The History of Kensington

Posted on 21st July 2016

It’s thought that the earliest mention of Kensington is in the Domesday Book. Back in 1086 it was written as ‘Chenesitone’, and for hundreds of years the area was only a small village. Today, it is one of the most stylish parts of London, and the location of our new boutique restaurant. We take a look at the history of the place we now call home.

Kensington has long has a reputation as an elegant area, home to ‘persons of note’. From the early 17th century, its position close to central London and its reputation for clean air made it a fashionable place to be. Holland House, Campden House and Nottingham House – which later became known as Kensington Palace after considerable extensions designed by Christopher Wren – were built around this time.

Kensington Gardens used to be a King’s playground. Starting life as the western part of Hyde Park, the hunting ground of Henry VIII, it was separated in the 18th century to be used as the private gardens for Kensington Palace. Opened to the public over a century ago, Kensington Gardens receive millions of visitors every year. Home to the Serpentine Galleries, the Peter Pan Statue and the Diana Memorial Playground, it is one of the best-loved spots in London.

Kensington Palace is the jewel in its crown, a stunning royal residence that has belonged to the British Royal Family since the 17th century. King George I, Queen Victoria, and of course, Diana, Princess of Wales, have all lived at Kensington Palace, and it is the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today.

Today, Kensington is as well known for its shopping as it is for these beautiful historical landmarks. With a bustling farmer’s market and scores of independent coffee shops, restaurants and bars, it’s a clean, leafy part of London with a relaxed atmosphere.

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