Facts about Kensington
History of Kensington
The manor of Kensington in the county of Middlesex, was one of several hundred granted by King William the Conqueror to Geoffrey de Montbray, Bishop of Coutances in Normandy, one of his inner circle of advisors and one of the wealthiest men in post-Conquest England.
He granted the tenancy of Kensington to his follower Aubrey de Vere I, who was holding the manor from him as overlord in 1086, according to the Domesday Book. The bishop’s heir, Robert de Mowbray, rebelled against King William II and his vast feudal barony was forfeited to the Crown.
Kensington is an affluent district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in the West of central London. The north-east is taken up by Kensington Gardens, containing the Albert Memorial, the Serpentine Gallery and Speke’s monument. South Kensington and Gloucester Road are home to Imperial College London, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Albert Hall, National Historical Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, and Science Museum.
The focus of the area is Kensington High Street, a busy commercial centre with many shops, typically upmarket. The street was declared London’s second best shopping street in February 2005 due to its wide range and number of shops. However, since October 2008 the street has faced competition from the Westfield shopping centre in nearby White City.