The terrace of Gloucester Gate is separated from Outer Circle by a private roadway and a long narrow garden enclosure with shrubbery and mature trees. Originally called Gloucester Terrace, it was built in 1827 as part of John Nash's plan of 1811 to develop the Crown Estate lands as a fashionable residential area, with the backing of the Prince Regent, later George IV. Authorisation had been given in 1794 for developing the land, once part of Henry VIII's hunting park but by then leased mainly as farmland, which was due to revert to the Crown in 1811. Gloucester Terrace was named for George III's daughter Mary who was married to William Duke of Gloucester.
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Gloucester Gate, July 2002. Photo: S Williams
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A long narrow garden enclosure forms the common frontage to the houses of Gloucester Gate facing the Outer Circle and Regent's Park. Separated from the houses by a private roadway, the garden was laid out with shrubbery and trees, with cast iron railings at the boundary and square cast iron gate piers. The stucco terrace of 11 houses is a symmetrical design of 3-storey houses with the central and end houses of 4 stories, and having projecting porticoes. Originally called Gloucester Terrace, and built by Richard Mott in 1827, it was the last Nash terrace to be built in Regent's Park. Previously known as Marylebone Park it formed part of the royal hunting chase appropriated by Henry VIII in 1538 and remained so until 1646, and later used as farmland. At the end of the Civil War it had been sold by Cromwell to John Spencer but reverted to the Crown at the Restoration and was subsequently leased to various noblemen, finally the Duke of Portland, whose lease was due to revert to the Crown in 1811. John Fordyce, appointed Surveyor General of His Majesty's Land Revenue in 1794 was authorised to produce a plan for the area of Marylebone Park and various architects competed for the tender. On Fordyce's death the offices of Land Revenue were combined with those of Woods and Forests and the architects of the two departments were asked to produce plans. John Nash (1752-1835), who was official architect to the Commission of Woods and Forest and a friend of the Prince Regent, designed the layout of the park as it is today as part of his grand plan for London that was approved by the Treasury in October 1811. His plan had an avenue stretching from Marylebone via Portland Place and Regent Street to Carlton House Terrace and Gardens (q.v.), and included the 400-acre park was to be surrounded by palatial terraces and villas.
Gloucester Terrace was named for George III's daughter Mary who was married to William Duke of Gloucester. Sir Henry Wellcome, founder of the Wellcome Trust and pharmaceuticals manufacturer, lived at No. 6 from 1920 until his death in 1936.
Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928; Peter Woodford (ed.) 'From Primrose Hill to Euston Road' (Camden History Society, 1995 ed); Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 ed)