It with the reputation to be a sector rich and with the mode, known for the attractive terraces of the large urban houses victoriennes and of the restaurants (in particular around Westbourne Grove). The many stores of occasion of music around Notting Hill Gate also make of it a place of culture " alternative".
It is a cosmopolitan zone, which is noticed in particular at the time of famous the Carnaval of Notting Hill, which takes place in August. It is a festival of street and an enormous celebration of the cultures of the Caribbean, with processions of the dressed up dancers. The carnival in the beginning was established in the Sixties like positive response with the tensions between the community immigrant recently arrived and the remainder of the communities, tensions whose culminating point were the riots of Notting Hill.
It is also the place of the secondhand trade of Portobello Road, which became an important tourist attraction of London and which is surrounded by many shops of antique dealers. The market takes place each Saturday and attracts the purchasers, the salesmen and the tourists. These last years, the growth of the market and the feeling to be more and more a tourist market led some of them to say that quality decreased.
The sector was entitled to an international attention with film of Hollywood: Love at first sight in Notting Hill, (1999) with like first role Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, where one can see the market of antiquities of Portobello Road.
The hill from where Notting Hill draws her name is probably the hill through which Ladbroke Grove passes, which has its top close to the point where St John' S Church is held now. Alternatively, some authors propose that Notting Hill can refer to the hill close to. It is said that the name is very old, and derived from Saxon the " Cnotta" , as in Cnotta Hill.
Notting Hill was a small calm district, when there was the film love at first sight in Notting Hill, the village already very multiethnic thanks to its festival, was even tourist than front.
At the beginning, the sector was entirely rural, and it belonged to the north of the parish of Kensington. A manor was recorded. The name Notting Hill came when a door of toll was built on the main roads of London to Uxbridge, which is now known like Oxford Street, Bayswater Road and Holland Park Avenue. The door of toll rose with current the Notting Hill Gate. The door was there to stop the people passing along the road without paying and the amount was applied for the maintenance of this important road. The door was removed at the XIXe century.
There is, therefore, a difference between modern Notting Hill (which is the sector surrounding the hill) and Notting Hill Gate (at the origin the site of a door at the bottom of the hill and maintaining the sector in the south of Notting Hill). However, both are often confused.
When the expansion in the west of London reached Bayswater at the beginning of the XIXe century, the landowners of Notting Hill was the Ladbroke family and in the years 1820 it started to build streets and houses in order to transform the sector into suburbs with the mode (although the development started seriously only in the years 1840). Several of these streets bear the name of Ladbroke, including Ladbroke Grove (the axis principal south-north of the sector) and Ladbroke Place (which is the largest square garden in London).
The original idea was to call the zone: Kensington Park, and certain names of road (in particular Kensington Park Road and Kensington Park Gardens) remained. It is also the reason of the choice of PARK as name of the telephone center which is the origin of the traditional prefix 727 (maintaining 7727) of telephone of Notting Hill, since the letters correspond to numbers 727 on old dials of telephone.
The principal architect of this plan was the land-surveyor Thomas Allom of the family Ladbroke and its idea was that, instead of the houses placed around a garden separate of the houses by a road making the turn of this garden, the houses were placed around the garden, with the road on other side of the house. This means that the houses had an direct access with the communal garden, the passers by did not have there access and the garden could not be seen street. These communal gardens continue to provide to the sector much its attraction.
The houses of Notting Hill large but were once built, did not succeed in attracting the richest Londoners, who preferred food towards the center, in Mayfair or Belgravia. Then, they called upon the upper middle class which could live there in the model of Belgravia but at low prices.
Like other sectors of London, the reputation of the zone evolved/moved significantly at the XXe century. While the middle-class ceased employing servants, the large houses of Notting Hill lost their interest and were split more and more in several residences.
In the Eighties, the occupation of the whole house started to return to the mode and Notting Hill is now one of the zones of London more the appraisals, with its private gardens, its communal gardens, its access to the public parks Holland Park and Kensington Gardens, and its stores snuffed.
- Notting Hill Nonsense, a website of Notting Hill
- Guide Notting Hill, Cityguide of London, with a presentation of Notting Hill
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