Victorian London - Buildings, Monuments and Museums - Kensington Palace

see also Kensington Gardens - click here

KENSINGTON PALACE. A large and irregular edifice, originally the seat of Heneage Finch, Earl of Nottingham and Lord Chancellor of England ... The Duke of Sussex, son of George III, lived, died, and had his fine library in this Palace. The orangery, a very fine detached room, was built by Wren. The royal collection of pictures has for the most part been removed to other palaces; and the kitchen-garden has, pursuant to 5 Vict. c.1, been built over with two rows of detached mansions, called "Palace Gardens."

source: Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850

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Kensington Palace. - A heavy old brown brick building in the comfortable commonplace style of Queen Anne, chiefly noteworthy as having been the birthplace of her most gracious majesty. The north row of big houses known as Palace-gardens occupies the site of the old garden of the palace, the former proportions of which - never very magnificent - have been of late years much contracted in many ways. NEAREST Railway Stations, High-street, Kensington, and Notting Hill-gate ; Omnibus Routes, Kensington-road and Uxbridge-road; Cab Rank, Kensington-road.

source: Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879

KENSINGTON PALACE ... a large building overlooking Kensington Gardens. It was built in the 17th century; and purchased by William III. soon after has accession to the throne. It is interesting as being the birth-place of our present Queen.

source: Reynolds' Shilling Coloured Map of London, 1895


This is a plain brick building, of no particular style or period. It was originally Nottingham House, of which the lower portion of the present north wing is part, and which was bought for £20,000 by William III. William and Mary, Queen Anne, and George II. all died here. George III. preferred St. James's Palace and Buckingham House; but in 1819 Kensington Palace was the dwelling of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and consequently the birthplace of Queen Victoria, who spent here most of the days of her childhood. It was here, very early in the morning of June 20, 1837, that the young Princess received intelligence of the death of William IV. and her accession to the throne, and that at eleven o'clock the same day she met her first Privy Council. The Palace has since been used by various members of the Royal Family

source: The Queen's London, 1896