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Kensington and Chelsea Gallery

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Kensington and Chelsea in Boroughs can be found in London, England, United Kingdom in Europe

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Holland House library after an air raid BB83_04456 Featured Kensington and Chelsea Print

Holland House library after an air raid BB83_04456

HOLLAND HOUSE, Kensington, London. An interior view of the bombed library at Holland House with readers apparently choosing books regardless of the damage. Photographed in 1940. The House was heavily bombed during World War II and remained derelict until 1952 when parts of the remains were preserved.
Holland House, originally known as Cope Castle, was a great house in Kensington in London, situated in what is now Holland Park. Created in 1605 in the Elizabethan or Jacobean style for the diplomat Sir Walter Cope, the building later passed to the powerful Rich family, then the Fox family, under whose ownership it became a noted gathering-place for Whigs in the 19th century. The house was largely destroyed by German firebombing during the Blitz in 1940; today only the east wing and some ruins of the ground floor still remain.
In 1940, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth attended the last great ball held at the house. A few weeks later, on 7 September, the German bombing raids on London that would come to be known as the Blitz began. During the night of 27 September, Holland House was hit by twenty-two incendiary bombs during a ten-hour raid. The house was largely destroyed, with only the east wing, and, miraculously, almost all of the library remaining undamaged. Surviving volumes included the sixteenth-century Boxer Codex.
Holland House was granted Grade I listed building status in 1949, under the auspices of the Town and Country Planning Act 1947; the Act sought to identify and preserve buildings of special historic importance, prompted by the damage caused by wartime bombing. The building remained a burned-out ruin until 1952, when its owner, Giles Fox-Strangways, 6th Earl of Ilchester, sold it to the London County Council (LCC). The remains of the building passed from the LCC to its successor, the Greater London Council (GLC) in 1965, and upon the dissolution of the GLC in 1986 to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Today, the remains of Holland House form a backdrop for the open air Holland Park Theatre, home of Opera Holland Park. The YHA (England and Wales) "London Holland Park" youth hostel is now located in the house. The Orangery is now an exhibition and function space, with the adjoining former Summer Ballroom now a restaurant, The Belvedere. The former ice house is now a gallery space

© Historic England Archive

Biba move to Kensington Church Street Featured Kensington and Chelsea Print

Biba move to Kensington Church Street

A highly publicised moving day for the Biba boutique of Barbara Hulanicki as around 60 models and well-known sixties personalities help to move the shop from its original Abingdon Road location to larger premises on Church Street. Girls can be seen hanging out of the back of the lorry emblazoned with the Biba name. Nicky Poulet is seen third from right. Date: 1966

© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans

LCC-MFB Kensington fire station, W London Featured Kensington and Chelsea Print

LCC-MFB Kensington fire station, W London

The appliance room of the former Kensington fire station which was located in King Street, W8. It was built in 1871 and closed in 1905 when the new Kensington fire station was opened. This picture was taken in the latter days of the station's life as the sliding pole (right of picture) was not introduced until 1904. This station was subsequently demolished

© London Fire Brigade / Mary Evans Picture Library