Kentish Town

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Coordinates: 51°32′41″N 0°08′45″W / 51.5447°N 0.1459°W / 51.5447; -0.1459

Kentish Town is an area of north west London, England in the London Borough of Camden.

Contents

History

The most widely accepted explanation of the name of Kentish Town is that it derived from 'Ken-ditch' meaning the 'bed of a waterway'. Kentish Town was originally a settlement along the River Fleet which flowed through the area, and today runs underground.[1]

Kentish Town is first recorded during the reign of King John (1207) as kentisston. By 1456 Kentish Town was recognised as a thriving hamlet, and in this period a chapel of ease is recorded as being built for the inhabitants.

The early 19th century brought modernisation, causing much of the area's rural charm, the River Fleet and the 18th century buildings to vanish, although pockets still remain, for example Little Green Street. Between the availability of public transport to it from London, and its urbanisation, it was a popular resort.

Large amounts of land were purchased to build the railway, which can still be seen today. Kentish Town was a prime site for development as the Kentish Town Road was a major route from London northwards. Probably its most famous resident was Karl Marx who lived at 9 Grafton Terrace from 1856.

1877 saw the beginning of mission work in the area as it was then poor. The mission first held their services outside but as their funding increased they built a mission house, chapel, and vicarage. One mission house of the area was Lyndhurst Hall, which remained in use before being taken over by the Council. The Council wished it to sell it for residential use, and the hall was demolished in 2006.

During the 19th century and early 20th century the area of Kentish Town became for many years the home of many famous piano and organ manufacturers, and was described by The Piano Journal in 1901 as "...that healthful suburb dear to the heart of the piano maker".

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