Paddington: Westbourne Green

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9, Hampstead, Paddington. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


T F T Baker. Diane K Bolton. Patricia E C Croot, 'Paddington: Westbourne Green', in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9, Hampstead, Paddington, (London, 1989) pp. 198-204. British History Online [accessed 20 May 2024].

T F T Baker. Diane K Bolton. Patricia E C Croot. "Paddington: Westbourne Green", in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9, Hampstead, Paddington, (London, 1989) 198-204. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024,

Baker, T F T. Bolton, Diane K. Croot, Patricia E C. "Paddington: Westbourne Green", A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9, Hampstead, Paddington, (London, 1989). 198-204. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024,

Westbourne Green

Westbourne Green was, with Paddington green, one of the parish's earliest settlements. It was obliterated by mid 19th-century building, much of which consisted of streets with the prefix Westbourne and was sometimes known as Westbournia. (fn. 1) The area treated below covers central Paddington west of the G.W.R. terminus, along Harrow Road, the Grand Junction canal, and the railway; it formed Westbourne ward and a western projection of Church ward in 1901. (fn. 2) The northern boundary is taken to be Harrow Road north-west of the Lock bridge, where it curves and crosses the canal, and Amberley Road, formerly lined by canalside wharves, to the east. The southern boundary is taken to be Bishop's Bridge Road and its continuation, Westbourne Grove, although Westbournia has been taken by some to extend south of that line (fn. 3) just as Bayswater has been assumed to reach as far north as the railway. (fn. 4)

The name Westbourne is thought to have originated not as the west burna or stream but as a place on the west side of the stream which came to be called after it. (fn. 5) As one of three vills in St. Margaret's, Westminster, in 1222, (fn. 6) Westbourne presumably owed its origin to the need to administer Westminster abbey's estates. (fn. 7) Westbourne green was mentioned in 1548 (fn. 8) and became a common name from the 1660s for both Westbourne manor and the western half of Paddington parish, (fn. 9) only to go out of use in the later 19th century. (fn. 10)

The settlement long remained small, with a single alehouse in 1552. (fn. 11) Eighteen residents of Westbourne green were assessed for hearth tax in 1664, compared with 52 for Paddington. (fn. 12) There were only a few houses in 1745, mostly south of the point where Harrow Road running westward from Edgware Road was joined by Westbourne Green (later Black Lion) Lane running northward from the Uxbridge road. From the southern end of the hamlet, a footpath later called Bishop's Walk (eventually Bishop's Bridge Road) provided a short cut to Paddington green. (fn. 13) The Red Lion, where Harrow Road bridged the Westbourne, and another inn were recorded in 1730. (fn. 14) The second inn was probably one called the Jolly Gardeners in 1760 and the Three Jolly Gardeners in 1770, (fn. 15) near the Harrow Road junction, where it probably made way for the Spotted Dog. (fn. 16) Harrow Road c. 1745 there turned northward and was bordered by waste, not yet built upon, as far as solitary buildings probably on the sites of Westbourne Farm and Westbourne Manor House. (fn. 17) Westbourne green, including those houses, thus extended for c. 1 km. from south to north. It did not form one of Paddington's wards in 1773, when it was apparently assessed as part of Bayswater. (fn. 18)

There were large houses by 1664, when Sir Thomas Cox was assessed on 14 hearths and John Townsend on 11. (fn. 19) Possibly they included the house rebuilt in the 1740s as Westbourne Place (later called Westbourne Park or House), (fn. 20) whose garden was enlarged with parcels of roadside waste, (fn. 21) and Westbourne Manor House. The early 19th-century village contained five notable residences: Westbourne Place, west of Black Lion Lane at its junction with Harrow Road, and, from south to north on the east side of Harrow Road, Desborough Lodge, Westbourne Farm, Bridge House, and Westbourne Manor House. (fn. 22) Bridge House was built c. 1805 by the architect John White, owner of Westbourne Farm. (fn. 23)

Westbourne green had a very refined air in 1795 and was still considered a beautiful rural place in 1820. (fn. 24) Encroachments on the waste apparently were made only for the grounds of gentlemen's seats, by S. P. Cockerell of Westbourne Park and John White of Westbourne Farm in 1801, by a Mr. Harper in 1802, and by John Braithwaite of Westbourne Manor House in 1815. (fn. 25) The Grand Junction canal, passing north of the village between the grounds of Westbourne Farm and Bridge House, (fn. 26) was a scenic enhancement, later used to attract expensive building to the area. (fn. 27) Although housing was spreading along Black Lion Lane, it had not reached Westbourne green by 1828, when a house later called Elm Lodge stood north-west of Westbourne Manor House. There was also a short row, later called Belsize Villas, alone to the west on the south side of Harrow Road at Orme's green, (fn. 28) with 3 ratepayers in 1826 and 7, mostly on empty houses, by 1830. (fn. 29) The main addition was at the southern end of the village, opposite Bishop's Walk, where Pickering Terrace (later part of Porchester Road), backed by a double row called Pickering Place, formed a compact block of cottages amid the fields. (fn. 30) Seven ratepayers had been assessed at Pickering Terrace in 1826 (fn. 31) but some of the houses were still unfinished and others empty in 1837. (fn. 32)

