Inventory Site Record

Hanger Hill Garden Estate

Hanger Hill Garden Estate (Ealing)

Brief Description

The land on which Hanger Hill Garden Estate was built was acquired in 1925, and had earlier been used as an aerodrome and for aircraft manufacture. The Mock-Tudor estate was built in 2 phases between 1928 and 1936 along Garden Suburb principles with houses and flats within a formal landscape setting. The layout comprised ornamental gardens, open spaces and street trees; each of the 18 blocks of flats was set in lawned gardens, and privet hedges enclosed front gardens with distinctive timber gates. The estate was in its heyday before WWII, but after 1954 maintenance of communal garden areas and service roads suffered until a company was set up by the Residents' Association that now owns and maintains the communal areas.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Tudor Estate
Site location:
between Queens Drive, Vale Lane, Princes Gardens, Tudor Gardens, Links Road
Type of site:
Housing/Estate Landscaping
Open to public?
Opening times:
private but gardens visible from roads
Special conditions:
Guided walk for London Open House (2001)
Public transport:
Tube: North Ealing (Piccadilly), West Acton (Central), Park Royal (Piccadilly). Bus 95, 487.

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/10/2010
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Full Site Description

The area here was rural until the early C20th, development beginning after North Ealing and Park Royal stations opened in 1903, and then accelerating after West Acton station opened in 1923. Hanger Hill House, a late C18th house at the top of Hanger Hill, was the only large property here. It was the home of the Wood family who owned most of the land either side of Hanger Lane from 1775; it was later home of Sir Edward Montague Nelson, Chairman of Ealing Local Board and later the first Mayor of the new Borough of Ealing in 1901. The land on which Hanger Hill Garden Estate was built had been used by Acton Aerodrome for flying, as well as for aircraft manufacture by the Alliance Aeroplane Company between 1909 and 1920. It was developed by Mr Cooper, who set up the Hanger Hill Garden Estate Ealing Limited for the purpose, and who continued to own part of the estate until 1956/7. The estate was designed by architects Douglas Smith and Barley and it was built in two phases between 1928 and 1936, with houses and flats in half-timbered Mock-Tudor style within a formal landscape setting.

The Garden Estate is described (London Open House 2001) as having 'delightful gardens and vistas' and Nikolaus Pevsner called it 'the beau ideal of romantic rural Metroland', remarking that it is 'unusually well landscaped'. The layout included common garden areas, open spaces and street trees, and each of the 18 blocks of flats was set in lawned gardens, with privet hedges enclosing front gardens that had distinctive timber gates on wooden posts. The first phase of the estate to be built was the eastern part for which land was acquired in 1925. The houses built in 1928-32 in this first phase comprised Princes Gardens, which was originally shown on the plan as Princes Boulevard, Tudor Gardens, Vale Lane, the east side of Monks Drive, and 1-7 and 6-20 Queens Drive. The Estate offices were at 2-4 Queens Drive and the new houses were soon tenanted and a community developed.

The Tudor Tennis Club was formed and although its site was later built over by Oxford Court in the second phase of the estate, it directly led to the opening of Hanger Hill Country Club in 1932. The western part of the estate was developed between 1933-36 and comprised the west side of Monks Drive, Links Road, 9-27 and 22-36 Queens Drive and the flats on the estate; a recreation area was retained where the old Tudor Tennis Club had been. In order to finance the second phase, the Hanger Hill Garden Estate Ltd sold the first part of the estate in December 1933 to Capital and Counties Property Company Ltd, who were covenanted to 'keep the shrubberies and ornamental gardens and ground which are included in the property [..] in good order [..] and not use or permit the same to be used for any purpose other than those of pleasure and ornament nor suffer to be permitted on the said gardens or on any part thereof any waste spoil or destruction and to keep the said gardens all manured and managed according to the approved methods of gardening ..'. The Managing Director of Capital and Counties lived in Princes Gardens and, like the Cooper family, took great interest in the estate and its good maintenance. During the war years the well-kept ornamental gardens were renowned in West London.

