Westbourne Grove
Westbourne Grove is a retail road running across Notting Hill
Notting Hill
Notting Hill is an area in London, England, close to the north-western corner of Kensington Gardens, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea...

, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is a central London borough of Royal borough status. After the City of Westminster, it is the wealthiest borough in England....

, a section of west London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. It runs from Kensington Park Road in the west to Queensway
Queensway (London)
Queensway is a bustling cosmopolitan street in the Bayswater district of west London. It contains many restaurants , pubs, letting agents, and high street stores...

 in the east, crossing over Portobello Road
Portobello Road
Portobello Road is a street in the Notting Hill district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in west London, England. It runs almost the length of Notting Hill from south to north, roughly parallel with Ladbroke Grove. On Saturdays it is home to Portobello Road Market, one of London's...

. It contains a mixture of independent and chain retailers, and has been termed both "fashionable" and "up-and-coming".

The Notting Hill Carnival
Notting Hill Carnival
The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event which since 1964 has taken place on the streets of Notting Hill, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea , London, UK each August, over two days...

 passes along the central part of Westbourne Grove.


There are a number of popular shopping destinations located around Westbourne Grove, such as Ledbury Road, Holland Park Avenue, Portobello Market, and Clarendon Cross. The eastern end of the road, east of Chepstow Road, is currently undergoing a particularly rapid period of transformation, with expiring leases and rising rents forcing out older family businesses to be replaced by trendy restaurants and shops.

When the London magazine Time Out was featuring west London in its 9-16 August 1997 issue, it picked on Westbourne Grove as its representative:

"Seeking a key shopping road symbolic of western aspirations, we decided that preposterously fashionable Westbourne Grove, or "Westbourne Village", has it all. It was here that Madonna headed during breaks in filming "Evita" - to the funky boutiques, the avant-garde florists, the designer jewellery and futuristic furniture (at millennial prices). This is certainly up-and-coming - in terms of price tags that is."

Queensway (London)
Queensway is a bustling cosmopolitan street in the Bayswater district of west London. It contains many restaurants , pubs, letting agents, and high street stores...

 and Westbourne Grove are identified in the London Plan
London Plan
The London Plan is a planning document written by the Mayor of London, England in the United Kingdom and published by the Greater London Authority. The plan was first published in final form on 10 February 2004 and has since been amended. The current version was published in February 2008...

 as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.


The development of Westbourne Grove began in the 1840s and proceeded from the east (which lay in Bayswater
Bayswater is an area of west London in the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to the west . It is a built-up district located 3 miles west-north-west of Charing Cross, bordering the north of Hyde Park over Kensington Gardens and having a population density of...

) to the west, where it became the principal east-west artery into the Ladbroke Estate. The far western end of the street only became known as Westbourne Grove relatively recently in 1938, having previously been called Archer Street. In 1929, the novelist A.J. Cronin opened his own medical practice at 152 Westbourne Grove, which was put up for sale in 2007.

Westbourne Grove takes its name from Westbourne Green - a settlement that developed to the west of the bourne that later took the name River Westbourne
River Westbourne
The River Westbourne is a river in London, England. It flows from Hampstead down through Hyde Park to Sloane Square and into the River Thames at Chelsea...

. This river currently runs underground at Ossington Street
Ossington Street
Ossington Street is a quiet one-way street in London, W2, leading from Moscow Road at its north end to the Bayswater Road / Notting Hill Gate at its south end....

. The area is first recorded in 1222 as Westeburn. Westbourne Green is first recorded as Westborne Grene in 1548. Westbourne Green formed part of the parish of Paddington
Paddington is a district within the City of Westminster, in central London, England. Formerly a metropolitan borough, it was integrated with Westminster and Greater London in 1965...


There was a small settlement to the north of what is now Westbourne Grove at Westbourne Green. It had five main houses. The largest of these was Westbourne Place or Westbourne House, which was rebuilt in 1745 by the architect Isaac Ware as an elegant Georgian mansion of three storeys with a frontage of nine windows divided into three parts. The central third was topped by a large pediment and contained the main door, which also had a pediment over it. The lower two storeys were formed into bays at each end, which contained three windows each. Amongst the well-known residents of this house were Sir William Yorke, baronet; the Venetian ambassador; the architect Samuel Pepys Cockerell
Samuel Pepys Cockerell
Samuel Pepys Cockerell was an English architect. He was the son of John Cockerell, of Bishop's Hull, Somerset, and the brother of Sir Charles Cockerell, 1st Baronet, for whom he designed the house he is best known for, Sezincote House, Gloucestershire, where the uniquely Orientalizing features...

 (a great great nephew of the diarist Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys FRS, MP, JP, was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament who is now most famous for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man...

); and the General Commander in Chief of the Army, Viscount Hill, who left in 1836 (and who gave his name to the modern road bridge north of Westbourne Grove called Lord Hill's Bridge). The house was demolished in 1836 to make way for the houses and gardens of what is now Westbourne Park Villas. Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy, OM was an English novelist and poet. While his works typically belong to the Naturalism movement, several poems display elements of the previous Romantic and Enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural.While he regarded himself primarily as a...

 lived in this area, mainly at no 16 Westbourne Park Villas, which was his home 1863-67.

Also north of what is now Westbourne Grove was Westbourne Farm which was the home, between 1815 - 1817, of the actress Sarah Siddons
Sarah Siddons
Sarah Siddons was a Welsh actress, the best-known tragedienne of the 18th century. She was the elder sister of John Philip Kemble, Charles Kemble, Stephen Kemble, Ann Hatton and Elizabeth Whitlock, and the aunt of Fanny Kemble. She was most famous for her portrayal of the Shakespearean character,...

, who lived there with her daughter. The Farm was at the point where the Harrow Road, the Westway and the canal converge. Mrs Siddons was buried at St Mary's Church, the main church of Paddington, on Paddington Green, where her grave can still be seen.

Though now popular and expensive for home-buyers, much of the area become run-down in the 1950s when it was the centre of the activities of Peter Rachman
Peter Rachman
Peter Rachman was a London landlord in the Notting Hill area in the 1950s and 1960s. He became so notorious for his exploitation of tenants that the word "Rachmanism" entered the OED as a synonym for any greedy, unscrupulous landlord.-Career:Rachman was born Perec Rachman in Lvov, Poland in 1919,...

, the notorious slum-landlord after whom the phrase "Rachmanism" was coined. He was known for his violent evictions of tenants with legally-fixed rents. He replaced them, in what became overcrowded multi-occupied housing, with people, mainly recent migrants from the West Indies, who, because of discrimination and council tenant restrictions, could not find accommodation. He operated from an office in Westbourne Grove. Part of the area, including streets between Ledbury Rd & Shrewsbury Road to the south of Westbourne Park Road, became derelict and was consequently compulsorily purchased and demolished .

Notting Hill Post Office, in Westbourne Grove, finally closed in a storm of controversy during early 2005. However, the Royal Mail retained its sorting office
Sorting office
Sorting office or Processing and Distribution Center is any location where postal operators bring mail after collection for sorting into batches for delivery to the addressee, which may be a direct delivery or sent onwards to another regional or local sorting office, or to another postal...

on the site.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.