Inventory Site Record

Grove Terrace Squares (Camden)

Brief Description

Grove Terrace Squares are three strips of public gardens located between Highgate Road and the slip-roads serving the Georgian houses of Grove Terrace and Grove End. The land was acquired by the LCC for £754 in order to preserve it as public open space and it was maintained by St Pancras Vestry, later Borough Council. The 'squares' were previously enclosed but the railings were removed in WWII when civil defence chambers were built underground, a staircase to which is still visible. They have wide swathes of lawn into which are set a series of shaped flower beds with seasonal displays, shaded by mature trees including oak and London plane.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Grove Terrace Green
Site location:
Grove Terrace/Highgate Road
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Gardens
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Tube/Rail: Kentish Town, Archway (Northern) then bus. Bus: 143, 210, 271, 214, C2, C11.
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

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

Full Site Description

The fine houses of Grove Terrace date from the C18th and C19th; Nos.6-17 were built in c.1793 by R Cooke, Nos.18-27 in c.1780 by J Cheeke, and Nos.1-5 are early C19th. This district including part of Highgate Road was marked as 'Green Street' in John Rocque's map of 1746; just to the south of Grove Terrace and College Lane the name remains in Little Green Street. The garden 'squares' that separate the terraces from Highgate Road feature in James Frederick King's extraordinary Kentish Town Panorama of c.1850. Their preservation under the London Squares Preservation Act arose as a result of intervention by the LCC. The land was acquired at a cost of £754 under the LCC General Powers Act of 1892 through a deal whereby the Dartmouths and other major owners made it available at less than market value provided that the LCC and St Pancras Vestry would continue to maintain them as ‘ornamental gardens’ and adopt the roads in question. In the 1928 Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares they were described as 'very attractive open spaces with well-kept lawns and some fine trees', maintained by St Pancras Borough Council. On the other side of Highgate Road are Highgate Enclosures (q.v.), a wider area of public gardens, also protected under the London Squares Preservation Act.

Sources consulted:

Survey of London; Report of the Royal Commission for London Squares, 1928; Camden Listed Buildings website; LB Camden, Dartmouth Park Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Statement, 2009

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ285859 (528520,185958)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Camden
Site management:
Parks & Open Spaces
probably C19th
Listed structures:
LBII*: Nos. 6-27 Grove Terrace, attached railings/lamp-holders. LBII: Nos. 1-5 Grove Terrace and attached railings; Grove End House (150 Highgate Road)
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:
Conservation Area name:
Dartmouth Park
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Public Open Space (Small Local). London Squares Preservation Act 1931. Strategic View Corridor

Grove Terrace Squares

Grove Terrace Squares, August 2002. Photo: S Williams

Grove Terrace Gardens, Highgate Road, postcard c.1906. Courtesy DPCAAC, copyright Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre; www.camden.gov.uk/localstudies
Grove Terrace, Highgate Road, postcard c.1906. Courtesy DPCAAC, copyright Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre; www.camden.gov.uk/localstudies
Highgate Road, postcard c.1906. Courtesy DPCAAC, copyright Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre; www.camden.gov.uk/localstudies

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.