Inventory Site Record

St Quintin's Gardens (Kensington & Chelsea)

Brief Description

St Quintin's Gardens was formerly a privately owned green space at the junction of three roads, laid out as part of the St Quintin Estate. In the early part of the C20th the garden was maintained by voluntary subscriptions from tenants of surrounding streets and an annual donation by the freeholder. It is now a triangular public garden with shaped beds set in the lawn with seasonal bedding plants, mature trees as well as those of more recent date.

Practical Information
Site location:
St Quintin's Gardens/Highlever Road/St Quintin's Avenue/Barlby Road
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Gardens
Kensington & Chelsea
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Tube: Ladbroke Grove (Hammersmith & City) then bus.
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

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.

In the early C20th this small low-walled 'green' at the junction of three roads was laid out with flower beds and ornamental trees. In 1928 it was owned by William Herbert St Quinton, who had succeeded as owner of the estate following the death of Col St Quintin in 1876. He let the garden 'on a strict tenancy at will at 5s per annum' and the tenant was required 'not to use the enclosure otherwise than as an ornamental garden'. It was for the use of the tenant 'or any person authorised by him', 'maintained by voluntary subscriptions from the tenants of houses in the triangle and a yearly donation from the freeholder'. In 1970 the garden was awarded the London Regional Trophy of the Britain in Bloom competition, presented to RB Kensington and Chelsea. There are four mature trees, including two planes, and a number of smaller trees. A scarlet oak was presented by London Transport Board and planted by the Mayor in 1971. Outside the perimeter railings are a number of niches for trees.

Sources consulted:

Plaques on site; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928; Oxford Gardens/St Quintin Conservation Area Policy Statement, 1990

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ232816 (523270,181640)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
RB Kensington & Chelsea
Site management:
Leisure Services, Parks and Open Spaces
early C20th
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:
Oxford Gardens/St Quintin
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:

St Quintin's Gardens

St Quintin's Gardens, June 2023. Photograph Sally Williams

St Quintin's Gardens, June 2023. Photograph Sally Williams

Click a photo to enlarge.

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