The History of Kensington in London

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Kensington History

Historic Kensington

History of Kensington
Image Credit: visionofbritain.org.uk

A large number of historic buildings and monuments occupy Kensington, such as the Serpentine Gallery, The Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Palace, Kensington State Apartments and the Albert Memorial and Speke’s monument. In the borough of Kensington and Chelsea there are around 3,800 listed buildings, demonstrative of its rich history and impressive architecture.

Kensington Palace was a private country home before being acquired by William II and Mary II in 1689; Sir Christopher Wren altered the palace so it was suitable for the royal house residents. Queen Victoria was born in the Palace in 1819; it was also Queen Victoria herself who saved Kensington State Apartments from demolition, to become public exhibition spaces.

For an insight into Victoria living in Kensington visit 18, Stafford Terrace, Linley Sambourne House, it is entirely preserved as it was once lived in two centuries ago.

History of Kensington

Kensington has been home to the monarchy since 1689, there is a strong royal link with the area. First mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086, its Latin name ‘Chenesitone’ was used, interpreted to mean ‘meadows or land’. Kensington was originally a Saxon settlement.

In the 1801 census Kensington had a population of around 8,500, by 1831 this had grown to 20,902, expanding over the years, by the millennium the population of Kensington stood at roughly 150,000.

Modern Day Kensington

Kensington is now home to many European embassies; there is a big French contingency in the area. The High Street was declared second best shopping street in London in 2005. SW7 is an affluent area, with the bonus of a commercial buzz around the High Street and impressive architecture and history throughout.