Surprisingly, the name ‘Kentish Town’ has nothing to do with Kent. Instead, it’s probably derived from Ken-ditch meaning the "bed of a waterway" in Old English. The name as we know it was first recorded during the reign of King John (1207) as kentisston and by the 15th century, Kentish Town was a thriving hamlet. It remained this way until the early 19th century, when Kentish Town urbanised & its nearby river vanished.
As a prime development site, large amounts of land were purchased in the Victorian era to build the railway and Kentish Town Road became a major route from London northwards. By the 1870s however, the area was fairly poor and became the focus for socially-aware mission work. Mission chapels and halls were dotted around the area with Lyndhurst Hall surviving until 2006 when it was demolished by the Council and sold-off for residential property development.
Known as a manufacturing centre for pianos and organs, Kentish Town is more famous for being home to Karl Marx, who lived at 46 Grafton Terrace from 1856. The area was also a popular location for films including “about a boy” featuring Lady Margaret Road.
Stretching from Camden Gardens in the South, to Highgate Road/Gordon House Road in the North near Dartmouth Park, Kentish Town covers a fairly large area. Local landmarks include the St Pancras public baths which originally opened in 1903 and were reopened after a major refurbishment in 2010, along with “curious Anglo-Norman parish church of Kentish Town” mentioned to by Sir John Betjeman in poem about Parliament Fields.
Celebrities have made Kentish Town their hoem : Noel Fielding, comedian, George Orwell, writer, Charles Dance, Tom Hiddleston, Film star.
A favoured haunt for music lovers, venues at the Tally Ho and Bull and Gate pubs regularly feature jazz and well known artists such as Blur and the Housemartins. There is also a popular live music venue at The Forum.
The area is also at the fore-front of North London’s real ale revival, with CAMRA award-winning pubs such as the Southampton Arms, the Pineapple and Tapping the Admiral. Kentish Town also has its own brewery, Camden Town Brewery, located in the arches under Kentish Town West overground.
To the West of the area, art lovers delight in the many galleries including Spring Studios and Beardsmore Gallery. Whilst Poetry fans enjoy Sunday Evening recitals at the Torriano Poets. More niche, there is a nudist baths at Rio’s, a cocktail bar formed out of a Victorian public toilet and Kentish Town has its own e-zine called the Kentish Towner.
Compared with other Zone 2 areas, Kentish Town still provides good value . If you’re thinking of buying in Kentish Town, expect to find a great mix of quaint Victorian terraces, converted flats and contemporary and older-style flats that will especially appeal to young professionals, as well as families.
Not surprisingly, homes in Kentish Town sell very well . In recent years homes have increased in value year on year and despite the recent London slowdown, the market in Kentish Town has remained resilient.
For those looking to rent property in Kentish Town, there’s plenty to choose from. With flats for sharers and couples, along with homes for families. Now well established as an area that attracts Young professionals, they are drawn-in by Kentish Town’s fantastic urban vibe and cultural possibilities, along with its excellent tube & public transport links into Central London. Landlords also recognise Kentish Town’s property investment potential and many have built-up successful rental portfolios in the area.
Drivers & Norris is an independent Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agency that has been helping sellers, buyers, renters and landlords in Kentish Town, and across North London since 1852. We are experts in selling and letting residential property to buyers and tenants locally, around the UK and Overseas. Our experienced Team of property professionals love working in Kentish Town and they have exceptional local knowledge & property know-how to provide a Top quality service, whilst also delivering the best possible results for clients. We’re proud of our reputation and that’s why we’d be pleased to show you how Drivers & Norris will make a difference in Kentish Town.