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Inventory Site Record

Camden Gardens (Camden)

Brief Description

Camden Gardens is a public garden on a triangular site enclosed by railings, laid out with grass and trees. The land was formerly owned by Marquis Camden and the garden was originally provided for the private use of residents of the surrounding houses. A Committee of inhabitants managed the gardens out of rates levied by St Pancras Borough Council. In the mid C19th the land was crossed by the London Midland and Scottish Railway but further building was prohibited under the London Squares and Enclosures (Preservation) Act of 1906. Some improvements were carried out in the C21st with new railings, gates and planting but further improvements took place in 2020 through Pocket Park funding as a result of the Camden Highline project for which the gardens will be an entry point. This new community park along a disused stretch of railway viaduct between Camden and King's Cross, is due to be completed c.2022.

Practical Information
Site location:
Camden Gardens/Camden Street/Kentish Town Road
Postcode:
NW1
What 3 Words:
turns.farmer.soils
Type of site:
Public Gardens, Pocket Park
Borough:
Camden
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
7.30am - dusk
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Events:
Public transport:
London Overground: Camden Road. Tube: Camden Town (Northern). Bus: 134, 214, C2, 29, 253
Research updated:
01/07/2020
Last minor changes:
19/07/2023

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.camden.gov.uk

Full Site Description

Camden Gardens consists of a triangular area enclosed by C20th railings, laid out with grass and trees and crossed by the London Midland and Scottish Railway on brick arches, bounded by roads on all sides and overlooked by houses. The land was formerly owned by Marquis Camden and laid out in the early C19th for the use of inhabitants of surrounding houses. A Committee of inhabitants managed the gardens out of rates levied by St Pancras Borough Council. The land was crossed by the railway in the mid C19th but building on the garden was prohibited under the London Squares and Enclosures (Preservation) Act of 1906. Re-landscaping was carried out in the early C21st with new railings and gates and new planting.

In 2020 the gardens were improved as part of the new Camden Highline scheme. The Highline project was launched in 2017 and is a collaboration between a number of local and community organisations coming together to form the charitable organisation, Camden Highline. The aim is to turn a disused stretch of railway viaduct into a new elevated park and walking route, connecting Camden Gardens in the west to York Way in the east. "It will be a space that people will be inspired by, learn from and enjoy, with seating areas, cafés, arts interventions and charitable activities. The route is 1.2km long, around 8 metres above ground and will bring new local green space to 20,000 people." Following feasibility studies and public consultation, together with a fund-raising campaign, a design competition was launched in September 2020 run with assistance from Colander Associates. The winning design was announced on 15 February 2021, a team led by James Corner Field Operations, who were involved with South Park at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (q.v.), working with Kentish Town-based vPPR Architects, artist Hew Locke, community consultation organisation Street Space and Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, among others. "This multidisciplinary team includes newly emerging local talent and internationally experienced firms, who will work with the community to imagine and design the Camden Highline as a considered resident amenity and ground-breaking visitor’s destination."

Camden Gardens is located beneath what will be the western end of the Highline route. In 2019 Pocket Park funding was secured from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to make improvements to the gardens; designers from Studio Mutt worked with volunteers to transform the park with planters, seating, wayfinding and new planting. Camden Highline is using the gardens to engage people in their walking tours, educational and volunteering activities.

 

Sources consulted:

Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928; Camden Highline website: www.camdenhighline.com

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ289841 (528968,184227)
Size in hectares:
0.2314
Site ownership:
LB Camden
Site management:
Parks & Open Spaces
Date(s):
early C19th
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
None
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:

Yes

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:
Yes
In Conservation Area:
No
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
Not known
Other LA designation:
Public Open Space (Small Local). London Squares Preservation Act of 1931
Photos

Camden Gardens

Camden Gardens, north of railway, August 2002. Photo: S Williams

Camden Gardens, south of railway, August 2002. Photo: S Williams
2002

Click a photo to enlarge.

Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.