The Full Wiki

Kensington: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 51°30′01″N 0°11′27″W / 51.5004°N 0.1909°W / 51.5004; -0.1909

Kensington Buildings.JPG
Kensington is located in Greater London

 Kensington shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ255795
London borough Kensington & Chelsea
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district SW7
Postcode district W8, W14
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Kensington and Chelsea
London Assembly West Central
List of places: UK • England • London

Kensington is a district of West London, England within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, located 2.8 miles (4.5 km) west of Charing Cross. An affluent and densely-populated area, its commercial heart is Kensington High Street and it contains the well-known museum district of South Kensington.

To the north, Kensington is bordered by Notting Hill; to the east, by Brompton and Knightsbridge; to the south, by Chelsea and Earl's Court; and to the west, by Hammersmith and Shepherd's Bush.

Its name came from Anglo-Saxon Cēnsiginga tūn = "The village or enclosure of Keen-Victory's people".



The focus of the area is Kensington High Street, a busy commercial centre with many shops, typically upmarket. The street was declared London's second best shopping street in February 2005 thanks to its range and number of shops.[1]

Kensington's second activity centre is South Kensington, where a variety of small shops are clustered close to South Kensington tube station. This is also the southern end of Exhibition Road, the thoroughfare that links the area's museums and educational institutions together.

The edges of Kensington are not well-defined; in particular, the southern part of Kensington blurs into Chelsea, which has a similar architectural style. To the west, a transition is made across the West London railway line and Earl's Court Road further south into other districts, whilst to the north, the only obvious dividing line is Holland Park Avenue, to the north of which is the similar district of Notting Hill.

In the north east, the large Royal Park of Kensington Gardens (contiguous with its eastern neighbour, Hyde Park) is an obvious buffer between Kensington and areas to the north east. The other main green area in Kensington is Holland Park, just north of Kensington High Street, whilst Kensington has numerous small residential garden squares.

Kensington is, in general, an extremely affluent area, a trait that it now shares with its neighbour to the south, Chelsea. The area has some of London's most expensive streets and garden squares, including Edwardes Square, Earls Terrace - an exclusive redevelopment of Georgian Houses, The Phillimores, and Wycombe Square - a new build development done to a very high standard. In early 2007, houses have sold in Upper Phillimore Gardens for in excess of £20 million. Additionally, most neighbouring districts are regarded as exclusive residential areas, including Knightsbridge and Brompton to the east and the nearest parts of Notting Hill to the north. To the west is the less affluent but up and coming area of Earl's Court.

Kensington is also very densely populated; it forms part of the most densely populated local government district (the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea) in the United Kingdom. This high density is not formed from high-rise buildings; instead, it has come about through the subdivision of large mid-rise Victorian and Georgian terraced houses (generally of some four to six floors) into flats. Unlike other parts of the Borough, Kensington itself has almost no high-rise buildings - the exception being Cromwell Road's Holiday Inn, a 27-storey hotel.

Notable attractions and institutions in Kensington (or South Kensington) include: Kensington Palace in Kensington Gardens, the Royal Albert Hall opposite the Albert Memorial in Hyde Park, the Royal College of Music, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Heythrop College, Imperial College, London, the Royal College of Art and Kensington and Chelsea College. The Olympia exhibition hall is just over the western border in West Kensington.


Kensington Gardens in the summer

Kensington is part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and lies within the Kensington & Chelsea parliamentary constituency. Prior to 1965 Kensington formed the Royal Borough of Kensington, and some residents objected to the merger with Chelsea, formerly an inexpensive and bohemian borough compared with the fashionable Royal Borough.


Kensington is crossed east-west by three main roads, the most important of which is the A4 or Cromwell Road which connects it to both central London and Heathrow Airport, as well as providing the main route out of the city from the district. To the north is the mostly-parallel Kensington Road (of which Kensington High Street forms a large part), linking central London and Hammersmith to the area. To the south is Fulham Road, which connects South Kensington with Fulham to the southwest. North-south connections are not as well-developed and there is no obvious single route through the area.

Kensington is well-served by public transport and is located in the central zone of the public transport network; three London Underground lines serve the district via stations at High St Kensington, Gloucester Road and South Kensington. All three are served by the Circle Line which connects them to London's railway terminals. The District Line also serves all three stations, albeit on different branches; it links the latter two to Westminster and the City. The Piccadilly Line also links South Kensington and Gloucester Road to the West End in about 10 minutes, and in the other direction to Heathrow Airport in about 40 minutes.

A number of local bus services link Kensington into the surrounding districts, and key bus hubs are Kensington High Street and South Kensington station. These bus services are scheduled to be improved in frequency and spread with the western extension of the London congestion charge area, which requires vehicles driving into or around Kensington to pay a daily fee of £8.


