Earl's Court Square (Kensington & Chelsea)
Earl's Court Square was developed as part of the Edwardes Estate. Building of the square began from 1868/72, the south side the last to be completed. The name derives from the courthouse of the Earls of Warwick and Holland, formerly Lords of the Manor. The communal garden for the use of lessees of the surrounding houses was a simple rectangle with grass, paths leading to a central circular feature and around the perimeter; at one time there were tennis courts. In later years poor maintenance by the owners led to the formation of a Residents Association, who sought to rectify this. A Garden Committee was established in 1974 and improvements have included new steel railings, an irrigation system and flood-lighting, new garden shed, circular seating around the central plane tree and children's play equipment.
- Site location:
- Earl's Court Square
- SW5 9DG
- Type of site:
- Garden Square
- Kensington & Chelsea
- Open to public?
- Opening times:
- Has opened for OGSW. Otherwise private, for keyholders only
Has taken part in Open Garden Squares Weekend 23 times, most recently in 2022.
- Special conditions:
- Public transport:
- Tube: Earls Court (District, Piccadilly). Bus: C1, 31, 74, 328.
- Research updated:
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.
Full Site Description
This was developed as part of the Edwardes Estate and building began from 1868/72, the south side the last to be completed. The name is from the courthouse of the Earls of Warwick and Holland who were formerly Lords of the Manor in the C18th. The late C19th stuccoed terraces have Italianate features; the south terrace was built in red brick with Jacobean motifs from 1888. The OS map of 1894 shows the square as a simple rectangle with paths leading to a central circular feature, and paths around the edge. Protected under 1851 Garden Square Act. Owned by Lord Iveagh, in 1928 the square was described as a 'rectangular area surrounded by a sparse privet hedge. Attractively laid out as a lawn with a small flower bed in the middle, and contains some fine trees'. Lessees of houses in the square had the benefit of the garden, in some cases paying garden rents under their lease. It was maintained by a Committee of those entitled to use the gardens with rules and regulations approved by Lord Iveagh, the ground landlord, who made a yearly allowance to cover expense in excess of the garden rents received. The gardens had tennis courts at that time, the tennis club under the control of the garden committee and contributing additional expenses for this use.
However, in later years the garden was not well maintained by its owners and the Residents Association was formed to rectify this. They had the garden adopted under the Kensington Improvement Act of 1851 whereby it is run by a Garden Committee established in 1974 comprised of ratepayers of the houses that overlook it with a special rate levied for the purpose. Since that time improvements have included new steel railings, an irrigation system and flood-lighting, new garden shed, circular seating around the central plane tree and children's play equipment. In 1984 a tree-planting ceremony commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Garden Committee.
Survey of London; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928; RBKC Earl's Court Square Conservation Area Proposals Statement; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928
Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
- Grid ref:
- TQ256783 (525567,178312)
- Size in hectares:
- Site ownership:
- Site management:
- Garden Committee, employing a gardener
- Listed structures:
- LBII: Nos 30-52 Earls Court Square
- 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:
- Earl's Court Square
- Tree Preservation Order:
- Yes - Group TPO
- Nature Conservation Area:
- Green Belt:
- Metropolitan Open Land:
- Special Policy Area:
- Other LA designation:
Earl's Court Square - Photo: Janne Watson
Date taken: 10/06/18 10:40
Click a photo to enlarge.
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