THE LADBROKE ASSOCIATION

The conservation and amenity society for the Ladbroke Conservation Area in the

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

   

 

 

 

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Streets: history and architecture

 

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STREETS OF THE LADBROKE AREA

 

LADBROKE TERRACE

 

 

 

  Ladbroke Terrace was one of the first streets to be created on the Ladbroke estate. Building started in the 1820s at the Holland Park Avenue end, on the eastern side with four villas between the Avenue and what was to become Ladbroke Road. Others followed within ten years. The normal pattern seems to have been followed with James Weller Ladbroke first giving building leases, and then once the houses were constructed giving 99-year leases of the buildings at a relatively low ground rent to the developer, who could then sell the leaseholds or sublet the houses to recoup his outlay. 

  The houses are numbered consecutively from south to north on the eastern side and then back down the western side from north to south.

1836 plan done when sewers were being laid in Ladbroke Terrace

 

Eastern side (Nos. 1-9)

 

   The developer of Nos. 1-4 Ladbroke Terrace was the architect Robert Cantwell, with financial backing from Major-General Lawrence Bradshaw of Harley Street. The houses were completed in the mid-1820s. They originally formed one continuous stucco-faced two-storey range with semi-basements. The Survey of London describes them as having centrally placed doorways, each flanked on either side by a wide and slightly projecting wing containing one window on each floor. The doorways have shallow projecting porches supported on Ionic columns, and the wings have plain pilasters supporting a simple horizontal band of stucco which performs the function of an entablature. A low-pitched slate roof rises above wide eaves carried on brackets set above the pilasters.

 

   Nos. 1-2, sadly, were demolished when the north side of Notting Hill Gate was rebuilt in the late 1950s-early 1960s.

 

   Nos. 3-4 remain, although No. 3 has had its ground floor entrance replaced by an entrance in the semi-basement, with the original portico perched rather awkwardly on top; and one of the lower rooms has been replaced by a garage. But their simple elegance is still very much apparent (Cantwell also designed the similar but much grander trios at Nos. 2-6 and 24-28 evens Holland Park Avenue). There is an old deed in the Kensington Public Library relating to No. 4, showing that in 1865 Robert Cocks of No. 10 Ladbroke Terrace granted a 21-year lease of No. 4 to Josiah Erk at an annual rent of £120 (deed No. 1289).

 

 

 

3-4 Ladbroke Terrace in 2006

 

 

The Survey of London draws attention to two drawings in the J. B. Papworth collection in the library of the Royal Institute of British Architects which evidently relate to these houses (these are illustrated in Volume 37 of the Survey). One of them is inscribed in a later hand 'Villas at Notting Hill. R. Cantwell'. They show that as originally conceived these houses were to have formed semi-detached pairs, each house having a width of only two openings including the doorway, which was placed at the outer end. They are indeed shown in this manner on the ground plan attached to Cantwell's lease of 1826, but their alteration to form one continuous range must have taken place either during the course of building or very soon afterwards, for the Kensington tithe map of 1844 shows them all joined together, as the 1836 plan shown below.

The drawings are nevertheless of considerable interest for their contemporary evidence about the internal dispositions of houses of this general type.

Each house was originally to be twenty-four feet wide and thirty-two feet deep. The basement contained a front and back kitchen equipped with a stone sink, a copper, a dresser and plate-rack, and a closet-cupboard. The front kitchen, which had a boarded floor, gave access to a covered area off which were a small pantry, a cistern, and a groined coal cellar. The letter was paved with bricks, and the pantry, cistern space and covered area were paved with York stone slabs. The back kitchen, also paved with York stone slabs, had a small area at the rear from which access was gained to a privy and to the steps leading up to the back garden. At the side there were two more cellars, both paved with bricks, one for wine, and the other for beer. On the ground floor, the entrance hall gave access to a stair well, off which were the dining-room, rear drawing-room (smaller than the dining-room), and a small study. On the first floor there were four bedrooms and a water-closet. All rooms except one bedroom had a fireplace, those in the kitchens being presumably furnished with ranges. There was no bathroom.

