Kensington

Kensington

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Kensington is a district of west and central London
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
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...

 within 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....

. An affluent and densely-populated area, its commercial heart is Kensington High Street
Kensington High Street
Kensington High Street is the main shopping street in Kensington, west London. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London....

, and it contains the well-known museum district of South Kensington
South Kensington
South Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. It is a built-up area located 2.4 miles west south-west of Charing Cross....

.

To the north, Kensington is bordered by 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...

; to the east, by Brompton
Brompton, Kensington
Brompton is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is roughly defined by a triangle formed by the Brompton Cemetery, Old Brompton Road/Brompton Road and Walton Street/Fulham Road.-Development:...

 and Knightsbridge
Knightsbridge
Knightsbridge is a road which gives its name to an exclusive district lying to the west of central London. The road runs along the south side of Hyde Park, west from Hyde Park Corner, spanning the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea...

; to the south, by Chelsea
Chelsea, London
Chelsea is an area of West London, England, bounded to the south by the River Thames, where its frontage runs from Chelsea Bridge along the Chelsea Embankment, Cheyne Walk, Lots Road and Chelsea Harbour. Its eastern boundary was once defined by the River Westbourne, which is now in a pipe above...

 and Earl's Court; and to the west, by Hammersmith
Hammersmith
Hammersmith is an urban centre in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in west London, England, in the United Kingdom, approximately five miles west of Charing Cross on the north bank of the River Thames...

 and Shepherd's Bush
Shepherd's Bush
-Commerce:Commercial activity in Shepherd's Bush is now focused on the Westfield shopping centre next to Shepherd's Bush Central line station and on the many small shops which run along the northern side of the Green....

.

Name


The area is first mentioned in the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

 of 1086, where it was written in Latin as "Chenesitone", which has been interpreted to have originally been "Kenesignetun" (Kenesigne's land or meadows) in Anglo-Saxon
Old English language
Old English or Anglo-Saxon is an early form of the English language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons and their descendants in parts of what are now England and southeastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century...

.

History



The manor of Kensington, Middlesex
Middlesex
Middlesex is one of the historic counties of England and the second smallest by area. The low-lying county contained the wealthy and politically independent City of London on its southern boundary and was dominated by it from a very early time...

, was granted by William I of England
William I of England
William I , also known as William the Conqueror , was the first Norman King of England from Christmas 1066 until his death. He was also Duke of Normandy from 3 July 1035 until his death, under the name William II...

 to Geoffrey de Montbray
Geoffrey de Montbray
Geoffrey de Montbray , bishop of Coutances , a right-hand man of William the Conqueror, was a type of the great feudal prelate, warrior and administrator at need....

 or Mowbray, bishop of Coutances, one of his inner circle of advisors and one of the wealthiest men in post-Conquest England. He in turn granted the tenancy of Kensington to his vassal Aubrey de Vere I
Aubrey de Vere I
Aubrey de Vere was a tenant-in-chief of William the Conqueror in 1086 and also vassal to Geoffrey de Montbray, bishop of Coutances and to Count Alan, lord of Richmond. A much later source named his father as Alphonsus...

, who was holding the manor in 1086, according to Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

. The bishop's heir, Robert de Mowbray, rebelled against William Rufus and his vast barony was declared forfeit. Aubrey de Vere I
Aubrey de Vere I
Aubrey de Vere was a tenant-in-chief of William the Conqueror in 1086 and also vassal to Geoffrey de Montbray, bishop of Coutances and to Count Alan, lord of Richmond. A much later source named his father as Alphonsus...

 had his tenure converted to a tenancy in-chief, holding Kensington after 1095 directly of the crown. He granted land and church there to Abingdon Abbey
Abingdon Abbey
Abingdon Abbey was a Benedictine monastery also known as St Mary's Abbey located in Abingdon, historically in the county of Berkshire but now in Oxfordshire, England.-History:...

 at the deathbed request of his young eldest son, Geoffrey. As the Veres became the earls of Oxford, their estate at Kensington came to be known as Earls Court, while the Abingdon lands were called Abbots Kensington and the church St Mary Abbots
St Mary Abbots
St Mary Abbots is an historic church located on Kensington High Street , London at a prominent intersection with Kensington Church Street. The present church was built in 1872 by the architect Sir George Gilbert Scott in neo-Gothic Early English style. It was the latest in a succession of churches...

.

Geography



The focus of the area is Kensington High Street
Kensington High Street
Kensington High Street is the main shopping street in Kensington, west London. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London....

