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Inventory Site Record

Chelsea Park Gardens (Kensington & Chelsea)

Brief Description

Chelsea Park Gardens is a post WWI development of Arts and Crafts style houses inspired by the Garden Suburb movement, with an emphasis on trees, greenery, communal garden areas or cottage-style gardens with informal borders. The land was formerly part of the C18th estate of Chelsea Park, itself once within the estate owned by Sir Thomas More in the C16th.

Practical Information
Site location:
Chelsea Park Gardens/Beaufort Street
Postcode:
SW3
What 3 Words:
scars.stole.cages
Type of site:
Housing/Estate Landscaping
Borough:
Kensington & Chelsea
Open to public?
No
Opening times:
private but visible
Special conditions:
Facilities:
play equipment in garden fronting Nos. 4-30
Events:
Public transport:
London Overground/Tube (District): West Brompton
Research updated:
01/10/2007
Last minor changes:
19/07/2023

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

Full Site Description

From the C16th grand houses were being established around the old village of Chelsea, and numbered among the wealthy owners were Henry VIII and Sir Thomas More, who built Beaufort House. In the subsequent decades more building took place both along the river as well as further inland, particularly up Church Lane, now Old Church Street, which developed northwards to the Queen's Elm. This was so-called for being where Queen Elizabeth I is said to have sheltered from the rain with Lord Burghley; the 'Queen's Tree' was recorded as early as 1586 and an arbour was built around it. In the early C16th an area between Duke's Walk and Lovers' Walk called 'Sand Hill' was part of Sir Thomas More's estate. In 1664 it became Lord Wharton's Park after the then owner, and when Lord Wharton sold his property in 1714 it became known as Chelsea Park. By c.1718 it had been purchased for a mulberry garden with the purpose of manufacturing raw silk but the venture failed, and Chelsea Park was gradually built over for housing. Park Walk was developed from Lovers' Walk in the late C18th and the Camera Square area developed in the early C19th, during the 1830s gaining a reputation for vice and intrigue. During the C19th Chelsea Park was increasingly eroded as Elm Park Road and Elm Park Lane were developed, and by 1894 the park and its mansion were gone. The properties of Camera Square were also demolished around this time to make way for the Beaufort Street development.

Chelsea Park Gardens were part of the Sloane Stanley estate and were built after WWI on the site of Camera Square. The development consists of small Arts and Crafts style houses in grey and red brick, designed mostly by E. Elms and S. Jupp, who took inspiration from the work of Norman Shaw and the Garden Suburb movement. The importance of trees and greenery, and the informal boundaries between gardens, reinforce the impression of a garden suburb. The houses line three sides of the square with a brick wall forming the fourth side. At the junction of Beaufort Street and the southern arm of Chelsea Park Gardens is a studio house once occupied by Sir Alfred Munnings. Nos. 4-30 (even) were built between 1915-1930, with a common hedged area of green in front. Nos. 32-94 (even) differ in that the houses stand back from the road behind a common garden enclosed by a dwarf front wall, with gates with ball finials at each end; inside are informal, picturesque cottage gardens and flagstone paths. Nos. 9-39 (odd) are grouped around a formal communal garden.

On the corner of Park Walk and Chelsea Park Gardens is the church of St John with St Andrew, built in 1912-13 by Sir Arthur Blomfield to replace a chapel of 1718 by Richard Manningham, who owned Chelsea Park at that time.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 ed); RBKC Chelsea Park Carlyle Conservation Area Proposals Statement, 1992

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ266778 (526660,177810)
Size in hectares:
0.4162
Site ownership:
private
Site management:
Date(s):
1913, 1923-8
Designer(s):
E. Elms and S. Jupp
Listed structures:
None
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

No
Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

No
Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

No

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:
No
In Conservation Area:
Yes
Conservation Area name:
Chelsea Park Carlyle
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
No
Other LA designation:
Article 4 Direction

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.