The cutting of the G.W.R. line across the middle of Westbourne green was begun in 1836, necessitating a slight northward realignment of Harrow Road east of its junction with Black Lion Lane, where a turnpike gate was moved. Since the railway obstructed the Paddington green end of Bishop's Walk, the footpath was replaced by Bishop's Road, soon extended westward as Westbourne Grove. (fn. 33) Although no large houses were demolished, the railway passed close to Westbourne Park, from which Lord Hill moved out, and still closer to a house to the east, (fn. 34) whose owner William Penney claimed compensation for 10 a. based on their value as building land. (fn. 35) By 1840 several new roads were projected, including Westbourne Grove. (fn. 36) Houses had been built there by 1842, when the Lock hospital, giving its name to the Lock bridge where Harrow Road crossed the canal, stood opposite Westbourne Manor House to the north. The centre of the area, however, along Harrow Road and on either side of the railway, remained empty. (fn. 37)

Housing spread in the 1840s, mainly south of the railway. The eastern end of Bishop's Road was built up and at first called Westbourne Place, (fn. 38) where the publisher George Smith was visited by Charlotte Bronte in 1848 and 1849. (fn. 39) Farther north, residential growth was banned by the G.W.R. depots and sidings. (fn. 40) Immediately to the west, where the Paddington Estate straddled the Westbourne, (fn. 41) roads were laid out, with bridges over the railway to link them with Harrow Road. (fn. 42) Holy Trinity church was finished in 1846 (fn. 43) and Orsett Terrace, Gloucester Crescent (later the northernmost part of Gloucester Terrace), and Porchester Square had been planned by 1851. (fn. 44) No. 37 Gloucester Gardens, Bishop's Road, was the London home of the architect Decimus Burton by 1855. (fn. 45) Most of the area between Bishop's Road and the railway had been filled by 1855, except the site of Penny's house, which was to be taken in 1871 for Royal Oak station. (fn. 46)

As elsewhere on the Paddington Estate, building agreements were made with several individuals for every street. Some were speculators, including the Revd. Simon Sturges, (fn. 47) who took leases for 12 houses on the north side of Bishop's Road in 1847, Thomas Dowbiggin of Mayfair, who took leases for 19 houses in Orsett Terrace in 1850, or Lieut. Edward Thomas Dowbiggin, a lessee nearby in 1853. (fn. 48) Other lessees were builders, including William Scantlebury, who probably had worked from Albany Street, Marylebone, in the mid 1830s, had taken leases of plots in Grand Junction Street and elsewhere in Tyburnia from 1839 and, after moving to Eastbourne Terrace, had settled as a gentleman in Porchester Terrace North (later part of Porchester Terrace) by 1849. (fn. 49) He built much of the neighbourhood around Orsett Terrace and Gloucester Crescent, where he took leases in 1849-50 and 1852 respectively. (fn. 50) John Scantlebury of Porchester Terrace North built part of Porchester Square, where many plots were subleased by George Wyatt between 1853 and 1855, (fn. 51) and was presumably the John Vandersluys Scantlebury who often occupied premises close to or the same as those of William and who was active on the Ladbroke estate in North Kensington. (fn. 52) William Oliver Scantlebury, of Gloucester Crescent in 1854, was also a local builder. (fn. 53)

Farther west building had already begun for William Kinnaird Jenkins, of Nottingham Place, Marylebone, and later of Paddington, a lawyer who also acquired part of the Ladbroke estate from W. H. Jenkins and was responsible for laying out Kensal New Town. (fn. 54) Houses were planned for W. K. Jenkins along both sides of Westbourne Grove, west of Pickering Place, in 1838 and along an extension of Westbourne Grove in 1840. (fn. 55) They were detached villas, (fn. 56) like those to be built for him in Newton Road in 1846, when he also had plans for Hereford Road. (fn. 57) More land in Hereford Road was leased out by the Paddington Estate between 1853 and 1855, much of it for terraces by J. P. Waterson, a Bayswater builder, who assigned his interest in several sites to John Wicking Phillips. (fn. 58) To the north, Westbourne Park and its grounds made way for large semidetached villas in Westbourne Park Road and, beside the railway, Westbourne Park Villas. (fn. 59) No. 16 Westbourne Park Villas from 1863 to 1867 was the intermittent home of Thomas Hardy, who also lived briefly at no. 4 Celbridge Place (later Porchester Road) and in Newton Road. (fn. 60) Fields survived between Westbourne Park Road and Newton Road in 1851 (fn. 61) but had been covered with modest terraces by 1855, when St. Stephen's church was being built. (fn. 62)

Between the railway and the canal, the pace of building and the social pattern were more varied. The eastern part, where Delamere Terrace lined the canal and Warwick Crescent overlooked the pool, was begun as an extension of Little Venice. Leases for 13 houses in Westbourne Terrace Road were taken in 1847 by G. L. Taylor, architect of some of the grandest houses in Tyburnia and Maida Vale, who also built in Blomfield Terrace, along Harrow Road. Other lessees included William Buddle, for 19 houses in Blomfield Street (later Villas) and Delamere Terrace in 1851 and 12 in Warwick Crescent, where plots were assigned to him by G. L. Taylor in 1852. (fn. 63) Early residents included Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sister Arabel Barrett in Delamere Terrace; in order to be near her Robert Browning moved from lodgings at no. 1 Chichester Road and made his English home at no. 19 Warwick Crescent from 1862 until 1887. (fn. 64)

