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Inventory Site Record

Edwardes Square * (Kensington & Chelsea)

Brief Description

* on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens

Edwardes Square is a late Georgian square built as part of the development of the Edwardes Estate, owned by William Edwardes, 2nd Lord Kensington. The private central garden was provided for the use of residents, and has a gardener's lodge in Greek Revival style, known as The Temple. The gardens were laid out in 1820 and have paths, shrubberies, lawns and many fine trees. Today there is an extensive rose pergola, croquet lawn, tennis court and children's play area.

Practical Information
Site location:
Edwardes Square
Postcode:
W8
What 3 Words:
crown.energy.jabs
Type of site:
Garden Square
Borough:
Kensington & Chelsea
Open to public?
Occasionally
Opening times:
Has opened for OGSW. Otherwise private, for keyholders only
Has taken part in Open Garden Squares Weekend 22 times, most recently in 2023.
Special conditions:
Facilities:
toilet, play area, grass tennis courts
Events:
Public transport:
Tube: High Street Kensington (Circle); Earls Court (District, Piccadilly). Bus: 9, 10, 27, 28, 74, 328.
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

Site on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens, for Register Entry see https://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list. The Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England was established in 1984 and was commonly called English Heritage. In April 2015 it split into 2 separate entities, Historic England (HE), which continues to champion and protect the historic environment, and the English Heritage Trust, whose role is to look after the 400+ historic sites and monuments owned by the state. HE manages the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) that includes over 400,000 items ranging from prehistoric monuments to office blocks, battlefields and parks, which benefit from legal protection.

Edwardes Square is a late Georgian square built in 1811-20; an Act of Parliament was passed in 1819 for the 'paving, cleansing, lighting, watching, watering, planting and improving' of the Square; with fines of £5 'to be imposed for suffering swine to wander upon said footways and carriageways'. The garden was laid out in 1820. At the main entrance on the south side of the square is a gardener's lodge in the Greek Revival Style with Tuscan portico facing the gardens, called The Temple, and where the gardener lives. The plaque on the external wall of The Temple states that it was 'partly built by a Frenchman, falsely rumoured to be an agent of Napoleon, derived its name from William Edwardes, 2nd Lord Kensington, who then owned the land which was part of the Holland House Estate'. The eponymous Frenchman who began the layout of the square was Louis Léon Changeur; a 1812 plan exists of the square by D I Bunning although it is not known if he was the designer. The other side of the entrance to The Temple are greenhouses. The fine mature trees and shrubs in the gardens include ash, lime, oak, ailanthus, catalpa, chestnut, stone pine, sycamore, lilac, laburnum, flowering cherry, robinia. The gardens have meandering paths through shrubberies, lawns, flower beds, an extensive rose pergola, croquet lawn, tennis court and children's play area, with wooded walks to the east of The Temple. Sited in the middle of one of the paths is a stone plinth surmounted by a 13 inch shell with the inscription on the plinth that it was from the Valley of Death before Sebastopol, and was presented by E Wakefield, Esq. Protected under 1851 Garden Square Act.

Sources consulted:

EH Register: B Cecil, 'London Parks and Gardens', 1907, p299-302; E B Chancellor 'The History of the Squares of London', 1927; H S Pasmore 'The History of Edwardes Square, Kensington', in Annual Report of The Kensington Society, 1970-71; N Pevsner 'London except . . . Westminster', 1952, p266; RBKC Edwardes Square, Scarsdale and Abingdon Conservation Area Policy Statement (n.d. 1980s)

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ249791 (524998,179121)
Size in hectares:
1.215
Site ownership:
private
Site management:
Garden Committee
Date(s):
1820
Designer(s):
Louis Léon Changeur
Listed structures:
LBII: 1-23 Edwardes Square, 25-48 Edwardes Square, Temple
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Yes
NHLE grade:
Grade II*
Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

No
Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

Yes

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:
Edwardes Square, Scarsdale and Abingdon
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
No
Other LA designation:
None
Photos

Edwardes Square *

Edwardes Square - Photo: Diana Jarvis
Date taken: 28/08/15 13:23

Click a photo to enlarge.

More photos

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.