Gloucester Road, SW7

Gloucester Road runs north-south between Kensington Gardens (at which point it is known as Palace Gate) and the Old Brompton Road at the south end. At its intersection with Cromwell Road is Gloucester Road underground station, close to which there are several pubs, restaurants, many hotels and St Stephen’s Church (built in 1867 and, notably, the church warden of which was the poet T. S. Eliot).

In 1612 or earlier it was called Hogs Moor or Hogmire Lane. It was a ’lane through marshy ground where hogs are kept’, a name that was still used until about 1850. and it was the site of an ultimately unsuccessful pleasure garden (and for a while a pick-your-own fruit and flower farm) in the late 18th century. At that time most of the vicinity was filled with nurseries and market gardens.

The road is now named after Maria, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh who built a house there – Villa Maria (later Orford Lodge) – in 1805, on part of the pleasure garden’s site. She died there two years later. The politician George Canning bought the property in 1809 and retained it until 1825. The house (latterly called Gloucester Lodge) stood in extensive grounds close to what is now the south-east corner of Gloucester Road’s junction with Cromwell Road.

Much of the surrounding area was built up in the second quarter of the 19th century or soon afterwards.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published.