, a busy commercial centre with many shops, typically upmarket. The street was declared London's second best shopping street in February 2005 thanks to its range and number of shops. However since October 2008 the street has faced competition from the Westfield
Westfield London
Westfield London is a shopping centre in White City in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. The centre was developed by the Westfield Group at a cost of £1.6bn,...

 shopping centre at White City. The heritage bus service on route 9
London Buses route 9 (Heritage)
London Buses route 9 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to First Centrewest.It is a short working of the standard route 9...

, using Routemasters, was extended to Kensington High Street in November 2010 at the Council
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....

's urging, partly to boost the number of visitors to the High Street.

Kensington's second activity centre is South Kensington
South Kensington
South Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. It is a built-up area located 2.4 miles west south-west of Charing Cross....

, where a variety of small shops are clustered close to South Kensington tube station
South Kensington tube station
South Kensington is a London Underground station in Kensington, west London. It is served by the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines. On the District and Circle lines, the station is between Gloucester Road and Sloane Square, and on the Piccadilly Line, it is between Gloucester Road and...

. This is also the southern end of Exhibition Road
Exhibition Road
Exhibition Road is a street in South Kensington, London, forming a semi-border between the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster...

, the thoroughfare that serves the area's museums and educational institutions.

The edges of Kensington are not well-defined; in particular, the southern part of Kensington blurs into Chelsea, which has a similar architectural style. To the west, a transition is made across the West London railway line
West London Line
The West London Line is a short railway in inner West London which links lines at in the south to lines near Willesden Junction in the north. It has always been an important cross-London link especially for freight services...

 and Earl's Court Road further south into other districts, whilst to the north, the only obvious dividing line is Holland Park Avenue, to the north of which is the similar district of Notting Hill.

In the north east, the large Royal Park
Royal Parks of London
The Royal Parks of London are lands originally owned by the monarchy of the United Kingdom for the recreation of the royal family...

 of Kensington Gardens
Kensington Gardens
Kensington Gardens, once the private gardens of Kensington Palace, is one of the Royal Parks of London, lying immediately to the west of Hyde Park. It is shared between the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The park covers an area of 111 hectares .The open spaces...

 (contiguous with its eastern neighbour, Hyde Park
Hyde Park, London
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London, United Kingdom, and one of the Royal Parks of London, famous for its Speakers' Corner.The park is divided in two by the Serpentine...

) is an obvious buffer between Kensington and areas to the north east. The other main green area in Kensington is Holland Park
Holland Park
Holland Park is a district and a public park in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in west central London, England.Holland Park has a reputation as an affluent and fashionable area, known for attractive large Victorian townhouses, and high-class shopping and restaurants...

, just north of Kensington High Street, whilst Kensington has numerous small residential garden squares.

While South Kensington can be regarded as a part of Kensington, the districts of North Kensington
North Kensington
North Kensington is an area of west London lying north of Notting Hill Gate and south of Harrow Road.North Kensington is the key neighbourhood of Notting Hill...

 and West Kensington
West Kensington, London
- Commercial/education :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....

 are regarded as distinct from Kensington. North Kensington is separated from Kensington by Notting Hill. West Kensington is separated from Kensington by the West London railway line.

Kensington is, in general, an extremely affluent area, a trait that it now shares with its neighbour to the south, Chelsea. The area has some of London's most expensive streets and garden squares, including Edwardes Square, Earls Terrace - an exclusive redevelopment of Georgian Houses, The Phillimores, and Wycombe Square - a new build development done to a very high standard. In early 2007, houses sold in Upper Phillimore Gardens for in excess of £20 million. Additionally, most neighbouring districts are regarded as exclusive residential areas, including Knightsbridge
Knightsbridge
Knightsbridge is a road which gives its name to an exclusive district lying to the west of central London. The road runs along the south side of Hyde Park, west from Hyde Park Corner, spanning the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea...

 and Brompton
Brompton, Kensington
Brompton is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is roughly defined by a triangle formed by the Brompton Cemetery, Old Brompton Road/Brompton Road and Walton Street/Fulham Road.-Development:...

 to the east and the nearest parts of Notting Hill to the north. To the west is the less affluent but up-and-coming area of Earl's Court.

Kensington is also very densely populated; it forms part of the most densely populated local government district (the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea) in the United Kingdom. This high density is not formed from high-rise buildings; instead, it has come about through the subdivision of large mid-rise Victorian and Georgian terraced houses (generally of some four to six floors) into flats. Unlike other parts of the Borough, Kensington itself has almost no high-rise buildings - the exception being Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn is a brand of hotels, formally a economy motel chain, forming part of the British InterContinental Hotels Group . It is one of the world's largest hotel chains with 238,440 bedrooms and 1,301 hotels globally. There are currently 5 hotels in the pipeline...

