Keeping the Ladbroke area special​

Books about the Ladbroke area

There are no books specifically about the Ladbroke area, but quite a few have material on the area. Almost all the following are available in Kensington Public Library (the older ones only in the Local Studies section), and the more recent ones can be found in the local bookshops.

Ragged homes and how to mend them, by Mrs Mary Bayly, published by Nisbet, 1859.

Kensington picturesque and historical, by W. J. Loftie, published by the Leadenhall Press, 1888.

Notting Hill in Bygone Days, by Florence Gladstone and Ashley Barker, originally published in 1924 by T. Fisher Unwin and republished in 1969 by Anne Bingley. Still one of the best histories of the area, even if subsequent research has thrown doubt on some of the details.

Survey of London, Volume XXXII: Northern Kensington, published by the Greater London Council in 1973. A detailed historical survey of the buildings in the area. There is a searchable online version at

Few eggs and no oranges: a diary showing how unimportant people in London and Birmingham lived through the war years, 1940-1945, by Vere Hodgson, published by Persephone Books in 1999. An account of living through the war in the Ladbroke area.

All done from memory, by Osbert Lancaster, published by John Murray in 1963. A biographical account of being brought up on a communal garden.

Notting Hill and Holland Park Past, by Barbara Denny, published by Historical Publications, 1993. The best modern history.

The Ladbroke Estate: A Social Profile of a Victorian Urban Development, by Sheila Law Robertson, September 1996. This master’s degree thesis is available in the Local Studies section of Kensington Public Library.

Inside Notting Hill, by Miranda Davies and Sarah Anderson with Annabel Hendry, published by Portobello Publishing 2001. Guidebook and social history.

Notting Hell, by Rachel Johnson, published by Penguin in 2006. Novel about the shenanigans of the richer denizens of the Ladbroke area.

Fresh Hell, by Rachel Johnson, published by Penguin, 2015. A sequel with a plot that revolves round the excavation of a mega-basement.

Notting Hill Behind the Scenes, by Hermione Campion, published by in 2007.  Old postcards from the late 19th and early 20th century, with a commentary.

Notting Hill by Derry Moore, published by Frances Lincoln Ltd in 2007.  Coffee table format with a brief introduction and many photographs of Notting Hill and its people.

Portobello Voices by Blanche Girouard, published by the History Press 2013. Interviews with people in the Portobello Market.

Portobello Road – Lives of a Neighbourhood, by Julian Mash, published by Frances Lincoln Ltd 2014. Account of recent and not-so-recent occupants of the Portobello Road.

Getting it straight in Notting Hill Gate, a West London Psychogeography Report, by Tom Vague, published by Bread and Circuses Publishing in ebook format only (available inter alia from Amazon). A romp through the history of the area from Roman times to the present day by the local historian who runs the Colville Community History Project.

Wild about Notting Hill and North Kensington, by Andrew Wilson, with an introduction by local historian Caroline Wilson, published by Unity Print and Publishing in 2016. Andrew Wilson is a London photographer who has done a number of books in the “Wild about…” series. The photographs in this small-format well-produced coffee table book were taken over about a year and include many of the Ladbroke area.

The Other Side of Notting Hill: from Wartime to the Westway, by Roger Rogowski, with a foreword by Alan Johnson. Published by the History Press, 2018. The book records the memories of working-class people living in Notting Hill before the substantial social and other changes of the 1960s.

From Bottom Lawn to Top Gate, by Marek Nowina. Published by Olympia Publishers, 2021. The menpries of a young boy growing up on Stanley Crescent Garden and Ladbroke Grove.

Last updated 08.07.2022