Dominated by the communal gardens to which access is reserved by key for residents who pay a service charge for their upkeep, these are surrounded by some of the most desirable property in London, the northern equivalent to Belgravia for size and statement.
The roads are wide, accommodating; there's no scrum for the few available parking spaces, just an orderly distribution reflecting the cool elegance and measured style of life. This is living with a capital L.
The ambition was to create enjoyable family housing in an attractive, open environment in which to live; generous space, family houses with large, shared gardens and broad pavements. This feeling of space was aided by the fact that that land here in the 1850s could be bought for £30 per acre, when in Pimlico you would have paid £50.
This area has all you need: attractive stuccoed architecture reflecting light into open, varied settings, streets in concentric curves, squares and avenues with what feels like more plant life than human. A key constituent is the terrain. The eponymous hill provides the attractive backdrop, the setting, the draw of the eye that makes for the great attraction that is Notting Hill-living today, epitomised by Ladbroke Village. Here, too, are good schools, with Notting Hill Prep and Ladbroke Square Montessori Nursery to name a couple.
Ladbroke has been home to a number of famous names, including at No.7 Kensington Park Gardens in 1880-1919, scientist Sir William Crookes, who discovered the element thallium. He also invented the radiometer and undertook studies in electronic discharges and the house is also believed to have been the first house in England to be lit by electricity.
Ladbroke Grove, one of London's longest roads (two miles) named after James' ancestor, Sir Robert Ladbroke, the local land owner in 1750, forms the north/south spine. To the west rise grand, stuccoed family houses in hushed tree-lined streets and crescents. To the east, the impressive Notting Hill heartland, the garden squares and lines of stuccoed grandeur, Stanley Crescent, Ladbroke Square, wide, generous streets with cobbled, coloured mews, gradually yield to the influence of Portobello….
Terraced or detached, converted into apartments or as single family homes, the crescents and garden squares of Ladbroke, what we enjoy now was the early pipe dream of the local landowner James Weller Ladbroke and architects Thomas Allason and Thomas Allom, with influences from Nash's Regent’s Park.
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