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Historic England Research Records

Clement Talbot Car Factory

Hob Uid: 1220415
Location :
Greater London Authority
Kensington And Chelsea
Grid Ref : TQ2362081990
Summary : The factory of Clement-Talbot Ltd was situated between the Great Western Railway and the terraces of north Kensington. It presented the high ideal of Edwardian car plant design: an office front in the style of a country house, built in concrete but opulently appointed and fronting a large, flexible, single-storey production area. The Clement-Talbot factory was erected by a syndicate established to import Clement cars from France. Construction was supervised by the engineer Charles Garrard. The Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot supplied the capital and construction started in late 1903. The cars were initially branded as Clement-Talbot, but as the French connection waned so the cars were marketed as Talbots, the first truly British model being produced in 1906. Designed by the architect William T Walker, the main block is dated 1903 on its rainwater heads. Clement-Talbot built an extension to the west in 1913 and a further extension to the frontage was also added on this side in 1917. In August 1917 the automobile factory became a First World War Aero-Engine Factory. The works of Messrs. Clement Talbot already had some experience in repairing French aero-engines for naval service. In the first five months the contract proved unsuccessful. On 1st January 1918 after a conference with the owners the works were taken under the control of the Ministry of Munitions. The factory repaired a total of 608 engines. At the time of the armistice there were 1994 employees. After the War the factory reverted back to motor car production, producing the 10/23 and 14/45 Talbots. It was subsequently subsumed into the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq combine but collapsed in the 1930s and the works and the Talbot name passed to the Rootes Group. The site was subsequently occupied by Warwick Wright, car dealers, and by suppliers of film equipment. The office and entrance is still extant and is now Ladbroke Hall. The manufacturing sheds were demolished around 1993 and the site was redeveloped.
More information : The factory of Clement-Talbot Ltd, wedged between the Great Western Railway and the terraces of north Kensington, presents the high ideal of Edwardian car plant design: an office front worthy of a country house, built in concrete but opulently appointed and fronting a large, flexible, single-storey production area. The Clement-Talbot factory was erected by a syndicate established to import Clement cars from France. Construction was supervised by the engineer Charles Garrard. He had worked, during the late 1880s, with Adolphe Clement, a leading figure in the French cycle and car industry. The Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot supplied the capital and construction started in late 1903. The cars were initially branded as Clement-Talbot, but as the French connection waned so the cars were marketed as Talbots, the first truly British model being produced in 1906. The design of the office block appears to reflect the aristocratic involvement of the Earl of Shrewsbury in its Beaux Arts inspired classicism. The office block fronting Barlby Road is not only highly decorative with its red brick and Portland stone facing, but is a pioneering example of reinforced concrete construction. Desinged by the architect William T Walker, the main block is dated 1903 on its rainwater heads. Clement-Talbot blossomed in its lavish works and an extension was built to the west in 1913 and a further extension to the frontage was also added on this side in 1917. After producing the 10/23 and 14/45 Talbots, the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq combine collapsed in the 1930s and the works and the Talbot name passed to the Rootes Group. The site was has subsequently been occupied by Warwick Wright, car dealers, and by suppliers of film equipment. (1)

Listed. For the Designation record of this site please see The National Heritage List for England. (2-3)

The once Grade II listed manufacturing sheds behind the former office and now Ladbroke Hall were demolished around 1993. The site has subsequently been re-developed. The Grade II listed sheds were de-listed on 17th May 2013. (4)

A First World War Aero-Engine Factory was established at Ladbroke Grove from August 1917 after heavy demands for Rolls Royce engines were received from the Controller of Aeronautical Supplies. The works of Messrs. Clement Talbot already had some experience in repairing French aero-engines for naval service. In the first five months the contract proved unsuccessful, partly because the company were asked to undertake for a rival firm repairs of an aero-engine with which they were unfamiliar. On 1st January 1918 after a conference with the owners the works were taken under the control of the Ministry of Munitions. In August 1918 a superintendent from the government was installed at the works, which had a significant positive impact on productivity. The company repaired a total of 608 engines. At the time of the armistice (11th November 1918) there were 1994 employees of whom 19 per cent were women. (5)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : British car factories from 1896 : a complete geographical, architectural and technological survey
Source details :
Page(s) : 131-132
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Source Number : 2
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : District of Kensington and Chelsea, 23-FEB-1989
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Source Number : 3
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : English Heritage. 2013. 'English Heritage: The National Heritage List for England', [Accessed 20-MAY-2013]
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 4
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Information from Principal Planning Officer - Conservation and Design, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, 14-MAY-2013
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 5
Source : The Official History of the Ministry of Munitions
Source details : Volume VIII Control of Industrial Capacity and Equipment
Page(s) : 205-7
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early 20th Century
Display Date : Extended 1913
Monument End Date : 1913
Monument Start Date : 1913
Monument Type : Car Factory
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Early 20th Century
Display Date : Extended 1917
Monument End Date : 1917
Monument Start Date : 1917
Monument Type : Car Factory
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Edwardian
Display Date : Built 1903-1904
Monument End Date : 1904
Monument Start Date : 1903
Monument Type : Office, Car Factory, Concrete Framed Building
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Edwardian
Display Date : 1903
Monument End Date : 1903
Monument Start Date : 1903
Monument Type : Rainwater Head
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Late 20th Century
Display Date : Use in the late C20
Monument End Date : 2000
Monument Start Date : 1967
Monument Type : Motor Vehicle Showroom, Office
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Late 20th Century
Display Date : Sheds demolished 1993
Monument End Date : 1993
Monument Start Date : 1993
Monument Type : Car Factory
Evidence : Demolished Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 90882
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 425504
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 425506
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1265291
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1265290
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 28 SW 53
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : INVESTIGATION BY RCHME/EH ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-11-14
End Date : 1995-11-14