Then and now

Our neighbourhood, then and now
Here are some pictures from our area taken more than a hundred years ago, with the same view in June 2012.
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    Brunswick Gardens in 1900

     

    This is what the eastern side of Brunswick Gardens looked like in 1900. Some houses were white, and some were red brick. And there were neither cherry trees or cars lining the street, which therefore seems very wide.
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    Brunswick Gardens in 2012

     

    This is the same view 112 years later. All the houses are now white, and the cherry trees have been there for many generations. And the once so wide street seems narrow, with cars parked bumber to bumber on both sides.
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    The Kensington Church Street
    bend in 1904

     

    Looking down Kensington Church Street towards the bend in 1904, we see a policeman watching the photographer and a crowded bus going up the hill with only one horsepower.
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    The Kensington Church Street
    bend in 2012

     

    Not much has changed in 112 years. The policeman has left, but the bus is still going up the hill, albeit with more horsepowers. The houses on the right have hardly changed at all. Even the balcony is the same. The ugly building in the back, however, came after the war.
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    The corner of Kensington Church
    Street and Duke Street in 1900

     

    In 1900, much of the eastern side of Kensington Church Street below the bend was a building area, as the big Maitland House and York House from the 1760s had just been demolished. They were to be replaced by the Tudor-inspired Church Close, the imposing Gas Light and Coke Co building (today the HQ for Mulberry), and the new York House complex.
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    The corner of Kensington Church
    Street and Duke Street in 2012

     

    The row of houses on the right, between Duke Street and the church, hasn't changed at all, although its shops have changed purpose and owners many times.
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    Upper Vicarage Gate in 1906

     

    In 1906, Inverness Gardens and the upper part of Vicarage Gate was very open, as there were no cherry trees on the pavements, and as the trees in Inverness Garden were still very young. Please note, however, that the mail pillar box was already in place – and in the Vicarage Gate corner there is a policeman, watching the photograher.
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    Upper Vicarage Gate in 2012

     

    By 2012, the trees in the Inverness Gardens garden have become enormous, and together with the cherry trees in Brunswick Gardens they hide the houses in Inverness Gardens completely. The mail pillarbox is still there, however.
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    Lower Palace Gardens Terrace
    in 1906

     

    In 1906, the lower part of Palace Gardens Terrace must have felt extremely wide and open, as there were neither cars nor cherry trees. At the end of the street was the large St Pauls Church, which was bombed during World War II and then replaced by the nursing home – and there is a policeman here as well, watching the photograper.
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    Lower Palace Gardens Terrace
    in 2012

     

    In 2012, cherry trees and cars (and a big blue builders' box outside no. 42) have totally transformed the view, even if the houses look much the same. Straight ahead, the far away Hamilton House is suddenly visible, since the nursing home was demolished in December 2011.
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    The Winchester Court corner
    in 1900

     

    In 1900, Winchester Court was more than 30 years away from being built. On that site was a building from the mid 1850s, which had started as a convent and later became the Orphanage of St. Vincent de Paul. Incidentally, this part of Kensington Church Street was known as Love Lane once upon a time.
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    The Winchester Court corner
    in 2012

     

    In 1935, the imposing Winchester Court was built. It was described at the time as 'decidedly the most meritorious building to appear in this district for a long time'. With eight floors it was twice as high as the 1850s building it replaced. At the time, it was actually one of the highest buildings in central Kensington.