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Inventory Site Record

Kensington Memorial Park (Kensington & Chelsea)

Brief Description

This is part of the St Quintin estate in North Kensington, which was developed from the late 1860s. Kensington Memorial Park opened in 1923, originally called St Mark's Park. The land was acquired for the purpose by the Kensington War Memorial Committee and the site was given to the London County Council who laid the park out mainly as a children's playground. Other recreational facilities were added over the years. The park has its original railings, perimeter trees and formal planted areas.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
St Mark's Park
Site location:
St Marks Road
Postcode:
W10
What 3 Words:
props.renew.wisdom
Type of site:
Public Park
Borough:
Kensington & Chelsea
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
7.30am - dusk
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Toilets, paddling pool (May - September), playground, café kiosk (May - October). Sports: tennis, football, cricket, dog facilities café (summer), children’s playground, seasonal paddling pool, One O’Clock Club, tennis, football, junior cricket facilities
Events:
Public transport:
Tube: Ladbroke Grove (Hammersmith & City) then bus.
Research updated:
01/04/2012
Last minor changes:
19/07/2023

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.rbkc.gov.uk

Full Site Description

The land here was formerly in the Manor of Notting Barns, a farm owned by Thomas Darby of Sunbury, who in 1769 conveyed it to a relative by marriage, William St Quintin of Scampston Hall in Yorkshire. The farmhouse used to stand on the junction of St Quintin Avenue and Chesterton Road. The St Quintin Estate was only developed for housing after the construction of the Hammersmith and City railway opened up this hitherto inaccessible part of North Kensington. At that time the estate was owned by Colonel Matthew Chitty Downs St Quintin, who leased land to the entrepreneur Charles Henry Blake (1794-1872) then developing the area around the railway. Blake had already acquired land for his development on the Portobello and Ladbroke estates, and was responsible for Kensington Park Gardens, Stanley Gardens and Stanley Crescent. As ground landlord, Col. St Quintin imposed stringent building requirements on Blake, such as provision of shops and houses built to high specifications and the prior approval of plans by his own architect, Henry Currey, who was employed to supervise his estate. This contrasted with building on Blake's other land, which was later notorious for its bad conditions. Cambridge Gardens and Oxford Gardens were laid out in 1869-70, the houses aimed at middle-classes and early commuters. The second building phase took place between 1871 and 1890 and included St Quintin Avenue and Highlever Road. The last part of the estate to be built took place after 1905 and was completed after WWI, and was predominantly working class housing built by Kensington Borough Council or charitable trusts.

The land for the park was acquired for £8,800 by the Kensington War Memorial Committee whose Chairman, Sir Alfred Rice Oxley, was the former Mayor of Kensington. The land was then given to the London County Council who laid it out mainly as a children's playground in order to provide a much-needed facility in an area with little other recreational space. It opened in 1923 as St Mark's Park and has its original railings; recreational facilities include a paddling pool, tennis courts, playgrounds and a large open area of grass. The park has perimeter trees, a line of Lombardy poplars and avenues. There are also formal areas of planting including a pergola railed off from the main sports area and a garden with shrub beds either side with two areas of circular rose beds with central palm set into the lawn and a central circular stone feature, possibly once a fountain.

Sources consulted:

RB Kensington Parks Archive; 'The London County Council and what it does for London: London Parks and Open Spaces' (Hodder & Stoughton, 1924); Oxford Gardens/St Quintin Conservation Area Policy Statement, 1990

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ236817 (523601,181692)
Size in hectares:
2.63
Site ownership:
RB Kensington & Chelsea
Site management:
Leisure Services, Parks and Open Spaces
Date(s):
1923
Designer(s):
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:
Oxford Gardens/St Quintin
Tree Preservation Order:
No
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
No
Other LA designation:
None

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.