Inventory Site Record

Orme Square

Orme Square (Westminster)

Summary

Orme Square is thought to be the earliest town square in Bayswater. Under the will of John Carver, the garden was owned by Trustees, who by 1928 had sold the houses in the square, the purchasers having a right to use the garden enclosure subject to an annual payment for its upkeep. The garden contains three notable if enigmatic ornaments: two columns surmounted by pineapples and a double Tuscan column with a stucco eagle on top.

Basic Details
Site location:
Orme Square, Bayswater
Postcode:
W2
Type of site:
Garden Square
Date(s):
1815
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
LBII: Buildings on the north side, Nos.1 and 2; on the east side No.3; on the west side Nos.10 and 11.
Borough:
Westminster
Site ownership:
Private
Site management:
Open to public?
No
Opening times:
private, residents only
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Events:
Public transport:
Tube: Queensway (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.

Further Information
Grid ref:
TQ257806
Size in hectares:
c.0.045
On EH National Register :
No
EH grade:
None
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:
Bayswater
Tree Preservation Order:
Yes
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
No
Other LA designation:
None
Fuller information

Orme Square is thought by Nikolaus Pevsner to be the earliest town square in Bayswater, and the houses on the east and west sides date from c.1818. Under the will of John Carver, the garden was owned by Trustees, who by 1928 had sold the houses in the square, the purchasers having a right to use the garden enclosure subject to an annual payment for its upkeep to the Trustees. It was described at that time as 'a narrow enclosure laid out as a lawn with shrubs around the border' with 'one or two fine trees'. The Trustees' expenditure on its maintenance was restricted to what was received from the householders.

Thomas Carlyle in 1851 described Bayswater as 'an airy suburb, half town, half country' but called Orme Square 'a dingy little grass-plot' (Life of John Sterling). The surrounding railings were removed during WWII. A 1944 photograph shows a sign attached to railings in front of the eagle that states: 'The driver of any vehicle entering the square except on business to the houses will be prosecuted'. By 1961, the garden was well on the way to a sad state of neglect and it has lost a number of large trees that are shown in photographs in the 1950s. WCC manages 3 small beds on the roadside.

Sources consulted:

Halsey, 'Some London Squares', (1991 MS in Westminster City Archives); Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 ed); Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928

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