Lord Hills Road, W2

By the middle of the eighteenth century, Westbourne House – a large house and also known as Westbourne Place – had been rebuilt as an elegant Georgian mansion by the architect Isaac Ware. Residents had included Sir William Yorke (a Venetian ambassador), architect Samuel Pepys Cockerell (a distant relative of diarist Samuel Pepys) and finally General Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill.

The River Westbourne flowed in a southeasterly direction across Paddington and beside Westbourne House. In its last incarnation it was the Ranelagh sewer – some of its course was still open in 1871 along the later line of Kilburn Park Road and Shirland Road. This was then built over but further south, it had already disappeared beneath new roads known as Formosa Road, Ranelagh Road and Cleveland Square.

General Rowland Hill left Westbourne House in 1836 and following his departure, the mansion was demolished and replaced by Westbourne Park Villas. Hill was Commander-in-Chief of the Army between 1828–39 and he gave his name to Lord Hill’s Bridge where Royal Oak station in now situated.

Ranelagh Road has been named after the sewer but in the early 20th century was more salubriously renamed Lord Hill’s Road since it ran north from Lord Hill’s Bridge.

Postwar redevelopment massively curtailed the road to a shadow of its former length.

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