 

 

   Nos. 5 and 6 date from about 1833 and were probably also built by Cantwell, as Felix Ladbroke granted him leases of both these houses. These two houses are again full stucco but have three storeys above semi-basements. The front door of No. 5 was moved at some point  – according to a 1993 planning application in Victorian times – to a side extension with a new hall on the lower ground floor. The door was then repositioned yet again to its current position in the 1990s. The original entrance to No. 6 appears from the 1863 Ordnance Survey map to have been set back from the front of the house, although like now no doubt on the raised ground floor. [check]  The interior of No. 5 has also recently been entirely removed and the whole house is being rebuilt with only the façade remaining of the original.

 

5-6 Ladbroke Terrace in 2006

 

    On the other side of Ladbroke Road where Bowden Court now stands, there was a large villa called Bloomfield Lodge fronting onto Ladbroke Road with a garden that extended half way along this block of Ladbroke Terrace. It was originally numbered No. 7 Ladbroke Terrace (and the present No. 7 was No. 8), but in 1908 was designated No. 24 Ladbroke Road.

 

    The present Nos. 7 and 9 date from probably around the same period as the other houses in this street and, according to the Survey of London, were probably built by Cantwell and/or William John Drew, who built several of the houses in the western section of Ladbroke Road. They too are simple and elegant low-built stucco houses. They were originally two detached villas, but a full height extension to No. 7 was built to fill the gap, and in the early 1950s, No. 7 was divided into two: the original house and the infill, which became a narrow (three metres wide) house.  This was numbered No. 8. It has now been reincorporated back into No. 7, which explains why there is no longer a No. 8.

 

Nos. 7 and 9 in 1973, after No. 9 had added its dormer floor but before No. 7

had been demolished and rebuilt. Photo courtesy RBKC.

 

7 and 9 Ladbroke Terrace in 2015

 

 

    No. 9 (Bute House) is relatively unchanged in front, although its façade has been raised and a dormer floor added. Planning permission was given in 1989 for No. 7 to be completely rebuilt behind its existing façade. In the event the entire building was demolished, without consent. It was rebuilt with a near  replica of the previous façade (with  the addition of a dormer floor to match that on No. 9), but nothing of its historic fabric now remains. Moreover, the front door was moved to the lower ground floor – whereas the original house had steps up to a portico on the raised first floor, like No. 9.

 

The attractive  raised ground floor entrance to No. 9 (Bute House) in 2015

 

 

 

Western side (Nos. 10-19 Ladbroke Terrace)

    There were originally two detached villas and a semi-detached pair of villas on the western side between Ladbroke Square and Ladbroke Road. Each had a name: Wilby House, Resington Lodge, Hallbank and Burlington House.

  

    Only Wilby HouseNo. 10 Ladbroke Terrace – survives. All also dated from the 1830s or possibly early 1840s. The Survey of London says that Nos. 10 and 11 were probably built by Cantwell and/or Drew (like Nos. 7 and 9). No. 10 is another long low two-storey house. It not stuccoed, but has pilasters in a different colour brick. This is unusual for the period – one would have expected stuccoed pilasters like those on the similar houses at 101-119 Ladbroke Road, also built by Drew.

 

10 Ladbroke Terrace in 2015

 

    In the 1860s until his death, Wilby House was the home of Robert Cocks (1797-1887) who founded one of the best-known Victorian music publishers, Robert Cocks and Co. The firm is said by his death to have published 16,000 works. Robert Cocks also owned a number of properties in the area which he let, including No. 4 Ladbroke Terrace, No. 29 Ladbroke Walk and No. 24 Ladbroke Grove. In 1851, the census shows him as living at No. 1 Ladbroke Terrace, so he probably owned that too.

 

    In the 1930s, Wilby House was acquired by a masonic organisation. They used the villas an administrative headquarters and built a large one-storey double-height hall in the garden, for use as a meeting place and temple. The Freemasons disposed of the property (both house and hall) in the early 1990s and it is now residential.

