Inventory Site Record

Gloucester Circus

Gloucester Circus (Greenwich)


The gardens at Gloucester Circus are private communal gardens provided for residents of the houses that abut it. The development in this area took place from the C18th and Gloucester Circus was designed by Michael Searles as an oval circus. By the late C18th only the south crescent was completed, the north crescent not built until 1840, later damaged in WWII. The garden remains private and contains mature plane trees, grass and perimeter shrubs.

Basic Details
Previous / Other name:
The Circus
Site location:
Gloucester Circus, off Royal Hill, Greenwich
Type of site:
Garden Square
Michael Searles (Gloucester Circus)
Listed structures:
LBII: Nos. 1-8, 21-42 Gloucester Circus
Site ownership:
Site management:
Committee of Residents
Open to public?
Opening times:
private, visible from road
Took part in Open Garden Squares Weekend in 2013.
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Rail: Greenwich. DLR: Greenwich

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/12/2006
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Further Information
Grid ref:
TQ383773 (538381,177310)
Size in hectares:
On EH National Register :
EH grade:
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:
West Greenwich
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Community Open Space
Fuller information

Gloucester Circus was designed by architect Michael Searles (1751-1813), son of a Greenwich surveyor and responsible for schemes described as 'unusually elegant and ambitious' (Pevsner), almost all of which were uncompleted. He was also responsible for The Paragon (q.v.), which adjoins Blackheath. Crooms Hill was an Anglo-Saxon road, and development of the area accelerated from the C18th. The south part of Searles' incomplete scheme for Gloucester Circus is a shallow crescent of 3-bay houses that were intended to form one side of an oval circus. The northern side was not completed until 1840, and was later damaged in World War II. Nos. 21-42 Gloucester Circus may have been developed by Launcelot Loat, who built other properties in the area. In 1928 the railed semi-circular central garden was described as being for the private use of freeholders and residents of Gloucester Circus and those in Gloucester Place whose houses abutted the enclosure. It was owned by the freeholders of these houses and maintenance was carried out by a Committee of residents out of a fund raised by voluntary subscriptions from freeholders and residents. Today the garden remains private and the residents pay a surcharge for its maintenance as part of the rates. It contains a number of large plane trees, grass and some perimeter shrubs.

Sources consulted:

Beryl Platts 'A History of Greenwich' 2nd ed. (Procter Press), 1986; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (Penguin) 1999; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928.

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