KENNINGTON, a district parish, and populous suburb of London, in the parish and borough of Lambeth, E. division of the hundred of Brixton, county Surrey, 2½ miles S. of St. Paul's. It is situated on the line of road leading from the metropolis towards Clapham and Brixton, and has recently vastly increased in population.
It is a crown manor, held under the Duchy of Cornwall, and had a royal palace in the Saxon times. It was subsequently the residence of Edward the Black Prince, whose palace stood on the site of the old manor house in Park Place, once inhabited by Charles I. while Prince of Wales, but recently superseded by modern buildings. Henry III. kept Christmas here in 1231, and Edward III. in 1342.
It includes the Oval, an area of nearly 10 acres, once cultivated as market gardens and nursery grounds, but now the Surrey cricket ground; and Kennington Common, formerly an unenclosed tract of ground, used as the place of execution for criminals convicted at the Surrey assizes, but now enclosed as a park. It was here that several of the adherents of the Pretender were executed as traitors in 1746, and the great Chartist meeting was held in 1848.
The district is lighted with gas, and supplied with water from the South London Water-works, which are situated at Kingston. There are spacious assembly rooms, where public meetings are held, a savings-bank, a police station of the L division of the metropolitan police, a grammar school affiliated with the London University, and the licensed victuallers' schools. Here are also manufactories for oil of vitriol and wadding. It is a polling-place for the eastern division of the county of Surrey, and an electoral district of the borough of Lambeth. The custom of borough-English prevails in the manor, which was held by Alleyne, the actor, in the beginning of the 17th century.
The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Winchester, value £700, in the patronage of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The church, dedicated to St. Mark, is a spacious structure, erected is 1824 at the cost of £22,719. It has a tower and cupola at the W. end, and a Doric portico. There are several Episcopal chapels, besides St. James's and Carlisle chapels, within the district. There are many National, infant, and denominational schools. J. Calcott, the composer, and Sir A. Calcott, the painter, were natives.