 

    Nos. 11, 12 and 13 originally consisted of three houses. No. 11 was a low-built double stucco-fronted detached villa similar to those across the road, and Nos. 22 and 13 (on the corner of Ladbroke Road) were a pair of stucco-fronted detached villas. In about 1942 No. 12 was taken over by the Sisters of Chrity of St Vincent de Paul, a Roman Catholic order of nuns who work in the community, inter alia in the field of healthcare. They seem to have run No. 12 as some form of nursing home or clinic (by 1973 it was listed in the telephone directory as the St Vincent's Clinic). At some point they seem to have taken over the two houses on either side. They left at the end of the 1970s and the establishment became the Bowley Private Clinic.

   In the 1980s the Clinic received planning permission (on appeal) to demolish the houses and to put up the much bigger building now there, called Chartwell House. By that time only No. 11, the corner house, was relatively unaltered (there is a drawing of it among the 1986 planning papers). The Ladbroke Association opposed its demolition, but the planners of the time were dismissive of its merits, misinterpreting its elegant simplicity for crudeness. A 1987 report described it wrongly as Victorian, and as “not of great architectrural interest, being rather coarsely detailed and without particular charms”.    There is a drawing of No. 13 (one of the semi-detached houses) in Kensington Public Library dating from 1910, when the owner applied for permission to install a new bathroom (planning case 1205 of 1910).

 

Nos. 11, 12 and 13 (the stucco houses from right to left) in 1973. Courtesy of RBKC.

 

    Between Ladbroke Road and Ladbroke Walk, there was originally a trio of attached houses with long gardens extending as far as the Fire Station in Ladbroke Road. In the 1870s, however, this whole corner site was redeveloped and the three houses in Ladbroke Terrace replaced by the present Nos. 14-17. There are planning papers relating to the development in Kensington Public Library (planning case No. 1 of 1872). The houses are in high Victorian style. They are half stucco with four storeys plus basement and dormer floor, the latter with high decorated dormer windows; and porches surmounted with bottle balustrades. They were probably designed by the same architect (W.J. Worthington) as the neighbouring very similar but slightly lower block at Nos. 71-81 Ladbroke Road, built a year or so earlier.

 

   The writer Alan Sillitoe (1928-2010) lived in a flat at No. 14.

 

Nos. 14-17 Ladbroke Terrace in 2006

 

   Originally there were no buildings on the west side between Ladbroke Walk and Holland Park Avenue, this stretch being entirely occupied by the flank of No. 2 Holland Park Avenue and its back garden. Stables were then built at the bottom of the garden of 2 Holland Park Avenue, fronting Ladbroke Walk (they were there by the time of the 1863 Ordnance Survey map). These were subsequently altered or rebuilt as the dwelling house that is now No. 18. The owner of No. 18 applied to install a new oriel or bay window in 1923, on the Ladbroke Walk side, but does not appear to have proceeded with the plan. However, the application includes two interesting drawings of the ground and first floor plans (Kensington Public Library, planning case number 1659).

 

   No. 19 Ladbroke Terrace was originally built in the 1930s as a garage and extra house for No. 2 Holland Park Avenue, which was owned at the time by the Cuban Consul (planning application in the London Metropolitan Archives ref: GLC/AR/BR/17/069872).

 

Nos. 18 and 19 Ladbroke Terrace in 2006.

 

 

Listings and designations

 

None of the buildings in Ladbroke Terrace is listed.

Nos. 3-17 are subject to an Article 4 Direction removing permitted development rights in respect of front doors and windows.

Nos. 3-10 are subject to an Article 4 Direction removing permitted development rights in respect of the provision or extension of hard standing in front.

 

Recommendations for new Article 4 Directions

 

There may be a case for Article 4 protection for walls, gates and fences facing the highway and for converting the Article 4 Direction on front doors and windows to one covering the entire façade to protect string courses etc.

 

 

 

Recommendations to planners and householders

 

Where the originals remain, these houses are architecturally important and have been undervalued in the past. We hope that in future more importance will be attached to safeguarding their original shape and detailing, including the roofline.

 

We also recommend that no further walls be built in front of the houses as the open aspect of the front gardens is one of the charms of the area, Privacy can be obtained through judicious planting.

 

 

Last updated 27.11.2015