Westbourne Grove started development in the 1840s primarily at the Bayswater end and then down into the Ladbroke Estate which was located further west. Previously known as Archer Street this western end of the road eventually became known as Westbourne Grove in 1938.
Westbourne Grove was orginally named from Westbourne Green, which was small settlement that expanded to the west of the bourne which later took the name River Westbourne (which can stil be foundl running underground at Ossington Street, Paddington). The history books shows that this area was first recorded in the year 1222, noted as Westeburn. Westbourne Green is first recorded as Westborne Grene in 1548 and Westbourne Green itself was a part of the church parish of Paddington.
There was also a small settlement to the north of what is now Westbourne Grove at Westbourne Green with good size main houses. The largest of these was Westbourne Place or Westbourne House, which was rebuilt in 1745 by the architect Isaac Ware, though the house was demolished in 1836 to allow space for the Westbourne Park Villas development.
North of what is now Westbourne Grove you would have found Westbourne Farm which between 1815 - 1817 was the home of the actress Sarah Siddons and her daughter. The Farm was located where the Harrow Road , the Westway and the canal converge. The southern part of Westbourne Green at first was sometimes known as Westbournia. The name, however, also applied to streets south of Westbourne Grove which might have been described more correctly as in Bayswater:
Later in the 1950s the area was the main focus for Peter Rachman, who was at this time a notorious slum-landlord. He was known for his violent evictions of tenants with legally-fixed rents. He replaced them, in what became overcrowded multi-occupied housing, with people, mainly recent migrants from the West Indies, who, because of discrimination and council tenant restrictions, could not find accommodation. Part of the area, including the road between Ledbury Rd & Shrewsbury Road to the south of Westbourne Park Road, became derelict and was consequently compulsory purchased and demolished.
Over the next 50 years the area was gradually rebuilt and refrubished and street became a popular shopping destination located around Whitelys Shopping Centre, Ledbury Road, Holland Park Avenue, Portobello Market, and Clarendon Cross. The eastern end of the road, towards Whitelys, is currently undergoing a particularly rapid period of change with expiring leases and rising rents forcing out older family businesses being replaced by trendy, bars restaurants and shops.
Today Westbourne Grove is firmly established as the must have place to have a shop outlet, with names such as Ralph Lauren, Joseph, Emma Hope, Mulberry, Alice & Astrid, Ventilo, Paul Smith dotted between a mix ofdesigner cafe's and art galleries.