1860s – 1900s

colevilleThe Railway Development and the Beginnings of a Mixed Community

The surrounding brickfield area was developed in the 1860s as another upper middle class quarter by the Tibbet or Tippet brothers. But the Powis and Colville squares more or less immediately declined with the coming of the railways and the end of the carriage trade.

1869 As the property speculating Cornish vicar Samuel Walker died a more or less broken man, with his fortune shrunk from £250,000 to £70,000, ‘the old tin Tabernacle’ (the forerunner of the current Talbot Tabernacle) was established in Powis Square as a non-sectarian church.

With the local horse population dwindling, the new inhabitants of the Portobello mews streets became ‘chiefly labourers, horse keepers and horse feeders, with a shifting mass of those sorry folk who have come down and down in the world till their home is a loft in some mews patronised by cabmen.’ Florence Gladstone (Notting Hill in Bygone Days,1924) added in the 1920s, ‘all the elements were present for the development of the degraded conditions of today.’

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