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The Kensington District The Fascination of London   By:

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THE FASCINATION OF LONDON

THE KENSINGTON DISTRICT

IN THIS SERIES.

Cloth, price 1s. 6d. net; leather, price 2s. net, each.

THE STRAND DISTRICT.

By Sir WALTER BESANT and G. E. MITTON.

WESTMINSTER.

By Sir WALTER BESANT and G. E. MITTON.

HAMPSTEAD AND MARYLEBONE.

By G. E. MITTON. Edited by Sir WALTER BESANT.

CHELSEA.

By G. E. MITTON. Edited by Sir WALTER BESANT.

KENSINGTON.

By G. E. MITTON. Edited by Sir WALTER BESANT.

HOLBORN AND BLOOMSBURY.

By G. E. MITTON. Edited by Sir WALTER BESANT.

[Illustration: HOLLAND HOUSE.

Herbert Railton ]

The Fascination of London

KENSINGTON

BY G. E. MITTON

EDITED BY SIR WALTER BESANT

LONDON ADAM & CHARLES BLACK 1903

PREFATORY NOTE

A survey of London, a record of the greatest of all cities, that should preserve her history, her historical and literary associations, her mighty buildings, past and present, a book that should comprise all that Londoners love, all that they ought to know of their heritage from the past this was the work on which Sir Walter Besant was engaged when he died.

As he himself said of it: "This work fascinates me more than anything else I've ever done. Nothing at all like it has ever been attempted before. I've been walking about London for the last thirty years, and I find something fresh in it every day."

Sir Walter's idea was that two of the volumes of his survey should contain a regular and systematic perambulation of London by different persons, so that the history of each parish should be complete in itself. This was a very original feature in the great scheme, and one in which he took the keenest interest. Enough has been done of this section to warrant its issue in the form originally intended, but in the meantime it is proposed to select some of the most interesting of the districts and publish them as a series of booklets, attractive alike to the local inhabitant and the student of London, because much of the interest and the history of London lie in these street associations.

The difficulty of finding a general title for the series was very great, for the title desired was one that would express concisely the undying charm of London that is to say, the continuity of her past history with the present times. In streets and stones, in names and palaces, her history is written for those who can read it, and the object of the series is to bring forward these associations, and to make them plain. The solution of the difficulty was found in the words of the man who loved London and planned the great scheme. The work "fascinated" him, and it was because of these associations that it did so. These links between past and present in themselves largely constitute The Fascination of London.

G. E. M.

KENSINGTON

When people speak of Kensington they generally mean a very small area lying north and south of the High Street; to this some might add South Kensington, the district bordering on the Cromwell and Brompton Roads, and possibly a few would remember to mention West Kensington as a far away place, where there is an entrance to the Earl's Court Exhibition. But Kensington as a borough is both more and less than the above. It does not include all West Kensington, nor even the whole of Kensington Gardens, but it stretches up to Kensal Green on the north, taking in the cemetery, which is its extreme northerly limit.

If we draw a somewhat wavering line from the west side of the cemetery, leaving outside the Roman Catholic cemetery, and continue from here to Uxbridge Road Station, thence to Addison Road Station, and thence again through West Brompton to Chelsea Station, we shall have traced roughly the western boundary of the borough. It covers an immense area, and it begins and ends in a cemetery, for at the south western corner is the West London, locally known as the Brompton, Cemetery. In shape the borough is strikingly like a man's leg and foot in a top boot. The western line already traced is the back of the leg, the Brompton Cemetery is the heel, the sole extends from here up Fulham Road and Walton Street, and ends at Hooper's Court, west of Sloane Street... Continue reading book >>




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