Kensington and Chelsea

Kensington and Chelsea

Kensington and Chelsea, inner borough (1991 pop. 127,600) of Greater London, SE England. Kensington is largely residential with fashionable shopping streets and several luxurious hotels. Portobello Road is a well-known street market. The area has undergone extensive urban renewal and contains blocks of large, tall flats. In the borough are three bridges: Battersea, Albert, and Chelsea. A large park, Kensington Gardens, adjoins Hyde Park. The gardens originally were the grounds of Kensington Palace (Nottingham House), partially designed by Christopher Wren, which was the home of William and Mary, Queen Anne, and George I and George II. Holland House was the residence of the Fox family and, for a time, of William Penn. South Kensington is a center of colleges and museums; it is the site of the natural history section of the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum, the Royal College of Art, and the Royal College of Science, among others. Albert Hall, a concert hall, is also there. Chelsea is a literary and artistic quarter. Sir Thomas More, D. G. Rossetti, James Whistler, Charles Dickens, and many others were associated with it. Thomas Carlyle's house is there. Chelsea Old Church, part of which dates from the 13th cent., includes the Chapel of Sir Thomas More (1528). The church, as well as the Royal Hospital for Soldiers also designed (1682-92) by Wren, was badly damaged in World War II.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (often abbreviated to RBKC) is a London borough in the west side of central London.

It is an urban area and was named in the 2001 census as the most densely populated local authority in the United Kingdom, with a population of 158,919 at 13,244 per square kilometre (the land area is approximately 12 square kilometres).

The borough is immediately to the west of the City of Westminster, which is at the heart of modern London, and itself contains a substantial number of city centre facilities such as major museums and universities (in "Albertopolis"), department stores like Harrods, and embassies. It also contains many of the most exclusive residential districts in London which are also some of the most exclusive residential districts in the world.


It was created in 1965 from the former boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea. Kensington's Royal Borough status was inherited by the new borough. The new borough was originally to be called just 'Kensington' - the inclusion of Chelsea was locally supported.

Districts in Kensington and Chelsea

The borough includes the areas of:


According to the 2001 census, the borough has a population of 158,919. It is 79% white, 4% Black African and 3% Black Caribbean. 44% of households are owner–occupiers. As of October 2004, statistics released by the Office for National Statistics show that life expectancy at birth for females in Kensington and Chelsea was 84.8 years in 2001-2003, the highest in the United Kingdom. Male life expectancy at birth for the same period was 79.8 years, third highest in the UK. The figures for Kensington and Chelsea during 1991-1993 were significantly lower: 73.0 years for males (ranking 301st in the nation) and 80.0 for females (ranking 129th).

Kensington & Chelsea's affluence is demonstrated by the fact that it has the largest number of high-earners (over £60,000) of any local government district in the country — 16.6% It has the highest number of workers in the financial sector and the lowest number working in the retail sector.

In December 2006, Sport England published a survey which revealed that residents of Kensington and Chelsea were the 4th most active in England in sports and other fitness activities. 27.9% of the population participate at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes.


Originally two separate metropolitan boroughs with their own town halls and administrations, it has today a single united local government authority, the Kensington & Chelsea London Borough Council, based in Kensington. One of its more notable (and controversial) Leaders was Nicholas Freeman, who was Leader from 1977 until 1989. The present Leader of the Council is Merrick Cockell. He has elected in April 2000. Currently there are 51 conservative councillors and 9 Labour.

The borough is divided between two constituencies represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom:

It is intended that the constituency be divided so that Kensington becomes independent of Chelsea while Chelsea joins Fulham.

Evolution of Parliamentary constituencies in Kensington and Chelsea
From 1885 From 1974 From 1997 From next election
Part of
Part of


The Royal Borough has a number of notable Christian churches, including:

It is also home to a small Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue and to several Mosques.


Within the council, the education department finances state-operated schools in the borough. Some of them are:

Primary Schools

  • Ashburnham Community School
  • Bousfield Primary
  • Chelsea Open Air Nursery
  • Christ Church CofE Primary
  • Colville Primary
  • Fox Primary
  • St Thomas
  • Holy Trinity CofE Primary
  • Marlborough Primary
  • Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle

  • Middle Row Primary
  • Oratory RC Primary
  • Our Lady of Victories RC Primary
  • Oxford Gardens Primary
  • Park Walk Primary
  • Servite RC Primary
  • St Barnabas and St Philip's CofE Primary
  • St Charles RC Primary

  • St Clements and St James CofE Primary
  • St Cuthbert with St Matthias CofE Primary
  • St Francis of Assisi RC Primary
  • St Joseph RC Primary
  • St Mary Abbots CofE Primary
  • St Mary's RC Primary
  • St Thomas CofE Primary
  • Thomas Jones Primary

Secondary Schools

  • Kensington and Chelsea Pupil Referral Unit
  • Ashbourne Independent Sixth Form College
  • Holland Park School

  • Queen's Gate School



External links

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