Inventory Site Record

Queen's Gardens

Queen's Gardens (Bromley)

Brief Description

Queen’s Gardens are now set in the shade of The Glades Shopping Centre. By the C19th the site was known as The White Hart Field after a nearby inn and used for public recreation and sports. In 1865 part of the inn was opened as a homeopathic dispensary and in 1889 Bromley's first homeopathic hospital opened. When a new homeopathic hospital was under discussion, the Lord of the Manor, Coles Child, presented White Hart Field to Bromley in 1897, part given for the hospital and the rest laid out as a public recreation ground. This was initially named Victoria Gardens in celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. When The Glades Shopping Centre was constructed in 1990, a portion of the gardens including the original main entrance with its ornamental gates was lost, but the gates were moved to the southern part of the gardens.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
White Hart Field; Victoria Gardens; Queens Gardens
Site location:
Kentish Way, Bromley
Postcode:
BR1 1HD
Type of site:
Public Gardens
Borough:
Bromley
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
unrestricted
Special conditions:
No dogs
Facilities:
Numerous toilets and cafes can be found in The Glades shopping centre
Events:
Public transport:
Rail: Bromley North; Bromley South. Bus 61,119,126,138,146,162,208,246,261,314,320,352,358,367,402,726

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/02/2009
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.bromley.gov.uk

Full Site Description

Queen’s Gardens are set in the shade of The Glades Shopping Centre that opened in 1991 in the centre of Bromley, with Kentish Way a major thoroughfare to the east. By the C19th the site was known as The White Hart Field and shown as such on the 1st edition OS map of 1871; it was used for public recreation and sports, and was named after the Inn of that name that stood to the side of the site. County cricket was played here until 1847. In 1865 the ground floor of the White Hart Inn was opened as a homeopathic dispensary by Edward Gould, providing medical care to Bromley residents. The popularity of homeopathy led Dr Robert Phillips to open another practice in 1874 in 19 Widmore Road; he soon began collecting funds for building a much-needed hospital and in 1889 Bromley's first homeopathic hospital opened. When it was decided to expand or build a new hospital, Coles Child, Lord of the Manor, presented Bromley with The White Hart Field in 1897, a section of which was given for the new hospital. The rest of the field remained in use for public recreation and was laid out with paths and planting, renamed Victoria Gardens in celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. The gardens have since become known as the Queen's Garden or Queen's Gardens.

The original main entrance to the gardens in the north west corner was at the apex of a triangle adjacent to Market Square where there were fine ornamental iron gates, donated by Lord Kinnaird, a close friend of Coles Child. The gates, which Kinnaird had purchased at auction, date from the 1850s and had stood in front of his residence, Plaistow Lodge, on London Lane. In 1990, when The Glades Shopping Centre was constructed, the gates were moved to their present position in the southern part of the gardens.

Phillips Homeopathic Hospital had opened in 1900, was enlarged further in 1907, but it was bombed in WWII by a direct hit and although it temporarily became a home for homeless people, escalating costs meant that it was eventually demolished in 1951. From the outset patients had used the adjacent recreation ground during convalescence. When The Glades Shopping Centre was built, the site was reduced somewhat in size. The naming of The Glades, chosen through a competition in which local residents participated, reflected the leafy, green image of the borough in which Queen's Gardens plays a part. Today the gardens have formal beds of annual bedding plants, tarmac paths, seats and a number of mature and semi-mature ornamental trees. The copper beech are especially fine.

Sources consulted:

An A to Z of Bromley's Parks, Local Open Space & Woodlands, )LB Bromley, 2007?); ELS Horsburgh 'History of Bromley' (1929).

LPGT Volunteer Research by Tony Banfield, 2009

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ404692 (540450,169203)
Size in hectares:
2.5
Site ownership:
LB Bromley
Site management:
Leisure Services
Date(s):
1897; 1990s
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
LBII: Ornamental cast-iron gates
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

No
Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

No
Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

No

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
No
In Conservation Area:
Yes
Conservation Area name:
Bromley Town
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
Yes - Area of Special Archaeological Interest
Other LA designation:
Urban Open Space

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