Kensal House Open Air School
 553-579 Harrow Road, Kensal Green, W10 4RH
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1911 - 1939

Open Air School
In 1911, in association with the LCC, the Paddington & Kensington Dispensary for the Prevention of Consumption in Talbot Road established, as an experiment, an open air school for local tuberculous children attending the Dispensary.

The Open Air School was equipped by the LCC and was officially opened in July of that year by the Duke of Argyll.  It had been set up in the estate of Kensal House, a large mansion built in the 1830s between Harrow Road and the Grand Union Canal.

Kensal House had an extensive garden and the Open Air School provided an education for children who would otherwise have been barred from normal school.

In 1913 the LCC took over the running of the School from the Dispensary.

The School was active until the beginning of WW2 when, like many others, the pupils were evacuated from London.  After the School closed, its premises were used as an auxiliary fire station for the duration of the war.

Present status (July 2013)

It is not clear whether there was any initiative to restart the School after the war, but buildings appearing to be open air classrooms are shown on maps from the 1950s.

In 1989 Kensal House, now Grade II listed, was extended and remodelled as offices for the Virgin Group.  Its involvement ceased and the complex was remodelled again around 2006 by Derwent Valley Property Development.

The original mansion is now The White Building at No. 555 Harrow Road and contains offices and showrooms for a Dutch design group, Moooi London, and a flooring systems supplier, Senso.

The eastern extension, at No. 553 Harrow Road, contains seven apartments.

The western extension, at No. 557 Harrow Road, is The RB Building containing a mix of rented office premises.

Kensal House
Kensal House is now The White Building at No. 555 Harrow Road.

Kensal House
The entrance to the development, with No. 553 on the left of  The White Building.

Kensal House
Signage by the gateway lists the buildings within.

Kensal House
The RB Building at No. 557 is shown to the right of The White Building.

Kensal House
The buildings are well hidden behind a line of trees along Harrow Road.

(Author unstated) 1911 The consumption dispensary.  British Journal of Nursing 47, 41.

Williamson DJ  1911 The Tuberculosis Dispensary.  In: National Conference on the Prevention of Destitution. London, P.S. King.

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