Inventory Site Record

Gledhow Gardens (Kensington & Chelsea)

Brief Description

Gledhow Gardens are private communal gardens provided for residents of the houses that surround it, which were built as part of the Gunter Estate development that took place from 1840s onwards. Named after Gledhow Hall in Yorkshire, like other streets on the estate this reflects the Gunter family connections in the West Riding. The garden was laid out with lawns, flowerbeds and trees. Lessees of housing abutting and those in nearby Bolton Gardens had access, on payment of rent for its upkeep. It is now owned by the residents.

Practical Information
Site location:
Old Brompton Road/Bolton Gardens
What 3 Words:
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 18 times, most recently in 2023.
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Tube: Gloucester Road (District, Circle, Piccadilly), Earl's Court (District, Piccadilly). Bus: C1
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

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

Full Site Description

Like much of the borough, the Courtfield area developed rapidly in the latter part of the C19th where open fields had previously covered the land from the village of Kensington to the Thames. The site was once part of the former Court Fields within the Earl's Court Manor estate, later owned by the Gunter family. The Gunters had made their money selling confectionery and had begun to acquire land in the area from the latter part of the C18th. James Gunter had become a partner of successful Italian pastrycook Domenico Negri, whose business at 7 Berkeley Square was established in 1757 and soon became prosperous. James began investing his money in land in the then rural area around Brompton Lane (now Old Brompton Road), including a house to the north, Earls Court House, where the family lived. When his son Robert inherited the business on his death in 1819 the land holding was considerable. But although some plots had been let for building by the mid 1840s, 73 of the estate's c.81 acres remained undeveloped and was leased to farmers and market gardeners.

From the late 1840s Robert Gunter began to develop the estate lands, beginning with The Boltons (q.v.) and moving north and east with large houses and terraces. His sons James and Robert continued to develop the estate following his death in 1852. George Godwin the younger had been appointed estate surveyor in 1848. By then, Godwin, who was local to Kensington, already had useful experience as District Surveyor for South Islington, and had erected one or two houses on Fulham Road with his father, also an architect or builder. As estate surveyor Godwin was responsible for the overall street layout and amenities, and overseeing the work undertaken by the contractors and developers who leased the building plots. In 1859 Robert Gunter leased the west side of The Boltons to John Spicer (d.1883) of Pimlico, who went on to take on many other leases on the estate in the 1860s and 1870s to become one of its principal developers. Many of the street names reflect the Gunter family's connections in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Gledhow Gardens were the back gardens of the surrounding Victorian villas that were joined together to form a large communal garden when the Gunter Estate developed the area, and are named after the family home of Miss Jane Benyon of Gledhow Hall in Yorkshire, who married Captain Robert Gunter in 1862. In 1928 the garden enclosure at Gledhow Gardens was owned by R G Gunter and leased to Mr G J Spicer, the lease expiring in 1983. Spicer, solicitor and son of John Spicer, had similar leases from the Gunter family for the garden enclosures of Bina Gardens West, Bolton Gardens, Bramham Gardens, Collingham Gardens and Wetherby Gardens (q.q.v.). Gledhow Gardens was for the use of lessees of Nos. 1-31 Gledhow Gardens and Nos. 10-15 Bolton Gardens who paid a rent for upkeep. In that year it was described as 'An enclosure of irregular shape flanked on three sides by the rear of houses and on one by a road. Attractively laid out with shrubberies and flower beds and some fine trees'. The garden now belongs to the residents, thanks to the generosity of Dr Robert Ker. Protected under 1851 Garden Square Act.

Sources consulted:

OGSD booklet 2004; RBKC The Boltons Conservation Area Policy Statement; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ261785 (526087,178491)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
Site management:
Gledhow Gardens Sub-Committee
late C19th
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:
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:

Gledhow Gardens

Gledhow Gardens - Photo: Janne Watson
Date taken: 10/06/18 10:20

Click a photo to enlarge.

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