's London Kensington Forum Hotel in Cromwell Road
Cromwell Road
Cromwell Road is a major road in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, and is designated part of the A4. It was created in the 19th century and is named after Oliver Cromwell....

, a 27-storey building.

Notable attractions and institutions in Kensington (or South Kensington) include: Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. It has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century and is the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and...

 in Kensington Gardens, the Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall situated on the northern edge of the South Kensington area, in the City of Westminster, London, England, best known for holding the annual summer Proms concerts since 1941....

 opposite the Albert Memorial
Albert Memorial
The Albert Memorial is situated in Kensington Gardens, London, England, directly to the north of the Royal Albert Hall. It was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband, Prince Albert who died of typhoid in 1861. The memorial was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the...

 in Hyde Park, the Royal College of Music
Royal College of Music
The Royal College of Music is a conservatoire founded by Royal Charter in 1882, located in South Kensington, London, England.-Background:The first director was Sir George Grove and he was followed by Sir Hubert Parry...

, the Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is one of three large museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, England . Its main frontage is on Cromwell Road...

, the Science Museum
Science Museum (London)
The Science Museum is one of the three major museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is part of the National Museum of Science and Industry. The museum is a major London tourist attraction....

, the Victoria and Albert Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum , set in the Brompton district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects...

, Heythrop College
Heythrop College
Heythrop College is the specialist philosophy and theology constituent college of the University of London situated in Kensington Square, Kensington, London. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in philosophy, theology and psychology, as well as research in related fields.It was founded...

, Imperial College, London, the Royal College of Art
Royal College of Art
The Royal College of Art is an art school located in London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s only wholly postgraduate university of art and design, offering the degrees of Master of Arts , Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy...

 and Kensington and Chelsea College
Kensington and Chelsea College
Kensington and Chelsea College is a provider of education and training in west London, United Kingdom. The college is rated “Good” by the OFSTED inspectorate.- Admissions:...

. The Olympia exhibition hall is just over the western border in West Kensington
West Kensington, London
- Commercial/education :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....

.

Administration



Kensington is part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and lies within the Kensington parliamentary constituency
Kensington (UK Parliament constituency)
Kensington is a parliamentary constituency in the Parliament of the United Kingdom in west London, comprising the northern and central parts of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, around Kensington...

. Prior to 1965 Kensington formed the Royal Borough of Kensington
Metropolitan Borough of Kensington
The Metropolitan Borough of Kensington was a Metropolitan borough in the County of London from 1900 to 1965.It bordered Chelsea, Fulham, Hammersmith, Paddington, and Westminster...

, and some residents objected to the merger with Chelsea, formerly an inexpensive and bohemian borough compared with the fashionable Royal Borough.

Economy



The head office of Daily Mail and General Trust
Daily Mail and General Trust
Daily Mail and General Trust plc is a British media conglomerate, one of the largest in Europe. In the UK, it has interests in national and regional newspapers, television and radio. The company has extensive activities based outside the UK, through Northcliffe Media, DMG Radio Australia, DMG World...

 is located in the Northcliffe House in Kensington. In addition to housing the DMGT head office, the building also houses the offices of The Independent
The Independent
The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily...

series, Daily Mail
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...

, Mail on Sunday, Evening Standard
Evening Standard
The Evening Standard, now styled the London Evening Standard, is a free local daily newspaper, published Monday–Friday in tabloid format in London. It is the dominant regional evening paper for London and the surrounding area, with coverage of national and international news and City of London...

, and Metro.

Sonangol Limited, a subsidiary of the Sonangol Group
Sonangol Group
Group Sonangol is a parastatal that oversees petroleum and natural gas production in Angola. Sonangol actually had become a fundraising machine of government. The group consists of Sonangol EP and its many subsidiaries...

, has its head office in the Merevale House in Kensington.

Transport


Kensington is crossed east-west by three main roads, the most important of which is the A4 or Cromwell Road which connects it to both Central London
Central London
Central London is the innermost part of London, England. There is no official or commonly accepted definition of its area, but its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally,...

 and Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport or Heathrow , in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the third busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger traffic, handling more international passengers than any other airport around the globe...

