The development of this area of Kensington took place largely after the Great Exhibition of 1851 when Parliament decided to establish a 'cultural centre' and grand residential estate. The land was owned by the 1851 Commissioners and a number of private estates, including the Harrington estate, where building began in 1855 on the site of former market gardens. The gardens were laid out c.1860 for the use of those living in surrounding houses, this privilege extended to those in the near neighbourhood. In WWII there were air raid shelters under the gardens. Since early 1990s the residents have been restoring the gardens, and paths have been re-drawn and gravelled to the original layout. In the interim additional planting had taken place, including a grove of 12 silver birch trees for the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977.