Metropolitan Borough of Kensington

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Metropolitan Borough shown within the County of London
Kensington within the County of London
 - Created 1900
 - Abolished 1965
 - Succeeded by Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Status Metropolitan borough
(and Royal borough from 1901)
Government Kensington Borough Council
 - HQ Kensington High Street
 - Motto Quid Nobis Ardut (What is hard for us)
Arms of the Royal Borough of Kensington
Coat of arms of the borough council

The Metropolitan Borough of Kensington was a Metropolitan borough in the County of London from 1900 to 1965.

It bordered Chelsea, Fulham, Hammersmith, Paddington, and Westminster

It included Kensington, South Kensington, Earls Court, Notting Hill, Brompton and part of Kensal Green.

In 1901 it was granted the status of a royal borough, and therefore from then was also known as the Royal Borough of Kensington.[1] The status was granted after the death of Queen Victoria, in accordance with her wish (she was born at Kensington Palace in the borough). [1]

In 1965 it was amalgamated with the Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea to form the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

A number of street name plaques still bear the designation "Royal Borough of Kensington"; one such sign, in Portobello Road, is seen fleetingly in the Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971).

The Town Hall in Kensington High Street was an Italianate building dating from 1880 designed by Robert Walker. It was demolished "in controversial circumstances" in June 1982.[2]

Coat of arms[edit]

The coat of arms is derived from those of the former Lords of the Manor, and that of the parish church, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.[3]

Area and population[edit]

The Kensington borough covered 2,291 acres (9.3 km2) once part of Kensal New Town (a detached part of Chelsea before 1901) became incorporated. The population of Kensington recorded in the Census, which excludes Kensal New Town before 1901, was:

Year[4] 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901
Population 8,556 10,886 14,428 20,902 26,834 44,053 70,108 120,299 163,151 166,308 176,628


  1. ^ "The King has been pleased to direct Letters Patent to be passed under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, granting the title Royal to the Metropolitan Borough of Kensington, and ordaining and declaring that the said Borough shall henceforth be called and styled the Royal Borough of Kensington, and the Council for the Borough The Mayor, Aldermen, and Councillors of the Royal Borough of Kensington." The London Gazette: no. 27378. p. 7472. 19 November 1901.
  2. ^ Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea website
  3. ^ (Civic Heraldry) accessed 15 Jan 2008
  4. ^ Statistical Abstract for London, 1901 (Vol. IV); Census tables for Metropolitan Borough of Kensington

Further reading[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′08″N 0°11′42″W / 51.5021°N 0.1951°W / 51.5021; -0.1951