How did South Kensington become one of London’s best areas?

London has many noteworthy areas that stand out for one reason or another. But, few can compare to South Kensington. This is a location with stunning architecture, incredible homes, and iconic public buildings. The Victorian legacy here is impossible to miss. Not surprisingly, the area has some of the best investment properties Kensington can offer. These are often some of the most desirable assets in the whole of the UK.

While Kensington is one of the city’s hotspots today, it was not always the case. The area has a really interesting history and only became what it is after a great deal of work.


Investment properties KensingtonIn the past this part of London was only home to two small hamlets; Brompton and Little Chelsea. The first was around Old Brompton Road. The latter was between Redcliffe Gardens and Thistle Grove.

With so little in terms of housing, much of South Kensington was given over to nurseries and market gardens. These would provide flowers and fresh produce for sale in the city.

There were a number of notable properties here. Firstly is Brompton Park Nursery. It was founded in 1681 and opened in 1689 by George London and his partner Henry Wise. London is one of the most famous names in horticulture from the period. The nursery became one of the most important horticultural businesses in the era.

Botanist William Curtis also had a botanical garden in the area. Interesting he made the decision to move it from Lambeth to Brompton in 1789. The move was because the smoke of London was constantly enveloping his plants in the first location.


By the 19th century the area was changing. With London prospering, the demand for housing was increasing. As a result more and more of the land here became streets and buildings.

The Royal Brompton Hospital is one of the most impressive buildings from the era. Impressively the building only came to be because Philip Rose, a solicitor, had a campaign to build it. Queen Victoria herself even provided sponsorship. The hospital became a lung specialist and now operates from Chelsea. The original building from 1846 is iconic and a luxury development today.

You can see the passion the Victorian’s had for architecture in South Kensington. There are lots of stunning brick terraces and stucco homes. These are some of the most lucrative properties in the whole city. As a result there is usually a lot of demand for the investment properties Kensington has to offer.

Prince Albert

Natural History Museum - South KensingtonOne of the most notable figures in the development of South Kensington is Prince Albert, the husband and consort of Queen Victoria. He gave support to countless public causes, including education reform.

It was Albert who led the push to stage the Great Exhibition in 1851. The event was to showcase industrial prowess and culture from around the world. Albert fought opposition to the event and was a big reason for its resounding success.

The Great Exhibition was so successful that it earned a huge surplus of money. Prince Albert then proposed to use this to buy land in South Kensington that could become the home of educational and cultural institutions. Today that land is the cultural quarter home to the Science, Natural History and V&A Museums.

Albert also envisioned the Central Hall of Arts and Sciences, a venue to promote art, technology, and science. Today it is one of the most iconic buildings in the city – the Royal Albert Hall. Since opening in 1871 it has become one of the best venues in the world.

Managing investment properties in Kensington

Finefair Ltd understands why Kensington is such a popular area for tourists and people who want stunning homes. We can help here, offering lots of advice and expert services. We have experience managing all kinds of assets, from luxury apartments to huge family homes. Plus, we can manage blocks and estates.

So, if you have an interest in the investment properties Kensington has to offer, let us work with you. We can manage current portfolios and more. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do.