This is a charming quiet little alley near Kensington High Street that’s lined with richly planted patio gardens.

The alley still shows up as fields in the Greenwood map of 1828, although you can start to see the local road layout appearing, including  Holland Street where the alley leads off. According to the Kensington Conservation Area Appraisal from 2017, the row of houses was constructed between 1820-47, making the alley around 200 years old.

By the 1890s, the area around Gordon Place was also fully developed as part of the Pitt Estate, a plot of land purchased by Stephen Pitt in 1751. The estate was developed by William Eales, a timber merchant, and Jeremiah Little, a builder, who undertook to develop the whole of the Pitt holding.

It seems that the alley was originally called Orchard Street, but was renamed Gordon Place to match up with the road to the north when that was built.

The alley, Gordon Place seems to have stopped where it did because it runs up to a church graveyard that’s at the end of the alley. It seems to have always been a dead end, as OS maps from the 1890s show the two end gardens blocking the end of the alley. Part of the graveyard was later turned into a playground, which it remains today, as a tarmac covered space.

The alley has always had a small spur of road at its top, with a small curved end, but wander down past the parked cars and there’s the alley itself, with an old former gas lamp marking the entrance to a narrow slice of pavement between the heavily planted gardens.

The houses are pretty uniform, constructed from stock brick which have a smooth stucco and painted finish, all being two windows wide and with front gardens behind low fences.

The alley is mainly lined with low rise brick walls about 4-5 bricks high and topped with black metal fencing, and then a mix of hedges and bedding plants give the gardens some privacy. What you can see though is that the gardens are likely used a lot in the summer months as most of them have tables and chairs outside.

It’s a dead-end of an alley so you can’t go anywhere, and reminds me rather of Choumert Square in Peckham, which is also an enclave of residential houses with small gardens facing each other.

If you like Wisteria, there’s a big one covering one of the houses.


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One comment
  1. Ms Terry Jones says:

    There’s a huge wisteria spreading along the first couple of houses. Worth a sniff:)
    It can be part of a nice walk from Holland Park to Kensington Gardens and beyond.

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