Inventory Site Record

Norfolk Crescent Gardens

Norfolk Crescent Gardens (Westminster)

Brief Description

Norfolk Crescent, together with Oxford and Cambridge Squares, was created on the site of the earlier, much larger Stanhope Square. The area was within the Bishop of London's extensive Paddington Estate and was developed from 1838 as part of estate surveyor George Gutch's 'Final Plan for Tybernia'. The form of the garden is intact although the surrounding area was redeveloped in the 1960s. Nowadays the garden contains notable mature London plane trees, modern bedding, a central privet-hedged enclosure and modern railings.

Practical Information
Site location:
Norfolk Crescent, Marylebone
W2 2YS
Type of site:
Garden Square
George Gutch
Listed structures:
Site ownership:
Church Commissioners
Site management:
Church Commissioners, landscape contract: Conceptual Gardens
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Tube: Marble Arch (Central)

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/11/2007
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Full Site Description

Land to the north of Hyde Park was for centuries farmland owned by the Church of England, the area known as Tyburnia after the river Tyburn that flows underground. It was at Tyburn Gallows at Marble Arch that public executions were held until 1783. The development of the Bishop of London's large Paddington Estate began after that, with an early masterplan drawn up by Samuel Pepys Cockerell (1754-1827), the estate surveyor, possibly begun in 1805 although little was built until the 1820s. Cockerell was succeeded as estate surveyor by George Gutch (c.1790-1874), who modified and intensified the layout, and drew up his 'Final Plan of Tyburnia' in 1838. Norfolk Crescent, Oxford Square and Cambridge Square (q.q.v.) were created on the site of the much larger Stanhope Square, which was laid out pre-1834. In 1928 the garden of Norfolk Crescent, still owned by the Paddington Estate Trustees, was provided for the use of residents of adjoining houses and was managed by a Committee of occupants. The expenses of maintenance were assessed proportionately on each house, although the Trustees had the power to undertake maintenance in cases of neglect. It was described in 1928 as 'surrounded by a sparse hedge and attractively laid out'.

In 1954 a 90-acre area of land within the Church Commissioners estate containing C19th terraces south of Sussex Gardens was consolidated as the Hyde Park Estate. Nowadays the form of the gardens are intact but the surrounding buildings were rebuilt from 1963 as part of a plan drawn up in 1957 by Anthony Minoprio of Minoprio & Spenceley with P W Macfarlane, with more detailed design by C H Elsom in 1965.

The cost of maintenance of the gardens is through an annual service charge to lessees who have exclusive rights to use the gardens.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West', (Penguin Books, 1999 ed), p.687; Gordon Toplis, The History of Tyburnia, Country Life 15, 22 November 1973; The Victoria History of the County of Middlesex, vol. IX, 1989, p. 196-197; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928

Further Information
Grid ref:
Size in hectares:
On EH National Register :
EH grade:
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:
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:

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