Kensington High Street, W14

Buildings in this area date from the nineteenth century or before

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Kensington High Street is a street in West Kensington.



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Holland Park

Holland Park is a district, an underground station (and indeed a park) in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Holland Park has a reputation as an affluent and fashionable area, known for attractive large Victorian townhouses, and high-class shopping and restaurants.

The district was rural until the 19th century. Most of it was formerly the grounds of a Jacobean mansion called Holland House. In the later decades of that century the owners of the house sold off the more outlying parts of its grounds for residential development, and the district which evolved took its name from the house. It also included some small areas around the fringes which had never been part of the grounds of Holland House, notably the Phillimore Estate and the Campden Hill Square area. In the late 19th century a number of notable artists (including Frederic Leighton, P.R.A. and Val Prinsep) and art collectors lived in the area. The group were collectively known as ’The Holland Park Circle’. Holland Park was in most part very comfortably upper middle class when originally developed and in recent decades has gone further upmarket.

Of the 19th-century residential developments of the area, one of the most architecturally interesting is The Royal Crescent designed in 1839. Clearly inspired by its older namesake in Bath, it differs from the Bath crescent in that it is not a true crescent at all but two quadrant terraces each terminated by a circular bow in the Regency style which rises as a tower, a feature which would not have been found in the earlier classically inspired architecture of the 18th century which the design of the crescent seeks to emulate. The design of the Royal Crescent by the planner Robert Cantwell in two halves was dictated by the location of the newly fashionable underground sewers rather than any consideration for architectural aesthetics.

Holland Park is now one of the most expensive residential districts in London.

Holland Park station, on the Central London Railway, opened on 30 July 1900. The station building was refurbished in the 1990s.
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1900 and 1950 mapping is reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence.