This area was once a royal manor, so the name is thought to come from the Saxon kyning-tun, (the town or place of the king). Another possibility is that it was a farmstead associated with a man called Cena. It was called Chenintun or Chenintune at the time of the Domesday Book (1086), which records that the manor was owned by one Theodoric, a goldsmith, by grant from Edward the Confessor.
The Black Prince once had a palace here hence Black Prince Road. Between then and when Prince Henry, the then Prince of Wales, was given the land by James I it is known that royalty occasionally stayed at the palace. The prince built a house on the old palace site.
As Duke of Cornwall, the present day Prince of Wales still owns much of the land and some of the houses in Kennington. Charles I as Prince of Wales gave part of the manor and part of Vauxhall manor to the ambassador to Holland Sir Noel Caron in the early 17th century. Caron built a splendid house in the Vauxhall manor. In 1774 Kennington was described as ‘a village near Lambeth’.
South of Kennington Park where St Marks Church now stands is the site of Surrey gallows (the whole area formed part of the County of Surrey until the formation of the London County Council). Those executed included some of the Jacobites following their trial in 1746. These unfortunates were then beheaded, disembowelled, and their heads put on poles in Temple Bar. The last person executed on the site was Henry Fauntleroy, a forger, in the early 19th century.