. To the north is the mostly parallel Kensington Road (of which Kensington High Street forms a large part), linking central London and Hammersmith to the area. To the south is Fulham Road, which connects South Kensington with Fulham
Fulham
Fulham is an area of southwest London in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, SW6 located south west of Charing Cross. It lies on the left bank of the Thames, between Putney and Chelsea. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London...

 to the southwest. North-south connections are not as well-developed and there is no obvious single north-south route through the area.

Kensington is well served by public transport
Public transport
Public transport is a shared passenger transportation service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, car pooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement.Public transport modes include buses, trolleybuses, trams...

. Most of Kensington is served by three stations located in the Travelcard Zone 1
Travelcard Zone 1
Fare zone 1 is the central zone of Transport for London's zonal fare system used for calculating the price of tickets for travel on the London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway and, since 2007, on National Rail services. For most tickets, travel through the zone is charged...

: High Street Kensington
High Street Kensington tube station
High Street Kensington is a London Underground station at Kensington High Street.The station is on the Circle Line between Gloucester Road and Notting Hill Gate, and the District Line between Earl's Court and Notting Hill Gate. It is in Travelcard Zone 1....

, Gloucester Road
Gloucester Road tube station
-Deep-level station:By the beginning of the 20th century, the MDR had been extended to Richmond, Ealing Broadway, Hounslow West and Wimbledon in the west and to New Cross Gate in the east...

 and South Kensington
South Kensington tube station
South Kensington is a London Underground station in Kensington, west London. It is served by the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines. On the District and Circle lines, the station is between Gloucester Road and Sloane Square, and on the Piccadilly Line, it is between Gloucester Road and...

. All three are served by the Circle Line which connects them to London's railway terminals. The District Line
District Line
The District line is a line of the London Underground, coloured green on the Tube map. It is a "sub-surface" line, running through the central area in shallow cut-and-cover tunnels. It is the busiest of the sub-surface lines. Out of the 60 stations served, 25 are underground...

 also serves all three stations, albeit on different branches; it links the latter two to Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

 and the City
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

. The Piccadilly Line
Piccadilly Line
The Piccadilly line is a line of the London Underground, coloured dark blue on the Tube map. It is the fifth busiest line on the Underground network judged by the number of passengers transported per year. It is mainly a deep-level line, running from the north to the west of London via Zone 1, with...

 also links South Kensington and Gloucester Road to the West End
West End of London
The West End of London is an area of central London, containing many of the city's major tourist attractions, shops, businesses, government buildings, and entertainment . Use of the term began in the early 19th century to describe fashionable areas to the west of Charing Cross...

 in about 10 minutes, and in the other direction to Heathrow Airport in about 40 minutes. In addition Kensington (Olympia) in Travelcard Zone 2
Travelcard Zone 2
Fare zone 2 is an inner zone of Transport for London's zonal fare system used for calculating the price of tickets for travel on the London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway and, since 2007, on National Rail services.-Background:...

 serves the western part of Kensington, with District Line trains to Earl's Court and High Street Kensington. (West Kensington station is not in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.)

A number of local bus services link Kensington into the surrounding districts, and key bus hubs are Kensington High Street and South Kensington station. These bus services were improved in frequency and spread in 2007 to complement the western extension of the London congestion charge
London congestion charge
The London congestion charge is a fee charged for some categories of motor vehicle to travel at certain times within the Congestion Charge Zone , a traffic area in London. The charge aims to reduce congestion, and raise investment funds for London's transport system...

 area, which required vehicles driving into or around Kensington in charging hours Monday-Friday to pay a daily fee of £8. The extension of the congestion charging area was withdrawn at the end of 2010.

See also


  • Earls Court
    Earls Court
    Earls Court is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. It is an inner-city district centred on Earl's Court Road and surrounding streets, located 3.1 miles west south-west of Charing Cross. It borders the sub-districts of South Kensington to the East, West...

  • South Kensington
    South Kensington
    South Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. It is a built-up area located 2.4 miles west south-west of Charing Cross....

  • Kensington Roof Gardens
    Kensington Roof Gardens
    The Roof Gardens is a roof garden covering 6,000 m² on top of the former Derry and Toms building on Kensington High Street, in central London, in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea...

  • Knightsbridge
    Knightsbridge
    Knightsbridge is a road which gives its name to an exclusive district lying to the west of central London. The road runs along the south side of Hyde Park, west from Hyde Park Corner, spanning the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea...

  • West Kensington
    West Kensington
    - Commercial/education :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....


External links


  • The Kensington District, by Geraldine Edith Mitton, 1903, from Project Gutenberg
    Project Gutenberg
    Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to "encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks". Founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart, it is the oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books...