Ladbroke Gardens (the street)

Ladbroke Gardens is the continuation of Lansdowne Crescent across Ladbroke Grove. The house numbers run down the north side and back up the south side. When it was constructed, the land was owned by Richard Roy, a solicitor. He employed Thomas Allom to design Nos. 1-23 Ladbroke Gardens Building started in 1858, with W Parratt and John Falconer as the builders, after the original builders, G Wilson and James Emmins, went bankrupt. They weren’t too successful either and the houses were not finished till 1866 when the work was taken over by another builder, W Wheeler.

The north side starts with Nos. 1-14 (No. 1 is on the corner facing onto Ladbroke Grove.) The houses are on six storeys (including basements and attic rooms). Each house has a basement, and the steps go straight down from the street edge to a paved basement area. There are leisurely steps up to grand double entrance, with two ground floor windows next to it. Above, there is a balcony running right the way along the terrace, which the tall first-floor windows open onto.

The windows in these houses are quite elaborate: the first-floor windows are in Greek style with flowery decorations and, unusually, the second-floor windows are even more elaborately decorated with scallop designs. The houses are all stuccoed and painted cream or pastel colours.

The houses at each end have bow window structures up to first-floor level, with balconies on top for the second floors. Nos. 12 and 13 have pillared porches with first-floor balconies on top, which unbalances the overall design of the terrace.

Nos. 15-22 (No. 15 is entered round the corner in Kensington Park Road) is a terrace of similar design. But the ground floors are not so raised, and they all have walled-in porch entrances which provide little balconies at first-floor level. These houses also have six storeys, almost identical with the earlier terrace, but all a little bit smaller, so that the balustrade level at the top of the façade is a few feet lower. The ground slopes steeply down at the back of the terraces, so many of the houses were constructed with basement and sub-basement rooms at the front, but because of the slope, the sub-basements are garden level at the back.

The south side of Ladbroke Gardens begins with No. 24 on the corner. Nos. 25-31 have entrances like normal houses, but the overall structure is more like that of a huge mansion block. They were laterally converted in the 1960s to provide decent-sized flats. The houses have shared porch structures on the street edge, which then have rooms above on the first, second and third storeys. The ‘real’ front of the building faces onto the gardens at the back where there is a basement, a ground floor with substantial canted bays, a first floor with stone balustrading, two further upper floors, with an elaborate cornice, and a fourth floor above that.

Across Stanley Crescent, Nos. 34 and 35 comprise two large semi-detached houses with basements, very raised ground floors, and three upper storeys. The houses are built in mirror style, with entrance doors side-by-side in the middle and bow windows on the outer sides. The bow window structures rise to the first-floor level, providing balconies for the second floors. The original houses were built between 1858 and 1861 by John Wicking Phillips, a Paddington builder, but they were rebuilt in similar style in the 1970s.

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