Farther west, beyond Ranelagh (from 1938 Lord Hill's) Road, (fn. 65) building was slightly delayed by the survival until after 1855 of Desborough Lodge and Westbourne Farm, although between the first and Harrow Road a short terrace had been built. Brindley Street, Alfred Road, and their neighbours already formed densely packed terraces west of the Lock bridge and Harrow Road. By 1861 Desborough Lodge and Westbourne Farm had made way for Clarendon, Woodchester, and Cirencester streets, whose small houses resembled those around Brindley Street rather than the stately terraces to the east. (fn. 66)

North of the canal, the workhouse was built next to the Lock in 1846-7. (fn. 67) Building, although not the imposing crescent planned in 1847, (fn. 68) stretched from there along the south side of Harrow Road to Woodfield Road at Orme's green by 1855. Opposite the Lock, however, Bridge House and Westbourne Manor House stood alone in their grounds in 1861. (fn. 69)

The 1860s (fn. 70) saw housing, which had ended in 1855 at St. Stephen's church and Hereford Road, spread to the Kensington boundary. By 1865 terraces lined westward extensions of Westbourne Grove and Westbourne Park Road, Artesian Road, and an eastward extension of the Portobello estate's Talbot Road. (fn. 71) Westbourne Grove West lay in Kensington until 1900, when its north side was transferred to Paddington; it included Norfolk Terrace west of Norfolk (later Needham) Road, where Prince Louis Lucien Bonaparte, a philologist and nephew of Emperor Napoleon III, had a house. (fn. 72) Building also stretched north-westward along Great Western Road past Westbourne Park station, opened in 1866, towards the canal. Small terraced houses and shops stood by 1867 along the south side of Kensal Road, in both Paddington and Kensington, and by 1869 along the north side, backing the canal. (fn. 73) They were the work of several local builders, lessees from W. K. Jenkins's successors the Revd. Robert Charles Jenkins and George Thomas Jenkins. (fn. 74) The only large space without houses south of the canal lay east of Westbourne Park station, where the G.W.R. lines passed between a train depot by the canal and a coal and stone depot at the end of Westbourne Park Road.

North of the canal the site of Westbourne Manor House was built over from c. 1867 (fn. 75) and Amberley Road with its timber wharves was built along the canal bank. (fn. 76) The whole of Westbourne green thus came to be built up, except some gaps in Amberley Road and, in the north-west, the sites of Fermoy and Hormead roads, between Harrow Road and the canal. (fn. 77) Fermoy Road was named in 1883 and partly built up by 1884. Hormead Road was named in 1885, (fn. 78) although its site was still nursery ground in 1891. (fn. 79)

The southern part of Westbourne green at first was sometimes known as Westbournia. The name, however, also applied to streets south of Westbourne Grove which might have been described more correctly as in Bayswater: Trollope's Westbournia of 1858 was the fashionable neighbourhood of Westbourne Terrace, (fn. 80) and c. 1860 Westbourne Grove was recorded as Westbournia's main thoroughfare rather than its boundary. (fn. 81) By 1900 Bayswater was thought to end at Westbourne Grove, leaving the district to the north, whose status had fallen, without a general name. (fn. 82)

A striking change soon took place in the character of Westbourne Grove. It had been so named by 1842, when it was still empty, and contained many cottages and semi-detached villas by 1846, as did such offshoots as Newton and Monmouth roads, (fn. 83) which were developed for W. K. Jenkins. (fn. 84) It was still lined with trees and front gardens in 1850 (fn. 85) but the first shop was opened in 1854 (fn. 86) and by 1859 villas were rapidly making way for shops, 'unsurpassed by any in London'. (fn. 87) The growth of Bayswater attracted tradesmen from London and led William Whiteley to open his first shop in 1863, when he may also have hoped to profit from the arrival of the Metropolitan railway. Under Whiteley, who bought and rebuilt much neighbouring property, Westbourne Grove became one of the capital's leading shopping centres. By 1879 it was considered economically so self-sufficient that it could have declared itself an independent republic. In 1887 it was 'the Bond Street of the west'. (fn. 88)

The rising commercial prosperity of Westbourne Grove contrasted with a rapid social decline in streets farther north, between the railway and the canal. Subletting to weekly lodgers had made Brindley Street the most overcrowded in Paddington, with 3.5 persons to a room, by 1865, although conditions had improved slightly by 1869, when the worst areas were near the canal basin at Paddington green. (fn. 89) Clarendon Street (later Crescent), with 17 persons to a house, and the parallel Woodchester Street, with 16.4 persons, were the most overcrowded in 1894-5, when Cirencester Street and Waverley Road were also among the eleven worst in the parish. (fn. 90) The Lock bridge area west of Ranelagh Road, bounded north by the canal bend and south by Westbourne Terrace North (later Bourne Terrace) and Marlborough (later Torquay) Street, was singled out as one of six poor patches amid the general affluence of north-west London. Clarendon Street and its neighbours, however, were poorer than the cul-de-sacs off the south-west side of Harrow Road, where poverty and comfort were mixed and where Alfred Street, like Harrow Road itself, was considered fairly comfortable. In Clarendon Street, where the more respectable women did laundry work, there were thieves and prostitutes. Subletting, which had gone so far that a room might have different tenants by day and by night, could be controlled only by declaring buildings to be lodging houses, as had been done for one whole side of the street. Such decay was unexpected, in that the houses were 'cast-off clothes of the rich'. It was attributed in 1899 to the canal, as elsewhere in London, to isolation arising from a lack of through traffic, and to the density of building. (fn. 91) If Woodchester Street had not been crammed in, it was possible that the decline, on land which had largely been held by the Grand Junction Canal Co., would not have taken place. (fn. 92)

