Kensington Central Library

Libraries to inspire! There’s always a lot going on in Kensington and Chelsea Libraries. With a wide range of resources for adults and children including regular activities, events programmes, and free internet access - you’re sure to find something of interest. Our service offers free access to the internet on over 100 computers located throughout the borough, provides IT skills sessions and has access to a wide range of on-line services for adults and homework help for children. Add to this our research and information resources, our specialist collections, the vast selection of stock available (including Books, Talking Books, CDs, DVDs and e-books), and our dedicated services such as those for housebound residents) - you’ll soon realise that Libraries have a lot to offer! It’s free to join the library - simply visit your nearest library and fill in one of the forms (make sure you provide one form of identification) and you’re ready to borrow!

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Monday: 9:30am - 8pm
Tuesday: 9:30am - 8pm
Wednesday: 9:30am - 5pm
Thursday: 9:30am - 8pm
Friday: 9:30am - 5pm
Saturday: 9:30am - 5pm

Admission charges


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

You Didn’t See Alice: Alice In Wonderland Freshly Illustrated (150th anniversary) - FREE

  • 28 May 2015 6:30-8pm

Colin Pinney has directed plays both here and in America. He has been a member of the BBC Radio Drama Company and was co-author of the English version of Mazeppa, presented at the London Coliseum.

He founded Marchurst Productions, creating shows which brought to life characters of History Literature and Romance. These have been given at venues in America, including Harvard, and in London at the National Portrait Gallery.

Other venues have included Batemans - Kipling’s House in Sussex - and various cruise ships.

His other PowerPoint shows include The Ancient Mariner and Pilgrim’s Progress.

Suitable for

  • Any age



Juliet West - Forbidden Love in WW1: Duty and Desire - FREE

  • 16 June 2015 6:30-8pm

Juliet will talk about the process of researching and writing the book, and discuss the challenges of transforming real events into fiction.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+



The Real Downton Abbey: What it was really like to be a servant in a big house - FREE

  • 18 June 2015 6:30-7:45pm

What work would that nice Scottish lady below stairs in Downton Abbey have actually done?! How accurate a portrayal of a cook is poor old Mrs Padmore? Would Thomas have had time to cause so much trouble? Would Mr Moseley have really been able to cut it as a footman?

And we hear about all the types of servants that don't seem to exist in Downton.

We also hear of the 'servant problem' from 1901, how the Great War changed things and the changing role of servants in the inter-war years.

And we hear how servants spent their limited leisure time too.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+



Stage show - Jane Austen in the Making: we fainted alternately on the sofa - FREE

  • 16 July 2015 6:30-8pm

She has visited Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the University of Cape Town. Her children's book on Queen Victoria, The Dumpy Princess, was shortlisted for a Young Quills award and she is finishing another on Princess Charlotte, daughter of King George lV.

She has been invited 4 times to schools and universities in Kyoto, Japan to speak on Jane Austen.

Karin is thrilled to come across Austen’s juvenile writings and hopes you will enjoy them too.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+


Kensington Central Library
12 Phillimore Walk
Greater London
W8 7RX




020 7361 3010

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.