An area of c.6 acres of land had been acquired by Mount Estates Ltd from the Hanger Hill Garden Estates and in 1937 this was sold to the Metal Box Company for use as a sports ground. There were various sports grounds to the south and west of the flats and these were used as allotments during WWII, remaining in that use until Ellen Wilkinson High School was built in 1964/5. Also during the war five houses on the Estate were destroyed and others were damaged by bombing.

In 1954 Capital and Counties decided to sell its part of the estate, and all 325 houses were sold to Warwick Estates Ltd, who soon put them up for auction. The Hanger Hill Garden Estate (Acton) Residents' Association was then set up by those living in the eastern part in order to maintain the estate's amenities and to advise on matters affecting the estate. Later, in 1973, the Residents' Association extended to cover the whole Estate, which in 1969 had been designated a Conservation Area. The western part had remained in the ownership of Mr Cooper until 1956/7 when it was sold to McKay Securities Ltd, who continued to manage the estate for its tenants until 1969. The western part was then sold to the Freshwater Group of Companies, who began to sell off properties. The ornamental communal gardens and service roads had already been sold to Hillside Gardens Ltd, and tenants and freeholders were covenanted to pay a sum of between £2 and £10 for their upkeep. The gardens were well kept and had trees, shrubs and flowers, all tended by a team of gardeners who also attended to the privet hedges of the houses twice a year. There were greenhouses on a plot at the north-east corner of Princes Gardens.

In 1960 a new company, Hillside Gardens Limited (1960), purchased the communal gardens and service roads but the standard began to deteriorate, largely as a result of the annual subscription providing inadequate income, particularly in a time of inflation. When the company was dissolved in 1973, ownership passed to the Crown Estate Commissioners in 1974, although the Crown had no responsibility for the upkeep. The Residents' Association undertook much of the maintenance of these common areas from the 1970s, including a number of major clear-up operations of the neglected gardens and landscaping. In July 1977 a Jubilee Picnic took place on the Haberdashers Sports Field to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee. This was attended by around 500 people, the entertainment including a dog show, children's races and Polish dancers. After the closure of the Metal Box Company, plans to redevelop its sports ground were put forward by Metgate Ltd (a development company formed of the Metal Box Company and Unigate).

Eventually in 1984 the Residents' Association set up a new company to take over ownership and maintenance of the communal gardens and roads from the Crown, which was finalised in December of that year and the Hanger Hill Garden Estate Limited (HHGE Residents Ltd) was formed. Today the Residents' Association is run by a Management Committee on behalf of HHGE Residents Ltd, which owns and has responsibility for the maintenance of the estate gardens, the service roads behind houses, boundaries, fences and trees, and general security issues. The annual subscription per house is now £30 (2010) payable by all residents including tenants. The estate has 258 flats in blocks along Queens Drive, Links Road and Monks Drive, and 361 houses in Links Road, Queens Drive, Monks Drive, Vale Lane, Princes Gardens and Tudor Gardens.

There are communal gardens with rose beds at the north end of Princes Gardens and at the junction of Links Road and Monks Drive is a garden with a sunken pond and a variety of planting. The south part of Princes Gardens between Queens Drive and Tudor Gardens has a central planting of shrubs and ornamental trees, with immaculate lawns in front of blocks of flats, with neat privet hedges to the road. Flats are set in spacious lawns off Queen's Drive and to the south of Queen's Drive flats was an open space called The Paddock. By 2001 there was a large Japanese population here, with a Japan Service Centre in a small lodge on Queen's Drive near West Acton Station.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 ed); LB Ealing Conservation Area Appraisal (April 1999); Norman Pointing 'The Hanger Hill Garden Estate' extracts on Hanger Hill Garden Estate Residents Association website; 'The Story of Acton Aerodrome and the Alliance Factory' 2nd ed. 1978; Ealing Borough Council, Hanger Hill Garden Estate Conservation Area Character Appraisal, 2009

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ191813 (519210,181470)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
Hanger Hill Garden Estate Residents Ltd
Site management:
Hanger Hill Garden Estate Residents Ltd
Douglas Smith and Barley
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:
Conservation Area name:
Hanger Hill Garden Estate
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:

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