Brompton is a historic area of London, formerly in the county of Middlesex. It now lies within the boundaries of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and notionally fans out west and southward from the City of Westminster boundary in Knightsbridge. It encompasses Brompton Square, along Kensington Gore, down Queen's Gate, and along Brompton Road, into South Kensington, then from Walton Street, into the Fulham Road up to its boundary with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, then back along the Cromwell Road/Queen's Gate through Gloucester Road along the area adjacent to Old Brompton Road. To its north lies the district of Kensington, to its south the district of Chelsea and to the west are the districts of Earl's Court and West Brompton. Its fragmented existence is commemorated chiefly through the names of streets, buildings and a cemetery.
The first recorded mention of Brompton dates back to 1292. It was a rural area which subsequently attracted attention as the story of developments centred along a turnpike road that ran south westward from London through Knightsbridge Green and horticultural Brompton to Little Chelsea and the ancient parish of Fulham on the banks of the Thames and thence over Putney Bridge onto the County of Surrey. Brompton Park Nurseries were founded in 1681 by four leading gardeners, led by George London. In the late 18th century, Carey's map of 1787 shows Brompton as a collection of market gardens. A hundred years later, Charles Dickens, Jr. (eldest child of Charles Dickens) wrote in his 1879 book Dickens's Dictionary of London that "Brompton was at one time almost exclusively the artists' quarter and is still largely frequented by the votaries of the brush and chisel, though of late years Belgravia has been encroaching upon its boundaries, and Belgravian rents are stealing westward."
The gradual fragmentation and overshadowing of Brompton was probably due to two factors: the Great Exhibition of 1851 and the rapid institutional developments in the area, such as museums and colleges; and the arrival of railway transport. The station built in 1868 on the Metropolitan and District Railways to serve the attendant crowds was named South Kensington, not "Brompton", whereas the Brompton Road station did not open till much later in 1906 with the construction of the new Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway. The lack of passengers forced it to close in 1934. Gloucester Road tube station on the other hand, which had opened 1868, was originally called "Gloucester Road, Brompton", but for simplicity dropped the Brompton from its name. Thus, Brompton ceased to be a destination. A nod to Brompton resurfaced eventually with the late 19th-century developments around West Brompton station.
Brompton has been home to many writers and actors, and intellectuals. The Survey of London gives a long list. Its name survives formally to this day, only just, in the shared reference to one of the Council's electoral wards called, "Brompton and Hans Town".
Landmarks "in Brompton"
- The Albert Hall
- Bolton's Theatre Club
- Brompton Oratory
- Gloucester Road tube station
- Holy Trinity Brompton Church
- Imperial College London
- French Institute
- Ishmaili Centre
- Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle
- Natural History Museum
- Paris Pullman Cinema
- Polish Hearth Club
- Royal Brompton Hospital, formerly known as "Brompton Consumption Hospital"
- Royal College of Art
- Royal College of Music
- Royal Marsden Hospital, formerly known as the "New Cancer Hospital"
- Science Museum
- South Kensington tube station
- Victoria and Albert Museum
Notable streets of Brompton
- Beauchamp Place
- The Boltons
- Brompton Road
- Brompton Square
- Drayton Gardens
- Egerton Gardens
- Exhibition Road
- Fulham Road
- Gloucester Road
- Old Brompton Road
- Onslow Square
- Prince Consort Road
- Queen's Gate
- Thurloe Square
Brompton is overlaid by three modern London districts: the eastern part, the Brompton Road and the area adjacent to it (often mistaken for Fulham Road)[clarification needed] is part of Knightsbridge. The central part is actually in South Kensington and the southern end is subsumed under Gloucester Road and parts of Chelsea.
- Brompton Cemetery
- Chelsea Hospital
- Earl's Court
- Fulham Broadway
- Hyde Park
- Kensington Gardens
- Sloane Square
- William Wilberforce (1759-1833), English politician, philanthropist and abolitionist
- Caroline Clive (1801–1873), English writer
- Henry Cole (1808-1882), civil servant, activist, inventor, started the idea of the Christmas card
- Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), French poet
- Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944), Anglo-Irish architect
- Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958), British chemist and X-ray crystallographer who made a ground-breaking contribution to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA
- George Canning (1770-1827), British Tory politician, lived in the area in at least 1809
- "Kensington and Chelsea Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
- Brompton - half-forgotten, on "Hidden London"
- F H W Sheppard, ed. (1983). "British History Online: Brompton Road: Introduction, in Survey of London". London. pp. 1–8. Retrieved 26 April 2019..
- Tames, Richard (2000). Earl's Court and Brompton Past. London: Historical Publications. ISBN 0 948667 63 X.
- Dickens Charles, Jr. (1879). "Brompton". Dickens's Dictionary of London. Retrieved 22 August 2007.
- Tames, Richard. (2000) Earl's Court and Brompton Past. London: Historical Publications. ISBN 0 948667 63 X
-  Survey of London Artists, musicians and writers resident in Brompton, 1790–1870
- Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea list of wards
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