East of Ranelagh Road, partly on the Paddington Estate, the inhabitants were classified in 1899 as mostly well-to-do and those in Westbourne Square as wealthy. Delamere Terrace, with Blomfield Road opposite it in Maida Vale, represented, exceptionally, a successful effort to utilize the canal as ornamental water. (fn. 93)

South of the railway, Westbourne green shared the social characteristics of adjoining parts of Bayswater. The eastern end of Westbourne Gardens, with Porchester Square, and Gloucester, Porchester, and Orsett terraces, was wealthy, as was Bishop's Road. Westbourne Park Villas and Road, with Hereford Road and other streets running south, were well-to-do, as was Westbourne Grove. Talbot Road and other streets running to the Kensington boundary were well-to-do or fairly comfortable, with poverty in some mews dwellings. There were also some poor alleys north of the canal, off Harrow Road near the workhouse. (fn. 94)

The early 20th century saw a more general, if slow, decline. Whiteley's opened new buildings in Queensway rather than in Westbourne Grove, which lost much of its appeal. (fn. 95) By 1919 many large houses on the western edge of the borough around Talbot Road were empty or subdivided (fn. 96) and by c. 1929 the area between Westbourne Grove and the railway, with many cheap boarding houses, had an air of neglect. Slums still lay farther north, where the neighbourhood of Brindley, Clarendon, and Cirencester streets had Paddington's highest density, of 1.75 or more persons to a room, (fn. 97) and was 'one of the most discreditable in London'. (fn. 98) There were 1.50 to 1.75 persons to a room along Amberley Road, as at Kensal New Town and near the canal basin at Paddington green, and overcrowding of 1.25 to 1.50 persons to an acre had spread south-eastward from Cirencester Street along Harrow Road and behind Delamere Terrace to Chichester Road and also existed north-west of the former workhouse around Woodfield Street. Delamere Terrace and Warwick Crescent had begun to deteriorate, with 1 to 1.25 persons to a room, whereas there were less than 1 on the Maida Vale side of the canal pool and elsewhere in Westbourne green. (fn. 99) In 1937 some imposing but shabby houses in Delamere Terrace were subdivided and rapidly decaying. (fn. 100) A similar threat was seen around Talbot Road. (fn. 101)

In the period between the World Wars the building of Porchester hall, with its adjacent library and baths, gave the north end of Porchester Road the appearance of a modest civic centre. (fn. 102) Nearby rebuilding produced blocks of private flats, all north of Westbourne Grove. Hatherley Court of 1936 was advertised as 'one minute from Whiteley's' and, in spite of its position behind Owen's former drapery store between Hatherley Road and Westbourne Grove Terrace, as being in Bayswater. New London Properties in 1939 offered flats in four blocks nearby: Arthur Court, at the north-west end of Queensway, and, facing it, Ralph Court, which backed Peter's Court in Porchester Road, and Claremont Court. (fn. 103) Father east Westbourne Court stood at the corner of Orsett Terrace and Westbourne Terrace by 1938. (fn. 104) The few new commercial buildings included the G.W.R. parcels depot at nos. 14, 16, and 18 Bishop's Road and its estate and other offices at the northeastern end of Westbourne Terrace by 1934. (fn. 105) There was no slum clearance, although the borough council in 1938 had plans to clear Clarendon Road. (fn. 106)

The worst slums, between the railway and the canal from Warwick Crescent to Clarendon Crescent, were transformed by the L.C.C. In 1957 it had bought 206 properties from the borough council and 266 from the Church Commissioners, and hoped to acquire 400 more. (fn. 107) Under a scheme of 1958, for 44 a. and affecting 6,700 residents, half of the land was to be used for 1,127 dwellings, of which 946 were to be in new blocks and the others in renovated houses; the rest was to be used for shops, garages, schools and other institutions, and a canalside walk and 8 a. of badly needed open space. (fn. 108) The Warwick estate, as it came to be called, was opened in 1962 (fn. 109) and soon extended west of Harrow Road over the site of Brindley Street. The scheme, together with the alignment of Westway along part of Harrow Road, involved the disappearance of nearly all the streets from Delamere Terrace and Blomfield Villas westward to Waverley Road. (fn. 110) As a further extension, the G.L.C. in 1967 acquired 4 a. north of the canal in Amberley Road, for 375 new dwellings. Westminster took over the main Warwick estate in 1971, the Brindley extension in 1972, and the Amberley Road extension in 1973. (fn. 111)

Immediately south of the railway, the yard bounded by Great Western and Westbourne Park roads was being built up in 1970 as the 10-a. Brunel estate. (fn. 112) The first blocks were finished in 1971, containing 80 dwellings out of the 417 intended for 1,500 people. Nearby it was planned in 1973 to replace a segment of housing between Tavistock Crescent, Tavistock Road, and St. Luke's Road with the 148 dwellings called Westmead, which were under construction in 1974.

