Bayswater is an affluent area within the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in West London. It is a built-up district located 2.5 miles (4.0 km) west-northwest of Charing Cross, bordering the north of Kensington Gardens and having a population density of 17,500 per square kilometre.
View across Bayswater, looking south towards Kensington Gardens, from the roof of a block on the Hallfield Estate
|Population||10,300 (2011 Census. Westminster Ward)|
|OS grid reference||TQ255805|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Bayswater is one of London's most cosmopolitan areas: a diverse local population is augmented by a high concentration of hotels. In addition to the English, there are many other nationalities. Notable ethnic groups include Greeks, French, Americans, Brazilians, Italians, Irish, Arabs, and many others.
The streets and garden squares are lined with Victorian stucco terraces, mostly now subdivided into flats and boarding houses. Properties range from apartments to small studio flats. There are also purpose-built apartment blocks dating from the inter-war period as well as more recent developments, and a large council estate, the 650-flat Hallfield Estate, designed by Sir Denys Lasdun and now largely sold off.
The land now called Bayswater belonged to the Abbey of Westminster when the Domesday Book was compiled; the most considerable tenant under the abbot was Bainiardus, probably the same Norman associate of the Conqueror who gave his name to Baynard's Castle. The descent of the land held by him cannot be clearly traced: but his name long remained attached to part of it; and, as late as the year 1653, a parliamentary grant of the Abbey or Chapter lands describes "the common field at Paddington" as being "near a place commonly called Baynard's Watering."
In 1720, the lands of the Dean and Chapter are described to be the occupation of Alexander Bond, of Bear's Watering, in the same parish of Paddington. It may therefore fairly be concluded that this portion of ground, always remarkable for its springs of excellent water, once supplied water to Baynard, his household, or his cattle; that the memory of his name was preserved in the neighbourhood for six centuries; and that his watering-place now takes the abbreviated name Bayswater.
- Damon Albarn
- Brett Anderson
- Mike Atherton
- J. M. Barrie, playwright and novelist, and his wife, Mary, lived at 100 Bayswater Road.
- Tony Blair
- Winston Churchill
- Richard Cobden, lived on Westbourne Terrace
- A. J. Cronin
- Umaru Dikko, former Nigerian minister of transportation
- Tim Dry has lived in Bayswater since the early 1980s.
- Ade Edmondson
- Roger C. Field, inventor and designer whose first home was flat D, 15 Cleveland Square
- Alexander Fleming
- Mariella Frostrup
- Ferdinand de Géramb
- Reginald Gray, Irish artist, lived with his wife Catherine at 105a Queensway from 1958 to 1963.
- J. B. Gunn, physicist, lived with his mother, the Freudian psychoanalyst L. F. Gunn/Grey-Clarke, at 14 Durham Terrace, in the 1940s
- Alice Hart-Davis
- Paul Johnson (writer)
- Dylan Jones
- Jonathan King
- Keira Knightley
- Guglielmo Marconi, the pioneer of wireless communication, lived at 71 Hereford Road between 1896 and 1897 with his mother upon arrival in England (marked by a blue plaque).
- Rik Mayall
- Stella McCartney
- Dermot O'Leary
- Irfan Orga, exile and writer, lived at 29, 35 and 21 Inverness Terrace from 1942 until the mid-fifties, publishing his memoirs Portrait of a Turkish Family in 1950.
- Ilyich Ramírez Sánchez, terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal
- Jennifer Saunders
- Paul Simonon
- Sting occupied a basement flat at 28A Leinster Square in the late seventies during the formative years of The Police. Trudie Styler, now his wife, lived in a basement flat two doors down.
- Georgina Castle Smith (pseudonym Brenda), children's writer born and bred in Bayswater
- Luigi Sturzo, Catholic priest and politician, and one of the fathers of Christian democracy and a founder of the Italian People's Party (1919)
- John Tenniel, artist and cartoonist, was born at 22 Gloucester Place, New Road, Bayswater on 28 February 1820.
The Bayswater area elects a total of six councillors to Westminster City Council, three each from the eponymous Bayswater Ward, and from Lancaster Gate Ward.
Following the 2018 Westminster City Council elections, five members belong to the Conservative Party and one to the Labour Party, with the Bayswater Ward being a split-party marginal and Lancaster Gate being a fully Conservative-held ward.
Nearest tube stations
The stations within the district are Bayswater and Queensway. Other nearby stations include Paddington (Bakerloo, Circle and District lines and Circle and Hammersmith & City lines), Royal Oak (In Westbourne) and Lancaster Gate (To the east).
Places of interest
References in fiction
- In John le Carré's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Liz is a member of the Bayswater South Branch of the Communist Party.
- In le Carré's Smiley's People, the retired Estonian general turned British spy, Vladimir, lives in a dingy flat on Westbourne Grove.
- Many of the characters in Samuel Selvon's novel The Lonely Londoners live in Bayswater.
- The Alfred Hitchcock film Frenzy was filmed in the area.
- In Martin Amis's Success, the two main characters live together in a flat in Bayswater, which he calls 'the district of transients.'
- In Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Bracknell indicates that the perambulator (carrying Jack, as a baby) was found "standing by itself in a remote corner of Bayswater".
- In Saki's short story "Cross Currents" (1909), Vanessa Pennington lives on a "Bayswater back street" but would have preferred "smarter surroundings."
- In Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited, Charles Ryder's father lives in Bayswater.
- Whiteleys is frequently seen in film, e.g. Love Actually, Closer, and was referred to in My Fair Lady as Eliza Doolittle is sent "to Whiteleys to be attired" in Pygmalion. It also has Princess Productions' studios on the top floor.
- Scenes in Alfie (1966) were filmed around Chepstow Road.
- The main character in Iris Murdoch's novel A Word Child, Hilary Burde, has a "flatlet" near Bayswater Tube Station.
- Scenes in The Black Windmill refer to, and were filmed around, the area.
- In the Italian comics series Dylan Dog the main character lives in Craven Road.
- Nick Jenkins meets Uncle Giles for tea at the Ufford Hotel, "riding at anchor on the sluggish Bayswater tide", in The Acceptance World (1955), volume three of A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell.
- The Poisonous Seed a novel by Linda Stratmann is set almost entirely in Victorian Bayswater.
- In Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation Series, her character Eloise Kelly lives in Bayswater while writing her doctoral thesis.
- "City of Westminster Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
- "London's Places" (PDF). London Plan. Greater London Authority. 2011. p. 46. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 March 2007. Retrieved 2006-02-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) observer.guardian.co.uk
- Charlotte Mitchell: Smith, Georgina Castle... Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, UK: OUP, 2004/2008) Retrieved 2 April 2018.
- L. Perry Curtis jun., "Tenniel, Sir John (1820–1914)" Retrieved 25 February 2014, pay-walled.
- "Westminster.gov.UK: Bayswater Ward profile" (PDF). Bayswater Ward's councillors, boundary map and demographics. Westminster City Council. July 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Westminster.gov.UK: Lancaster Gate Ward profile" (PDF). Lancaster Gate Ward's councillors, boundary map and demographics. Westminster City Council. July 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Queens Park Hotel Bayswater Tube Station". www.queensparkhotel.com. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
Media related to Bayswater at Wikimedia Commons