The Bell and Horns public house dominated the junction for several centuries. The Italian stucco frontage was added to an older pub in 1855. This photograph shows the Victorian pub shortly before its demolition in 1915. In 1910 work on Empire House began. Completed sections can be seen to the left and rear of the pub. Empire House was built for the Continental Tyre Company. Founded in 1871 in Germany and were the first to develop a tyre with tread. Their rivals operated from the Michelin building close by on the Fulham Road. Indeed, Kensington played a significant role in the early days of the motor industry. Cars were also manufactured, most notably at the Barbly Road Works in North Kensington.
On the right the Brompton Oratory with its distinctive dome can be seen. This was opened in 1884. Keep in mind the distinctive shape of the junction when you look at the next picture.
Copyright: the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Libraries (RBKC Libraries)
Location of original: LSvf streets
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