On the south side of Westbourne Park Road there was much dereliction around St. Stephen's Gardens, where no. 32 was probably the first of many subdivided houses to be acquired by the notorious landlord Peter Rachman (d. 1962). Rachman, who favoured West Indian tenants, had an office at the corner of Westbourne Grove and Monmouth Street and acquired several properties near by, although by 1955-6 he had extended his activities beyond Paddington. (fn. 113) In 1965 Westminster council bought 108 houses, most of them subdivided or empty, in the hope of preventing further decay. (fn. 114) The houses, west of Porchester Road, were the first of those later known as the Westbourne Gardens estate. In 1969 the council bought property around St. Stephen's Gardens between Shrewsbury and Ledbury roads. The area was later rebuilt as the Wessex Gardens estate, named after Thomas Hardy, (fn. 115) where the first of 300 dwellings planned for 1,116 people were ready in 1978.

North of the canal, next to the hospital in Harrow Road, the G.L.C.'s small Windsor estate had been built by 1965. (fn. 116) Later there was wholesale clearance farther east, along most of Amberley Road by the canal, where Aldsworth Close and other flats were finished in 1977, and behind in Amberley Mews and Shirland Road, where Charfield and Ellwood courts were finished in 1972. (fn. 117)

In the south-eastern part of the district, adjoining Bayswater, the houses were mostly refurbished. The L.C.C. began in 1964 to rehabilitate the 8½-a. Porchester Square estate, which had been sold by the Church Commissioners in 1955. Garden walls and outbuildings made way for a play area over garages in the triangle behind Gloucester and Orsett terraces and the east side of Porchester Square, while 150 houses in those rows were converted into over 500 flats and 114 maisonettes by 1971. (fn. 118) The south-west part of Porchester Square, with Porchester Mews and buildings stretching down Porchester Road to Bishop's Bridge Road, was taken for the Colonnades, a scheme embracing shops and private flats, completed in 1975. (fn. 119)

New lines of communication and the spread of terraced housing have destroyed not only the buildings but the road pattern of the 18th-century village of Westbourne green. The suburb, divided by canal and railway, has no overall character, with an overcrowded centre and many peripheral streets resembling those of neighbouring districts. Victorian housing predominates south of the railway, although replaced by municipal estates near Westbourne Park station and interspersed elsewhere with much rebuilding. The older streets west of Porchester Road form Westbourne conservation area, which stretches to the boundary, and those to the east lie in the Bayswater area. (fn. 120) North of the railway, rebuilding has been widespread.

The southern boundary, along Bishop's Bridge Road and Westbourne Grove, is lined by many types of building. Westward from the railway bridge they include the former G.W.R. parcels depot, the sixand seven-storeyed block of municipal flats called Brewers' Court, finished in 1976, (fn. 121) and the empty site of Holy Trinity church, which was a subject of controversy in 1984 (fn. 122) and was being prepared for flats called Trinity Court in 1986. Stuccoed pairs and a recessed terrace, undergoing renovation, make up Gloucester Gardens, an imposing mid 19thcentury survival in contrast with the Hallfield estate, on the south side of the road in Bayswater. To the west are Clifton nurseries and shops forming part of the Colonnades, a yellow-brick and brown-tiled development for Samuel Properties, designed by Farrell Grimshaw Partnership and officially commended in 1977. (fn. 123) More shops and a cinema extend to the corner of Queensway. Westbourne Grove has some new buildings, including the red-brick Westbourne House (no. 16) and T.S.W. House on either side of Westbourne Grove Terrace, but consists mainly of three- or four-storeyed Victorian parades. The shops are smaller towards the west, reaching along the north side as far as the corner of Chepstow Road and along the boundary on the south side to Ledbury Road, on the fringe of the antique dealers' area of northern Kensington.

The area between the line of Bishop's Bridge Road and Westbourne Grove and the railway is residential. Restoration of the tall Italianate houses in the eastern part, around Gloucester Terrace and Porchester Square, (fn. 124) has enabled it to retain its original resemblance to Bayswater. The eastern end of Orsett Terrace (formerly Orsett Place), although much altered, contains two detached villas whose ornate features include Egyptian pillars and boldly projecting cornices; they were designed by G. L. Taylor as comparatively low buildings, in order not to hide Holy Trinity church. (fn. 125) Orsett House bears a plaque to the political thinker Alexander Herzen, who lived there from 1850 to 1863. At the south-west corner of Porchester Square the flats of the Colonnades are in scale with the seven- or eight-storeyed red-brick blocks of Peter's, Ralph, and Arthur courts to the west. Off Westbourne Grove there are tall cramped terraces of the 1860s or 1870s in Hatherley Road and Westbourne Grove Terrace, in addition to the eightstoreyed Hatherley Court, and in part of Newton Road. Another stretch of Newton Road, parallel with Westbourne Grove, has several grouped and single villas, of two storeys and basements, in small gardens, serving as reminders of the appearance of Westbourne Grove before it became a shopping centre. No. 32 has been rebuilt as a four-storeyed rectangular block and, dating from 1937-8, is the earliest individual work of Sir Denys Lasdun. (fn. 126)

Slightly farther north the area around Westbourne Gardens and St. Stephen's church is one of mid 19th-century terraces, many still run down but others recently restored, with infilling in the form of small blocks of flats. Some of the terraces, in Westbourne Gardens and west of St. Stephen's church, are in the imposing style of Bayswater and Tyburnia, having four storeys and basements, with first-floor balconies and pillared porches. A few pairs, lower and possibly earlier, are north of the church in Westbourne Park Road. Modern flats in Westbourne Park Road are to scale and mostly five-storeyed. They include Swanleys (no. 45), built east of the church by 1978, (fn. 127) adjoining municipal flats at no. 41, and others opposite at no. 56, whose site was bought by Paddington council in 1961. (fn. 128)

