Inventory Site Record

Witanhurst Gardens (Camden)

Brief Description

Witanhurst was built in 1913-20 for Sir Arthur Crosfield, designed by George Hubbard on the site of an earlier C18th house called Parkfield. The garden was designed for Sir Arthur by Harold Peto whose work included the tennis pavilion, garden steps leading onto a paved terrace with balustraded parapet and viewing platform. The Italianate garden had a sunken pond and pergola as its central feature and consisted of 3 linked compartments stepping downhill and bounded by stone-coped brick walls. In 2007 it was reported that the mansion had been sold to private developers, and the future of the gardens is uncertain.

Practical Information
Site location:
No 41, Highgate West Hill
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Private Garden
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Full Site Description

The Parkfield estate had been enlarged in 1881 and 1894 by Walter Scrimgeour, a barrister. Witanhurst was restored in 1946. The first garden compartment of Peto's Italianate garden had at its centre a circular pond lined with blue mosaic, with an ornamental fountain comprising a column with a shell basin, surrounded by four statues of two male and two female figures, thought to represent the four seasons. From this first compartment steps led into the central compartment, and the third, most sunken compartment was approached through tall stone, panelled and corniced gate piers with cast-iron gate and decorative wrought-iron overthrow. Flanking the piers were substantial stone balustrades crowning a brick wall. Stone balustraded steps led down into an apsed rectangular garden with stone-columned pergola, which continued around the apse formed by a segmental shaped reflecting pond. The property was used for filming and television on a number of occasions but its current status is uncertain.

Sources consulted:

'Streets of Highgate' ed. Steven Denford and David A Hayes (Camden History Society Publications, 2007); LB Camden, Highgate Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Strategy, 2007

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ281871 (528093,187158)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
Site management:
Harold Peto
Listed structures:
LBII*: Witanhurst; LBII: Gatehouse; Italianate Garden: Walls, steps, gateway, pond & pergola; Fountain and pond and 4 surrounding statues; Tennis pavilion; Garden steps and retaining walls
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:
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Yes - Area of Special Character: Hampstead & Highgate Ridge
Other LA designation:
Private Open Space

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.