West Kensington is an area on the western edge of Central London primarily located within the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, encompassing some western areas of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, located 3.4 miles (5.5 km) west of Charing Cross. West Kensington, the London postal area of W14 is roughly defined as the area between Brook Green & Hammersmith Road to the west, Fulham to the south, Shepherd's Bush to the north and Kensington to the east.
- 1 Residential
- 2 Demographics
- 3 Locale
- 4 Location in context
- 5 Commercial/education
- 6 Notable people
- 7 Transport
- 8 Nearest tube stations
- 9 Nearest locations and places of interest
- 10 Cultural associations
- 11 Future Redevelopment of Earl's Court including the West Kensington & Gibbs Green Estates
- 12 References
- 13 External links
West Kensington is primarily a residential area consisting mainly of Victorian terraced houses, many of which are subdivided into flats. There are excellent examples of Victorian architecture, with several houses and some entire streets listed - including the imposing mansion blocks of Fitzgeorge Avenue (off North End Road) and the mansion blocks around Avonmore Road including, Glyn Mansions (Built 1897), Avonmore Mansions and Avonmore Gardens (Built 1893) which is located next to the new Kensington Village development. West Kensington Court was purpose built and completed in 1938 with a view of providing what was considered at the time luxury flats for young professionals and families wishing to get away from the older style properties. There are also a number of ex-local and local authority buildings around the North End Road, including the recently renovated Lytton Estate. Many of these buildings have been sold off to first-time buyers and young professionals. A more recent private development, St Paul's Court, was built in 1980 on the former site of St Paul's School.
West Kensington is a cosmopolitan enclave, with significant local population diversity. There is a significant population of Arabs, Americans, Australians and New Zealanders together with Irish, other mainland Europeans - Italian, Spanish, and French, for some of whom private schools operating in their native languages can be found around Brook Green. The area also has a large student population, given its close proximity to Imperial College London, Charing Cross Hospital, South Kensington, Hammersmith and other Central London Universities.
West Kensington has a major advantage in its location. An influx of spill-over wealth from Kensington (W8) means that the area has experienced significant developments including the opening of more speciality shops, eateries and gastropubs. West Kensington straddles the border between the boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea. Although it is true that the area has not experienced the same level of investment and rejuvenation as its neighbours Earl's Court and Fulham, new building and renovation work is ongoing. W14 had become the first London postcode to not have a post office — however an agreement was reached with North End News in February 2009 to provide a post office counter; the Shepherd's Bush Road post office is, however on the W14 / W6 boundary.
Location in context
||Shepherds Bush & Hammersmith||Shepherds Bush & Notting Hill||Notting Hill & Holland Park|
|Fulham & Hammersmith||Fulham & Earl's Court||Earl's Court & South Kensington|
Local business consists of small shops, offices and restaurants, with the Olympia Exhibition Centre nearby. Indeed, it is the mix of local shops that give the area its character.
There are several pubs and hotels, including The Albion public house which is reputedly haunted. The Baron's Court Theatre is also located in basement of "The Curtains Up" bar and restaurant.
The Carnival Store is a famous fancy dress and costume shop located in the same premises on Hammersmith Road and family owned for the past 40 years.
Avonmore Road has become home to Kensington Village. Kensington Village was built in the 1880s as Whiteleys Furniture Depositories, laundry and stables. Whiteleys was London's first department store, based in Westbourne Grove. The Warwick Building, a vast high-ceilinged space, was used to store Whiteleys-sourced furnishings for wealthy folk who were spending time in the colonies, such as grand pianos, chaise longues, oriental room dividers and mahogany garderobes. Kensington Village now comprises a blend of modernised Victorian buildings, such as the Warwick Building and modern new buildings such as the Pembroke Building, built in a similar style to Warwick, with London stock brick and red lintels and full height glazing. There is a cafe gym and lawn in the centre of the complex. Occupiers in the complex include Publicis the French advertising company that are marketing their offices through Frost Meadowcroft, RDF Media and CACI. West Kensington is also home to the Cardinal Vaughan School, the St James Independent School for Junior Boys and Girls and St James Independent School for Senior Girls.
- Edward Burne-Jones, artist, resided at the Grange, North End Crescent, West Kensington.
- William Crathern, composer, was organist of St Mary's, West Kensington (at that time known as "North End").
- Edward Elgar, composer, lived at 51 Avonmore Road, W14, 1890–1891.
- Peg Entwistle, Broadway actress whose 1932 suicide from atop the Hollywood Sign forever tagged her as "The Hollywood Sign Girl", had her earliest childhood at 53 Comeragh Road.
- Estelle, rapper, was born and raised in West Kensington; her song "1980" was written about growing up in the area.
- Marcus Garvey, Pan Africanist, founder of the Black Star Line shipping company and the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League, lived and died in West Kensington.
- Mahatma Gandhi, lived on 20 Barons Court Road (West Kensington) while studying law.