Better preserved streets stretch westward to the Kensington boundary, in a block between Westbourne Grove and Talbot Road. Hereford Road is lined by terraces with pillared porches like those in Westbourne Gardens, stuccoed and perhaps slightly grander than similar brick ones in Alexander Street. Chepstow Road, the quieter Northumberland Place, and parallel streets to the west have mostly threestoreyed terraces, both brick-faced and stuccoed, with balconies and a few with verandahs and trellises. A terrace on the east side of Ledbury Road has a centrepiece of 8 bays divided by Corinthian pilasters.

North of Talbot Road there has been extensive rebuilding. The west side of Shrewsbury Road is lined with waste ground, behind which the streets stretching as far as Ledbury Road have been replaced by Casterbridge and six other purplish brick blocks, of three to seven storeys, forming the Wessex Gardens estate. Around it, older terraces are being renovated. The larger Brunei estate to the north covers the former railway depot and consists of 21 blocks; mostly six- or seven-storeyed, they include a few lower ones and a solitary tower block, the twenty-storeyed Keyham House in Westbourne Park Road. Facing the Brunei estate along Great Western Road are the new four-storeyed buff-brick ranges of Dorchester House and Hardy House. Victorian terraces survive to the west, interspersed with four- or five-storeyed blocks of flats including Westbury House, built on the corner of Westbourne Park Road and Aldridge Road Villas by 1965, Aldridge Court, in Aldridge Road Villas by 1962, and, in Tavistock Road, Leamington House, built by 1962, and Fallodon House, built by 1976. (fn. 129) Westmead day centre, in Tavistock Road, serves the estate immediately to the north, where a five-storeyed yellow-brick range stretches along the north side of Tavistock Crescent into Kensington. A few large villas survive in Tavistock Road: they include, at the north-west corner of St. Luke's Road on the Kensington side of the boundary, the former Tower House, a gaunt Italianate building where W. H. Hudson spent his last years. (fn. 130)

The area between the railway, skirted by Westway, and the canal is filled mostly by the Warwick estate and, around Alfred Road, its Brindley extension. At the western end, north of Westbourne Park station, council housing is continued into Kensington as part of the Cheltenham estate. Very few buildings survive from before the 1960s on the Warwick estate except St. Mary Magdalene's church, its neighbouring primary school, Edward Wilson school to the south, and some of the grander terraced housing farther east. Most of the old street names have disappeared, including Clarendon, Woodchester, and Brindley, although a few have been given to rebuilt roads or cul-de-sacs.

The Warwick and Brindley estate has a wide range of buildings (fn. 131) and consists of 23 numbered blocks or ranges, including six 21-storeyed towers faced in brown roughcast, all of which are in the western half. On the estate only the shopping parade called Oldbury House lies along Harrow Road, the other buildings being dispersed across a landscaped slope. In the centre a large open space, with playing fields at the Harrow Road end, has been left along the line of the former Lord Hill's Road, rising to a footbridge over the canal. Farther east the estate contains some Italianate terraces in Blomfield Villas and Westbourne Terrace Road, where their restoration has been commended by the Civic Trust. (fn. 132) Both Delamere Terrace, beside the canal, and Warwick Crescent, beside the pool, have been rebuilt, as four- and five-storeyed brick ranges of maisonettes and old people's dwellings. Warwick Crescent, designed by the G.L.C.'s architect Hubert Bennett, is painted on its north-eastern side to match the stuccoed houses of Little Venice across the water. (fn. 133)

Outside the estate, alone on a corner site between the pool and Harrow Road, is Beauchamp Lodge. A community centre, it is an ornate building of 1854 (fn. 134) and has five storeys and basement, with balconies, bays, and a Corinthian porch. The new Paddington fire station and, farther west beyond Torquay Street, some nondescript office blocks also face Harrow Road. Torquay Street leads to Westbourne Green sports complex, opened c. 1976 in the shadow of Westway. (fn. 135) Part of the concrete supports of Westway has a large mural, 'Man and Mechanical Energy', of 1977. (fn. 136)

North of the canal, the curving strip facing the Warwick estate, from Lord Hill's footbridge to the former Amberley school, is lined by the pale buffbrick terraces called Barnwood Close and Aldsworth Close, of three storeys along the canal and over garages on the landward side. Behind run the twostoreyed Ellwood Court and the parallel sevenstoreyed Charfield Court, bordering Shirland Road, with Downfield Close to the west. The western end of Amberley Road retains a Victorian terrace. West of the Lock bridge, the hospital and other institutional buildings line the south side of Harrow Park as far as the three- and four-storeyed yellow-brick blocks of the Windsor estate. Beyond are shops around the junction with Great Western Road and late 19th-century terraces parallel with the canal in Fermoy and Hormead roads.


