Inventory Site Record

Clarence Gardens (Camden)

Brief Description

Clarence Gardens together with Munster Square was originally part of John Nash's plan of 1820 to provide a second market to complement Cumberland Market, but neither were built. The centre of the site was used as a nursery ground in the C19th. The land, owned by the Crown, was later leased to the LCC for a public garden, which opened in May 1907. It was laid out with walks and seats, an attractive garden surrounded by houses, divided into two rectangular enclosures by Osnaburgh Street. Now overlooked by modern housing, the garden was partially re-landscaped in 1972; the shape and its mature plane trees are the only historic features now remaining.

Practical Information
Site location:
Regents Park Estate, Osnaburgh Street
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Garden Square;, Public Gardens
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Tube: Great Portland Street (Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City, Circle). Bus: C2, 24, 27, 29, 134.
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

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

Full Site Description

The site is a rectangle laid out with grass and shrubs partially re-landscaped in 1972, enclosed by modern railings, with some mature London plane trees. Its square formation is the result of having been originally planned by John Nash in 1820 as a second market, with Munster Square, to complement Cumberland Market, although these two markets were never built. The shape of the garden, and its mature planes are the only historic features now remaining. The centre of the site was used as a nursery ground in the C19th. The land was owned by the Crown and leased to the LCC for a public garden, which was opened in May 1907, laid out with walks and seats. It was preserved under the London Square and Enclosures (Preservation) Act of 1906, which prohibited building on the ground. In 1928 it was described as 'divided into two rectangular enclosures by Osnaburgh Street. Laid out as very attractive gardens with well-kept lawns, flower beds and trees. Overlooked by dwelling-houses.' Today it is overlooked by modern, low-rise Council flats. The west side has raised beds with the east side grassed.

Sources consulted:

Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928; A Cooper ed. 'Primrose Hill to Euston Road, A Survey of Streets of West Camden', Camden History Society, 1981; M W Hammond, 'Camden's Parks and Gardens', LB Camden, 1973;

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ289826 (528943,182628)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Camden
Site management:
Parks & Open Spaces
C19th; 1907
Listed structures:
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


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:
In Conservation Area:
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Public Open Space (Small Local)

Clarence Gardens

Clarence Gardens, West area, July 2002. Photo: S Williams

Clarence Gardens, south-east view from the north-west corner, photograph, 1945.  Courtesy of Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre
William Radcliffe 'Clarence Gardens', oil on canvas, c.1912.  Courtesy of Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre.

Click a photo to enlarge.

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