Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|OS Grid Reference:|
|Borough:||Kensington & Chelsea|
|Ceremonial County:||Greater London|
The district was rural until the 19th century. Most of it was formerly the grounds of a Jacobean mansion called Holland House. In the later decades of that century the owners of the house sold off the more outlying parts of its grounds for residential development, and the district which evolved took its name from the house. It also included some small areas around the fringes which had never been part of the grounds of Holland House, notably the Phillimore Estate (there are at least four roads with the word Phillimore in their name) and the Campden Hill Square area. It was mostly comfortably upper middle class when originally developed and in recent decades has gone further upmarket. It is now one of the most expensive residential districts in London or anywhere in the world, with large houses regularly listed for sale at ten million pounds sterling and above. A number of countries maintain embassies here. There are no official boundaries, but they are roughly Kensington High Street to the south, Holland Road to the west, Holland Park Avenue to the north and Palace Gardens Terrace / Kensington Church Street to the east.
Holland House is now a fragmentary ruin but a substantial part of its grounds were preserved from development and taken over by the local council. The nothern half or so of the part is semi-wild woodland, the central section around the ruins of Holland House is more formal with several garden areas, and the southernmost section is used for sport. Among other things the park contains a famous Orangery, a cricket pitch, tennis courts, a Japanese garden, a Youth Hostel, one of London's best equipped children's playgrounds, squirrels and (impressively for a London park) peacocks. Today the remains of the house form a backdrop for the open air Holland Park Theatre, which is the home of Opera Holland Park. The green-roofed Commonwealth Institute lies to the south.
Map of Holland Park - the word "Kensington" is printed across the heart of Holland Park. Kensington is a large district and Holland Park is a subsection of it. The heart of London is off the map to the right.
The local council's page on the park
Friends of Holland Park
Opera Holland Park
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