Bayswater from a Hallfield Estate tower block rooftop, looking south towards Kensington Gardens.
Bayswater shown within Greater London
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Cities of London and Westminster|
Bayswater is an area within the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in central London. It is a built-up district located 4 km (about 2.5 miles) west-north-west of Charing Cross, bordering the north of Kensington Gardens and having a population density of 17,500 per square kilometre.
Bayswater is one of London's most cosmopolitan areas: a diverse local population is augmented by a high concentration of hotels. As well as the native English there are many other nationalities: in particular there is a significant Arab population, a large Greek community (attracted by St Sophia's Cathedral, Moscow Road – London's Greek Orthodox Cathedral), many Americans and London's biggest Brazilian community.
The area has attractive streets and garden squares lined with Victorian stucco terraces, mostly now subdivided into flats and boarding houses. The property ranges from very expensive apartments to small studio flats. There are also purpose-built apartment blocks dating from the inter-war period as well as more recent developments, and a large council estate, the 650-flat Hallfield Estate, designed by Sir Denys Lasdun and now largely sold off.
The land now called Bayswater belonged to the Abbey of Westminster when the Domesday Book was compiled; the most considerable tenant under the abbot was Bainiardus, probably the same Norman associate of the Conqueror who gave his name to Baynard's Castle. The descent of the land held by him cannot be clearly traced: but his name long remained attached to part of it; and, as late as the year 1653, a parliamentary grant of the Abbey or Chapter lands describes "the common field at Paddington" as being "near a place commonly called Baynard's Watering." In 1720, the lands of the Dean and Chapter are described to be the occupation of Alexander Bond, of Bear's Watering, in the same parish of Paddington. It may therefore fairly be concluded that this portion of ground, always remarkable for its springs of excellent water, once supplied water to Baynard, his household, or his cattle; that the memory of his name was preserved in the neighbourhood for six centuries; and that his watering-place now takes the abbreviated name Bayswater.
- Damon Albarn
- Brett Anderson
- Mike Atherton
- J. M. Barrie, playwright and novelist, author of Peter Pan, and his wife Mary née Ansell, at 100 Bayswater Road
- Tony Blair
- Winston Churchill
- Jeremy Clarkson
- A. J. Cronin
- Ade Edmondson
- Roger C. Field, inventor and designer whose first home was flat D, 15 Cleveland Square
- Alexander Fleming
- Mariella Frostrup
- Ferdinand de Géramb
- Reginald Gray (Irish artist) lived with his wife Catherine at 105a Queensway from 1958 to 1963. After their divorce in 1975 Catherine married jazzman Chris Barber.
- J. B. Gunn, physicist, lived with his mother, the Freudian psychoanalyst L. F. Gunn / Grey-Clarke, at 14 Durham Terrace, in the 1940s
- Alice Hart-Davis
- Luigi Sturzo Catholic priest and politician. One of the fathers of Christian democracy and a founder of the Italian Peoples Party
- Paul Johnson (writer)
- Dylan Jones
- Jonathan King
- Keira Knightley
- Guglielmo Marconi (the pioneer of wireless communication) lived at 71 Hereford Road between 1896 and 1897 with his mother upon arrival in England (marked by a Blue Plaque)
- Rik Mayall
- Stella McCartney
- Dermot O'Leary
- Irfan Orga (exile, writer) lived at 29, 35 and 21 Inverness Terrace from 1942 until the mid fifties, publishing his memoirs Portrait of a Turkish Family in 1950.
- Jennifer Saunders
- Paul Simonon
- Sting occupied a basement flat at 28A Leinster Square in the late seventies during the formative years of The Police. Trudie Styler, now his wife, lived in a basement flat two doors down.
- John Tenniel, artist and cartoonist, was born at 22 Gloucester Place, New Road, Bayswater on 28 February 1820.
- Tim Dry has lived in Bayswater since the early 1980s.
Various persons of international renown are frequently reported as buying property in the area, including Claudia Schiffer.
Currently, all six are of the Conservative Party, with the Bayswater Ward showing a more than 250-vote Conservative majority (over the Liberal Democrats) and Lancaster Gate being a safe Conservative ward.
Nearest tube stations
Places of interest
- Whiteleys Shopping Centre
- Marble Arch
- Hyde Park
- St Sophia's Cathedral
- Opus Dei UK headquarters
- The Mitre, Bayswater
References in fiction
- In John le Carré's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Liz is a member of the Bayswater South Branch of the Communist Party.
- In le Carré's Smiley's People, the retired Russian major lives in a dingy flat on Westbourne Grove.
- Many of the characters in Samuel Selvon's novel The Lonely Londoners live in Bayswater.
- The Alfred Hitchcock film Frenzy was filmed in the area.
- In Martin Amis's Success, the two main characters live together in a flat in Bayswater, which he calls 'the district of transients.'
- In Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Bracknell indicates that the perambulator (carrying Jack, as a baby) was found "standing by itself in a remote corner of Bayswater".
- In Saki's short story "Cross Currents" (1909), Vanessa Pennington lives on a "Bayswater back street" but would have preferred "smarter surroundings."
- In Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited, Charles Ryder's father lives in Bayswater.
- Whiteleys is frequently seen in film, e.g. Love Actually, Closer, and was referred to in My Fair Lady as Eliza Doolittle is sent "to Whiteleys to be attired" in Pygmalion. It also has Princess Productions' studios on the top floor.
- Scenes in Alfie (1966) were filmed around Chepstow Road.
- The main character in Iris Murdoch's novel A Word Child, Hilary Burde, has a "flatlet" near Bayswater Tube Station.
- Scenes in The Black Windmill refer to, and were filmed around, the area.
- In the Italian comics series Dylan Dog the main character lives in Craven Road.
- Nick Jenkins meets Uncle Giles for tea at the Ufford Hotel, "riding at anchor on the sluggish Bayswater tide", in The Acceptance World (1955), volume three of A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell.
- The Poisonous Seed a novel by Linda Stratmann is set almost entirely in Victorian Bayswater.
- In Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation Series, her character Eloise Kelly lives in Bayswater while writing her doctoral thesis.
- In reference to the Bayswater river, refer to River Westbourne
- Aeroford – automobile manufactured in Bayswater
- Leinster Gardens – a false façade on this street hides a London Underground line from view
- Craven Hill Gardens
- "London's Places" (PDF). London Plan. Greater London Authority. 2011. p. 46. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
-  observer.guardian.co.uk
- L. Perry Curtis jun., ‘Tenniel, Sir John (1820–1914)’ Retrieved 25 February 2014, pay-walled.
- "Westminster.gov.UK: Bayswater Ward profile" (PDF). Bayswater Ward's councillors, boundary map and demographics. Westminster City Council. July 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Westminster.gov.UK: Lancaster Gate Ward profile" (PDF). Lancaster Gate Ward's councillors, boundary map and demographics. Westminster City Council. July 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- Media related to Bayswater at Wikimedia Commons