  • 1. Marylebone libr., P 138, cuttings.
  • 2. Plan of Paddington (1901).
  • 3. e.g. Marylebone libr., P 138, cuttings (Builder, 1862).
  • 4. e.g. Study of Urban Hist. ed. Dyos, 263.
  • 5. P.N. Mdx. (E.P.N.S.), 133.
  • 6. Harvey, St. Marg. Westm. 45.
  • 7. Below, local govt., manorial.
  • 8. Cal. Pat. 1548-9, 59.
  • 9. Below, local govt., manorial; G.L.R.O., MR/TH/2, m. 30d.
  • 10. Home Counties Mag. ii. 17.
  • 11. Mdx. County Rec. i. 11.
  • 12. G.L.R.O., MR/TH/2, m. 30d.
  • 13. Rocque, Map of Lond. (1741-5), sheet 11; Home Counties Mag. ii. 21.
  • 14. McDonald, 'Paddington', cap. 15; G.L.R.O., MR/ LV5/22.
  • 15. G.L.R.O., MR/LV7/45; MR/LV8/64.
  • 16. McDonald, 'Paddington', cap. 15.
  • 17. Home Counties Mag. ii. 22 and map facing p. 17; Rocque, Map of Lond. (1741-5), sheet 11; below, manors.
  • 18. Poor rate bk. (1721-74).
  • 19. G.L.R.O., MR/TH/2, m. 30d.
  • 20. Below, manors.
  • 21. e.g. W.A.M. 16460 (1757); W.A.M. 16463 (1771).
  • 22. Home Counties Mag. ii, map facing p. 17.
  • 23. Ibid. 17; Colvin, Brit. Architects, 883.
  • 24. Lysons, Environs, iii. 330; Ambulator (1807, 1820).
  • 25. Vestry mins. 15 July, 11 Nov. 1801; 20 Oct. 1802; 3 Jan. 1815. Encroachments are marked on 'Map of Man. of Westbourne Green in 1811' (in Marylebone libr.).
  • 26. Home Counties Mag. ii, map facing p. 17.
  • 27. Guildhall Libr., P1/HAR (view by G. E. Lee, 1847).
  • 28. Gutch, Plan of Paddington (1828); P.O. Dir. Lond. (1855); Stanford, Libr. Map of Lond. (1862 edn. with additions to 1865).
  • 29. Rate bk. July 1826, f. 2; rate bks. sel. transcripts, 1830.
  • 30. Gutch, Plan of Paddington (1828); above, plate 36.
  • 31. Rate bk. Feb. 1826, f. 7; rate bks. sel. transcripts, 1830.
  • 32. The Times, 2 Dec. 1837, 7a.
  • 33. Above, communications.
  • 34. Lucas, Plan of Paddington (1842); below, manors.
  • 35. The Times, 2 Dec. 1837, 7a.
  • 36. Gutch, Plan of Paddington (1840).
  • 37. Lucas, Plan of Paddington (1842).
  • 38. Lucas, Plan of Paddington (1869).
  • 39. Shakespeare Head Bronte, Life and Letters (1932), ii. 253; iii. 52.
  • 40. Lucas, Plan of Paddington (1869).
  • 41. Guildhall Libr., boro. maps P1: Gutch, Plan of Paddington (1828, coloured to show estates).
  • 42. Gutch, Plan of Paddington (1840).
  • 43. Below, churches.
  • 44. J. Weale, Lond. Exhibited (1851), map at back.
  • 45. P.O. Dir. Lond. (1855, 1863).
  • 46. Lucas, Plan of Paddington (1855); above, communications.
  • 47. Alum. Oxon. 1715-1886, iv. 1370.
  • 48. Guildhall MS. 12422/2.
  • 49. Robson's Lond. Dir. (1833, 1835); P.O. Dir. Lond. (1845 and later edns.); Guildhall MS. 12422/1.
  • 50. Guildhall MSS. 12422/1; 12535; 12505.
  • 51. Ibid. 12545.
  • 52. P.O. Dir. Lond. (1850 and later edns.); Survey of Lond. xxxvii. 220.
  • 53. Guildhall MS. 12505.
  • 54. Survey of Lond. xxxvii. 260.
  • 55. G.L.R.O., WCS 77, p. 163; WCS 78, P. 543.
  • 56. Weale, Lond. Exhibited, map at back.
  • 57. G.L.R.O., WCS 79, pp. 82-3; WCS 80, p. 248.
  • 58. Guildhall MS. 12511.
  • 59. H.-R. Hitchcock, Early Victorian Archit. in Britain, i. 486.
  • 60. R. Gittings, Young Thos. Hardy (Penguin 1978), 100, 129, 224; F. E. Hardy, Early Life of Thos. Hardy (1928), 135.
  • 61. Weale, Lond. Exhibited, map at back.
  • 62. Lucas, Plan of Paddington (1855); below, churches. Second-class hos. in Sunderland Terr. and Alexander Street 1855: Bldg. News, 9 Oct. 1857, 1056.
  • 63. Guildhall MSS. 12422/2; 12484; 12592.
  • 64. D.N.B.; New Letters of Rob. Browning, ed. W. C. DeVane and K. L. Knickerbocker (1950), 144.
  • 65. L.C.C. Names of Streets (1955).
  • 66. Lucas, Plan of Paddington (1855, 1861).
  • 67. Below, local govt.
  • 68. Guildhall Libr., P1/HAR (view by G. E. Lee).
  • 69. Lucas, Plan of Paddington (1855, 1861).
  • 70. Para. based on ibid. (1855, 1861, 1869); Stanford, Libr. Map of Lond. (1862 edn. with additions to 1865), sheets 5, 9.