The manor of Kensington, Middlesex, was granted by William I of England to Geoffrey de Montbray or Mowbray, bishop of Coutances, one of his inner circle of advisors and one of the wealthiest men in post-Conquest England. He in turn granted the tenancy of Kensington to his vassal Aubrey de Vere I, who was holding the manor in 1086, according to Domesday Book. The bishop's heir, Robert de Mowbray, rebelled against William Rufus and his vast barony was declared forfeit. Aubrey de Vere I had his tenure converted to a tenancy in-chief, holding Kensington after 1095 directly of the crown.[2] He granted land and church there to Abingdon Abbey at the deathbed request of his young eldest son, Geoffrey.[3] As the Veres became the earls of Oxford, their estate at Kensington came to be known as Earls Court, while the Abingdon lands were called Abbots Kensington and the church St Mary Abbots.

See also


  1. ^ "Best shopping street' in London". BBC News. 2005-02-23. Retrieved 2008-10-23.  
  2. ^ Victoria County History of England, Middlesex, vol. 1, pp. 116-7
  3. ^ Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon, vol 2, pp. 55-6

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

If you are looking for the neighborhood in London, please see London/Notting Hill-North Kensington.

The Christmas display
The Christmas display

Kensington is a small city in the Capital Region of Maryland and suburb of Washington, D.C. It borders Bethesda to the southwest and Silver Spring to the east.


The main reasons to visit are antique shopping at Antique Row, to see the enormous Mormon Temple, the bizarre National Park Seminary, and one great pizza place. Aside from that, it's just a quiet suburban town with some odd quirks. Sections of the "Town of Kensington" are really beautiful, with big old Victorian homes set in a nice community by parks and Antique Row—looking much as it did when Kensington was a summer getaway from the big city.

Usually a quiet little suburb, Kensington made the headlines of the national news three times in one year. First, the mayor banned Santa Claus from the neighborhood in late 2001, citing the separation of Church and State. How on earth can this be possible, you ask? The mayor responded to a complaint that only a Christmas tree was displayed on the grounds of the Town Hall, to the exclusion of other religious symbols. The town government responded by removing the tree. Then, realizing that there were similar grounds for objection to the local fire department flying around the neighborhood with Santa Claus in tow, tossing candy to kids, the Mayor banned Santa Claus from his usual fire engine tour of the town. Following national media attention, there was an enormous Santa Claus protest, where hundreds of Santa Clauses arrived on motorcycles to assure Kensington that St Nick would indeed be coming to town! But what's truly amazing about this whole saga is that the mayor was reelected...

The second and third news events were not so comical, however. In early 2002, a MARC train derailed in spectacular fashion, and injured over one hundred commuters. Fortunately, and somewhat amazingly, no one was killed. Later that year, the D.C. sniper's first day of spree-killing included the murder of a resident, filling up her gas tank at the local Shell.

By rail

Public transportation to Kensington is underwhelming compared to its neighbors. The most charming mode of arrival is without a doubt the MARC train Brunswick line from Union Station, which will take you directly to the historic train station in the middle of Antique Row. The downside is that the light rail runs infrequently during off-hours (non-rush hour), and quite infrequently when traveling in the opposite direction of rush hour.

By metro/bus

The quickest way to get to downtown Kensington and Antique Row is usually to take the metro and then transfer to bus. RideOn Bus 5 [1] from the Silver Spring Red Line metro stop is the most convenient option, which will take you straight to Antique Row, making stops near the Mormon Temple, as well as downtown Kensington. Because of the transfer, this trip is longer than taking the light rail, but you can rest easy knowing that you won't get stranded!

If coming from the northwest branch of the metro's Red Line, get off at the Medical Center stop and take RideOn Bus 34 [2] towards Aspen Hill, which will take you right through the center of Kensington (where you can transfer to the #5) and on to the Wheaton Metro stop. This bus originates in Friendship Heights and passes through Bethesda before reaching Medical Center.

Arriving via the Beltway
Arriving via the Beltway

The main arteries leading north from Washington, D.C. and the Beltway are Connecticut Ave and Wisconsin Ave. Connecticut will take you straight through the center of Kensington—turn right at Strathmore/Knowles Ave and follow it to the end to get to Antique Row.

Despite being so easy to see from the Beltway, the Mormon Temple is quite difficult to find. The easiest and most navigable path is to take Beach Drive east from Connecticut (Beach Drive is just north of the Connecticut Ave Beltway exit).

If you take a taxi from D.C., be aware that your driver may not know his/her way around Maryland. So bring directions to help the taxi driver out! If it's after midnight, taxis hate crossing the district line, and you could wind up waiting hours on either side after making the call.

Get around

It's easiest to get around Kensington by car, but Bus 4 will take you to both Antique Row and the Mormon Temple, as well as the "downtown" area (where you can get some great fast food at Continentals Pizza)! To get to the National Park Seminary, however, your only option is by car.


