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Paddington is an area of the City of Westminstermarker, in Central London, Englandmarker. Formerly a metropolitan borough, it was integrated with Westminster and Greater Londonmarker in 1965. Three important landmarks of the district are Paddington stationmarker, designed by the celebrated engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1847; St Mary's Hospitalmarker and Paddington Green police stationmarker (the most important high-security police station in the United Kingdommarker).


The earliest extant reference to Padington, historically a part of Middlesexmarker, was made in the year 1056.

By 1773, a contemporary historian determined that "London may now be said to include two cities, one borough and forty six antient villages", Paddington and adjoining Marybone (Marylebonemarker) being named as two of those villages.

Roman roads formed the parish's north-eastern and southern boundaries from Marble Arch: Watling Street (later Edgware Road) and the Uxbridge road, known in the 1860s as Bayswater Road. They were toll roads in the 1700s, before and after the dismantling of the permanent Tyburn gallows "tree" at their junction in 1759. By 1800, the area was also traversed by the Harrow Roadmarker and an arm of the Grand Union Canalmarker.

Historic personages and places

The great Victorian poet Robert Browning moved from No. 1 Chichester Road to Beauchamp Lodge, 19 Warwick Crescent from 1862 until 1887. He is reputed to have named that precinct, on the junction of two canals, "Little Venice", a legend which was disputed by Lord Kinross in 1966 and by London Canals. Both assert that Lord Byron humorously coined the name, which is now applied more loosely to a longer reach of the canal system.

Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the scouting movement and hero of the Siege of Mafeking during the Second Boer War, was born in Paddington on 22 February 1857.

St Mary's Hospital in Praed Streetmarker is the site of several great medical accomplishments. In 1874, C R Alder Wright synthesised heroin (diacetylmorphine). Also there, in 1928, Sir Alexander Fleming first isolated penicillin, earning the award of a Nobel Prize. The hospital has an Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum where visitors can see Fleming's laboratory, restored to its 1928 condition, and explore the story of Fleming and the discovery and development of penicillin through displays and video.

The royal princes William (21 June 1982) and Henry (15 September 1984) were both born at St Mary's Hospital.

The courageous Edward Wilson, physician, naturalist and ornithologist who died in 1912 on Captain Robert Scott's ill-fated British Antarctic expedition had earlier practised as a doctor in Paddington. The former Senior Street primary school was renamed the Edward Wilson School after him in 1952.

Paddington station

Mainline station.
Mainline Paddington stationmarker is the terminus for commuter services to the west of England (e.g., Sloughmarker, Maidenheadmarker, Readingmarker, Swindonmarker) and mainline services to Oxfordmarker, Bristolmarker, Bathmarker, Tauntonmarker, Exetermarker, Plymouthmarker, Cornwallmarker and south Walesmarker (including Cardiffmarker and Swanseamarker). The Heathrow Express services Heathrow Airportmarker.

In the station are statues of its designer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the children's fiction character Paddington Bear.



Image:PaddBasin.jpg|Paddington Basin, Grand Union CanalImage:EdgwRd.JPG|Edgware RoadImage:SussGdns.jpg|Sussex GardensImage:VictPubPadd.jpg|Victoria pub, Gloucester Square

See also


  1. Noorthouck J A New History of London 1773 (Book 2, Ch. 1: Situation and general view of London) Date accessed: 6 July 2009.
  2. Elrington C R (Editor), Baker T F T, Bolton D K , Croot P E C (1989) A History of the County of Middlesex Paddington pages in Volume 9, pp 173-272
  3. Letter to The Daily Telegraph, 1966
  4. The history of the place name known as 'Little Venice'
  5. Fleming Museum

  • Elrington C R (Editor), Baker T F T, Bolton D K , Croot P E C (1989) Paddington-Introduction in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9 pp 173–272 (Links to following sections, or see Table of contents)

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