This area of Notting Hill's northern corner has changed dramatically over its history. The area was part of the Great Forest of Middlesex; in 1543 the land was seized by Henry VIII and by the 18th century Golborne was farmland.
Golborne Road was named after Dean Golbourne, at one time vicar of St. John's Church in Paddington. Until the middle of the 19th century it was no more than a country footpath crossing the fields of Portobello Farm, but in 1870 the road was widened, shops were built and the road was extended over the railway.
The Golborne Road area is sometimes known as "Little Morocco" due to the number of Moroccan restaurants and shops selling Maghrebian products located along the road. The road also has renown in the Portuguese community for the two Portuguese pâtisseries at one end, Cafe d'Oporto and Lisboa Patisserie.
The junction of Golborne Road and Southam Street was the site of the murder of Antiguan immigrant Kelso Cochrane in 1959, an attack widely viewed as racially motivated. His killers were never caught. In 2009 a blue plaque was erected at the site of the murder.
Golborne Road hosts a street market every day except Sunday, specialising in produce with hot food and bric-a-brac at the weekend. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea began a process of consultation on the future of the market and associated amenities in 2005; the consultants' initial report is available here.
Several scenes in Menelik Shabazz's 1981 film Burning an Illusion were filmed on the road, including one in the Grassroots bookshop,which has since closed. It is also prominent in Hanif Kureishi's 1991 film London Kills Me.
- Jennifer Joyce, "Moorish and mouthwatering", The Daily Telegraph|The Telegraph]], 5 October 2002.
- "Kelso Cochrane 1927–1959 Antiguan carpenter and student, was fatally wounded on this site. His death outraged and unified the community, leading to the lasting cosmopolitan tradition in this area of North Kensington". Open Plaques. 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
- Golborne Life, the community website for the Golborne Road area