World War meant that some whole streets were wiped off the future map. Rackham Street, in London W10, was one of them. St Charles Hospital The St Marylebone workhouse infirmary was opened in 1881 on Rackham Street, North Kensington and received a congratulatory letter from Florence Nightingale. St Martins Mission Saint Martin's Mission was originally known as Rackham Hall as it was situated on Rackham Street. St Quintin Park Cricket Ground (1890s) Before the turn of the 20th century, west of present day North Kensington lay fields - the future Barlby Road was the site of the St Quintin Park Cricket Ground. The Eagle The Eagle, on the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Telford Road. The Flora The Flora is situated on Harrow Road, W10. The Mitre The Mitre was situated at 62 Golborne Road. The Plough From the sixteenth century onwards, the Plough stood beside the Harrow Road. Wedlake Street Baths In a time when most had somewhere to live but few had somewhere to wash at home, public baths were the place to go... Western Arms The Western Arms was a pub situated on the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Kensal Road. Absalom Road, W10 Absalom Road was the former name for the western section of Golborne Gardens. Adair Road, W10 Adair Road is a street on the Kensal Town/North Kensington borders. Adair Tower, W10 Adair Tower is a post-war tower block on the corner of Adair Road and Appleford Road, W10. Alperton Street, W10 Alperton Street is the first alphabetically named street in the Queen’s Park Estate, W10. Appleford Road, W10 Appleford Road was transformed post-war from a Victorian street to one dominated by housing blocks. Bosworth Road, W10 Bosworth Road was the first street built as Kensal New Town started to expand to the east. Bruce Close, W10 Bruce Close replaced the earlier Rackham Street in this part of W10. Canal Way, W10 Canal Way was built on the site of the Kensal Gas Works. Droop Street, W10 Droop Street is one of the main east-west streets of the Queen’s Park Estate. East Row, W10 East Row is a road with a long history within Kensal Town. Faraday Road, W10 Faraday Road is one of the ’scientist’ roadnames of North Kensington. Farrant Street, W10 Farrant Street is the missing link in the alphabetti spaghetti of the streetnames of the Queen’s Park Estate Hewer Street, W10 Built as part of the St Charles’ estate in the 1870s, it originally between Exmoor Street to a former street called Raymede Street. Humber Drive, W10 Humber Drive is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area. Huxley Street, W10 Huxley Street is the only street beginning with an H on the Queen’s Park Estate. Kensal House, W10 Kensal House (1936), was designed to show off the power of gas and originally had no electricity at all. Kensal Road, W10 Kensal Road, originally called Albert Road, is the heart of Kensal Town. Ladbroke Grove, W10 Ladbroke Grove runs from Notting Hill in the south to Kensal Green in the north, and straddles the W10 and W11 postal districts. Lavie Mews, W10 Lavie Mews, W10 was a mews connecting Portobello Road and Murchison Road. Lionel Mews, W10 Lionel Mews was built around 1882 and probably disappeared in the 1970s. Maple Walk, W10 Post war development on the Queen’s Park Estate created some plant-based street names. Middle Row, W10 Middle Row is one of the original streets laid out as Kensal New Town. Munro Mews, W10 Munro Mews is a part cobbled through road that connects Wornington Road and Wheatstone Road. Oakworth Road, W10 Oakworth Road dates from the 1920s when a cottage estate was built by the council. PO Box 4 Shrewsbury Court is a road in the EC1Y postcode area Rackham Street, W10 Rackham Street is a road that disappeared from the streetscape of London W10 in 1951. Raymede Street, W10 Raymede Street, after severe bomb damage in the area, disappeared after 1950. Regent Street, NW10 Regent Street, otherwise an obscure side street is one of the oldest roads in Kensal Green. Ronan Walk, W10 Ronan Walk was one of the streets constructed in a 1970s build parallel to the Harrow Road. Rootes Drive, W10 Rootes Drive is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area. Southern Row, W10 Southern Row was originally South Row to match the other streets in the neighbourhood. Telford Road, W10 Telford Road is one of the local streets named after prominent nineteenth century scientists. Wedlake Street, W10 Wedlake Street arrived as the second wave of building in Kensal Town was completed. Wornington Road, W10 Wornington Road connected Golborne Road with Ladbroke Grove, though the Ladbroke end is now closed to through traffic.
Kensal New Town was built between the Grand Central Canal (which opened in 1801) and the Great Western Railway line (opening in 1837) in the 1840s.
Single-storey cottages with gardens suitable for drying clothes were the first buildings and Kensal Road
, Middle Row
, West Row
, East Row
and Southern Row
all appeared between 1841 and 1851. The rows of cottages quickly degenerated into a slum, mainly due to overcrowding, industrialisation and pollution.
The area was dominated by the Western Gas Company and Kensal Cemetery, which provided work but did little to improve the environment. Women were primarily involved in laundry work giving the area its nickname of ‘Soapsuds Island’.
The area was isolated from the rest of London at a time when Portobello Lane (now Portobello Road) was a muddy track sometimes impassable in bad weather.
Cut off from the municipal authorities it was left to charities to attempt to alleviate the social and health problems.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the cottage laundry industry began to be replaced by larger mechanized concerns.
In 1902 Charles Booth described it as, “Just as full of children and poverty as was the old woman’s dwelling in the nursery rhyme.” By this date the area had been transferred to the newly formed Royal Borough of Kensington. When the Piggeries and Potteries in Notting Dale were finally cleared in the early 20th century most of the displaced residents moved north into Golborne ward and Kensal.
By 1923 in the Southam Street
area 140 houses contained some 2500 inhabitants. A series of evocative photographs by Roger Mayne in the 1950s showed that little had changed. It was only from the 1960s that the overcrowded and dilapidated terraces were cleared and replaced by social housing including Goldfinger’s Trellick Tower.