  • 71. Survey of Lond. xxxvii, map at end.
  • 72. Dictionnaire de Biographic Française, vi (1954), 922-3; P.O. Dir. Lond. (1855, 1863, 1879).
  • 73. M.L.R. 1867/18/415-25; 1869/25/75, 212-14, 376-8.
  • 74. G.L.R.O., WCS 79, p. 82; Alum. Cantab. 1752-1900, iii. 562.
  • 75. Below, manors.
  • 76. Below, econ., ind.
  • 77. Stanford, Libr. Map of Lond. (1862 edn. with additions to 1865), sheets 5, 9.
  • 78. L.C.C. Names of Streets (1901), 190, 262; Marylebone libr., Acc. 1468.
  • 79. Stanford, Libr. Map of Lond. (1891), sheet 5.
  • 80. A. Trollope, The Three Clerks (1858), cap. xvi.
  • 81. Marylebone libr., P 138, cuttings.
  • 82. Home Counties Mag. ii. 279.
  • 83. G.L.R.O., TA/10 (tithe map, 1842, and plan of Westbourne Grove, 1846).
  • 84. G.L.R.O., WCS 79, pp. 82-3.
  • 85. Herbert Spencer, Autobiog. (1904), i. 349.
  • 86. R. S. Lambert, Universal Provider (1938), 60.
  • 87. Marylebone libr., P 138, cuttings; Paddington News, 10 Dec. 1859; Spencer, Autobiog. i. 349.
  • 88. Lambert, Universal Provider, 107; A. Adburgham, Shops and Shopping (1964), 150, 156; below, econ., ind.; above, plate 53.
  • 89. Paddington San. Rep. 1869-70 (in Marylebone libr.), 7.
  • 90. Rep. on Vital Statistics and San. Work 1894 (in Marylebone libr.), 11.
  • 91. Booth, Life and Labour, i (i), 246; iii (3), 120, 122-4; Booth's Map (1889), NW.
  • 92. Booth, Life and Labour, iii (3), 124; Gutch, Plan of Paddington (1828, coloured to show estates).
  • 93. Booth, Life and Labour, iii (3), 124, map facing p. 135.
  • 94. Ibid. map facing p. 135.
  • 95. H. P. Clunn, Lond. Rebuilt 1897-1927 (1927), 285; below, econ., ind.
  • 96. The Times, 19 Jan. 1935, 9e.
  • 97. New Lond. Life and Labour, iv, maps; vi. 431.
  • 98. G. W. Currie, Ch. of Eng. and Her Ground Rents (1930), 9.
  • 99. New Lond. Life and Labour, iv, maps.
  • 100. M. Fitzgerald, Ch. as Landlord (1937), 69-71.
  • 101. The Times, 19 Jan. 1935, 9e.
  • 102. Below, pub. svces.
  • 103. Clunn, Face of Lond. 444; Paddington Past and Present [1939], 33, 82-3, 85.
  • 104. P.O. Dir. Lond. (1938).
  • 105. Ibid. (1934 and later edns.).
  • 106. Marylebone libr., P 138, cuttings.
  • 107. Ibid.
  • 108. The Times, 17 Oct. 1958, 4e.
  • 109. G.L.C. Home Sweet Home (1976), 12, 62.
  • 110. Bartholomew's Ref. Atlas of Gtr. Lond. (1963, 1968).
  • 111. Marylebone libr., P 138, cuttings; Map of Westm. Housing Est. 1985 (in Marylebone libr.).
  • 112. Following- two paras. based on ibid.
  • 113. S. Green, Rachman (1979), 42, 49-51, 53-5, passim.
  • 114. Inf. from asst. dist. offr. (management), Westm. Dist. Housing Office 3.
  • 115. Lond. Encyc. 941.
  • 116. P.O. Dir. Lond. (1964, 1965).
  • 117. Map of Westm. Housing Est. 1985; inf. from asst. dist. offr. (management), Westm. Dist. Housing Office 3.
  • 118. Marylebone libr., P 138, cuttings; Illus. Lond. News, June 1973, 45-9; G.L.C. Home Sweet Home, 12, 75.
  • 119. Marylebone libr., P 138, cuttings; Lond. Encyc. 46.
  • 120. Westm. Dist. Plan, Proposals Map, 1982 (in Marylebone libr.).
  • 121. Inf. from asst. dist. offr. (management), Westm. Dist. Housing Office 3.
  • 122. Observer, 2 Dec. 1984.
  • 123. Marylebone libr., P 138, cuttings; inf. from Chestertons.
  • 124. Illus. Lond. News, June 1973, 45-8.
  • 125. Taylor, Auto-biog. i. 181.
  • 126. A. Service, Architects of Lond. (1979), 193.
  • 127. P.O. Dir. Lond. (1977, 1978).
  • 128. Paddington Mag. Apr. 1961.
  • 129. P.O. Dir. Lond. (1961 and later edns.); Map of Westm. Housing Est. 1985.
  • 130. R. Tomalin, W. H. Hudson (1954), 95, 97.
  • 131. G.L.C. Home Sweet Home, 62 and illus.
  • 132. Marylebone libr., P 138, cuttings.
  • 133. Ibid.
  • 134. Inf. from dir., Beauchamp Lodge Settlement; below, social.
  • 135. Marylebone libr., P 132.2, cuttings.
  • 136. Lond. Encyc. 942.