1700s – 1850s

All Saints Road Thomas's Farm Dairy PC768 (1)The Beginning:
All Saints Road Church and the Formation of All Saints Road

A few years after the battle of Porto Belo, the Portobello farm is conspicuous by its absence from Jon Rocque’s ‘Environs of London’ map. Where it would be, at the intersection of the unnamed wide lane from the Kensington Gravel Pits cottages (Notting Hill Gate) and a path roughly following the route of Colville Road, All Saints Road and Bevington Road, is a blank space, possibly a building site. The cornfields to the east of the lane were known as Barley Shotts.

To the east of the lane, the Portobello New Town estate between the farm and Lonsdale Road (Colville ward) was destined to much the same fate as the west when the land was acquired, from Mary Anne and Georgina Charlotte Talbot, by the Reverend Samuel Walker. The area was advertised at the 1854 auction at the Mart as: ‘important freehold land, and the capital farm residence and building at Portobello, in the parish of Kensington, between the Harrow and Bayswater Roads, upon the Great Western Railway and the canal, and within view of Kensal Green cemetery.

Particulars of above 30 acres of very valuable meadow land, divided into numerous lots, of about one acre each, presenting unusually eligible and rich sites for the erection of houses and gardens, with ready access to all parts of London, also the handsome and substantial farm residence with numerous capital buildings, gardens, yards and paddocks, adjoining of above 12 acres, being part of the unsold portion of the Portobello estate.’

The centrepiece All Saints church appeared in 1855, originally as St Ann’s on St Columb’s (now Talbot) Road, but plans for a spire to rival Salisbury Cathedral’s were scrapped when Walker encountered ‘pecuniary difficulties’. As the church was left for 6 years boarded up and overgrown by weeds, next to a pond and gypsy camp along a path leading through the fields to Kensal Green, it acquired the nicknames ‘Walker’s Folly’ and ‘All Sinners in the Mud’.

The first stretch of the path would become known as All Saints Road.

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