National LDS Temple

The Mormon Temple is by far and away Kensington's most significant attraction. Most only see it from the Beltway, where it rises high above the treeline, looking similar enough to the Emerald Palace in the Wizard of Oz to inspire a local graffiti artist to paint "Surrender Dorothy" on the overpass on the Outer Loop. (The temple is actually white, though.) It's not possible to enter the Mormon Temple itself if you are not Mormon, but the grounds are pretty, and there is a Visitor Center:

  • LDS Temple Visitor Center, 9900 Stoneybrook Dr, [3]. 10AM-9PM daily. Since you can't go in the temple, there's a need for a nice visitor center, and they've done a nice job with it. It hosts regular events (see website for calendar) and movie screenings throughout the day every day of the year, in addition to a permanent multimedia display. The building itself and the grounds surrounding it are immaculate and pretty. Free.  edit

'Tis the season to visit the Mormon Temple come Christmas time. The light display is truly spectacular, especially given that the grounds and temple are impressive enough to merit a visit without the display. The light display runs throughout Advent, and is absolutely worth seeking out from D.C. if you are in the area this time of the year. In addition to the light display, the Visitor Center shows its best face, with more than a dozen large, decorated Christmas trees, international nativity scenes, and a live outdoor nativity scene. It's a great place for all ages, and is certain to stir a little of the Christmas spirit.

The Music Hall, President's House, Ballroom, and Swiss Chalet at NPS
The Music Hall, President's House, Ballroom, and Swiss Chalet at NPS

The 19th-20th century Seminary, 2791 Linden Ln, [4]—formerly a finishing school for girls and resort community in Forest Glen—is an odd site indeed. Inspired by the 1893 World Fair in Chicago, the Seminary owner decided to build ten buildings of styles around the world. A Greek theater, a Japanese pagoda, a Dutch windmill, and many others. Following the Great Depression and WWII, the Seminary could barely make ends meet, and the entire property was commandeered by the U.S. Army's Walter Reed Medical Hospital in 1942, a hospital best known today for mistreating wounded veterans. The military went out of their way to offend local communities by demolishing historic property and generally neglecting the beautiful exotic and Victorian buildings. Gaining official historic status saved many of the buildings from demolition, but the neglect continued, allowing the elements and vandals to take their toll. In the 1980s, the "Save Our Seminary" group formed to protect what was left, and did an admirable job.

Today, the Army has returned the historic Seminary properties to private hands, and the area looks set to have a real renaissance. The pagoda has already been restored as the business office, with plans to renovate all the historic properties and to introduce condos to finance the restoration. You usually can't visit beyond looking at the buildings from the road, but that's usually enough reason to come see this weird place! However, the SOS does offer excellent guided tours on the fourth Saturday of each month, nominally for free, but you really should give the $5 suggested donation.

Driving is the only way to get here—take a right north of the Mormon Temple onto Capitol View Ave; follow the winding hilly road to the end and turn right onto Seminary Rd—you'll know you're there when you see a big Japanese pagoda.


The Old Town of Kensington is a major shopping destination in the D.C. area for antiques, with a large cluster of antique shops along Antique Row. [5] The strip is charming and full of interesting browsing opportunities, from furniture to bric-a-brac to books. To get there, take a right off of Connecticut Ave (coming from D.C.) after the Knowles Ave intersection onto East Howard Ave. On street parking, as well as shop parking is usually no problem.

  • China Gourmet, 3739 University Blvd, +1 301 946-9400. M-F 11:30AM-3PM, 5PM-10PM, Sa noon-10:30PM, Su noon-9:30PM. A run of the mill Chinese restaurant, which, while having nothing-special food, is a nicely furnished place to sit over a meal. There's a well stocked bar in the back, but... come on, you can do better than a suburban Chinese restaurant bar in the D.C. area. $8-16.  edit
  • Continental Pizza, 10532 Connecticut Ave, +1 301 949-9797. Kensington likely has the worst dining scene of any D.C. suburb, but it does have one gem. Continental's is a hole in the wall, with a unique-style, delicious pizza on the cheap (a large with toppings costs just $8). People drive from way out of town to get it. The steak and cheese sub is likely the best in the metropolitan area, and the fries are thick and smothered with Old Bay. If you're in Kensington, eat here. Even if you don't like pizza! $4-10.  edit


K-town is no nightlife destination, and neither of the town's two boozing options are very appealing. One is the aforementioned China Gourmet bar, and the other is Savannah's, which would be hard to recommend. 10700 Connecticut Ave, +1 301 946-7917. Entrees $5-12. In a pinch, it could be a passable beer and sandwich stop, but it has a sort of sad, next to gas station, suburban trucker hang-out vibe. Anyway, pass up both options, and head to Bethesda or Silver Spring, both of which have plenty of good options.


Kensington lacks any lodgings to speak of, so you'll only be sleeping here if you have family in the neighborhood. To beat a tired drum, look in adjacent Bethesda or Silver Spring, both of which have plenty of hotel options.

Get out

The two natural destinations coming from Kensington, aside from heading back into Washington, D.C., are the dining and nightlife scenes in Silver Spring and Bethesda.

  • Silver Spring — easy to get to by car (via the Beltway to the Georgia Ave exit) or bus 5
  • Bethesda — easy to get to by car via Wisconsin Ave south, or by bus 5 to the White Flint metro station and then south on the Red Line to the Bethesda stop
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Database error article)

From LoveToKnow 1911

(There is currently no text in this page)


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




From Old English personal name Cynesige + -ing- + -ton (Estate associated with Cynesige)

Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:





  1. An affluent area of west London; South Kensington contains several major museums


  • 2003, A. D. Mills, A Dictionary of British Place-Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0198527586

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address