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Market Court, Kensington High Street BB77_09230

Market Court, Kensington High Street BB77_09230


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Market Court, Kensington High Street BB77_09230

MARKET COURT, London. A photograph of Market Court on the south side of Kensington High Street, three years before the site was demolished. The inhabitants pose for the camera. Courts such as this one were frequently over-crowded with cramped and insanitary slum conditions. Photographed c. 1865. G Barnes Collection

Historic England is the public body that champions and protects England's historic places

Media ID 1764733

© Historic England

Historic People Residential Urban Victorian


FEATURES IN THESE COLLECTIONS

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Boroughs > Kensington and Chelsea

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Slums

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Towns > Barnes

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Towns > Kensington

> Historic England > Historic Images > More Lost London

> Historic England > The way we were > House and home

> Historic England > The way we were > Victoriana


EDITORS COMMENTS
Market Court, Kensington High Street: A Snapshot of Victorian Poverty and Urban Living This evocative photograph, taken around 1865, captures the Market Court on the south side of Kensington High Street in London, three years before its demolition. The image offers a rare glimpse into the cramped and insanitary living conditions that were common in urban courts such as this one during the Victorian era. The inhabitants of Market Court, dressed in their Sunday best, pause in their daily routine to pose for the camera. The scene is a poignant reminder of the stark contrast between the opulence of the surrounding affluent neighborhoods and the poverty that lurked just around the corner. The narrow, winding alleyways and cramped living quarters were often overcrowded, with families sharing single rooms and relying on communal facilities. The photograph also serves as a testament to the harsh realities of urban living during this period. The lack of proper sanitation and ventilation, combined with the close proximity of families, made these courts breeding grounds for diseases. The Victorian era, known for its social reforms and advancements, failed to provide adequate housing for the working class, leaving them to live in squalor. The Market Court photograph is a poignant reminder of the past, offering a glimpse into a time when poverty and urban living were intertwined, and the struggle for basic necessities was a daily reality for many. The image is a powerful reminder of the importance of preserving history, as it allows us to learn from the past and strive for a better future.

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