A Kensal Walk

Route & what to see


An almost circular walk from Westbourne Park to Ladbroke Grove Stations (both on Circle or Hammersmith & City lines) looking at buildings of interest and green spaces. There is the opportunity to explore Kensal Green Cemetery (additional to 4 mile route).

Go left out of the station under the Westway.
Westbourne Park Bus Garage was designed by Clifford Culpin in 1981. Trellick Tower (visable at several points) was constructed in 1972 and based on Erno Goldfinger's Balfron Tower in Poplar.

Cross to the green space (Meanwhile Gardens) and walk through this canalside park.
It was set up in 1976 on derelict land as a temporary facility (hence the name). It includes a skate park, play hut, Moroccan Garden, ponds, scented courtyard and wildlife area.

Exit and continue along Kensal Road.
The Cobden Working Men's Club and Institute was opened in 1880. The former premises of The Globe Wenicke Co (office furniture) are decorated with fine dragons. St Thomas Church was rebuilt in 1967 to the designs of Romily Craze. The previous church of 1889 was destroyed by bombing.

Walk through the Emslie Horniman Pleasaunce
The land for this was presented by Emslie John Horniman, Liberal MP for Chelsea and son of Frederick J Horniman (of tea & museum fame). In 1911 Charles F A Voysey was commissioned to lay out the grounds, working with landscape architect Madeline Agar. His walled garden is Grade II listed. Ironwork is by William B Reynolds. The park was presented to the LCC on 20 May 1914. During WWII the area deteriorated and following slum clearance, begun in the 1930s, the park was extended. With the aid of the Heritage Lottery Fund and other grants the park was restored in the 1990s to provide a new sports pitch, children's playground, signage and fencing.

Right along Southern Row, right at Middle Row.
This area was developed in the 1840s but few of the cottages remain.

Left along Kensal Road.
Portobello Lofts have been built on the site of canalside premises. At the end of the road is the Western Arms pub.

At the end of this road go right at Ladbroke Grove, crossing at the island.
Canalside was built in 1929.

To explore the cemetery continue over the canal and go left at Harrow Road to the Main Gate.
This was the first and largest of the new cemeteries, opened in 1833 and still operating. The buildings, in neo-Grecian style, including the Anglican and Dissenters Chapels were designed by JW Griffith. There are catacombs under the chapel and some 140 listed monuments.

Retun to Canalside. Go down to the canal towpath
There is an Activity Centre here.

Walk through the car park of Sainsburys back to Ladbroke Grove and go right. Cross the railway and go right at Barlby Road.
Cottages surround Barlby Gardens. Pall Mall Deposit warehouses 1911. Ladbroke Hall of 1903 is the former administrative building of the Clement Talbot Motor Works. This was the UK's first purpose-built car factory where the workshops were equipped with the most modern machine tools. The reception area had marble Ionic columns, gilded frescoes and stained glass windows etched with the Shrewsbury coat of arms. Rootes Drive leads to an area of housing built on the site of the former works. Roads are named after makes of cars and there are mosaic plaques and a small park.

Continue along Balgarno Gardens
There is a large Peabody Estate then a Sutton Estate. Beyond this is Little Wormwood Scrubs Recreation Ground. This was acquired as a public park in 1886. It is a site of nature conservation importance and has childrens and adventure playgrounds.

Left along Brewster Gardens
At North Pole Road to the right was St Quintin Park and Wormwood Scrubs Station on the West London Line. This mainly wooden building, opened on 1 August 1871 and closed in 1940 after bomb damage.

Go left along North Pole Road for a short distance then right at St Quintin Avenue, keeping the triangular green on the left.
Evelyn Fox Court is sheltered housing designed in 1984-5 by Green Lloyd & Adams.

Left at Pangbourne Avenue.
The Princess Louise Hospital, initially for children and later used as a geriatric facility, opened in 1926 and closed in 2006.

Right at Oakworth Road.
These are inter-war 'Homes for Heroes'.

Enter Kensington Memorial Park on the right.
Cross or explore this park exiting via St Helens Gardens.

Cross St Quintin Avenue.
St Helen's Church, along with its hall & vicarage, was rebuilt in 1954-6 to the designs of JBS Comper. The previous church of 1884 was destroyed by bombing.

Second left at Bassett Road.
This tree-lined road has large Victorian houses.

Left along St Marks Road.
The junction with St Quintin Avenue marks the site of Notting Barn Farms, the only buildings in the area until the 19th century.

Just past Oakworth Road enter the St Charles Centre for Health & Wellbeing on the right.
This is the former St Charles Hospital, originally the infirmary of the St Marylebone Workhouse. The first buildings were designed by Saxon Snell and planned on the pavilion principle advocated by Florence Nightingale. It was opened by the Prince & Princess of Wales in 1881.

Explore the site then exit onto Exmoor Street and go right.
At the end of the street is the entrance to a Carmelite Monastery.

Continue around St Charles Square.
St Pius X Church was the former chapel of St Charles College, designed in 1908 by PA Lamb & R North. The college moved to the site in 1874 but was replaced by secondary schools after 1945.

Opposite the church take the road through to Ladbroke Grove and go right.
St Michaels Church was designed by James Edmeston in 1870-1.

Take the road alongside the church (St Michaels Gardens) then go left along St Lawrence Terrace. Right at Bonchurch Road then right along the Portobello Road.
This is noted for its shops and markets. It was originally a lane leading to Portobello Farm.

Just before the Westway walk right through Portobello Green or along Cambridge Gardens.
Portobello Green was created in the 1970s along with the development of spaces beneath the road.

At Ladbroke Grove go left under the Westway to the tube station.


Buildings of England: London 3: North West by Cherry & Pevsner
Survey of London [
click here]
Emslie Horniman Pleasaunce [
Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery [
Little Wormwood Scrubs [
St Quintin Park & Wormwood Scrubs Station [
St Quintin Park - history & stories [
St Marylebone Workhouse & infirmary [
Princess Louise Hospital [
Portobello Market [

london-footprints.co.uk 2012