- Henry Rider Haggard, author, lived for several years in Gunterstone Road and wrote King Solomon's Mines and She while there.
- Stephen Hester, chief executive, Royal Bank of Scotland
- Gustav Holst, composer, music director at St Paul's Girls School, an independent school on the south side of Brook Green, 1905–1934; for his pupils he wrote the St Paul's and Brook Green suites, the latter being his last composition in 1933; girls from St.Paul's formed the choir at the first public performance of Neptune from the suite The Planets.
- James Hunt, Formula 1 champion, lived in Normand Mews, 1980–82.
- James MacLaren, architect, designed 22 and 22A Avonmore Road for sculptor HR Pinker.
- Freddie Mercury, rock singer, and Mary Austin lived at 100 Holland Road, W14.
- Queen (band) shared a flat at 36 Sinclair Road.
- Sir John Tenniel (1820–1914), artist and cartoonist, lived at 52 FitzGeorge Avenue, West Kensington until his death on 25 February 1914.
- William Butler Yeats lived in Edith Villas with his family in 1867.
- Tube: Six separate Tube lines are within a 5 to 15 minute walk of West Kensington.
In the area:
- West Kensington (District line)
- Barons Court (District line and Piccadilly line)
- Kensington (Olympia) (District line)
In areas surrounding it:
- Earls Court
- High Street Kensington
- Fulham Broadway
- West Brompton
- Gloucester Road
- Goldhawk Road
- Shepherd's Bush
West Kensington Station, the District line branch (running between Kensington Olympia-Earl's Court-Kensington High Street), Piccadilly line from Barons Court/Earl's Court, Circle and District line from High Street Kensington, Hammersmith & City line from Hammersmith tube station, and the Central line from Shepherd's Bush and Holland Park.
- Overground: The London Overground is available from Kensington (Olympia) station and Shepherd's Bush.
- Bus: Several Bus routes are available in the area including the 9, 10, 27, 28, 49, 391 and C1. Along Hammersmith Road, there are numerous buses linking the area to Paddington, Hammersmith, Chiswick, Notting Hill, Oxford Street, Aldwych, King's Cross and Trafalgar Square. The N9 bus also runs from Olympia to Heathrow via Isleworth and West Middlesex Hospital.
- Road: West Kensington is also conveniently located close to the A4 (West Cromwell Road) with links to the West and Heathrow and High Street Kensington with links to the Central London/West End.
Nearest tube stations
- West Kensington
- Barons Court
- Kensington (Olympia)
- Earl's Court (Exhibition Entrance)
- High Street Kensington
- West Brompton
Nearest locations and places of interest
- Queen's Club - home to The Queen's Club Championships
- Olympia Exhibition Centre
- Sotheby's central London sales room is located at the Olympia
- Blythe House stores and off-site facilities for Victoria & Albert, Science and British Museums
- North End Road Market
- Charing Cross Hospital
- Earls Court Exhibition Centre
- Kensington High Street
- Holland Park
- Hyde Park
- Fulham Broadway
- Hammersmith Broadway
- Hammersmith Apollo
- Westfield London
In the film Trainspotting, the flat that Renton shows the young couple around when he gets the job as an estate agent and ultimately stashes Begbie and Sickboy in is 78A North End Road, opposite West Kensington tube station.
The Nashville Rooms, now the Famous Three Kings pub, hosted many rock and punk concerts in the 1970s and early 1980s. Joy Division, The Sex Pistols and The Police all played there regularly.
The flat featured in the 1969 BBC series 'Take Three Girls' was at 17 Glazbury Road.
Future Redevelopment of Earl's Court including the West Kensington & Gibbs Green Estates
The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea have resolved to grant outline planning permission for Sir Terry Farrell's Masterplan for the Earl's Court Project. As the Earls Court Project would bring considerable benefits to the area, it was recognised by the Mayor’s London Plan as an Opportunity Area in July 2011. The project, expected to span 15-20 years, would involve the redevlopment of the land around the Earl's Court Exhibition Centres and the West Kensington & Gibb's Green Estate. The proposals include the redevelopment and creation of four new village centres around North End Road, West Kensington, West Brompton and Earl's Court.
- Campaigners put post office back on the map in Olympia
- Melbury Road, Leighton House, and the Holland Park Artists' Houses
- The Elgar Trail
- The Hollywood Sign Girl
- New Royal Bank of Scotland Boss Hired
- Telegraph Article "Colourful Past" Nos 7&8 Normand Mews
- Olympia and Avonmore Character profile, London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
- L. Perry Curtis Jr, "Tenniel, Sir John (1820–1914)" Retrieved 25 February 2014, pay-walled.
- New York Times WB Yeats "A Life"
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy film locations
- Daily Brendan Gunn - Dialogue Coach Article
- W14 Community Site
- The Queen's Club
- Aegon Championships
- Earl's Court & Olympia
- My Earl's Court Website