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Kensington

Kensington is an inner suburb of Melbourne, Australia, 4 km north-west of Melbourne's central business district.

Details

  • Area:2.131 km2
  • Elevation:26 m
  • Population:10,812
  • Local Government Area:City of Melbourne

Description

Kensington is an inner suburb of Melbourne, Australia, 4 km north-west of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Melbourne. At the 2016 Australian census, Kensington had a population of 10,812.Kensington is known for its village feel, cafes, and diversity of architecture - including Victorian terraces, cottages, warehouse apartments and new structures in the west of the suburb. The suburb is hilly in sections and contains established tree lined streets. The suburb is bounded by Racecourse Road to the north, Smithfield Road and the Maribyrnong River to the west, Dynon Road to the south, and Moonee Ponds Creek to the east. Kensington was once home to one of Victoria's major abattoirs and livestock saleyards, an army ordnance depot and a number of factories. The stock yards ceased operation in 1984, prompting significant urban renewal in the area now known as Kensington Banks. Kensington was named after Kensington in London. # History ## Settlement Prior to European settlement, the area was settled by Wurundjeri people, who have lived in the area surrounding the Birrarung Valley for up to 40,000 years. They lived predominantly as hunters and gatherers, moving around the present-day City of Melbourne and its surrounds depending on changes in the weather and the availability of food. Neighbouring Flemington was initially settled in 1839 by James Watson, who named the area after Flemington Estate in Scotland, where his father-in-law was a manager. The first land release came in 1840, when land adjacent to the Maribyrnong River was made available for cattle grazing. Kensington was part of the City of Essendon on its foundation in 1861, but later split away to form the Borough of Flemington and Kensington in 1882. The area was originally known for horse proving grounds, its cattle yards, and abattoirs.In the late 1850s, the City of Melbourne moved its cattle yards from a location on the corner of Elizabeth and Victoria Streets to a location in the north of the suburb, near present-day Racecourse Road. The yards were completed in 1858, with the first sales held the following year. The yards' proximity to the Maribyrnong (or Saltwater) River, allowed for the discharge of liquid waste and were soon joined by factories for fellmongery, bone manure, and glue.The abattoir and its associated factories were soon surrounded by suburbs, prompting complaints and public meetings objecting to the by-products and waste produced by the saleyards. Alfred Deakin, who represented the member for Essendon and Flemington in the Victorian Legislative Assembly until 1900, moved a division in favour of the yards' closure in 1891. Economic downturn in the 1890s, however, meant that the closure was postponed and a by-law was instead passed by the Melbourne City Council making it illegal to drive livestock through streets in Flemington and Kensington between 8am and 10pm.The earliest land sales in the suburb included the Palace Hotel and a Wesleyan Church, both acquired in 1879. In 1886, the borough had a population of approximately 6,000, with approximately 20 new buildings opening each month. Low-lying land in the south of the suburb, near the present-day JJ Holland Park, was filled in around the same period, allowing for the construction of the Gillespie Mill adjacent to the railway line.A railway line to Essendon was opened by the Melbourne and Essendon Railway Company in 1860, including Kensington railway station. The railway closed in 1864, but was later reopened as far as Newmarket by the Victorian Railways in November 1867. The refurbished and extended railway line also served the Newmarket cattle sale yards, which by 1888 handled more than half a million animals every year.A railway station at South Kensington opened in March 1891. ## 20th century In 1905, the Borough of Flemington and Kensington was amalgamated with the City of Melbourne.A major railway yard adjacent to Dynon Road towards the south of the suburb was opened in 1955 to relieve congestion at existing facilities near Flinders Street and Spencer Street station. Originally built during World War II as a means of increasing railway freight capacity, the yards were extended and upgraded to include the country's longest goods depot. ## Abattoir closure and present day In November 1984, an official announcement was made that the Newmarket Saleyards would be closed the following year. Although the closure had been discussed for almost a century, economic hardship and drought conditions, as well as the decentralisation of the livestock industry and urban development affected the viability of the yards. The yards operated until 1987, when an employment trust was formed to dismantle the yards, assisted by more than 100 long-term unemployed. The yards were redeveloped by the state government under the Lynch's Bridge project, which now has approximately 6,100 residents.In line with other inner city areas, gentrification has prompted an increase in household incomes, a greater proportion of residents aged 25–49 years old, and a shift in occupation from manufacturing to property and business services. The average household size has also decreased: in 1981, 53% of households had 1–2 persons, whereas in 2006 the proportion had increased to 70.3%.After the proclamation of the City of Melbourne Act 1993, parts of Kensington were transferred from the City of Melbourne to the City of Essendon, which merged with Moonee Valley City Council in 1995. The restructure saw the City of Melbourne's boundary altered to extend past Flemington Racecourse to include the Melbourne Showgrounds. At the same time, parts of Kensington north of Macaulay Road, including the railway station, Kensington Town Hall, and Kensington Primary School, became part of the City of Essendon. In the 2006 census, 5,204 residents lived within the City of Melbourne boundary, with 2,865 falling under the Moonee Valley City Council.A review of the municipal boundary in Kensington and North Melbourne was conducted in 2007, and found significant support for the entire suburb to be brought under the control of the City of Melbourne. Submission to the review highlighted issues with service provision, the lack of a coordinated retail strategy for the Macaulay Road shopping precinct, and challenges for community groups operating on both sides of the boundary. A recommendation that these areas of Kensington should be transferred to the City of Melbourne was accepted by the state government in 2008, and implemented the same year.Four'N Twenty pies were produced in Kensington until 2003, when production moved to Bairnsdale. Suburb review site, CityHobo has called Kensington one of the best places to live in Melbourne after the area's significant gentrification. The area is considered socially progressive with a large refugee and gay community residing in Kensington. # Weather # Things to do

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