London, and especially the Kensington area has an extensive and rich history to it, aprtly due to it being one of the main areas of the city where the Royals, and those connected with the monarchy would have lived. As it grew in fashion, many other people began to flock to this affluent area and this led to a build-up of shops and accommodation such as the Park Grand Kensington. It is not surprising then, that Kensington plays host to some of the best historical sites in the city. If you’re staying in the area then you’d be mad to miss them.
Originally part of Henry VIII’s hunting ground in the 16th century, Kensington Gardens was eventually sectioned off from the rest of Hyde Park in honour of Queen Caroline in 1728. The design was that of the traditional landscape gardens of the period which were designed by Henry Wise and Charles Bridgeman. This historic garden has beautiful features such as a Dutch themed garden and a lovely round pond.
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall was created in the Victorian era in memory of the then deceased Prince Albert, husband to Queen Victoria. The magnificent concert hall is both historical in its architecture and in its history of performances, which includes some of the best in opera and classical including works by the famous Gilbert and Sullivan as well as modern performers such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and even awards ceremonies such as the BAFTA’s. The building is Grade I listed and has a roof made of wrought iron in a dome shape. What’s more, the already magnificent hall has a capacity of up to 9000.
This four floored Georgian town house is based in the Chelsea district and was named after one of its owners, the historian and philosopher Thomas Carlyle. Now open to the public, the house dates back to 1708 and was opened to the public in 1895, where many of his possessions are still displayed alongside works and portraits by and of him and his wife Jane Welsh Carlyle, a notable Woman of Letters.
Chelsea Old Church
One of the oldest Churches still standing in London, Chelsea Old Church, or All Saints was originally erected in the 14th century and seats 400 people. As a Church of England church, there are a number of notable design and architectural quirks in the building as well as memorials for a number of notable figures from throughout history as well as sculptures by artists by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Kensal Green Cemetery
Opened in 1833, the Kensal Green Cemetery is built on 72 acres of ground and was inspired by the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. To make this spectacular ground even more unique, a canal runs through the grounds whilst the wildlife and beautiful woodland that can be found are due to it being a natural conservation era. The cemetery will be of interest to architectural and landscaping enthusiasts due to its mainly Gothic and Grecian styles.